Subject: Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural

Subject: Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural

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Nowa Huta

|9780822963189|Generations of Change in a Model Socialist Town| In 1949 construction of the planned town of Nowa Huta began on the outskirts of Kraków, Poland. Its centerpiece, the Lenin Steelworks, promised a secure future for workers and their families. By the 1980s, however, the rise of the Solidarity movement and the ensuing shock therapy program of the early 1990s rapidly transitioned the country from socialism to a market-based economy, and Nowa Huta fell on hard times. Kinga Pozniak shows how the remarkable political, economic, and social upheavals since the end of the Second World War have profoundly shaped the historical…

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A Chinese Beggars’ Den

|9780822985693|Poverty and Mobility in an Underclass Community| In this fascinating study of a community of Chinese beggars, David Schak offers evidence that challenges widely held theories on poverty. It is a path-breaking, systematic anthropological study that challenges long-held beliefs about poverty, and is one of the few works on beggars available. Over a period of seven years, Schak's fieldwork uncovers a structure of leadership, organizational methods, and alms-getting tactics. Moreover, certain members became upwardly mobile and able to leave this lifestyle. The severe stigma of gambling, adultery, and failure to marry proved the stimulus for a younger generation to leave…

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Practicing Islam

|9780822964285|Knowledge, Experience, and Social Navigation in Kyrgyzstan|David W. Montgomery presents a rich ethnographic study on the practice and meaning of Islamic life in Kyrgyzstan. As he shows, becoming and being a Muslim are based on knowledge acquired from the surrounding environment, enabled through the practice of doing. Through these acts, Islam is imbued in both the individual and the community. To Montgomery, religious practice and lived experience combine to create an ideological space that is shaped by events, opportunities, and potentialities that form the context from which knowing emerges. This acquired knowledge further frames social navigation and political negotiation. Through…

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The Force of Custom

|9780822964209|Law and the Ordering of Everyday Life in Kyrgyzstan|The Force of Custom presents a finely textured ethnographic study that sheds new light on the legal and moral ordering of everyday life in northwestern Kyrgyzstan. Through her extensive fieldwork and firsthand experience, Judith Beyer reveals how Kyrgyz in Talas province negotiate proper behavior and regulate disputes by invoking custom, known to the locals as salt. While salt is presented as age-old tradition, its invocation is shown to be a highly developed and flexible rhetorical strategy that people adapt in order to meet the challenges of contemporary political, legal, economic, and religious…

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Anthropological Approaches to Political Behavior

|9780822960942|Contributions from Ethnology|Power is immanent in human affairs; by definition, human beings are political animals. The only way to fully comprehend and analyze the complexities of power is to locate where material, psychological, and social dimensions of political power are ultimately and socially situated and reproduced. This collection of essays highlights the theoretical concerns of political anthropology. Initially published in the journal Ethnology, the essays were classroom tested and collected on the basis of student comments. An in-depth introduction presents the intellectual traditions in political anthropology and focuses particularly on the manner in which various periods defined and dealt with…

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