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Subject: Anthropology

The Dynamics of Bride Price in Zimbabwe and the UK Diaspora

Ottis Mubaiwa

May 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-817-5
Availability: In stock
222pp. ¦ $51 £38 €44

The tradition of Bride Price has been at the heart of marriage for many centuries in numerous cultures across the globe. The Dynamics of Bride Price presents new research data from Zimbabwe and the UK highlighting the transnational dimension of the practice, its diversity in different contexts and across generations, and its influence on the structure of gender relationships and inequalities. The transnational element of its investigation into the institution and traditions of African marriage sets this book apart from existing study and offers its readers a nuanced and complex understanding of the perceptions and experiences of Bride Price across diverse contexts. This original contribution will be of great interest to those studying and teaching courses on Gender and Development, as well as researchers and policymakers of cultural practices.

Cinematosophical Introduction to the Theory of Archaeology

Understanding Archaeology Through Cinema, Philosophy, Literature and some Incongruous Extremes

Aleksander Dzbyński, University of Zurich, Switzerland

August 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-727-7
Availability: In stock
314pp. ¦ $52 £39 €45

What is archaeology? A research field dealing with monuments? A science? A branch of philosophy? Dzbyński suggests the simple but thoughtful equation: Archaeology = History = Knowledge. This book consists of 8 chapters presenting a collection of characteristic philosophical attitudes important for archaeology. It discusses the historicity of archaeological sources, the source of the algorithmic approach in archaeological reasoning, and the accuracy of logical and irrational thinking. In general, this book is concerned with the history of archaeologists’ search for a suitable methodology. All these issues are discussed in relation to two main intellectual trends of archaeology to the present day: processual and post-processual archaeology. Processualism introduced and developed the idea of algorithmic and universal reasoning in archaeology, while post-processualism focused attention on the individual value of a monument and the archaeologist himself. These are still two foundations on which the present knowledge of the past is based, and thus their defining role cannot be overestimated. An additional layer of narrative, visible right from the beginning of the book, is the gradual discovery of the relationship between archaeology and popular culture, especially film and literature. Its aim is both illustration and explanation. It is intended that the reader receives not only information and knowledge, but also a deeper emotional reference which is connected with the reception of works of art.

Post-Industrial Precarity: New Ethnographies of Urban Lives in Uncertain Times

Edited by Gillian Evans, University of Manchester

November 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-768-0
Availability: In stock
240pp. ¦ $59 £44 €50

The United Nations predicts that by the year 2050 almost 70% of the planet’s population will be living in cities. The onus on social scientists is to explain the contemporary challenges posed by the urbanization of the world. A growing body of literature raises the alarm about the precarity of human existence in the uncertain conditions of rapidly transforming contemporary cities. This volume brings together a diverse collection of new ethnographies of precarious lives in various cities of the world. The specific focus on post-industrial cities in the UK allows for a wider consideration of the urban conditions and the political and economic climates which combine to produce extremely precarious living conditions for urban populations elsewhere in the world.The productive consequence of the comparisons and contrasts of various urban contexts, made possible by the volume, is an analytical focus on what it means for humans to live and occupy different subject positions under the advancing conditions of contemporary global capitalism. The volume’s chapters are also united by the shared commitment of early career social science scholars to ethnography as a research method. This gives a common methodological focus to diverse topics of substantive concern located in various cities of the world from Manchester, Newcastle and Salford in the north of England, to Detroit in the USA, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Turin in Italy and Beirut in Lebanon. Ethnography, relying as it does on long-term participant observation and in-depth open-ended interviewing, is uniquely valuable as a resource for bringing to life the unpredictable ways in which humans survive and develop forms of resilience among, for example, the ruins of dying cities. Ethnography also enables social scientists to understand and add depth to the surprising stories and apparent contradictions of everyday protest in the face of the increasing privatization of the public good and extreme inequalities of wealth. Ethnographically grounded analyses of urban life are therefore uniquely positioned to explain and critically analyse the new politics of popular resistance as the people who feel ‘left behind’ by society, or expelled from what might be described as the ‘exclusification’ of urban environments, push back against an economy and politics that appears to exist only for the private benefit of an indifferent elite population.

Post-Industrial Precarity: New Ethnographies of Urban Lives in Uncertain Times

Edited by Gillian Evans, University of Manchester

November 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-871-7
Availability: In stock
240pp. [Color] ¦ $89 £66 €75

The United Nations predicts that by the year 2050 almost 70% of the planet’s population will be living in cities. The onus on social scientists is to explain the contemporary challenges posed by the urbanization of the world. A growing body of literature raises the alarm about the precarity of human existence in the uncertain conditions of rapidly transforming contemporary cities. This volume brings together a diverse collection of new ethnographies of precarious lives in various cities of the world. The specific focus on post-industrial cities in the UK allows for a wider consideration of the urban conditions and the political and economic climates which combine to produce extremely precarious living conditions for urban populations elsewhere in the world.The productive consequence of the comparisons and contrasts of various urban contexts, made possible by the volume, is an analytical focus on what it means for humans to live and occupy different subject positions under the advancing conditions of contemporary global capitalism. The volume’s chapters are also united by the shared commitment of early career social science scholars to ethnography as a research method. This gives a common methodological focus to diverse topics of substantive concern located in various cities of the world from Manchester, Newcastle and Salford in the north of England, to Detroit in the USA, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Turin in Italy and Beirut in Lebanon. Ethnography, relying as it does on long-term participant observation and in-depth open-ended interviewing, is uniquely valuable as a resource for bringing to life the unpredictable ways in which humans survive and develop forms of resilience among, for example, the ruins of dying cities. Ethnography also enables social scientists to understand and add depth to the surprising stories and apparent contradictions of everyday protest in the face of the increasing privatization of the public good and extreme inequalities of wealth. Ethnographically grounded analyses of urban life are therefore uniquely positioned to explain and critically analyse the new politics of popular resistance as the people who feel ‘left behind’ by society, or expelled from what might be described as the ‘exclusification’ of urban environments, push back against an economy and politics that appears to exist only for the private benefit of an indifferent elite population.

Liberation Philosophy

From the Buddha to Omar Khayyam

Mostafa Vaziri, University of Innsbruck, Austria

April 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-531-0
Availability: In stock
335pp. ¦ $66 £49 €56

The critical narrative of this interdisciplinary book offers a first-time look at the interrelationship between biology, mythology and philosophy in human development. Its daring premise follows the trajectory of human thought, starting with the biological roots of fear and the original need for religion, truth-seeking, and myth-making. The narrative then innovatively links a number of maverick philosophical teachings over the centuries, from pre-Buddhist times to the Buddha, from Epicurus and Pyrrho to Lucretius, and eventually to the seminal poetry of Omar Khayyam. These emergent philosophies exemplified liberation from the grasp of mythical and religious thinking and instead espoused an empirical and joyful mind. The narrative concludes with a look at the emancipating philosophical movement that resulted in the European Enlightenment, and it suggests that the philosophical teachings explored in the book may offer the potential for a second, broader Enlightenment.

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