About the House

About the House : Levi-Strauss and Beyond

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The domestic unit is inseparable from its homestead, and the 'house', at once a physical place and a social unit, is often also a unit of production and consumption, a cult group, and even a political faction. Inspired by Levi-Strauss's suggestion that the multi-functional noble houses of medieval Europe were simply the best-known examples of a widespread social institution, the contributors to this collection analyse 'house' systems in Southeast Asia and South America, exploring the interrelationships between buildings, people, and ideas. They reveal some of the ways in which houses can stand for social groups and serve as images of process and order.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 316 pages
  • 153 x 228 x 19mm | 460g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 8 Halftones, unspecified; 6 Line drawings, unspecified
  • 0521479533
  • 9780521479530
  • 958,250

Table of contents

1. Introduction Janet Carsten and Stephen Hugh-Jones; 2. Houses and hierarchies in island Southeast Asia Roxana Waterson; 3. The resurrection of the house amongst the Zafimaniry of Madagascar Maurice Bloch; 4. The hearth-group, the conjugal couple and the symbolism of the rice meal among the Kelabit of Sarawak Monica Janowski; 5. Houses in Langkawi: stable structures or mobile homes? Janet Carsten; 6. Having your house and eating it: houses and siblings in Ara, South Sulawesi Thomas Gibson; 7. The Lio house: building, category, idea, value Signe Howell; 8. Houses and hierarchy: the view from a South Moluccan society Susan McKinnon; 9. Houses, places and people: community and continuity in Guiana Peter Riviere; 10. The houses of Mebengokre (Kayapo) of Central Brazil: a new door to their social organization Vanessa Lea; 11. Inside-out and back-to-front: the Maloca and the house in northwest Amazonia Stephen Hugh-Jones.
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Review quote

'The essays ... are replete with fascinating data that fulfil a central promise of contemporary anthropology ... at a time when fewer and fewer detailed ethnographies seem to be published.' Book Review Essays 'Mark this volume as another milestone in the rehabilitation of kinship studies. About the House is a worthwhile collection that both implements and critically evaluates Levi-Strauss's notion of the 'house society' in studies drawn from Southeast Asia and Amazonia. For both the teacher and the scholar, this book is worth the reading.' Peter Gose, University of Regina
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