Critically Modern

Critically Modern : Alternatives, Alterities, Anthropologies

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Critically Modern makes a critical intervention in one of the great debates of the moment. It offers a variety of rich and fascinating empirical analyses of 'modern' phenomena from diverse societies, and contributes a powerful (and largely missing) voice to the growing literature on globalization and modernity outside anthropology." -Charles PiotIn these essays theory and ethnography are presented in ways that make them mutually enriching. The volume should appeal to scholars across the entire range of disciplines that deal with modernity and/or globalization." -Edward LiPumaAre there multiple ways of being "modern" in the world today? How do people in various parts of the world become modern in their own distinct ways? Does the current focus on modernity in the social sciences resurrect a series of dichotomies ("traditional" and "modern," "the West" and "the Rest," "developed" and "undeveloped") that social theorists have sought to move beyond in recent years? Or do inflections of modernity capture key features of ideology and influence in the contemporary world? Combining rich ethnographic analysis with incisive theoretical critiques, this timely volume is certain to make an important mark in anthropology and in all related fields in which modernity is a central problematic.Contributors: Donald L. Donham, Robert J. Foster, Jonathan Friedman, Ivan Karp, John D. Kelly, Bruce M. Knauft, Lisa B. Rofel, Debra A. Spitulnik, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, and Holly Wardlow.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 344 pages
  • 154.9 x 238.3 x 19.1mm | 476.28g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 22 b&w photos, 2 figures, 1 index
  • 0253215382
  • 9780253215383
  • 1,183,462

Review quote

"... a book of considerable intellectual sophistication. Lively, shrewd and persuasive,... this informative book marks an important event in the ongoing debte on multiple modernities." -Net Book Reviewshow more

About Bruce M. Knauft

Bruce M. Knauft is Samuel C. Dobbs Professor of Anthropology at Emory University and Director of the Vernacular Modernities Program.show more

Table of contents

Preliminary Table of Contents: PrefaceCritically Modern: An Introduction Bruce M. KnauftPART I1. Bargains with Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Elsewhere Robert J. Foster2. Development and Personhood: Tracing the Contours of a Moral Discourse Ivan Karp3. Trials of the Oxymodern: Public Practice at Nomad Station Bruce M. Knauft4. "Hands-Up"-ing Buses and Harvesting Cheese-Pops: Gendered Mediation of Modern Disjuncture in Melanesia Holly WardlowPART II5. Modernity's Masculine Fantasies Lisa B. Rofel6. Accessing "Local" Modernities: Reflections on the Place of Linguistic Evidence in Ethnography Debra A. Spitulnik7. The Otherwise Modern: Caribbean Lessons from the Savage Slot Michel-Rolph TrouillotPART III8. On Being Modern in a Capitalist World: Some Conceptual and Comparative Issues Donald L. Donham9. Alternative Modernities or an Alternative to "Modernity"?: Getting Out of the Modernist Sublime John D. Kelly10. Modernity and Other Traditions Jonathan FriedmanContributorsshow more

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