Culture and Authenticity

Culture and Authenticity

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Authenticity is taken-for-granted as an absolute value in contemporary life. In Culture and Authenticity , Charles Lindholm calls upon anthropological case studies from different cultures, historical material, and comparative philosophy, to explore how notions of authenticity develop, what forms it takes, and how it changes over time. Examines the idea of authenticity and its role in modern culture Explores society's preoccupation with authenticity and the search for 'real' experiences Looks at how the concept of authenticity intersects with questions about religion, ethnicity, and race Investigates authenticity in the context of fields such as dance, cuisine, travel, and the modern marketplaceshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 186 pages
  • 152 x 224 x 16mm | 281.23g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1405124431
  • 9781405124430
  • 579,182

Review quote

"This is a wonderful book, illuminating a phenomenon that is of vital import for modern man's sense of identity. Wise and witty, Culture and Authenticity is anthropology at its very best." Sudhir Kakar, INSEAD, Fontainbleau, France "No concept is more defining of the paradox of modernity than authenticity. In this lucid text Lindholm, from a stance of anthropological respect, proves an ideal guide to its myriad consequences." Daniel Miller, University College London "Through a wealth of examples Charles Lindholm probes the cultural currency of 'authenticity,' how individuals and groups invest in goods and values as diverse as authentic food, authentic art, music and dance, or authentic roots and national identities. This is a stimulating and suggestive foray in psychological anthropology." Michael Donnelly, Bard College "Lindholm brings a sharp sense of history, the full range of the best contemporary anthropology, and a quick wit to the topic of culture and authenticity, in this very readable and thoughtful book." Richard Wilk, Indiana University "During the past two decades, the issue of identity, its politics, the search for authenticity and roots has become explosively present on a world scale. This book is the first to my knowledge to have directly taken up the question of the nature of authenticity in anthropology and among the people that anthropologists study. It is a timely as well as systematic discussion of one of the crucial issues of our time. The book should be required reading for researchers and students alike." Jonathan Friedman, Lund University "In this beautifully written and accessible book, Charles Lindholm, a renowned anthropologist, dares to bring us back to the days of a broad comparative study of culture. Lindholm provides an insightful, sweeping account of authenticity across time and space, in chapters that cover a wide range of topics, such as art, cuisine, ethnicity, citizenship, and religious fundamentalism. The underlying message of this important book is that the reports of the death of the authentic in the post-modern world have been greatly exaggerated. Dramatic social change and globalization have only intensified the on-going human quest for tradition and the elusive anchors of home and hearth." Roy Richard Grinker, George Washington Universityshow more

About Charles Lindholm

Charles Lindholm is a University Professor of Anthropology at Boston University. He is the author of six books and numerous articles, many of them on topics related to idealization and the nature of human more

Back cover copy

Authenticity is taken for granted as an absolute value in contemporary life. We speak of authentic art, music, food, dance, and people. Authenticity can be found in moments of extreme danger, in the pleasures of carnival, in the taste of champagne. As anthropologist Charles Lindholm shows in this engaging new book, the hope for an authentic experience draws us to charismatic leaders, expressive artists, and social movements; it makes us into trendy consumers, creative performers, and fanatical collectors. It also can lead to the bloodshed of ethnic cleansing. In "Culture and Authenticity," Lindholm argues that the pervasive desire for authenticity is a consequence of a modern loss of faith and meaning. Authenticity, in its many guises, offers seekers a sense of belonging, connection and solidity. Yet, even as authenticity has become more valued, it has become more elusive and remote. Calling upon anthropological case studies from different cultures, historical material, and comparative philosophy, he explores how notions of authenticity develop, what forms it takes, and how it changes over time. This exciting text takes us on a journey of the human quest for the authentic, and how it has been imagined, described, analyzed, and realized by individuals and more

Table of contents

Introduction. Part I: Individual Authenticity: . 1. Authenticity and Art. 2. Authenticity and Music. 3. Seeking Authenticity in Travel and Adventure. 4. The Commodification of Authenticity. 5. Authenticity and the Self. Part II: Collective Authenticity: . 6. Authentic Cuisine and National Identity. 7. Authentic Dance and National Identity. 8. Modes of Authenticity in the Nation-State. 9. Israel and Authentic Jewish Identity. 10. Authenticity On the Margins. 11. Afterword: The Anthropology of Authenticity. Endnotes. Bibliographyshow more