Concerns, norms and social action: notes on Fredrik Barth's analytical model

Otto, Ton (2005) Concerns, norms and social action: notes on Fredrik Barth's analytical model. Folk, 46/47. pp. 143-157.

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Abstract

This article explores ways to conceptualise the relationship between human action and cultural constructs. Driven by observations from fieldwork in Baluan, Papua New Guinea, the author focuses on motivations for actions, both conscious and unconscious, as well as on the variety of social norms and values that are available to actors within the same society After a short historical sketch of major theoretical trends in American and British anthropology concerning norms and actions, Fredrik Barth's thinking on the topic is presented in some more detail. In his later work -in Papua New Guinea and Bali - Barth complements his earlier focus on actors and transactions with an interest in the cultural premises that inform transactions between actors. Barth's notions of (implicit) 'concerns' and (explicit) 'traditions of knowledge' are explained and illustrated with ethnographic material and the author expands Barth's analytical model by highlighting the complex relationship between the different layers of cultural premises.

Item ID: 16690
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Fredrik Barth; cultural norm; knowledge; tradition; cultural anthropology; Oceania; Southeast Asia; Bali; Papua New Guinea; British anthropology; social norm; motivation; cultural construction; theoritical model; social Action; value
ISSN: 0085-0756
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2011 02:41
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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