Ethnicity, nationalism and the culture of the state: the 17th Edvard Westermarck Memorial Lecture

Kapferer, Bruce (2002) Ethnicity, nationalism and the culture of the state: the 17th Edvard Westermarck Memorial Lecture. Suomen Antropologi, 27 (2). pp. 4-23.

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[Extract] Since Westermarck, times have changed dramatically with regard to anthropology as a distinct academic subject. When he was working anthropology had barely established itself as a discipline. The boundaries between a variety of cognate approaches and interests had not yet been established. Moreover, anthropology had then not become bogged down in the methodologism and blinding professionalism that not infrequently resulted in a constrictive myopia and isolating exoticism. Anthropologists are still in the throes of methodologism. perhaps even more so now as there are strong attempts among anthropologists to Signal a paradigm shift which involves an urgency to break away from what is described as the cultural foundationalism, exoticism and single community-sited (rather than multi-sited) perspectives of earlier anthropologists. These kinds of redirections are connected with current processes of globalisation which have seen the return to dominance of metropolitan thinking that a fledging anthropology once enjoyed challenging (see Kapferer 2000). Many of the new directions are important, but some attempts to sweep away a central anthropological concern with the cultural and a retreat from the exotic have threatened much of value in the anthropological project that was to develop after Westermarck's time and to which certain aspects of Westermarck's work pointed, nonetheless.

Item ID: 13681
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0355-3930
Keywords: ethnicity; nationalism; Sri Lanka; state
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Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2010 00:31
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 @ 100%
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