Cultural Critique Research Paper
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Critique is the exercise of judgment. Its roots lie in the Enlightenment’s response to the printing revolution. The use of exotic ethnography to shock Westerners out of their complacency is well established. The 1980s saw a vigorous American school of cultural critics at home. They have European, feminist, and Marxist counterparts. Recent developments focus on globalization and cultural diversity. The world culture has become omnipresent and this has diluted anthropologists’ attachment to their key concept. It would still pay anthropologists to revisit Rousseau and Kant.
- Cultural Critique
- Early Twentieth-Century Ethnography
- Cultural Critique in America
- Cultural Critique in Europe
- Feminism and Marxism
- Ethnicity, Nation-States, and Globalization
- The Roots of Critique in the Enlightenment
Cultural critique, the use of anthropology to draw critical attention to institutions that readers take for granted, is as old as the origins of the modern discipline. It was a major purpose of Boas’s students, especially Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. Its antecedents range from modernism to the critical theory of the Frankfurt school and the French surrealists between the wars, and the roots of critique lie in eighteenth century philosophy. Cultural critique is a less powerful force today in anthropology than it was in the 1980s, and the lines that separate it from social criticism are more blurred now. As a result, the present research paper takes a historical view of its subject rather than offering a contemporary survey.
What then is ‘cultural critique’? It is to examine the foundations of culture by having recourse to judgment. Judgment in turn is the ability to form an opinion on the basis of careful consideration, beyond that to discern relations linking particulars to more general principles. Although not indifferent to fact and logic, judgment requires consideration of worth. A judge is respected for his or her wisdom and apparent objectivity, that is, for the ability to transcend mere opinion, even by giving expression to universal truth. A cognate expression is critic (which is, after all, derived from the Greek word for judgment). But criticism most often connotes for us the formation of opinions about works of art and the term ‘cultural critique’ suggests a direct link between anthropology and literary criticism. Indeed, critical anthropology for a time involved a shift in emphasis from life to text, reflecting a trend driven by poststructuralist discourse from the 1970s onward.
The world is currently going through a major transformation, driven by the new digital media, that is social, technological, and cultural in scope. It has fundamental consequences for the human condition and hence for anthropology. The best way to learn about these developments is to take an active part in them. There are analogies between the print revolution and today. For most of human history, information was hard to come by and had to be sought out. With printing, information became omnipresent. This was the origin of critique, since people had to learn how to be selective in what they read. Once choosing not to read something became socially acceptable, the way was open for the mass media. But the relationship between sender and receiver was still asymmetrical. The Internet and especially social media, commonly referred to as Web 2.0, have made available easy-to-use tools that provide a plethora of options for anyone to become engaged with the medium as a communicator in their own right. New social forms adequate to handling this unprecedented freedom of self-expression are at best incipient. They are, moreover, compromised by Web 2.0 being dominated by an outmoded bureaucratic capitalism whose command-and-control system and intellectual property regime continually provoke vigorous demands for more open access to information and for the democratization of its production, distribution, and consumption.
Early Twentieth-Century Ethnography
Ethnography was the dominant form of anthropological enquiry in the twentieth century. It literally means writing about peoples considered to constitute natural units, on the basis of extended participation in and observation of their societies. It arose in opposition to the method that preceded it, evolutionary history. This last sought to explain how the world came to be unified by Western imperialism by postulating a racial hierarchy in which ‘our’ cultural superiority (having developed a machine technology based on scientific reason) was attributed to biological difference. The First World War undermined the credibility of this claim of Western civilization to be founded on universal reason and opened up a space for anthropologists willing to assert the virtues of ways of life previously considered to be ‘primitive’ and inferior. Bronislaw Malinowski is rightly considered to be the pioneer of a new ethnographic approach stressing the integrity of contemporary exotic cultures. In Argonauts of the Western Pacific (Malinowski, 1961) he made clear his aim to challenge the assumption that Western economic norms were either universal or inherently superior. Subsequently, Edward Evans-Pritchard drew on liberal myths of Saxon resistance to Norman rule to dispute the identification of political order with the state, finding ‘ordered anarchy’ among the Nuer of the Sudan (Evans-Pritchard, 1940).
The academic norm of scientific ethnography was made necessary by anthropologists’ drive toward legitimacy as a social science discipline. They eschewed fiction of all kinds. The basis of their truth claims was participant observation, the fact that they had joined the people in some exotic location and shared their life as a means of studying them. Students were encouraged to read the classical monographs as scientific truth. The exercise of judgment was unnecessary, since professional vetting of the empirical object was sufficient guarantee of a monograph’s validity. Within this framework of objectivity, ethnography was potentially critical of Western civilization’s claim to universality. By stepping out of normal society, ethnographers pointed a sharp light on the assumptions of their readers, showing, for example, that witchcraft accusations made sense or that gifts may be instruments of domination. The general aim of anthropologists at this time seems to have been to discredit the racist assumptions underlying colonial empire. In America, this trend was associated with a position known as ‘cultural relativism’: every way of life, however barbarous, has a right to exist and it is not for outsiders to judge it as inferior for any reason.
The founder of modern American anthropology, Franz Boas, was himself committed to educating public opinion (Boas, 1929), but his students took this further by setting out to reach a general American audience with the surprising results of their own and others’ ethnography. Americans think of their culture as natural, that is, inevitable; by showing them cultural variation elsewhere they are forced to ask if their own culture is malleable. This perhaps accounts for why Ruth Benedict’s Patterns of Culture (1934), an impressive collation of cultural variety worldwide, was the anthropology bestseller of all time. Its subtitle is particularly instructive: an analysis of our social structure as related to primitive civilizations (italics added). In Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), her colleague Margaret Mead’s topic was adolescence. Americans think of teenagers’ turbulence as the natural result of sexual development; Samoan youth experienced adolescence more peacefully; so maybe Americans ought to think again about the reasons for teenage behavior. In a comparative work, Male and Female: a Study of the Sexes in a Changing World (Mead, 1949), Mead piled example on example to demonstrate that the sexual division of labor thought to be natural in Western societies was a special case. It is not hard to imagine how such a book might enter the campaign for female emancipation. Mead has been subjected to savage criticism of late for the inadequacy of her fieldwork and the exaggeration of her deconstructive cultural contrasts. These attacks have come precisely when the cultural critique she pioneered has sought to undermine the premises of scientific ethnography itself, as she never did.
Cultural Critique in America
More recently, cultural critique in anthropology has been associated with an American school of ethnographers led by George Marcus. With James Clifford he published Writing Culture: the Poetics and Politics of Ethnography (Clifford and Marcus, 1986), a book that has come to be seen as marking the postmodern shift in anthropology. At much the same time, Marcus published, with Michael Fischer, Anthropology as Cultural Critique: an Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences (Marcus and Fischer, 1999; see also Marcus, 1999). The growing prominence of cultural critique has been ascribed to a ‘literary turn’ associated with the work of Clifford Geertz since the early 1970s (Geertz, 1988). Clifford has carved out his own contribution to resolving “the crisis of representation” in a series of works, notably, The Predicament of Culture (1988). Paul Rabinow’s Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco (Rabinow, 1977) prefigured the critical reassessment of ethnographic method. The journal Critique of Anthropology grew out of collaboration between radical anthropologists in Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States, beginning in the 1970s.
The critique launched by Writing Culture had as its focus three aspects of the ethnographic enterprise: poetics, politics (both in the subtitle), and epistemology. By ‘poetics, attention is drawn to the fact that ethnographers make up what they write. Geertz had been more or less explicit about his ambitions as a creative writer for over a decade before. Language, in such a perspective, is never simply descriptive, but persuasive also. If ethnography is literature, the strident assertion by positivists of its factual (nonfictional) basis must be questioned. The ‘politics’ of ethnography refers to a triadic relationship between anthropologists, their subjects, and their readers. The political economy of global inequality must be foregrounded in ethnographic descriptions and author/reader relations are more problematic than the original formula allows for. Who are the monographs for and what possibilities for collaboration exist beyond the stereotype of the ethnographer as a lone ranger in a pith helmet? Finally, the status of ethnography as a source of knowledge (epistemology), its methodology, and the configuration of knowledge as power, are called into question. Cultural critique in these terms examines the very intellectual foundations of modern anthropology.
What then have been the poetic and political purposes of the cultural critics and how effective was their epistemological critique? First, they were Americans who wished to engage more directly with American society. That is, they proposed to carry out ethnographic fieldwork in and write about mainstream activities and institutions. This required developing experimental methods, summed up as ‘reflexivity, the need for the ethnographer to be continuously self-monitoring in the light of feedback from society. Their aim was similar to Mead’s in seeking to disturb conventional assumptions about America’s place in the world. Techniques of authorship proved hard to subvert in practice. Although the boundary between fact and fiction became blurred, few anthropologists have openly embraced the novel as a model. The radical rhetoric of the cultural critics, their attempts to develop new constituencies and forms of collaboration ran up against the continuing dominance of the universities as anthropology’s institutional home. The ideal of the ‘citizen ethnographer, boldly synthesizing fieldwork-based research, critical theory, and political commitment at home, remains a somewhat distant goal. If one can no longer read ethnographies as factual truth, how does one acquire the judgment to make sense of them, especially when cultural relativism has told us one should not judge others as the Victorian imperialists used to? Much postmodern writing adopts an ironic tone and perhaps this is because it straddles unresolved contradictions of this kind. Critics are by definition judgmental, yet convinced relativists have nowhere to stand.
The most controversial aspect of this program is thus its confrontation with the realism, naturalism, and objectification inherent in the positivist tradition of scientific ethnography. The traditional premise of ethnography, the study of other cultures for the sake of our own enlightenment, became more untenable under postcolonial circumstances. It fell to Marcus and his associates to make explicit the faults of a paradigm that had been unraveling for decades. The value of this American movement is much debated. Although the protagonists have sometimes tried to distance themselves from the ‘postmodern’ tag, preferring to speak of ‘high modernism’ or ‘reflexive modernity, cultural critique has been seen by its positivist detractors as evidence of a postmodern collapse into fragmentation, confusion, and extreme relativism (Gellner, 1992). Others seem to agree that we have entered a postmodern age and that cultural critique is an appropriate response to it.
Cultural Critique in Europe
Cultural critique has not been absent from the other main national traditions of anthropology. Indeed, in France the public’s reception of intellectuals has always been readier than was ever the case among the Anglo-Saxons. Moreover, French anthropologists have never embraced a narrow cultural relativism, preferring to keep alive the Enlightenment’s legacy of an appeal to universal reason. The publication of Marcel Mauss’s political writings (Mauss, 1997) shows how deep seated this public engagement was for him. As his principal successor, Claude Lévi-Strauss wrote a popular classic, Tristes Tropiques, and exposed to critical view the central institution of French culture, table manners (Lévi-Strauss, 1976, 1978). Among contemporary anthropologists, Marc Augé has successfully bridged the gap between the academy and popular culture, explaining the symbolic significance of Princess Diana’s death and other contemporary events to readers of the serious newspapers.
Augé’s contribution to cultural critique has been far-reaching. In Non-places: Introduction to an anthropology of super-modernity (1995), the term ‘non-place’ refers to spaces of transience, such as hotels, airports, motorways, and supermarkets, which are not significant enough to be considered ‘places. Starting out as a West African ethnographer, he later turned his attention to Europe and finally to global developments. In the second phase, he applied methods taken from African fieldwork to daily life in Paris. There he drew attention to the absence of a sense of belonging in non-places, the increase in solitude brought about by communication technologies and the erasure of memory. Then, in An Anthropology for Contemporaneous Worlds (1998) and The War of Dreams: exercises in ethno-fiction (1999), Augé sought to theorize globalization as is lived globally, a reflection in part on his own travels. What is striking about this enterprise is that he exploits the collapse of the fact/fiction pair more fully than the American cultural critics, experimenting with writing techniques such as ‘ethnonovels, and he succeeds in renewing anthropology as a whole.
Britain produced the only systematic critique of contemporary civilization by an anthropologist so far in Edmund Leach’s prescient British Broadcasting Corporation lectures, A Runaway World? (Leach, 1968). There, he identified a world in movement, marked by the interconnectedness of people and things. This provoked the mood of optimism and fear that characterized the 1960s, when established structures seemed to be breaking down. The reality of change could not be understood through conventional cultural categories predicated on stable order. Moral categories based on habits of separation and division could only make the world’s movement seem alien and frightening. An ethos of scientific detachment reinforced by binary ideas (right/wrong) lay at the core of society’s malaise. Leach called for an intellectual practice based on movement and engagement, connection and dialectic. In short, he was calling for the reinsertion of ideas into life. No one in British social anthropology has come close to this achievement since.
Feminism and Marxism
In the last decades of the twentieth century, feminist anthropology was in the forefront of cultural critique. Indeed, the absence of women from Writing Culture provoked a justified response (Behar and Gordon, 1995). After all, the women’s movement declared in the 1960s that “the personal is political” and launched a devastating critique of Western institutions on grounds of the invisibility, exclusion, and exploitation of women. These broader criticisms were readily applied to anthropology. An example of the sophistication reached by feminist and postfeminist discourse is Marilyn Strathern’s The Gender of the Gift (Strathern, 1988), where the confounding of Western gender stereotypes in Melanesian cultures is taken as a point of departure for a much wider critique of such core conceptual pairs as individual/society and nature/culture. The 1980s were a decade of deconstruction, what Hegel called ‘negative dialectic, in which the conventional categories of the modern synthesis became confused and discredited. Both inside and outside the academy, this task was performed to a disproportionate extent by women scholars.
Anthropology does not stand alone within an academic division of labor that has recently added Cultural Studies to its ranks. An enhanced focus on the contemporary forms of cultural production has revived interest in the Frankfurt school of Adorno and Benjamin. Their concern with exposing the uses of culture in masking the contradictions of capitalism remains a powerful one. Perhaps even more relevant to critical anthropology is the work of the West Indian Marxist, C.L.R. James (Grimshaw, 1992). Grimshaw and Hart’s Anthropology and the Crisis of the Intellectuals (1993) placed anthropology’s compromised relationship to academic bureaucracy within the general crisis facing modern intellectuals, following James (1993) in American Civilization. There he identified a growing conflict between vast anonymous bureaucracies and people’s aspirations for an extension of democracy into all areas of their lives, an aspiration that could only be met indirectly through the movies and other forms of popular culture. James saw this as a crisis for modern society as a whole, most acutely revealed in America, and he addressed it through a critique ranging from Hollywood films and comic strips to psychoanalysis and the classical novels of Herman Melville.
For James, the struggle was for individual freedom within new and expanded conceptions of social life (democracy) against a fragmented and repressed subjectivity stifled by coercive bureaucracies (totalitarianism). The intellectuals were caught between the expansion of bureaucracy and the growing presence of people as a force in world society. Unable to recognize that people’s lives mattered more than their own ideas, they oscillated between an introspective individualism (psychoanalysis) and service to the ruling powers, whether of the right (fascism) or left (Stalinism). As a result, the traditional role of the intellectual as an independent witness standing for truth had been compromised. The absorption of the bulk of intellectuals into bureaucracy as wage slaves and pensioners not only removed their independence, but also separated their specialized activities from social life.
In Keith Hart’s (2005) essay, The Hit Man’s Dilemma (“Don’t take this personal, it’s just business”) is to be human or inhuman. It is a dilemma shared by kings, generals, presidents, and chief executive officers, when they contemplate the human cost of an action undertaken on behalf of some collective interest. The ability to devise ways of curbing the high-handed behavior of the powerful has been deeply undermined by a legal culture that grants business corporations the rights of living persons. The liberal revolutions against the old regime sought to guarantee citizens equal (and therefore impersonal) rights in society. It meant keeping a clear distinction between individual persons and impersonal institutions. This separation was intrinsic to the rise of modern capitalism. But business corporations sought to collapse the distinction between real and artificial persons in economic law. The impersonal society of the twentieth century flourished on this basis, in the process undermining the idea that ordinary people might exercise personal responsibility in the public sphere. Some intellectuals jumped onto the obvious corruption of liberal ideals to advocate a variety of antiliberal ideologies, drawing on the same confusion of people, ideas, and things that had become normal in law and even in ordinary language.
Ethnicity, Nation-States, and Globalization
John and Jean Comaroff’s Ethnicity Inc. (2009) highlights a development that seems anomalous in the light of modern social theory, namely, the growing convergence of ethnicity and commerce. They conceive of this phenomenon as a dialectical product of the incorporation of identity and the commodification of culture. Their core case studies are the United States and South Africa, where they live and work. The link to neoliberalism is made explicit, so that the book offers a selective commentary on the subversion of modernity entailed in that movement. Their essay directs attention back to the dual foundation of the nation-state and asks how this proliferation of ethnic brands relates to the nationalist project (and to a parallel commercialization of religion, ‘Divinity Inc.’). The Comaroffs thus bring cultural theory up to date by exposing to view a trend that has long historical roots, but is now omnipresent in ways that social science has been slow to recognize because of its own modernist assumptions.
In Theory from the South (Comaroff and Comaroff, 2011), they argue that the Global South is rarely seen as a source of theory and explanation for world historical events. Yet the crisis of Northern states encourages a view that they are evolving southward in both positive and problematic ways. They address a range of familiar themes: democracy, law, national borders, labor and capital, religion and the occult, liberalism, and multiculturalism. This view from the South renders key problems of our time at once strange and familiar, giving an ironic twist to the evolutionary pathways long assumed by social scientists.
The line between critique and social theory is increasingly hard to draw in anthropology. But, as this last example shows, much of contemporary critique in the discipline is targeted at globalization. Thomas Hylland Eriksen’s (2007) short introduction to the subject is admirably lucid and balanced, but he too has a critical axe to grind. The causes and consequences of globalization are hotly disputed and the book presents a wide range of arguments. Eriksen argues, however, that variation is as characteristic of globalization conceived of as standardization. This dialectical perspective allows him to stress that just as we are being brought closer together by economic and technological developments, the need to differentiate ourselves from each other becomes accordingly that more imperative. This is the reason for an explosion of identity politics of the sort highlighted by the Comaroff and Comaroff (2009), as well as for this often to take overtly commercial or ‘neoliberal’ forms. Armed with this vision, Eriksen is able to promote some of anthropologists’ classical virtues, especially the necessity for a bottom-up, comparative analysis. Distinguishing between the cultural, political, economic, and ecological aspects of globalization, he highlights the implications of globalization for people’s everyday lives.
No anthropologist is better known for a cultural approach to the dialectic of nation-states and globalization than Arjun Appadurai. He has formulated concepts that support an anthropological approach to issues such as modernity, globalization, consumption, and public culture. Since these have not traditionally been part of anthropological research, anthropologists have for a long time hesitated to develop tools for dealing with them empirically and theoretically. Appadurai believes that the nation-state is in crisis and hence that current global processes of migration and communication will lead to the deterritorialization of identities in a world that will become culturally hybridized through the growth of diasporic public spheres and the global flow of images, finances, technologies, and ideologies. In Modernity at Large (Appadurai, 1996), he suggests one “think beyond the nation, by imagining a form of sovereignty that replaces territoriality with translocal forms. This led his approach to be identified with a ‘cosmopolitan’ anthropology that was indifferent to local identities.
Appadurai (2006) partially redressed this criticism with the publication of Fear of Small Numbers a decade later. Why, in this era of intense globalization, has there been a proliferation of violence, ethnic cleansing, and extreme forms of political violence against civilian populations? Here, he turns his attention to the complex dynamics fueling large-scale, culturally motivated violence, from the genocides that racked Eastern Europe, Rwanda, and India in the early 1990s to the contemporary ‘war on terror. He describes how the nation-state has grown ambivalent about minorities at the same time that minorities, because of global communication technologies and migration flows, increasingly see themselves as parts of powerful global majorities. By exacerbating the inequalities produced by globalization, the volatile relationship between majorities and minorities foments the desire to eradicate cultural difference.
Here is one possible explanation for a contradictory development that has undermined the culture concept and with it cultural critique in recent years. Disciplines outside anthropology turn increasingly to the concept of culture. This is particularly noticeable in certain branches of economics, especially those concerned with development (Rao and Walton, 2004). Joanna Breidenbach and Pál Nyíri (2009) have written engagingly about how culture has become a discursive feature of our world in Seeing Culture Everywhere. They conclude with a list of points that they hope will distance them from the more faddish aspects of culture mania. Culture should not be seen as belonging to bounded, homogeneous units. Nor is it unchanging. It is a mistake to imagine that whole cultures could be in conflict with each other or that mixing them up can be dangerous. Uncritical celebration of cultural difference is equally to be avoided. The tendency of neoliberalism to govern through overdrawn stereotypes of ‘community’ is seen as being a negative development. Cultural pigeonholing is out; cultural creativity at a highly differentiated level is in. One is finally told that ethnography is still a viable method, as long as it is linked to universal notions of ‘human development.
Of course, when faced with the popularization of their central concept, anthropologists have started to turn against it. As long as ethnographers reached the remotest corners of the planet, their work could claim to be anthropology in the sense of providing the widest possible context of cross-cultural comparison. It is not easy to see what is anthropological about the indigenous critique of American societies, when the term ‘ethnography’ is also used by geographers, sociologists, and literary critics. The limitations of cultural critique could be said to lie in two weaknesses. The epistemological critique of ethnographic method has been somewhat introverted, an in-house discourse maintained by a minor academic profession, when the issues involved are potentially of universal significance. And the aspiration to grasp the human condition in general seems to have been abandoned in favor of competing for public attention in the United States. Both these deficiencies might be redressed if critical ethnographers examined their roots in the eighteenth-century philosophy that launched modern anthropology, as well as the notion of critique.
The Roots of Critique in the Enlightenment
This is not the place to explore how Kant developed his original conception of critique, not only most notably in his great Critique of Pure Reason, but also, for our purposes, in the Critique of Judgment (Cassirer, 1981). In seeking a metaphysical ground between reason and understanding, Kant emulated Copernicus’s revolution, showing how, instead of the object revolving around the spectator, the spectator could be seen as revolving, while the object remained at rest. There are so many echoes of Kantian subjectivity in the anthropological moment of cultural critique. What is missing is the as piration to universality of method. This is doubly in excusable in that Kant invented the term ‘anthropology’ in its modern sense (Kant, 1978). Surely a discipline with the remit of offering knowledgeable guidance on human teleology should not content itself with a jester’s role, épater les bourgeois.
No one would dispute Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s standing as the founder of modern cultural critique. He showed that a critical perspective on society, a refusal to take as inevitable things as they are, requires one to devise new methods of studying and writing about a transitional present. The boundary between fact and fiction has to be blurred if one is to talk about the evolution of possible worlds out of the actual one we live in. In developing a revolutionary critique of politics, education, sexuality, and self-identity (Le Contrat Social, Emile, La Nouvelle Héloïse, and Les Confessions), Rousseau came up with a different genre of writing for each topic. Critical anthropologists today might emulate his example, were they not forced to justify themselves to the academic bureaucracy. The two discourses that launched Rousseau’s career, however, are the principal sources for a renewal of critical anthropology, combining as they do a critique of corrupt civilization with an anthropology whose aim is to redress global inequality. In particular, his Discourse on the Origins and Foundation of Inequality among Men (Rousseau, 1984), which has inspired anthropologists from Morgan and Engels to Lévi-Strauss, deserves to be seen as the first great work of the modern discipline. Cultural critique has been an invigorating stimulus to new thinking in anthropology. It is uncertain whether it can flourish while its practitioners remain securely locked up in their academic enclaves. It is time in any case for a return to the universal outlook of the eighteenth-century pioneers. The authors listed toward the end of this research paper have begun to show how that might be realized.
- Appadurai, A., 1996. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.
- Appadurai, A., 2006. Fear of Small Numbers: An Essay on the Geography of Anger. Duke University Press, Durham.
- Augé, M., 1995. Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. Verso, London.
- Augé, M., 1998. An Anthropology for Contemporaneous Worlds. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto.
- Augé, M., 1999. The War of Dreams: Exercises in Ethno-Fiction. Pluto, London. Behar, R., Gordon, D. (Eds.), 1995. Women Writing Culture. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Benedict, R., 1934. Patterns of Culture: An Analysis of Our Social Structure as Related to Primitive Civilizations. Penguin Books, New York.
- Boas, F., 1929. Anthropology and Modern Life. Allen and Unwin, London.
- Breidenbach, J., Nyíri, P., 2009. Seeing Culture Everywhere: From Genocide to Consumer Habits. University of Washington Press, Seattle.
- Cassirer, E., 1981. Kant’s Life and Thought. Yale University Press, New Haven.
- Clifford, J., 1988. The Predicament of Culture: Twentieth-Century Ethnography, Literature and Art. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
- Clifford, J., Marcus, G. (Eds.), 1986. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Comaroff, J., Comaroff, J., 2009. Ethnicity Inc. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Comaroff, J., Comaroff, J., 2011. Theory from the South: Or How Euro-America Is Evolving Toward Africa. Paradigm, Boulder.
- Eriksen, T.H., 2007. Globalization: The Key Concepts. Berg, Oxford.
- Evans-Pritchard, E., 1940. The Nuer. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
- Geertz, C., 1988. Works and Lives: The Anthropologist as Author. Stanford University Press, Stanford.
- Gellner, E., 1992. Postmodernism, Reason and Religion. Routledge, London.
- Grimshaw, A. (Ed.), 1992. The C.L.R. James Reader. Blackwell, Oxford.
- Grimshaw, A., Hart, K., 1993. Anthropology and the Crisis of the Intellectuals. Prickly Pear Press, Cambridge.
- Hart, K., 2005. The Hit Man’s Dilemma: Or Business, Personal and Impersonal. Prickly Paradigm, Chicago.
- James, C.L.R., 1993. Popular Arts and Modern Society. In: Grimshaw, A., Hart, K. (Eds.), American Civilization. Blackwell, Oxford.
- Kant, I., 1978. Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View. University of Southern Illinois Press, Carbondale.
- Leach, E., 1968. A Runaway World? (The 1967 Reith Lectures). BBC, London.
- Lévi-Strauss, C., 1976. Tristes Tropiques. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
- Lévi-Strauss, C., 1978. The Origin of Table Manners. Jonathan Cape, London.
- Malinowski, B., 1961. Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagos of Melanesian New Guinea. Dutton, New York.
- Marcus, G. (Ed.), 1999. Critical Anthropology Now: Unexpected Contexts, Shifting Constituencies, Changing Agendas. School of American Research Press, Santa Fe.
- Marcus, G., Fischer, M., 1999. Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
- Mauss, M., 1997. In: Fournier, M. (Ed.), Ecrits Politiques. Fayard, Paris.
- Mead, M., 1928. Coming of Age in Samoa. Mentor Books, New York.
- Mead, M., 1949. Male and Female: A Study of the Sexes in a Changing World. Dell, New York.
- Rabinow, P., 1977. Reflections on Fieldwork in Morocco. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Rao, V., Walton, M. (Eds.), 2004. Culture and Public Action. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto.
- Rousseau, J.-J., 1984. A Discourse on Inequality. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
- Strathern, M., 1988. The Gender of the Gift: Problems with Women and Problems with Society in Melanesia. University of California Press, Berkeley.