Über den Autor
Nicholas Allen is Reader in the Social Anthropology of South Asia in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oxford.
Preface and Acknowledgements Abbreviations and Conventions Used in Notes Introduction Chapter 1. Preliminary Remarks Difficulties of Ethnographic Investigation Principles of Observation Chapter 2. Methods of Observation Methods of Observation Morphological and Cartographic Method; Photographic Method; Phonographic Method; Philological Method; Sociological Method Chapter 3. Social Morphology Chapter 4. Technology Techniques of the Body General Techniques with General Uses Mechanical Techniques: Tools; Instruments; Machines; Fire Special Techniques with General Uses or General Industries with Special Uses Basketry; Pottery; Esparto Goods and Rope Making; Glues and Resins; Weaponry: Weight Weapons and Offensive Weapons; Offensive Weapons; Projectiles; Protective Armour; Parade Armoury Specialised Industries with Special Uses Industries of Consumption: Meals; Cooking; Ideology of Food; Condiments; Drinks; Industries of Acquisition: Gathering; Hunting; Fishing Industries of Production: Stockbreeding; Agriculture; Industries of Protection and Comfort: Clothing (Decoration of Clothes, Fabrics); Building (Types and Materials, Functional and Morphological Study, Purpose of Buildings, Agglomeration) Industries of Transportation: Communication Routes; Porterage; Water Transport Chapter 5. Aesthetics Play Physical Games; Verbal Games The Arts Plastic Arts: Cosmetics; Finery Ornamentation of Everyday Objects Movable and Immovable Ideal Arts Musical Arts: Dance; Music and Singing; Drama; Poetry; Prose Chapter 6. Economic Phenomena Production Distribution and Consumption Currency Chapter 7. Jural Phenomena Methods of Observation Social and Political Organisation Primary forms of Social Organisation: Monarchy; Chiefdoms; Democracy; Secondary Forms of Social Organisation: Society of Men; Secret Societies; Castes and Classes Domestic Organisation Phratries; The Clan; The Family Marriage: Marriage Ceremonies; Married Life; Divorce; Bereavement; Moral Phenomena in Marriage Property Immovables; Movables Contract Law Criminal Law Judicial Organisation and Procedure Chapter 8. Moral Phenomena Chapter 9. Religious Phenomena Religious Phenomena in the Strict Sense Public Cults: Totemism; Major Tribal Cults Private Cults: Domestic Cults; Individual Private Cults Rites: Manual Rites; Oral Rites; Negative Rites Religious Representations: Representations of Natural Beings and Phenomena Representations of Spiritual Beings Myths, Legends and Tales Religious Organisation Religious Phenomena in the Broad Sense Magic; Divination; Popular Superstitions Indexes Peoples, Periods, Places, Languages Individuals and Writers
The excavation and reconstruction of Maussian meanings proves richly gratifying to the intellectual archaeologist." · American Anthropologist
"Many of the items in this book are thought-provoking ... One of its strengths is the insights it frequently gives into the divergences between Mauss's and Durkheim's thought." · Anthropological Theory
"This is an important book ... by paying attention to the cultural construction of violence across time we can hope to be better able to explain the complex social dynamics that give rise to the actual use of violence." · Anthropological Theory
Marcel Mauss (1872-1950), Durkheim's nephew, was a key figure among Durkheimians and helped to found the distinctive French tradition in the social sciences at the start of the 20th century. He dominated the teaching of social anthropology in Paris between the Wars, and his Essay on the Gift (1925) is a well established classic. However, it is only recently that the breadth and freshness of his oeuvre as a whole is being reassessed and is gaining wider appreciation.
Having found inspiration in Mauss's texts for over twenty years, the author here explores not only what he thought but also how his ideas can be developed and applied in new ways. Thus Durkheim and Mauss's notion of "primitive classification," often misunderstood, is well exemplified by Indo-European ideology as analysed by Georges Dumezil and current comparativists, and it is argued that this ancient ideology influenced the Durkheimian classification of "social facts." Mauss's reflections on kinship and social aggregation point us towards aspects of proto-human societies that are underemphasized by contemporary palaeoanthropology, and his vision of world history in terms of emic categories - fundamental ideas such as person, space, totality, substance - casts new light on much we take for granted, as well as on The Gift. Mauss specialized in religion, and his treatment of the rubric goes beyond his uncle's unitary definition in terms of the sacred.
In assembling and presenting his essays on this intellectual giant, the author tries both to convey the range and quality of Mauss's mind and to take further his scattered and partial insights.