Anthropology, Ethnology All books
A famous anthropologist, known as one of the greatest minds of our time, C. Lévi-Strauss is a discreet man whose autobiographical writings are few. His talks with D. Eribon not only present the reader with the keys to his works, but also convey a new perspective of our time, a 20th century of discovery and catastrophy. Through intellectual anecdotes, tales of trips and meetings, secret tastes and dislikes, we discover at the same time a great scholar, a privileged witness, and a passionate, witty man.
Is the sense of morality universal, is it inherent to human nature? The members of this symposium gathered around Jean-Pierre Changeux ponder the diversity of moralities and question themselves about the conflicts due to cultural differences and the possibility of attaining a common morality which would be intrinsic to human nature.
The author explores the taboo regarding the incest of the second type which concerns blood relations of a same sex who share the same sexual partner. She makes us understand that the categories which we use to determine what is incestuous and what is not are founded on representations of the identical and the different, which are themselves derived from the difference in the sexes.
Where do our ideas come from ? Some, just from ourselves, or at least we believe so, but the majority come from others which we then pass on in our turn. The age-old philosophical question on the origins of ideas is analysed here in relation to their mode of dissemination. In his search for the natural element of culture, Dan Sperber presents in this book an epidemiology of ideas which describes how they spread by passing from one person to another, undergoing transformations which are in the same category as mutations. He also investigates how these ideas establish themselves in the long-term by occupying our mental world without our conscious knowledge, which allows us to participate in our culture. Dan Sperber, an anthropologist, is the research director of CNRS.
How can violence can be put in the service of religion ? What political gains can be made from cruelty ? How does a belief system encompassing hatred end in the massacre of entire populations ? Through reflections on, amongst other things, the Bible, Muslim law, the situation in Colombia, the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and the genocide of the Rwandan Tutsi, this book, the product of a seminar organised at the Collège de France by Françoise Héritier in 1995, benefits from a multi-disciplined approach in order to identify and understand a phenomenon which has occasionally plunged societies into a destructive frenzy. Françoise Héritier is a professor at the Collège de France where she heads the Laboratory of Social Anthropology.
How do the Greeks think of themselves ? Why do mirrors rarely reflect the true image of the person that looks into them ? And what image are they trying to project on others ? Formulated from an abundance of literature, iconography, and archeology, this book discusses the beginning foundations of individual representation. It is primarily a study of realities and appearances in an interpersonal society where social and personal status are dependant on how one is viewed and received in society. Secondly, the book analyses sexual identity and what it was in ancient Greece, through the study of a universal symbol, the mirror. Jean-Pierre Vernant and Françoise Frontisi-Ducroux teach at the College of France.
A growing number of gay men and women have founded families and are discovering the joys of parenting. It is estimated that there are approximately 500,000 families headed by parents of the same sex. They have brought the issue of homosexual parenting into the public arena, shattering traditional notions of the family and raising fundamental questions of filiation, adoption, and medically assisted procreation (artificial insemination, surrogate mothers) which go beyond the sphere of homosexuality and concern the future of our societyand therefore of all of us. Based on 29 interviews, including seven of children and teenagers, the book explores the little-known lives of same-sex-parent families.
In this new volume, anthropologists, biologists, psychoanalysts and political scientists continue their interdisciplinary examination of violence. What are our links with the animal world? Is the animal metaphor relevant when discussing violent acts committed by human beings against other human beings? What is the relationship between pain and violence? What part does violence play in social relations? What is nonviolence? Could the concept of nonviolence enable us to develop a universal ethical system? Françoise Héritier is an honorary professor at the Collège de France.
More than one million children in France live permanently or occasionally with a step-parent. What place does a step-parent hold in the family of a child whose parents are divorced or separated? What role does he or she play? Is it sufficient to know how to love in order to succeed in reconstructing a family? This is the first French investigation into the relations between step-parents and step-children that allows both the adults and the children to freely express themselves. Sylvie Cadolle teaches philosophy and educational sociology.
There are numerous possible cases of homosexual parenting: How are these new types of family forged? What do homosexual parents seek? And what do they say about their experiences? Eschewing all ideological controversies, the author offers us an ethnological study of family structure which seriously calls into question the place of biology in parenthood and the identification of the parental with the conjugal couple. Anne Cadoret is a sociologist.
The first and constant motive of my scientific life has always been the blood, and its formation, diseases and mutations. During the day, I studied corpuscles and serums. In the evening I read or reread poetry. Sometimes I came across blood once again. An intuition, an allusion of a poet came to clarify my clinical or biological reflections of the next day. These kind of exchanges have inspired this book, which constitutes a personal anthology. It is the same blood which runs in the veins of Iphigenis before the planned sacrifice, as wriggles under our gaze using the microscope, and as draws our eyes to the lips it colours The present anthology bears witness to this unity and this diversity of the blood. Jean Bernard Jean Bernard is a member of the Acadamié française
The articles gathered here, written by eminent French anthropologists, present a novel angle on the way societies function. The writers argue that because societies are not abstract intellectual constructions, they cannot be dissociated from the physical individuals that constitute them, or from the affects (feelings and emotions) expressed by them. Included here are studies of Western and non-Western societies on such subjects as skin colour, religious rituals involving animals, witchcraft and flying sorcerers, passion in traditional North African cultures, and breast-feeding (both induced lactation to breastfeed infant girls and spontaneous lactation to breastfeed infant boys) in parts of Italy. Françoise Héritier is an anthropologist and teaches at the Collège de France. She is the author of Les Deux Soeurs et leur mère and Masculin/Féminin I and II, published by Editions Odile Jacob. Margarita Xanthakou, an anthropologist, is a research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).
Gathered in this volume are the texts of lectures given in memory of Pierre Bourdieu at an international colloquium held on 26-27 June 2003 and jointly organised by the Collège de France and the Ecole Normale Supérieure, with the backing of the Hugot Foundation.
This is a fascinating approach by a woman of a tribal society in a mountain valley in northern Yemen, near the Saudi Arabian border. Partly a travel book and partly a journal of the author's fieldwork, it restores an anthropologist's unique first-hand experience, questionings, hesitations and discoveries, from the first moments spent in an unfamiliar village. There are few anthropological works on Yemen, and even fewer about private life in rural societies in the hinterland of the former Arab Republic of Yemen (the author's fieldwork dates from the 1980s, before reunification). At the time, the presence of a female anthropologist led both men and women to talk openly, often jokingly and provocatively, of male-female relations, and it seemed to encourage women to voice strong criticisms of male behaviour and privileges. The women's comments reveal them to be lucid independent thinkers, and not at all submissive. This book is an invitation to discover a little-known rural community at close quarters, and to penetrate the secret universe of Yemen's many-storied mud houses. It reveals relations between men and women in a closed, but curious and hospitable, Muslim Arab society. An anthropologist and research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Geneviève Bédoucha is a specialist in the relations between socio-political structures and irrigation systems in Arabic and Islamic societies.