Marc Augé

So Who Is the Other? Publication date : October 18, 2017

Marc Augé is one of the most eminent of French anthropologists. He was director of the École des hautes études en sciences sociales, following Fernand Braudel, Jacques Le Goff and François Furet. He is the author of over forty authoritative books, including the recently published, well-received La Semaine sacrée qui changea la face du monde [The Sacred Week that Changed the Face of the World].
Who is the other? What can we say and know of him? These are the questions that Marc Augé, one of the most eminent of French anthropologists, asks throughout his work.

Through the themes of the city and of urbanism, of athletic competition, of the creation of heroes, but also of cannibalism, domination, rituals, and myths, Marc Augé returns to his exceptional intellectual roots and attempts to give a face to that Other – that cultural, temporal, political, and geographical Other.

But, as he, himself, asserts, to do this one must be able to practice “the art of drifting,” as those whom he considers to be essential figures in French culture -- Lévi-Strauss, Marcel Mauss, Michel Leiris, or Françoise Héritier -- did before him. Too often, the uniqueness of the Other escapes us, we dilute it into the “globalized,” or we confine it in narrow categories.

Marc Augé invites us here to remain in the “crossroads of uncertainty.”