By Pnina Werbner
Anthropology and the hot Cosmopolitanism breaks new floor in theorizing the position of social anthropology as a self-discipline that engages with the ethical, monetary, felony and political ameliorations and dislocations of a globalizing global. The book's significant innovation is to teach the best way cosmopolitans past the North--in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Malaysia, India, Africa, the center East and Mexico--juggle universalist commitments with roots in neighborhood cultural milieus and specific groups. It introduces the reader to key debates surrounding cosmopolitanism within the social sciences, and is written truly and accessibly for undergraduates in anthropology and comparable matters.
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Additional info for Anthropology and the New Cosmopolitanism: Rooted, Feminist and Vernacular Perspectives (Asa Monographs, 45)
They happened well before most of the present members of the ASA were born. What about the intellectual contribution of the founders? If you are dismissive of their work, you need feel no compunction. They were equally dismissive of their predecessors. By 1947, paradigms had shifted and none of them claimed Rivers, Haddon, or Marrett as ancestors. For the most part, they despised what they had written, or grudgingly acknowledged the merit of an article or two while pointing out how these had been surpassed.
I am not sure that all of them want to be regarded as anthropologists. Many seem quite happy to be geographers, demographers, historians, political scientists, or workers in public health, education, policy studies, development, crisis management, or cultural studies. It might be more to the point if they could be prevented from passing themselves off as competent ethnographers if they are not. In fact, some are doing very good ethnographic studies and tread ﬁrmly on our ground. If people in other ﬁelds speak our language and do equally good work, we may need to rethink our own claims to making a distinctive contribution.
Writing styles change. Reﬂexively, too, we project into the past what we take for granted within our own era. That is one of the problems with hindsight: what happened, having led to the present, becomes the inevitable outcome of the past while what once seemed possible alternatives become inauthentic. It is no wonder if each generation of anthropologists sees the work of earlier generations slantwise and ﬁnds it difﬁcult to understand why they paid – 39 – Elizabeth Colson attention to what after all now seem minor matters, slighted what now seems obvious, and seemed oblivious to what now would be foregrounded.