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The cosmological frame in anthropology

to a whole. The holistic principle of structural integration, in other words, went hand in hand with a notion of functional differentiation. The third consequence of the reflexive ethnocentrism of classical takes on indigenous cosmology has to do with the hierarchical way in which it ordered different perspectives on the world, and particularly the ­superiority it accorded to the cosmological project of the anthropologists at the expense of those of the people they study. For, if what holds the basic image together is the idea of a single and uniform world that

in Framing cosmologies
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The anthropology of worlds

This book reflects the full diversity of the spirit of cosmological experimentation as an analytical impulse on the part of the anthropologist and as an ethnographic observation about the people anthropologists study. The first part of the book addresses the ways in which fresh anthropological interest in cosmology problematises traditional conceptions of holism understood as a 'totalising' discourse. The second part shows that cosmology can be seen as a functionally differentiated and distinct part of the total social order to be studied alongside other parts, including kinship, economy or politics. It shines light on the varied imbrications of cosmological concerns with political and economic practices in particular. The third part focuses on the ways in which social phenomena that a classically inclined anthropology would designate as 'modern' areas cosmologically embedded (indeed saturated) as any 'pre-modern' society ever was. It shows how the cosmological constitution of political economies is particularly bound up with the breakdown of classical dichotomies between modern science and pre-modern cosmologies. The book also reveals the abiding role that different technological forms play in sustaining cosmological concerns at the heart of contemporary life in the West. It broaches the strong affinity between cinema and cosmology in an analysis of two films concerned with the origin of humanity.

Social and cultural modernity beyond the nation-state

German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has written extensively on the European Union. This is the only in-depth account of his project. Published now in a second edition to coincide with the celebration of his ninetieth birthday, a new preface considers Habermas’s writings on the eurozone and refugee crises, populism and Brexit, and the presidency of Emmanuel Macron.

Placing an emphasis on the conception of the EU that informs Habermas’s political prescriptions, the book is divided into two main parts. The first considers the unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism, and the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe – 'Europessimism' is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that assailed the project of modernity in the late twentieth century, and with renewed intensity in the years since 9/11.

Interdisciplinary in approach, this book engages with European/EU studies, critical theory, political theory, international relations, intellectual history, comparative literature, and philosophy. Concise and clearly written, it will be of interest to students, scholars and professionals with an interest in these disciplines, as well as to a broader readership concerned with the future of Europe

A conceptual history 1200–1900

This collection explores how concepts of intellectual or learning disability evolved from a range of influences, gradually developing from earlier and decidedly distinct concepts, including ‘idiocy’ and ‘folly’, which were themselves generated by very specific social and intellectual environments. With essays extending across legal, educational, literary, religious, philosophical, and psychiatric histories, this collection maintains a rigorous distinction between historical and contemporary concepts in demonstrating how intellectual disability and related notions were products of the prevailing social, cultural, and intellectual environments in which they took form, and themselves performed important functions within these environments. Focusing on British and European material from the middle ages to the late nineteenth century, this collection asks ‘How and why did these concepts form?’ ‘How did they connect with one another?’ and ‘What historical circumstances contributed to building these connections?’ While the emphasis is on conceptual history or a history of ideas, these essays also address the consequences of these defining forces for the people who found themselves enclosed by the shifting definitional field.

Place, space and discourse
Editors: Christine Agius and Dean Keep

Identity is often regarded as something that is possessed by individuals, states, and other agents. In this edited collection, identity is explored across a range of approaches and under-explored case studies with a view to making visible its fractured, contingent, and dynamic features. The book brings together themes of belonging and exclusion, identity formation and fragmentation. It also examines how identity functions in discourse, and the effects it produces, both materially and in ideational terms. Taking in case studies from Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America, the various chapters interrogate identity through formal governing mechanisms, popular culture and place. These studies demonstrate the complex and fluid nature of identity and identity practices, as well as implications for theorising identity.

Prisoners of the past

This book examines the impact that nostalgia has had on the Labour Party’s political development since 1951. In contrast to existing studies that have emphasised the role played by modernity, it argues that nostalgia has defined Labour’s identity and determined the party’s trajectory over time. It outlines how Labour, at both an elite and a grassroots level, has been and remains heavily influenced by a nostalgic commitment to an era of heroic male industrial working-class struggle. This commitment has hindered policy discussion, determined the form that the modernisation process has taken and shaped internal conflict and cohesion. More broadly, Labour’s emotional attachment to the past has made it difficult for the party to adjust to the socioeconomic changes that have taken place in Britain. In short, nostalgia has frequently left the party out of touch with the modern world. In this way, this book offers an assessment of Labour’s failures to adapt to the changing nature and demands of post-war Britain.

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Democratic state, capitalist society, or dysfunctional differentiation?

live in a modern, dynamic, functionally differentiated society in which progressive innovation in 200 Critical theory and sociological theory one system is accompanied by regression in another. Social systems divide and converge; questions of race, class, and gender –​to name but the most prominent –​are all related and yet also distinct. Some of the theoretical and empirical literature on intersectionality is very adept at illuminating some of the issues at stake. It reinforces the point that it is entirely possible for the same individual to be confronted with

in Critical theory and sociological theory
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elements of the market-administrative system differentiated out, often beyond the influence of the lifeworld (Habermas, 1995 : 153-6); it is in relation to modern societies that juridification is spoken of. Analysis of a tribe can be carried out exclusively from the system or lifeworld perspective because market and administrative functions are structured and conceptualised entirely in terms of the traditions of which the lifeworld is composed. Indeed, linguistically mediated communication constitutes social structures, resulting in

in Habermas and European integration
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territorial units would be allowed to vary, while the distribution of functional constituencies and competencies would be rigorously fixed and separated in order to protect members from encroachment by central authorities . . . Members would retain their autonomy and be relatively free to enter and exit. Each could negotiate its own differentiated relation to the unit as a whole, but, once a member, would be strictly bound to contribute to the few, cumulative and coincident functions devolved upon central institutions, e.g. common currency, liberalisation of trade flows

in Habermas and European Integration (second edition)
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meaning serves as the structural invariant, and the input of information contributes to the initiation of communication within the system. To a certain extent, systems are differentiation. What constitutes a system is its ability to differentiate and construct a whole array of functions that allow it to ‘happen’. Autopoiesis comes as a secondary innate process that solidifies that a system produces and, contrary to misunderstandings in Luhmann, does not reproduce functional and communicative processes. A system keeps producing itself in terms of new structures and

in Critical theory and epistemology