Cosmologies in the Making : A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New Guinea (Cambridge Studies in Social & Cultural Anthropology) (Reprint)

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Cosmologies in the Making : A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New Guinea (Cambridge Studies in Social & Cultural Anthropology) (Reprint)

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  • 製本 Paperback:紙装版/ペーパーバック版/ページ数 112 p.
  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9780521387354
  • DDC分類 301

基本説明

New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 1987.

Full Description


All culture, particularly that of non-literate traditions, is constantly being recreated, and in the process also undergoes changes. In this book, Fredrik Barth examines the changes that have taken place in the secret cosmological lore transmitted in male initiation ceremonies among the Mountain Ok of Inner New Guinea, and offers a new way of explaining how cultural change occurs. Professor Barth focuses in particular on accounting for the local variations in cosmological traditions that exist among the Ok people, who otherwise share similar material and ecological conditions, and similar languages. Rejecting existing anthropological theory as inadequate for explaining this, Professor Barth constructs a new model of the mechanisms of change, based on his close empirical observation of the processes of cultural transmission. This model emphasises the role of individual creativity in cultural reproduction and change, and maintains that cosmologies can be adequately understood only if they are regarded as knowledge in the process of communication, embedded in social organization, rather than as fixed bodies of belief. From the model he derives various theoretically grounded hypotheses regarding the probable courses of change that would be generated by such mechanisms. He then goes on to show that these hypotheses fit the actual patterns of variation that are found among the Ok.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jack Goody
Map
1. The problem
2. An attempt at systematic comparison: descent
and ideas of conception
3. The possible interrelations of
sub-traditions: reading sequence from
distribution
4. The context for events of change
5. The results of process - variations in
connotation
6. Secret thoughts and understandings
7. The stepwise articulation of a vision
8. Experience and concept formation
9. The insights pursued by Ok thinkers
10. General and comparative perspectives
11. Some reflections on theory and method
Bibliography
Index.