By Pnina Werbner
Anthropology and the recent Cosmopolitanism breaks new floor in theorizing the function of social anthropology as a self-discipline that engages with the ethical, monetary, criminal and political variations and dislocations of a globalizing international. The book's significant innovation is to teach the way in which 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 similar matters.
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Extra resources for Anthropology and the New Cosmopolitanism: Rooted, Feminist and Vernacular Perspectives (Asa Monographs, 45)
I fell into disgrace by saying that, as someone trained in the United States, I couldn’t see why they argued so vehemently and sometimes so intolerantly when they worked in much the same fashion and spoke much the same disciplinary language. For that matter they were too few in number to have developed distinct dialects. In those days, before jet travel became available or international conferences frequent, if they wanted to speak to anyone they had to speak to each other, and for the moment they were particularly loquacious because they had been separated during ﬁve years of war and were starved of anthropological talk.
Thus it was with kinship studies until technological developments made people rethink assumptions about what constitutes kinship. They then found new and interesting questions to pursue, where the answers were not already boringly blatant. Theoretical continuities between the 1940s and the present are to be found less in the theoretical questions that guide anthropological interests than in the persistence of theoretical battles within the profession, thereby producing a dialectic through which any momentary agreement gives rise to new divisions.
Others urged the exclusive claims of teaching and basic research that would advance theory and disciplinary practice. Here, too, we have continuity; for arguments about the appropriate use of anthropological skills have continued through the years. Today probably more anthropologists hold positions outside academia than in, working as ‘practising anthropologists’ or ‘applied anthropologists’, and even those in academic positions do not necessarily sneer at the chance to work as consultants. The Association periodically tells us we must go out and make ourselves useful so that we will be valued by the general public and earn our keep.
Anthropology and the New Cosmopolitanism: Rooted, Feminist and Vernacular Perspectives (Asa Monographs, 45) by Pnina Werbner