Samuel Gerald Collins's All Tomorrow's Cultures: Anthropological Engagements with PDF

By Samuel Gerald Collins

ISBN-10: 1845454081

ISBN-13: 9781845454081

• How do we dwell sooner or later?
• Are we relocating in the direction of international homogeneity?
• Will the realm succumb to the worldwide unfold of quickly meals and Hollywood videos?
• Or are there different percentages?

In this booklet, Samuel Collins argues not just for the significance of the way forward for tradition, but additionally stresses its centrality in anthropological notion during the last century. starting with 19th-century anthropology and carrying on with at the present time within the paintings of anthropologies of emergent sciences, anthropologists haven't basically used their wisdom of current cultural configurations to invest on destiny tradition yet have extensively utilized their assumptions in regards to the way forward for tradition to appreciate the current.

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Extra info for All Tomorrow's Cultures: Anthropological Engagements with the Future

Example text

BOAS AND THE REFORMER’S SCIENCE It would be a mistake to claim that unilinear evolutionism ended with the nineteenth century. To begin with, it continued into the twentieth century (and into our present) in a thousand different forms. 4 But these “survivals” aside, Franz Boas is nevertheless credited—in US anthropology, at least—with finally burying the unilinear evolutionism of the nineteenth century, mostly by insisting that any universalist “laws” of cultural development be supported with empirical data and real histories, rather than the just-so stories that were the basis for Victorian anthropology (Pierpoint 2004; Stocking 1987, 1992).

Mead minimized the adverse impact of US troops, however, merely noting that “During the war, as a million of our troops poured through the Admiralty Islands, a mere thirteen thousand people were the audience, weighing the behavior of one American to another, building what they learned into a background for a new way of life” (1956: 9). By this curious euphemism, that the Manus were the “audience” for US troops, Mead implied that culture change would be a matter of mimesis rather than enforced. Indeed, the restudy of the Manus was to be an example of freely embraced, positive change: “This precious quality which Americans have developed, through three and a half centuries of beginning life, over and over, in a virgin land, is 34 All Tomorrow’s Cultures a belief that men can learn and change—quickly, happily, without violence, without madness, without coercion, and of their own free will” (6).

This is the preoccupation with her Culture and Commitment (1970), a nonacademic essay directed at Mead’s many, popular audiences, and especially younger peoples, with whom she felt she had an especially strong connection (although we don’t know how much of that was reciprocated by her 40 All Tomorrow’s Cultures students). In that essay, the “younger generation” and the counterculture are the protagonists, dragging their elders into the future in a rapidly changing world that Mead felt the pre-World War II generation was particularly unqualified to understand: “Instead of the erect, white-haired elder who, in postfigurative cultures, stood for the past and the future in all their grandeur and continuity, the unborn child, already conceived but still in the womb, must become a symbol of what life will be like” (83).

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All Tomorrow's Cultures: Anthropological Engagements with the Future by Samuel Gerald Collins


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