the 1990s search for an ethnography of infrastructure within science and technology studies, reworked and grafted upon developments connected to actor-network theory, the ontological turn, posthumanist approaches and a general concern with more
You are looking at 41 - 50 of 986 items for :
- "ontology" x
- Refine by Access: All content x
- Refine by Content Type: All x
The anthropology of infrastructure
The boom and the bubble?
Counter-Cosmogony, Perspectivism, and the Return of Anti-biblical Polemic
Michael W. Scott
In this article I review critical thought about cosmogony in the social sciences and explore the current status of this concept. The latter agenda entails three components. First, I argue that, even where cosmogony is not mentioned, contemporary anthropological projects that reject the essentialist ontology they ascribe to Western modernity in favor of analytical versions of relational non-dualism thereby posit a 'counter-cosmogony' of eternal relational becoming. Second, I show how Viveiros de Castro has made Amazonian cosmogonic myth—understood as counter-cosmogony—iconic of the relational non-dualist ontology he terms 'perspectival multinaturalism'. Observing that this counter-cosmogony now stands in opposition to biblical cosmogony, I conclude by considering the consequences for the study of cosmogony when it becomes a register of what it is about—when it becomes, that is, a form of polemical debate about competing models of cosmogony and the practical implications that they are perceived to entail.
The antimonies of the PAH (Platform of Mortgage Victims) in Spain
Between solidarity and political effectiveness
Monique Nuijten and Pieter de Vries
compromise, and the political in the ontological sense, rupturing (bourgeois) morality and practice. The political, in short, rather than adjudicating between good and bad politics, stands for a break with the current state of things. Following this line of
Knowledge, Morality, and Causality in a 'Luckless' Society
The Case of the Chewong in the Malaysian Rain Forest
In the absence of concepts that correspond to those of chance, luck, or fortune, how do people account for seemingly random desirable or undesirable events that occur? In this article, an examination is made of the Chewong—a hunting, gathering, shifting, and cultivating group of people in the Malaysian rain forest—and their theory of causality. It is argued that cause is a universal category of human understanding, but that an understanding of cause cannot be separated from a wider examination of the ontology and cosmology in each case. Chewong maintain that the occurrence of specific events may be traced to the correct application of relevant knowledge, that is, knowledge predicated upon a mutuality between humans and a variety of nonhuman beings that guides daily interaction between them.
Power and Deception in Afro-Brazilian Capoeira
Sergio González Varela
This article is about the meaning of mandinga in Afro-Brazilian capoeira as it is practiced in the city of Salvador, Brazil. Capoeira is an art form that combines elements of ritual, play, and fight. My main argument focuses on the mandinga as an indigenous form of power that shapes social relations, bodily interaction, magic acts, and the definition of a person. The concept of mandinga offers an understanding of the deceptive logic of capoeira and contributes to the development of an ethnographic theory of power. The emphasis here is on the importance of mandinga as a strategy for fighting and as a principle for social interaction with strong ontological implications. It is considered a cosmological force that affects the foundations of subjective reality and the perception of the world.
Joseph S. Catalano
I understand Sartre's ontology to develop in three stages: first, through Being and Nothingness and Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr; second, through the Critique of Dialectical Reason; and, finally, as it unfolds in The Family Idiot. Each stage depends upon the former and deepens the original ontology, while still introducing novel elements. For example, in Being and Nothingness, the in-itself, which is the source of our world-making, develops in the Critique into the practico-inert, which is the world made artifact, and in The Family Idiot, both the in-itself and the practico-inert unite to become the Spirit of the Age, joining our adventure with nature to that of our adventure with our family and our history. My reflection will be developed in four stages: first, a general overview; second, a more extended study of what Sartre calls the problematic of human reality; third, a brief reflection on Sartre's methodology; and finally, a concluding survey.
Anthropological Knowledge Making, the Reflexive Feedback Loop, and Conceptualizations of the Soul
Katherine Swancutt and Mireille Mazard
take into account the influence that their own practice, theory, and epistemology are having on native ontologies, and vice versa? How might we envision animism through the lens of the ‘anthropology of anthropology’? Each of the case studies in this
For an Anthropology of Cognitive Disability
Patrick McKearney and Tyler Zoanni
most well-researched areas of cognitive difference. We explore what this work might have to say to one recent anthropological attempt to understand difference – the so-called ontological turn. We argue that this movement, and thus anthropological
The Chicken and the Egg
Cracking the Ontology of Divination in Southwest China
generating new creation stories, introducing new ritual approaches, and absorbing ontological hybrids. This sets the scene for my ethnography of how Nuosu divine with chicken bodies or bones, as well as two more case studies from my 2019 fieldwork on the
An Ontology for the Ethnographic Analysis of Social Processes
Extending the Extended-Case Method
The central concern of this article is the relationship between ethnography and social theory. With the help of 'consequent processualism', a social ontology that centers on the co-constitution of people, cultural forms, social relations, and the built environment, this essay makes an argument for what should be at the core of social theorizing: the principles underpinning the dynamics of processes in the nexus between actions and reactions, igniting social formation in webbed flows of effects across time and space. The article shows how consequent processualism is able to implode time-honored, reifying conceptual dichotomies, such as micro-macro, event-structure, agency-social structure, to open new vistas on the social. Building on consequent processualism, the essay argues on the one hand for the significance of theory for the practice of ethnography in identifying and delimiting fruitful field sites. Conversely, it advocates ethnography as the method of choice for developing social theory.