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Demotion as Value

Rank Infraction among the Ngadha in Flores, Indonesia

Olaf H. Smedal

Taking up the issue of whether the study of values is best served by monist or pluralist accounts, Joel Robbins (2013: 102) notes that debates over these issues center on the nature of the relations between values. Inspired by Louis Dumont

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Uniting Europeans by Values

A Feasible Enterprise?

Jan Berting

The draft-Constitution of the European Union mentions several values on which the Union is based. The status of these values is rather ambiguous, as the Constitution speaks about 'values', about 'developing common values' and about values which are common to all nation-states. Strangely enough, in the political debates that followed the presentation of the draft-Constitution, the specific role of values in the making of the EU was not elucidated. These debates show us a rather muddled state of affairs. Six different themes can be distinguished that are interrelated in complex ways.

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Luke Brunning

Value monists and value pluralists disagree deeply. Pluralists want to explain why moral life feels frustrating; monists want clear action guidance. If pluralism is true, our actions may be unable to honour irredeemably clashing values. This possibility could prompt pessimism, but the ‘avoidance approach’ to pluralism holds that although values may conflict inherently, we can take pre-emptive action to avoid situations where they would conflict in practice, rather like a child pirouetting to avoid the cracks on a pavement. Sadly, this view is hostage to epistemic problems and unforeseen consequences and is liable to generate timidity. It rests on the intuition that honouring values in action is more important than doing so in other ways, but this is a premise we have reason to reconsider.

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The Role of Naturalness in Ecological Restoration

A Case Study from the Cook County Forest Preserves

Nicole M. Evans and William P. Stewart

As opposed to wilderness preservation, which values nature for its lack of humanization ( Cronon 1996 ; Nash 1967 ), many have suggested that ecological restoration may help dismantle the dualism between nature and culture ( Clewell and Aronson

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The Magic of Bureaucracy

Repatriation as Ceremony

Laura Peers

(Indigenous and scientific), core values of the Western societies that created museums (possession and scientific inquiry), and deeply felt aspirations of claimant groups. Repatriation is, nonetheless, largely a bureaucratic process. It is conducted by e

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Electoral and Intellectual Exercises in Validation

The Ebbing Wave in Southern Africa

Stephen Chan

Huntington's third wave of democracy was no such thing. It neither ushered in a democratic era nor was it a wave in any acceptable historical sense. What it did do was to highlight a contrast and competition among norms and values, so that what we automatically regard as undemocratic practice that is norm-free is no such thing. They might perhaps, and with a freight of contingencies, be bad norms—but they are still norms.

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Jingyi Li

Knowledge, especially school knowledge, is never value free. The production of school knowledge involves a selection process that underpins cultural reproduction among social groups. However, not all members of society can make their knowledge

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What Makes a Panther a Panther?

Genetics, Human Perceptions, and the Complexity of Species Categorization

Catherine Macdonald and Julia Wester

ethical values that underlie such decisions ( Dunlap 1995 ; Vining 2003 ). Questions about speciation are therefore at most only partially answerable by existing conservation science or management regimes; ultimately, it will likely be human intuitions

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The Making of a Fundamental Value

A History of the Concept of Separation of Church and State in the Netherlands

Mart Rutjes

explicitly framed as a core value of Dutch culture and politics and a norm for others. Separation of Church and State as a Fundamental Value of Dutch Society In 1982, the young sociologist Paul Schnabel noted, in his dissertation on the growing influence of

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From Durkheim to Hocart

Sacred Resources and the Quest for 'Life'

Roland Hardenberg

In this article, I argue that the word ‘resource’ can be used to denote what is considered to be of high value in a given society. These values may relate either to society as a whole or to its parts. In the former case, resources often acquire the characteristics of the sacred as identified by Émile Durkheim and others. It is here argued that the Durkheimian approach captures the symbolic dimension of the collective sacred but ignores the social effects of people’s attempts to obtain access to the highest value. To understand how concrete social forms evolve, one may rather turn to the writings of Arthur Maurice Hocart. His approach draws our attention to values (of ‘life’) and the social processes deriving from people’s engagement with the sacred. To illustrate this approach, an ethnographic example from Odisha, India is provided.