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The culture cult : designer tribalism and other essays / Roger Sandall
Bib ID 2240081
Format BookBook
Author
Sandall, Roger
 
Description Boulder, Colo. : Westview Press, c2001 
x, 214 p. ; 23 cm. 
ISBN 0813338638 (paperback)
Summary

"The Culture Cultis an acerbic critique of that longing widespread in society today to "retreat from civilization." From Rousseau and the Noble Savage to modern defenders of ethnicity such as Isaiah Berlin and Karl Polanyi, a prominent intellectual tradition has over-romanticized the virtues of tribal life. In contrast, another tradition, represented by Karl Popper, Michael Polanyi, and Ernest Gellner, defends modern values and civil society. The Culture Cult discusses both sides of this divide between "culture" and "civilization," and between "closed" and "open" societies. The romantic insistence on the superiority of the primitive is increasingly grounded in a fictionalized picture of the past-a picture often created with the aid of well-meaning but misguided anthropologists. Such idealizations work to the detriment of the very people they are meant to help, for they isolate minorities from such undeniable benefits of modern society as literacy and health care, and discourage them from participating in modern life. Few will find comfort in The Culture Cult, but many will recognize a valuable criticism of currently popular social politics." -- BOOK JACKET.

Full contents
  • Part I. Romantic primitivism: the anthropological connection: 1. The new stone age; 3. Designer tribalism; 3. Enter the noble savage; 4. The triumph of the litterateur
  • Part II. Academic primitivism: the political implications: 5. What Karl Polanyi found in Dahomey; 6. The Book of Isaiah; 7. Karl Popper in New Zealand
  • Part III. Civilization and its malcontents: the economic and cultural implications: 8. Why cultures succeed or fail; 9. Civilization and its malcontents.
 
Notes

Includes bibliographical references (p. 201-207) and index.

Subjects Alternative lifestyles.  |  Primitivism.  |  Primitive societies -- Popular opinion.  |  Civilization, Modern -- Popular opinion.  |  Anthropology - Theory and criticism.  |  Race relations - Representation - History.  |  Culture - Theory and criticism.

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