Focusing on the United States, the contributors to this volume analyze how the globalization of newly untrammeled capitalism has exacerbated preexisting inequalities, how the retreat of the benevolent state and the rise of the punitive, imperial slate are related, how poorly privatized welfare institutions provide services, how neoliberal and neoconservative ideologies are melding, and how recurrent moral panics misrepresent class, race, gendered, and sexual realities on the ground."--BOOK JACKET.
This updated second edition of Mark Moberg's lively book offers a fresh look at the history of anthropological theory. Covering key concepts and theorists, Engaging Anthropological Theory examines the historical context of anthropological ideas and the contested nature of anthropology itself. Anthropological ideas regarding human diversity have always been rooted in the sociopolitical conditions in which they arose and exploring them in context helps students understand how and why they evolved, and how theory relates to life and society. Illustrated throughout, this engaging text moves away from the dry recitation of past viewpoints in anthropology and brings the subject matter to life.
In recent decades, powerful institutions have packaged Western democracy for export around the globe. Although Western democracy is grounded in specific historical experiences and cultural assumptions, advocates have generally taken its normative status for granted. So too have most academics. Yet if democracy is broadly understood as government by "the people," it must necessarily differ along with "the people" in question. Just what "the will of the people" is and how it might be realized become questions of pressing importance. Rather than advance alternative definitions of democracy, celebrate alternative democracies, or posit alternatives to democracy, the contributors to this volume focus on the way that specific definitions of democracy are advanced as normative and others eclipsed, and how certain claims to represent "the will of the people" gain currency and others are silenced. While previous scholars of democracy have proposed one definitive model after another, the authors in this work suggest that democracy is by nature an open ended set of questions about the workings of power--questions best engaged through the dialogical processes of fieldwork and ethnographic writing.