New York and London: Routledge, December, 2nd edition , pp. From his earliest days in the discipline, Michael Herzfeld has shown an inordinate interest in theory. Even his introductory textbook is entitled, Anthropology: Theoretical Practice in Culture and Society. Moreover, virtually all of his dozens of published articles are largely theoretical commentaries. The trajectories of his career and publications strongly suggest that Herzfeld is determined to make a truly significant theoretical contribution, not just to the discipline of anthropology or even the social sciences in general, but to the intellectual world at large. In and of itself, cultural intimacy is a rather simple and not-very-profound concept.

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New York: Routledge. To shrug off binarism as a structuralist conceit is a mistake. Binarism and other essentialism play important parts of social life, and thus should be embraced by ethnography. It is important to note, however, that these binarisms act as convenient ways of describing the world, and should not be used as or confused with an abstract theoretical position. This leads me to attempt to show how the control ofcultural form allows significaut playwithcultural content.

In theprocess, I argue that state ideologies and the rhetorics of everydaysocial life are revealingly similar, both in how they make theirclaims and in what they arc used to achieve. It therebyconvertsrevolution into conformity, represents ethnic cleansing as nationalconsensus and cultural hOlnogeneity, and recasts the sordid terrorsof emergence into a seductive immortality.

To do so means looking for it among all segments of the population, for all are implicated. Its data are ethnographic and are of a kind often summarily dismissed as mere anecdote. But who sets the boundary between importance and mereness?

Pnt quite simply, it is that the official devalnation of the culture of the conquered may become a source of secret pride. Here, official organization uses theintimate side of disemia for public purposes.

National history, like Levi-Straussian myth, retroactively elides experiential time in the name of generic time. This adherence to a static cultural ideal has a surprising and presumably unintended consequence: not only does it ground certain permissible forms of debate, but also it pennits and perhaps even encourages the day-to-day subversion of nonns.

Such questions underscore a key point of this book: social life consists of processes of reification and essentialism as well as challenges to these processes. In so doing, I suggest that the symbolism of official history as well as that of modernist social theory is drawn from the same sources as their own rebellious inversion of official ideology.

They are useful for sorting out issues. But, like all classificatory devices, they can also become a substitute for thinking: they get essentialized, turned into fact. That is a facet of our Own culture. In Lenin and Philosophy and the Other Essays. Ben Brewster, London: New Left Books.

London: Verso. Mikhail The Dialogic imagination. Carol Emerson and J. Stanford, Calif. Rowley, Mass. Cambridge Studies in Oral and Literate Culture, Cambndge: Cambridge University Press. The Role of Performance in the Ethnography of Speaking. Chicago: Center for Psychosocial Studies. Bauman, Richard, and Charles L. A Plea for Excuses. In Philosophy and Linguistics.

Colin Lyas, London: Macmillan. How to Do Things With Words. Urmson and Marina Sbisa, Cambridge, Mass. Annual Review ofAnthmpology Distinction: Critique ofthe Judgement ofTaste. Richard Nice. Steven F. Berkeley: University of California Press. Implicit Meanings: Essays in Anthropology. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Nuer Religion. NewYork: Basic Books. New York: Basic Books. Paris: Gallimard.

Garden City, N. Phenomenology ofthe SIJirit. Manchester, u. In The lnvention of Tradition. Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, In Style in [,anguage.

Thomas A. Sebeok Cambridge, Mass. Paris: Plan. Jacobson and B. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Language in Society Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss.


Herzfeld—Cultural Intimacy








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