American Ethnologist and The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology are some of the best places to stay informed about new anthropology books. A few days ago they published their newest reviews, among others:
The Making of English National Identity. By Krishan Kumar.
Krishan Kumar’s The Making of English National Identity (2003) is exactly the kind of scholarly work promised, but seldom delivered, by the most vocal proponents of interdisciplinary research. >> continue
A Place on the Corner. By Elijah Anderson
This work utilizes an ethnographic framework to examine the social order of African-American men on the South Side of Chicago in the early 1970s. In particular, Anderson studies the men who hang out at Jelly’s, a liquor store/bar. In examining these men, he finds that there is a lot more going on beneath the surface than the average person would expect. >> continue
Islam, Law and Equality in Indonesia: An Anthropology of Public Reasoning. By John R. Bowen.
Islam, Law, and Equality in Indonesia is a definitive study of lived “value-pluralism” in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation. Bowen shows anthropologists and others how legal anthropology in Muslim context may be rendered as an anthropology of “normative pluralism” >> continue
Culture and Rights: Anthropological Perspectives. By Jane K. Cowan, Marie-Bénédicte Dembour and Richard A. Wilson (eds).
So often collections of essays are just that: agglomerations of papers loosely focused around a theme. Here, however, the theme is important (and unrecognized) enough that its elaboration gives rise to a wealth of examples, all of which build on a central dilemma: that the concept of “unity in diversity” is only unproblematic when difference is similar—when “culture” does not violate “universal rights,” when the discourse on universal rights does not challenge existing cultural practices. >> continue
Not by Bread Alone: Social Support in the New Russia. By Melissa L. Caldwell.
Melissa L. Caldwell’s study of the Christian Church of Moscow (CCM) soup kitchen may seem an odd ethnographic choice, but the author cogently illustrates the ambiguous and sometimes paradoxical world of poverty and social support in Moscow in the late 1990s. Caldwell suggests that a transnational community emerges from the economic marginalization brought on by the transition to capitalism. >> continue
The Marketing Era: From Professional Practice to Global Provisioning. Kalman Applbaum
This book is about marketing and self-representation of marketers. Kalman Applbaum can lay claim to being an insider in two academic professions—anthropology and marketing. The intellectual and practical benefits of this dualism become immediately apparent to the reader as the argument unfolds. >> continue