Anthropology essay in political

This use of interpretative methods enabled Scott to both challenge existing depictions of peasant political behavior and, more significantly, to provide a new conception of political resistance.

Political anthropology definition

The Civic Culture Revisited. It examines the ways in which leaders establish or bolster their authority through tradition, force, persuasion, and religion. He argues that nationalism is a cultural formation rather than a political ideology. For instance, by rethinking the concept of resistance, Scott provides an alternative explanation of peasant behavior as rooted in everyday protest rather than consent to authority. Masoud, 42— Drawing on this analysis, they challenged scholars to rethink concepts such as modernity and tradition. However, other political scientists use other methods and forms of qualitative research to engage in the interpretive study of politics and culture. New York:Verso, See also:. Drawing on a Geertzian-style analysis, Anderson points to the ways in which modern monuments such as war memorials serve as the cultural symbols that produce the shared cultural identification between people who otherwise do not share kinship ties. Foucault, Michel. For example, scholars illustrate how social movements have used religious rituals as means to express political protest. Political anthropology examines and compares these diverse systems of social control. Anderson was also interested in using interpretative methods that had often been used to focus on specifically rural or local cultural practices to understand and explain broader modern political phenomena. Another way is to interpret his argument about natural inequality is this: It has always been there, even in egalitarian societies, which creates conflict and disorder and the need for some kind of political organization to keep it all from spinning out of control.

He argues that nationalism is a cultural formation rather than a political ideology. Thus, Anderson argues that nationalism operates differently from traditional political ideologies such as Marxism and liberalism. Laitin argues that his ethnographic study thus contributed to the creation of a theory of politics and culture that was based on social scientific objects of causal explanation.

Overall, the book is dated.

political anthropology books

As with work by political scientists such as Rudolph and Rudolph, Anderson drew on a combination of forms of research methods including historical analysis and ethnographic observations.

Actions carry meanings only when such meanings are shared and understood by groups. Some scholars combine ethnographic research with other methods.

Political anthropology ppt

Masoud, 42— For instance, Geertz discussed the ways in which ritual was an embodiment of various forms of authority. Conclusion Political ethnographers have pushed political scientists to expand their definitions of what counts as empirical evidence when studying the nature of power and politics in modern nation-states. Actions carry meanings only when such meanings are shared and understood by groups. In other words, while the forms of political organization have changed to deal with ever-changing conditions more people, technology, war, territory , the underlying function that political organization — sources of conflict and the need for control —have always been there and are there today. Geertz, on the other hand, argued for an approach that focused on systematically analyzing the signs and symbols that make up the webs of significance of specific societies. New approaches in political anthropology elaborate on the ways in which such interpretative approaches can provide understandings of political phenomena that other social science approaches may be less well-equipped to grasp. Critics of political anthropology question both whether the findings of single case studies based primarily on ethnographic research can be generalized, and whether interpretive methods can contribute to theory building when the explanations cannot be falsified. In this endeavor, they move beyond Geertzian interpretative approaches to the study of politics and culture. Political anthropology examines and compares these diverse systems of social control. This is all pretty neat and tidy but I think his main thesis can be seriously questioned. The second face builds on an instrumentalist understanding of cultural identity as a political resource. Conventional studies of social movements at the time focused primarily on large-scale or organized protest movements.

Foucault, Michel. It also explores the power structures of societies, including the extent of consensus and the patterns of equality or inequality within them. For instance, Geertz discussed the ways in which ritual was an embodiment of various forms of authority.

Chicago: University of Chicago Press, In this endeavor, political scientists have used ethnographic methods the central methods used by anthropologists to engage in the close, in-depth qualitative study of specific cultures.

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Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science