Understanding Cultures: Perspectives in Anthropology and Social Theory, 2nd Edition
October 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
Understanding Cultures confronts the major theoretical issues involved in cross-cultural interpretation. The book introduces students to rationality among the ancestors of anthropology before proceeding to a wide-ranging evaluation of the Anglo-American rationality debates.
2. Anthropological Ancestors and Interpretation Theory: Boas, Malinowski, and Evans-Pritchard.
3. Peter Winch and Ordinary Language Philosophy.
4. The Neo-Popperians and the Logic of One Science: I.C. Jarvie and Robin Horton.
5. Ordinary Language Philosophy in Question: Steven Lukes and Alasdair MacIntyre.
6. Beyond Explanation and Understanding: The Hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Paul Ricoeur.
7. Hermeneutics and Critical Anthropology: The Synthesis of Practical and Critical Reason.
8. Modernism and Postmodernism in Anthropology.
9. Bounded Cultures – Bounded Selves: The Challenge of Cultural Diasporas.
- Features an ambitious theoretical agenda that is widely applicable to numerous disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, philosophy, religion and legal studies.
- Moves the focus of rationality debates to considerations of globalism, borders and cultural diaspora.
- Proves distinctive in theoretical ambition and extent, offering rich consideration of original sources in hermeneutics and Marxism.
"In this updated form, one of the most accessable and lucid
discussions of rationality takes on new relevance for today's
readers. Understanding Cultures will continue to probe and
illuminate fundamental issues in social theory for years to come."
F. Allan Hanson, University of Kansas
"Ulin's justly acclaimed discussion of the rationality debate remains essential reading for any anthropologist interested in epistemology and the politics of representation. For students who wish to learn how the insights of philosophers, social theorists and sociocultural anthropologists can enrich each other in building a critical theory that refuses to take postmodern fragmentation at face value, this judicious and perceptive work remains the ideal source." John Gledhill, The University of Manchester