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Still Life: Hopes, Desires and Satisfactions

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Still Life: Hopes, Desires and Satisfactions

Henrietta L. Moore

ISBN: 978-0-745-63793-8 May 2013 Polity 224 Pages

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Description

How adequate are our theories of globalisation for analysing the worlds we share with others? In this provocative new book, Henrietta Moore asks us to step back and re-examine in a fresh way the interconnections normally labeled 'globalisation'.

Rather than beginning with abstract processes and flows, Moore starts by analyzing the hopes, desires and satisfactions of individuals in their day-to-day lives.  Drawing on a wide range of examples, from African initiation rituals to Japanese anime, from sex in virtual worlds to Schubert songs, Moore develops a theory of the ethical imagination, exploring how ideas about the human subject, and its capacities for self-making and social transformation, form a basis for reconceptualizing the role and significance of culture in a global age. She shows how the ideas of social analysts and ordinary people intertwine and diverge, and argues for an ethics of engagement based on an understanding of the human need to engage with cultural problems and seek social change.

This innovative and challenging book is essential reading for anyone interested in the key debates about culture and globalization in the contemporary world.

Acknowledgements.

Chapter One: Thinking Again.

Chapter Two: Still Life.

Chapter Three: Slips of the Tongue.

Chapter Four: Other Modes of Transport.

Chapter Five: Second Nature.

Chapter Six: Arts of the Possible.

Chapter Seven: New Passions for Difference.

Bibliography.

"A provocative analysis of globalization from an anthropological perspective, rich in ethnographic cases from Africa to Japan to the virtual world of the Second Life … This is a timely volume that will provide for valuable debates on epistemology in anthropology."
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"This ambitious and wide-ranging work draws together diverse threads of contemporary social and cultural thought. Its generous readings of recent ethnography and social theory are noteworthy for their emphasis on inventiveness and hope, in contrast to the dark visions that mark many familiar accounts of globalization."
Webb Keane, University of Michigan

"A very rich book, both in its challenging ideas and in the vivid ethnographic examples that help to ground these ideas. Most welcome is the plea for a more forward-looking notion of culture and more interest in people's creativity as inspired by new technical and politico-economic developments. The book addresses some major new challenges for anthropology and social science in general. Its originality and its masterful handling of a broad range of theories and ethnographies make it a true source of inspiration."
Peter Geschiere, University of Amsterdam


  • Henrietta Moore is one of the leading theorists of Social Anthropology.
  • This is a very wide-ranging study, drawing on examples from African initiation rituals to Japanese anime, and from sex in virtual worlds to Schubert.
  • The author argues for an ethics of engagement based on an understanding of the human need to engage with cultural problems and seek social change.
  • This absorbing and engaging text will appeal to undergraduates and postgraduate students of globalization, cultural studies and anthropology.