Culture & truth: the remaking of social analysis : with a by Renato Rosaldo

By Renato Rosaldo

Exposing the inadequacies of outdated conceptions of static cultures and indifferent observers, the publication argues as a substitute for social technology to recognize and rejoice range, narrative, emotion, and subjectivity.

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In teaching a new course that grew out of the Western Culture controversy at Stanford University, the instructors juxtaposed the unexpected. I, for example, juxtaposed Augustine's Confessions and a Navaho life history, Left Handed's Son of Old Man Hat. Next to a writer relatively uninfluenced by a major world religion, Augustine's inner struggle with his own paganism became less abstract and more vivid. And next to Augustine, in a course where the assigned books were deemed great, Son of Old Man Hat became quite unlike the book I had taught in anthropology courses.

These conditions include American colonial efforts at pacification, the Great Depression, World War II, revolutionary movements in the surrounding lowlands, feuding among Ilongot groups, and the declaration of martial law in 1972. Ilongots use the analogy of hunting to speak of such historical vicissitudes. Much as Ilongot huntsmen say they cannot know when game will cross their path or whether their arrows will strike the target, so certain historical forces that condition their existence remain beyond their control.

After a couple of false starts we began to read the new texts for their projects, for their fresh questions, perceptions, and definitions of problems. The class then assumed the burden of exploring how fresh ideas can be translated into anthropological research projects. In teaching a new course that grew out of the Western Culture controversy at Stanford University, the instructors juxtaposed the unexpected. I, for example, juxtaposed Augustine's Confessions and a Navaho life history, Left Handed's Son of Old Man Hat.

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