By Ton Otto, Nils Bubandt

Experiments in Holism: conception and perform in modern Anthropologypresents a chain of essays from best anthropologists that severely reexamine the relevance of holism as a foundational guiding principle of anthropology, and its theoretical and methodological strength in latest world.Represents the 1st quantity to think about the trendy function of holism as a principal anthropological drawback throughout a variety of anthropological traditionsCritically examines the earlier and current drawback of holism and its strength for the renewal of destiny practiceFeatures contributions from prime anthropologists which debate how anthropology might be re-designed within the context of a altering worldChallenges lots of modern anthropology's crucial tools, idea, and services

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Extra info for Experiments in Holism: Theory and Practice in Contemporary Anthropology

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While the expansion of research in spatial terms has been the main dimension in which the practical and conceptual challenges of multisitedness have been thought through, it is actually the particular temporality within the construction of the global as a milieu and frame of ethnographic research that crucially alters the discourse of the “whole” and the obligation to represent it (see Rabinow et al. 2008). The study of globalization is associated with the temporality of emergence or the contemporary as the study of change in a dynamic present that exists at the intersection of the recent past and the near future (see Rabinow 2008).

Indd 19 8/7/2010 7:15:46 PM 20 Otto and Bubandt the discipline’s central theoretical perspectives and models, but also deeply grounded in the new practice of doing and writing ethnography, typically leading to its classical products: the monograph and the ethnographic film. It is with regard to this modality of its existence – embedded in the practices and standards of ethnographic research and representation – that holism came to the center of critical attention in the 1980s as part of the postmodern critique of anthropological representation.

The lack of standing of anthropological critique in the public sphere and media is more a question of relative status and power than of strategy. Certainly, it does not arise by a misunderstood extreme empiricist ambition, still at the heart of anthropology. What Bunzl misses is the dynamic of the relation and function of critique which precisely relieves anthropological analysis of its positivist burden of exacting holistic representation. Whatever truths anthropology currently delivers, it does so through critique in which it is the nonreductive David to the holistic Goliath of globalizing and naturalizing discourses in all sorts of venues.

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