The invention of culture -roy wagner

76486 mots 306 pages
Roy Wagner

The Invention of Culture
Revised and Expanded Edition

The University of Chicago Press Chicago and London

The University of Chicago Press, Chicago 60637 The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London

© 1975, 1981 by Roy Wagner All rights reserved. Published 1975 Revised and expanded edition 1981 Printed in the United States of America 93 92 765

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Wagner, Roy. The invention of culture. Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Culture. 2. Anthropology. 2. Symbolism. I. Title. GN357.W33 1981 306 80-25482 ISBN 0-226-86934-2 (pbk.)

2

Contents

Preface Introduction Chapter 1 The Assumption of Culture The idea of culture, 12 Making culture visible, 14 The invention of culture, 17

5 6 12

Chapter 2 Culture as Creativity Fieldwork is work in the field, 22 The ambiguity of "culture," 24 The wax museum, 28 "Road belong culture," 30

22

Chapter 3 The Power of Invention Invention is culture, 34 Control, 37 The necessity of invention, 43 The magic of advertising, 49

34

Chapter 4 The Invention of Self An important message for you about the makers of time, 56 Learning personality, 60 On "doing your own thing": The world of immanent humanity, 65 Learning humanity, 70

56

Chapter 5 The Invention of Society Cultural "change": Social convention as inventive flow, 76 The invention of language, 77 The invention of society, 83 The rise of civilizations, 90

76

Chapter 6 The Invention of Anthropology The allegory of man, 95

95

3

Controlling culture, 99 Controlling nature, 102 The end of synthetic anthropology, 106

Index

112

4

Preface

The idea that man invents his own realities is not a new one; it is found in such diverse philosophies as the Muta'zilla of Islam and the teachings of Buddhism, as well as in many much less formal systems of thought. Perhaps it has always been known to man. Nevertheless, the prospect of introducing this idea to an

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