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1 - 2 of 2 results for: ANTHRO152

ANTHRO 152: Ritual, Politics, Power (SOC 156)

Our everyday lives are made up of multiple routines, some consciously staged and imagined and others unconscious and insidious. Anthropologists call these rituals. Rituals shape every aspect of our lives, creating our symbolic universes and governing the most minute of our practices. nnFor early anthropologists and for those interested in religious and symbolic life, rituals and rites were seen as both one of the most universal features of human existence, and, as that which enables us to reflect upon our human existence. A prominent example are that of the ¿rites de passage¿ found in every culture, from puberty initiation rites, weddings or funerals, which socially signal the change from one status to another. While initially for anthropologists, rituals marked the difference between the sacred and the profane, soon scholars began to see the ubiquity of ritual and the symbolic in shaping even the most mundane activity such as the structure of a meal and why one is not meant to eat des more »
Our everyday lives are made up of multiple routines, some consciously staged and imagined and others unconscious and insidious. Anthropologists call these rituals. Rituals shape every aspect of our lives, creating our symbolic universes and governing the most minute of our practices. nnFor early anthropologists and for those interested in religious and symbolic life, rituals and rites were seen as both one of the most universal features of human existence, and, as that which enables us to reflect upon our human existence. A prominent example are that of the ¿rites de passage¿ found in every culture, from puberty initiation rites, weddings or funerals, which socially signal the change from one status to another. While initially for anthropologists, rituals marked the difference between the sacred and the profane, soon scholars began to see the ubiquity of ritual and the symbolic in shaping even the most mundane activity such as the structure of a meal and why one is not meant to eat dessert before the main course. The first half of the class examines these different debates surrounding the meaning and effects of rituals and rites. The second half of the class takes these debates to think about the question of power and politics. We return to the question of how our symbolic universes are staged and imagined by us through ritual forms such as the annual Presidential ¿pardoning the turkey¿ at Thanksgiving. The question of power however pushes us even further to ask why it is that we obey particular kinds of authority, consent to particular actions, and find ourselves doing things we haven¿t consciously decided to do. Many have argued that these kinds of political questions about how we respond and are shaped by power have something to do with our symbolic worlds and ritual, from the most obvious (the monarchy) to the most subtle (listening in a classroom). Throughout the course, these abstract questions will be grounded in cross-cultural examples and analysis.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ED, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ANTHRO 152A: Urban Poverty and Inequality in Contemporary China

Experiences of poverty and inequality and their relationship to gender, space development, post-socialism, and globalization. How processes of class-making in China's cities are bound up with transformations in the country's sociopolitcal landscape.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 5 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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