KATE CREHAN GRAMSCI CULTURE AND ANTHROPOLOGY PDF

Kate Crehan. Duke University Press. An intellectually imposing man with a minute and frail figure, his imprisonment under Benito Mussolini, during which he wrote his famed notebooks, is one of the most memorable milestones of twentieth-century political thought. Under the most inauspicious circumstances, Gramsci produced an oeuvre that, while fragmentary, has greatly influenced the fields of political science, international relations, cultural studies and postcolonial theory amongst many others.

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Copied with thanks from the International Socialism Website. Crehan argues with conviction that there is much in Gramsci that should be of value to anthropologists.

She traces most citations of Gramsci in anthropology to the interpretations by cultural historian Raymond Williams and the anthropologists John and Jean Comaroff. But Gramsci himself understood hegemony as the complex and practical ways in which power is exercised by the state and its various institutions in Western bourgeois democracies.

He also used it as a term to describe the process by which revolutionary parties could practically interact with working class movements to link struggles, generalise lessons learned, gain their confidence, and eventually provide the credible leadership necessary to transform society. For Gramsci, hegemony involves a complex mixture of social relations, practical activity, consent, force and ideas.

Crehan then applies this critique to three well known anthropological works that draw on Gramsci, demonstrating the contribution a more rounded understanding could bring. The annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association AAA , attended by over 6, people from all over the world, featured several packed meetings about the occupation of Iraq and the ethics of anthropological engagement with the US military.

The AAA has now voted in favour of a change in its ethics code that specifically draws a line between legitimate anthropological research and spying for the military. These debates are having a wider impact on the discipline.

The postmodern rejection of meta-narratives that has been dominant in anthropology leaves us ill-equipped to understand what is happening in anthropology and the world today.

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Putting “culture” into context

Copied with thanks from the International Socialism Website. Crehan argues with conviction that there is much in Gramsci that should be of value to anthropologists. She traces most citations of Gramsci in anthropology to the interpretations by cultural historian Raymond Williams and the anthropologists John and Jean Comaroff. But Gramsci himself understood hegemony as the complex and practical ways in which power is exercised by the state and its various institutions in Western bourgeois democracies. He also used it as a term to describe the process by which revolutionary parties could practically interact with working class movements to link struggles, generalise lessons learned, gain their confidence, and eventually provide the credible leadership necessary to transform society.

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Gramsci, Culture and Anthropology: An Introductory Text (Reading Gramsci)

If class analysis is to be defended well, it needs to be defended not just in areas where it appears to have patent explanatory power-its ability to explain U. And there is little doubt that one of the strongest challenges to Marxism has come from those who defend the autonomy of indigenous cultures. The reasons are complex of course, but a central reason is bound up with the close relation between the defense of indigenous cultures and the postmodern challenge. Most of this review will be devoted to an admiring elaboration of this mapping. This is a serious omission because the affiliated epistemological problems threaten to undermine the defense of class to which Crehan is rightly committed.

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"Hegemonizing" Gramsci: on Kate Crehan’s Gramsci, Culture and Anthropology by Greg Meyerson

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Kate Crehan

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