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Natural Histories of Discourse

ISBN-10: 0226757706
ISBN-13: 9780226757704
Edition: 1996
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Description: Is culture simply a more or less set text we can learn to read? Since the early 1970s, the notion of culture-as-text has animated anthropologists and other analysts of culture. Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban present this stunning collection of  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 1996
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 7/15/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 362
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Is culture simply a more or less set text we can learn to read? Since the early 1970s, the notion of culture-as-text has animated anthropologists and other analysts of culture. Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban present this stunning collection of cutting-edge ethnographies arguing that the divide between fleeting discursive practice and formed text is a constructed one, and that the constructional process reveals "culture" to those who can interpret it. Eleven original essays of "natural history" range in focus from nuptial poetry of insult among Wolof griots to case-based teaching methods in first-year law-school classrooms. Stage by stage, they give an idea of the cultural processes of "entextualization" and "contextualization" of discourse that they so richly illustrate. The contributors' varied backgrounds include anthropology, psychiatry, education, literary criticism, and law, making this collection invaluable not only to anthropologists and linguists, but to all analysts of culture.

Acknowledgments The Natural History of Discourse
Entextualization, Replication, and Power
Text from Talk in Tzotzil
The Secret Life of Texts
"Self"-Centering Narratives
Shadow Conversations
Exorcism and the Description of Participant Roles
Socialization to Text: Structure and Contradiction in Schooled Literacy
Recontextualization as Socialization: Text and Pragmatics in the Law School Classroom
The Construction of an LD Student: A Case Study in the Politics of Representation
National Spirit or the Breath of Nature? The Expropriation of Folk Positivism in the Discourse of Greek Nationalism
Transformations of the Word in the Production of Mexican Festival Drama
List of Contributors
Index

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