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The Ethnological Imagination: A…
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The Ethnological Imagination: A Cross-Cultural Critique of Modernity… (edition 2004)

by Fuyuki Kurasawa

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Member:mstrine
Title:The Ethnological Imagination: A Cross-Cultural Critique of Modernity (Cm-Contradictions Modernity)
Authors:Fuyuki Kurasawa
Info:University of Minnesota Press (2004), Paperback, 249 pages
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The Ethnological Imagination: A Cross-Cultural Critique of Modernity (Cm-Contradictions Modernity) by Fuyuki Kurasawa

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Interesting account of how six major western thinkers (Rousseau, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Levi-Strauss and Foucault) conceived primitive societies and utilized their understanding of such societies in their critique of our modern way of life. Unfortunately the author's synthesis of the separate accounts isn't very incisive, so the end result is a bit fragmented. But I got some good references from this one.
  thcson | Apr 30, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0816642400, Paperback)

Fuyuki Kurasawa unearths what he terms "the ethnological imagination," a substantial countercurrent of thought that interprets and contests Western modernity’s existing social order through comparison and contrast to a non-Western other. Accordingly, Kurasawa traces and critiques, through this prism of cultural alterity, the writings of some of the key architects of this way of thinking: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Émile Durkheim, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Michel Foucault.

In the work of these thinkers, Kurasawa finds little justification for two of the most prevalent claims about social theory: the wholesale "postmodern" dismissal of the social-theoretical enterprise because of its supposedly intractable ethnocentrism and imperialism, or, on the other hand, the traditionalist and historicist revival of a canon stripped of its intercultural foundations. Rather, Kurasawa’s book defends a cultural perspective that eschews both the false universalism of "end of history" scenarios and the radical particularism embodied in the vision of "the clash of civilizations." It contends that the ethnological imagination can invigorate critical social theory by informing its response to an increasingly multicultural world—a response that calls for a reconsideration of the identity and boundaries of the West as well of modernity itself.

Fuyuki Kurasawa is assistant professor of sociology at York University, Toronto. He was named a Young Canadian Leader by the Globe and Mail newspaper in 2000.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:28 -0400)

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