Why We Play: An Anthropological Study
Whether it s childhood make-believe, the theater, sports, or even market speculation, play is one of humanity s seemingly purest activities: a form of entertainment and leisure and a chance to explore the world and its possibilities in an imagined environment or construct. But as Roberte Hamayon shows in this book, play has implications that go even further than that. Exploring play s many dimensions, she offers an insightful look at why play has become so ubiquitous across human cultures. Hamayon begins by zeroing in on Mongolia and Siberia, where communities host national holiday games similar to the Olympics. Within these events Hamayon explores the performance of ethical values and local identity, and then she draws her analysis into larger ideas examinations of the spectrum of play activities as they can exist in any culture. She explores facets of play such as learning, interaction, emotion, strategy, luck, and belief, and she emphasizes the crucial ambiguity between fiction and reality that is at the heart of play as a phenomenon. Revealing how consistent and coherent play is, she ultimately shows it as a unique modality of action that serves an invaluable role in the human experience.”
About the Author
Roberte Hamayon is director d etudes, emerita at the Ecole Practique des Hautes Etudes in Paris and the author of many books. Damien Simon is a French/English translator and has worked for Brill Publishers and Houndle.”
Out of stock
This established anthology of primary readings provides a firm foundation in sociological theory. Concepts are expressed through the most influential thinkers in each of the classic, contemporary, modernist, and postmodernist eras.
About the Author
James Farganis was born and raised in New York City, attended its public schools and received his B.A. from Brooklyn College and Ph.D. from Cornell University. He has taught sociology at several colleges and universities. He is now affiliated with the New School for Social Research.
In this important new book, High argues that poverty reduction policies are formulated and implemented in fields of desire. Drawing on psychoanalytic understandings of desire, she shows that such programs circulate around the question of what is lacking. Far from rational responses to measures of need, then, the politics of poverty are unconscious, culturally expressed, mutually contradictory, and sometimes contrary to self-interest.
Based on long-term fieldwork in a Lao village that has been the subject of multiple poverty reduction and development programs, High’s account looks at implementation on the ground. While these efforts were laudable in their aims of reducing poverty, they often failed to achieve their objectives. Local people received them with suspicion and disillusionment. Nevertheless, poverty reduction policies continued to be renewed by planners and even desired locally. High relates this to the force of aspirations among rural Lao, ambivalent understandings of power and the “post-rebellious” moment in contemporary Laos.
This Study examines the transmission of ceremonial Dong Son bronze drums from their centres of production in north Vietnam and its immediate environs along river and maritime routes throughout Mainland and Island Southeast Asia (MSEA and ISEA) from the perspective of Late Metal Age (300 BC – AD 500) exchange networks. This period saw the growth of long-distance exchange linking MSEA and ISEA and involving the mainlamd to island transmission of bronze objects and casting technology. The distribution of ceremonial bronze drums associated with political/religious power along major routes marks contracts between early cultural spheres, and particularly possible alliances which would have favoured the exchange of commodities. The growth and progressive political significance of strategically located trade centres set the stage for the process of state formation during the historic period. Examining the distribution across present national boundaries, this study focuses on “what type of drums are found where” to identify different phases and routes of transmission associated with different inter-regional networks, interconnected cultural spheres, and regional bronze drum casting traditions arising from the influence of Dong Son drums.
The Annual Editions series is designed to provide convenient, inexpensive access to a wide range of current articles from some of the most respected magazines, newspapers, and journals published today. Annual Editions are updated on a regular basis through a continuous monitoring of over 300 periodical sources. The articles selected are authored by prominent scholars, researchers, and commentators writing for a general audience. Annual Editions volumes have a number of organizational features designed to make them especially valuable for classroom use: a general introduction; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; an annotated listing of supporting World Wide Web sites; Learning Outcomes and a brief overview at the beginning of each unit; and a Critical Thinking section at the end of each article. Each volume also offers an online Instructor’s Resource Guide with testing materials. Using Annual Editions in the Classroom is a general guide that provides a number of interesting and functional ideas for using Annual Editions readers in the classroom. Visit www.mhhe.com/annualeditions for more details.