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Plus, I resent having to read anything that takes me away from studying for my two osteology classes right now.Hrmph.20130122 Never before have I so deliberately20130118 For Social Anthropology 3400 (core requirement), Winter Q 2013. Not only is it hopelessly antiquated, factually incorrect, and infuriating in its condescending language (members of hunter/gatherer cultures are described as "savages" and "primitives"), but it's also as slow as molasses.
Like the ancient Egyptians, the Trobrianders divide the spirit of the dead person into more than one kind of being.
They assign a particular island, Tuma (a real island with three villages) as the abode of the spirits of the dead.
While its beginning may be boring, the second part is suprisingly interesting, with Malinowski advancing some curious notions.
For example, this is how he criticizes totalitarism:"The German nation, once leading in science and in art, rich in a highly differentiated regional folklore, peasant life and economic diversity, has now been changed into a large-scale barracks.
The spirits of the dead visit the living, particularly at various festivals, as frequently in many cultures.
Here again, much of the interest is negative, in refuting earlier generalizations.
The title essay, "Magic, Science and Religion" (1925) attempts first to demarcate the domain of magic from science (by which he means loosely the knowledge and skills derived from observation and experience) and from religion.
It has nothing about the origins of science, perhaps because This is the second book in my reading of Malinowski.
The minus points are because some of it was what caused me to take so long reading it. This is the second book in my reading of Malinowski.
In Argonauts of the Western Pacific he was entirely descriptive, deliberately eschewing any speculation on origins; in the essays here he is more theoretical.