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Cultures of Belief — post-print version of article

As promised, here’s a post-print version of my Cultures of Belief article, which was published in Anthropological Theory.

cultures-of-belief-post-print

The text is identical to the journal version, but the formatting is different — this is the version I’m allowed to distribute according to the publishing agreement. If you have access to the journal, for example through a library, you can see a prettier version here.

 

Cross-cultural conversations at cross-purposes

Part of my argument in the recent neoliberalism debate was that,

evidence of discontent about any aspect, be it ever so narrow, of what have been identified as neoliberal transformations is taken, without further justification, as a rejection of all of the phenomena that have been so identified

My point was that just because lots of people in different countries are critics of, say, structural adjustment programmes, we cannot leap to the conclusion that they share the same conception of the state and civil society and all agree on the proper balance of power and resources between the two; their motivations and assumptions might be quite different in each case.

This is a formal problem of cross-cultural description or comparison: the conversation at cross-purposes. We recognize something familiar in other people’s statements, and rush to fill in the rest from our own common-sense ideas, which may be quite different. My favourite example of this is one that operates in both directions — a reciprocal conversation at cross-purposes. (more…)

People’s Daily Online: Tibetan Buddhist temples in China’s Inner Mongolia

The People’s Daily Online has published a small gallery of Tibetan Buddhism temples in China’s Inner Mongolia. Photos 4 and 5 are of Baruun Hiid in Alashaa League in the far west of Inner Mongolia. 6 and 7 show Badgar Hiid, near Baotou, somewhere I have spent quite a bit of fieldwork time.