Embodying Modernity And Post-Modernity: Ritual, Praxis And Social Change in Melanesia (Carolina Academic Press Ritual Studies Monographs)

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9780890894767: Embodying Modernity And Post-Modernity: Ritual, Praxis And Social Change in Melanesia (Carolina Academic Press Ritual Studies Monographs)
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This collection of original essays considers the relationship between ritual, embodiment and social change in the South Pacific. Over the past few years, the societies of Melanesia have undergone profound and revolutionary processes of social change. Encounters with colonialism, post-colonialism and the forces of globalization have put Pacific Island societies in touch with state formation, late capitalist culture and emerging transnational identities. In addition to shaping the contours of the burgeoning nation state, these developments are having an intense impact on the nature of embodied experience. In recent years, many Melanesian societies have witnessed the rise of charismatic Christianity, changing gender configurations and the growing use of consumerism as a means of defining new social and political hierarchies.

Embodying Modernity and Postmodernity reflects on how the aforementioned processes of social change are coming to be incorporated in contemporary Melanesia. More specifically, it addresses two interrelated themes: how globalization's ensuing rise of new social and economic forms has influenced the ways in which Melanesians think about, experience and act upon their bodies and the ways in which these new forms of bodily experience contribute to the emergence of new social and cultural identities. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of the Pacific, in addition to those concerned with processes of social change, religion, ritual and the embodied nature of social life.

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About the Author:

Sandra C. Bamford is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto at Scarborough.

Review:

While this volume will be of particular interest for regional specialists and theorists of the body, it also makes important contributions to historical analysis of colonial and post-colonial interpretations of modernity and ritual studies. The editor also deserves credit for bringing together a cohesive text, one in which the articles usefully speak to and complement one another. --Anthropological Forum

This book is a must read for scholars of Melanesia and all scholars of the Anthropology of the Body. There is much to be gleaned theoretically from these ethnographically rich essays. --Oceania

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