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Two-Dimensional Man : An Essay on the Anthropology of Power and Symbolism in Complex Society

Cohen, Abner

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ISBN 10: 0710077939 / ISBN 13: 9780710077936
Published by Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, 1974
Used Condition: Good Hardcover
From Montana Book Company (East Walpole, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

156 pp. Tightly bound. Corners not bumped. Pen underlining in text. Stain to lower corner back board. Owner's name. Should be considered a good working copy. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 051294

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Two-Dimensional Man : An Essay on the ...

Publisher: Routledge & Kegan Paul, London

Publication Date: 1974

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Good Dust Jacket

About this title


Central to this original study, first published in 1974, is that Political Man is also Symbolist Man, that man is two-dimensional. The book explores the possibilities of the systematic study of the dialectical interdependence between power relationships and symbolic action in modern, complex society. The discussion focuses on the processes by which interest groups, that cannot organise themselves formally, manipulate different types of symbolic formations to articulate a number of basic organisational functions: distinctiveness, communication, decision-making, authority, ideology and socialisation. The analysis is worked out in terms of specific case studies of different types of groupings, or ‘invisible organisations’ – ethnic, elitist, religious, ritually secret, cousinhood – which go through processes of cultural metamorphosis, shifting from one symbolic strategy to another, in response to changes in their circumstances. In conclusion, the discussion is brought to bear on the study of stratification in large-scale industrial society generally.

About the Author:

Abner Cohen (1921-2001) was, before his retirement, Professor of African Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at London University. His books include The Politics Of Elite Culture (1981) and Masquerade Politics: Explorations in the Structure Of Urban Cultural Movements (1993).

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