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The Anthropology of Empathy: Experiencing the Lives of Others in Pacific Societies (Asao Studies in Pacific Anthropology) [Hardcover]

Douglas W. Hollan , C. Jason Throop

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Book Description

July 1, 2011 0857451022 978-0857451026
Exploring the role of empathy in a variety of Pacific societies, this book is at the forefront of the latest anthropological research on empathy. It presents distinct articulations of empathy in the Pacific region. More specifically, the volume examines significant regional patterns in the experience, enactment, recognition, and limits of empathy that challenge many assumptions of contemporary philosophical, neurobiological, and social scientific treatments of the topic. The variations described in this book do not necessarily preclude the possibility of shared existential, biological, and social influences that give empathy a distinctly human cast, but they do provide an important ethnographic lens through which to examine the possibilities and limits of empathy in any given community of practice.

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Editorial Reviews


[This volume] sets out to provide ethnographic data on a neglected topic and does much more than just that by exploring different ways to study such a slippery cultural expression/human capacity and to create empathy by representing fieldwork data. --Susanne Kuehling, University of Regina

...this collection on 'empathy' is excellent --Donald Rubinstein, University of Guam

This book is a pioneering work in the development of an anthropological approach to empathy. --Edward Schieffelin, University College, London

About the Author

Douglas W. Hollan is Professor of Anthropology and Luckman Distinguished Teacher at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an instructor at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous articles examinging the relationships among cultural, psychological, and emotional processes, co-author of Contentment and Suffering: Culture and Experience in Toraja (Columbia University Press, 1994) and The Thread of Life: Toraja Reflections on the Life Cycle (University of Hawai'i Press, 1996), and co-editor of Whatever Happened to Empathy? (Ethos 36, 2008). C. Jason Throop is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA. He has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork on pain, suffering, and morality on the island of Yap in the Western Caroline Islands of Micronesia. He is author of the book Suffering and Sentiment: Exploring the Vicissitudes of Experience and Pain on Yap (University of California Press, 2010) and co-editor of the volume Toward an Anthropology of the Will (Stanford University Press, 2010).

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