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A Moment's Notice: Time Politics across Culture 1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0801482281
ISBN-10: 0801482283
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Editorial Reviews


"Greenhouse moves from the idea that perceptions of time and what time plans are culturally specific to the idea that cultural notions of time are linked to cultural notions about how the world works, or 'agency.' She includes discussions of the anthropological theories of time and their relationship to beliefs about death, a critique of the notion of social structure, and case studies that show the relationship of official assumptions of time-as-history to the responses of state elites toward challenges brought against them from below. These challenges to state legitimacy arise from the increasing diversity of populations within the state. The illustrative cases cover a wide range: the late-20th-century US, China 2,300 years ago, and early-16th-century Mexico. They show that official views of time and history are important in establishing and maintaining political legitimacy."―Choice

"Carol J. Greenhouse has written an original and challenging book that will give the lie to those who consider the anthropological imagination spent and its object no longer relevant to the modern world. She has taken the political centers of several epochs and places and shown how contingent they are and how much we have to learn from those they rendered marginal in politics, in epistemology, and in life itself."―Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University

From the Back Cover

Focusing on the problem of time--the paradox of time's apparent universality and cultural relativity--Carol J. Greenhouse develops an original ethnographic account of our present moment, the much-heralded postmodern condition, which is at the same time a reflexive analysis of ethnography itself.

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