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All Tomorrow's Cultures: Anthropological Engagements with by Samuel Gerald Collins

By Samuel Gerald Collins

• How can we reside sooner or later?
• Are we relocating in the direction of international homogeneity?
• Will the area succumb to the worldwide unfold of quick foodstuff and Hollywood videos?
• Or are there different probabilities?

In this publication, Samuel Collins argues not just for the significance of the way forward for tradition, but additionally stresses its centrality in anthropological concept during the last century. starting with 19th-century anthropology and carrying on with this day within the paintings of anthropologies of emergent sciences, anthropologists haven't merely used their wisdom of current cultural configurations to take a position on destiny tradition yet have extensively utilized their assumptions in regards to the way forward for tradition to appreciate the current.

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As Textor (2005: 11) has sagaciously noted, few anthropologists at the time loved the deictic “we” more than she did; if she were alive today, she would probably use Gauguin’s painting on her homepage. But much of the critique of nineteenth century anthropology had been an excoriation of precisely the sorts of sweeping (and controversial) generalizations Mead loved to make. ” Moreover, tracing the course of her long career simultaneously sketches the problematic of the future of culture in anthropology from the perspective of someone who traversed, in her lifetime, three different epochs of anthropological thought.

Mead, after all, helped found the Society for Applied Anthropology in 1941 and was its president in 1949. After the War, Mead continued to pursue her interests in directed culture change, this time through her involvement (along with Gregory Bateson) in the Josiah Macy Jr. Conferences on Cybernetics, interdisciplinary congeries which met ten times over a period of seven years (1946–1953) to discuss the applications of Norbert Wiener’s “cybernetics,” “the field of control and communication theory, whether in machines or animals” (Wiener 1961: 11).

Financial arbitrage, derivatives of all sorts, futures trading, risk management, rolling over short-term debt to finance long-term loans, betting against national currencies in order to trigger a cascading devaluation: these are different loops of time, the varying timescapes of global capitalism (Bestor 2004). These loops overlay anthropology’s older time machines, overdetermining our encounters with these neo-liberal colonizations of the future. Like Wells’s Time Traveller traversing museum galleries in the underground lair of the Morlocks, we travel to the future only to descend into the past.

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