Exchanging Equations: Anthropology as/beyond Symmetry

On May 30, 2017 by Alberto

I have recently published a chapter in Ashley Lebner’s book, Redescribing Relations: Strathernian Conversations on Ethnography, Knowledge and Politics, where I suggest that very often Marilyn Strathern’s image of the ‘relation’ as a type of effect is that of an ‘equation’ – a relation that elicits other relations. Exchangex of relations are therefore rendered analytically as exchanges of equations. This enables in turn a certain capacity for ‘exchanging’ descriptions across domains: from Melanesian kinship to British audit cultures, for example. The figure of the equation, in other words, lends itself to a particular kind of symmetrical project: descriptions that are “ad-equate” or not to their ethnographic contexts and to certain comparative efforts.

You can download the text of the chapter here: http://digital.csic.es/bitstream/10261/141859/1/exchanging%20equations%20proof.pdf


Image credit: The Pamela J. Steward and Andrew J. Strathern Archive

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