Notes towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    Resumé

    While resistance and rebellion have remained core themes in anthropology at least since the 1960s, anthropologists have paid much less attention to the study of political revolutions as real historical events. Yet there are compelling real-world reasons why they should orient their analytical apparatus and ethnographic efforts towards revolutionary events. This article advances a series of reasons why anthropology can enrich and supplement existing political science and history traditions in the study of political revolutions. Anthropology can do so via key concepts developed by Victor Turner: “liminality,” “social drama,” “communitas,” “frame,” and “play.” Turner's ritual approach gains further relevance when linked to another series of concepts developed by Marcel Mauss, Gabriel Tarde, Georg Simmel, and Gregory Bateson, such as “imitation,” “trickster,” “schismogenesis,” and “crowd behavior.” To study revolutions implies not only a focus on political behavior “from below,” but also recognition of moments where “high and low” are relativized or subverted, and where the micro- and macro-levels fuse in critical conjunctions.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftComparative Studies in Society and History
    Vol/bind54
    Udgave nummer3
    Sider (fra-til)679-706
    Antal sider27
    ISSN0010-4175
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 30 jul. 2012

    Citer dette

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    title = "Notes towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions",
    abstract = "While resistance and rebellion have remained core themes in anthropology at least since the 1960s, anthropologists have paid much less attention to the study of political revolutions as real historical events. Yet there are compelling real-world reasons why they should orient their analytical apparatus and ethnographic efforts towards revolutionary events. This article advances a series of reasons why anthropology can enrich and supplement existing political science and history traditions in the study of political revolutions. Anthropology can do so via key concepts developed by Victor Turner: “liminality,” “social drama,” “communitas,” “frame,” and “play.” Turner's ritual approach gains further relevance when linked to another series of concepts developed by Marcel Mauss, Gabriel Tarde, Georg Simmel, and Gregory Bateson, such as “imitation,” “trickster,” “schismogenesis,” and “crowd behavior.” To study revolutions implies not only a focus on political behavior “from below,” but also recognition of moments where “high and low” are relativized or subverted, and where the micro- and macro-levels fuse in critical conjunctions.",
    keywords = "Communitas, Liminality, Performance, Revolution, Social Drama",
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    language = "English",
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    Notes towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions. / Thomassen, Bjørn.

    I: Comparative Studies in Society and History, Bind 54, Nr. 3, 30.07.2012, s. 679-706.

    Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Notes towards an Anthropology of Political Revolutions

    AU - Thomassen, Bjørn

    PY - 2012/7/30

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    N2 - While resistance and rebellion have remained core themes in anthropology at least since the 1960s, anthropologists have paid much less attention to the study of political revolutions as real historical events. Yet there are compelling real-world reasons why they should orient their analytical apparatus and ethnographic efforts towards revolutionary events. This article advances a series of reasons why anthropology can enrich and supplement existing political science and history traditions in the study of political revolutions. Anthropology can do so via key concepts developed by Victor Turner: “liminality,” “social drama,” “communitas,” “frame,” and “play.” Turner's ritual approach gains further relevance when linked to another series of concepts developed by Marcel Mauss, Gabriel Tarde, Georg Simmel, and Gregory Bateson, such as “imitation,” “trickster,” “schismogenesis,” and “crowd behavior.” To study revolutions implies not only a focus on political behavior “from below,” but also recognition of moments where “high and low” are relativized or subverted, and where the micro- and macro-levels fuse in critical conjunctions.

    AB - While resistance and rebellion have remained core themes in anthropology at least since the 1960s, anthropologists have paid much less attention to the study of political revolutions as real historical events. Yet there are compelling real-world reasons why they should orient their analytical apparatus and ethnographic efforts towards revolutionary events. This article advances a series of reasons why anthropology can enrich and supplement existing political science and history traditions in the study of political revolutions. Anthropology can do so via key concepts developed by Victor Turner: “liminality,” “social drama,” “communitas,” “frame,” and “play.” Turner's ritual approach gains further relevance when linked to another series of concepts developed by Marcel Mauss, Gabriel Tarde, Georg Simmel, and Gregory Bateson, such as “imitation,” “trickster,” “schismogenesis,” and “crowd behavior.” To study revolutions implies not only a focus on political behavior “from below,” but also recognition of moments where “high and low” are relativized or subverted, and where the micro- and macro-levels fuse in critical conjunctions.

    KW - Communitas

    KW - Liminality

    KW - Performance

    KW - Revolution

    KW - Social Drama

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    DO - 10.1017/S0010417512000278

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    JO - Comparative Studies in Society and History

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