Work of the Fellows: Edited Volumes

The Retreat of the Social: The Rise and Rise of Reductionism

Edited by Bruce Kapferer (NHC Fellow, 2004–05)

New York: Berghahn Books, 2005

From the publisher’s description:

The powerful individualist and subjectivist turn in anthropology - a turn that cannot be easily separated from larger political processes of neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism - is one factor resulting in notions of the social and of society as becoming little else than empty shells of small or no analytical value.

The essays presented here, all by leading anthropologists, take a variety of positions on the matter of the retreat of the social. All demonstrate that if anthropology and other social sciences are to fulfill the task of a critical understanding of the diverse realities in which we all must live, these disciplines will find it impossible to so do without a strong concept of the social.

Anthropology / Philosophy / Political Science / Social Sciences / Reductionism /

Kapferer, Bruce (NHC Fellow, 2004–05), ed. The Retreat of the Social: The Rise and Rise of Reductionism. Critical Interventions: A Forum for Social Analysis. New York: Berghahn Books, 2005.