Culture and the Senses

Bodily Ways of Knowing in an African Community
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(330 Seiten)
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ISBN-13:
9780520936546
Einband:
Ebook
Seiten:
330
Autor:
Kathryn Geurts
Serie:
3, Ethnographic Studies in Subjectivity
eBook Typ:
PDF
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

Adding her stimulating and finely framed ethnography to recent work in the anthropology of the senses, Kathryn Geurts investigates the cultural meaning system and resulting sensorium of Anlo-Ewe-speaking people in southeastern Ghana. Geurts discovered that the five-senses model has little relevance in Anlo culture, where balance is a sense, and balancing (in a physical and psychological sense as well as in literal and metaphorical ways) is an essential component of what it means to be human.Much of perception falls into an Anlo category of seselelame (literally feel-feel-at-flesh-inside), in which what might be considered sensory input, including the Western sixth-sense notion of "intuition," comes from bodily feeling and the interior milieu. The kind of mind-body dichotomy that pervades Western European-Anglo American cultural traditions and philosophical thought is absent. Geurts relates how Anlo society privileges and elaborates what we would call kinesthesia, which most Americans would not even identify as a sense. After this nuanced exploration of an Anlo-Ewe theory of inner states and their way of delineating external experience, readers will never again take for granted the "naturalness" of sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell.
Adding her stimulating and finely framed ethnography to recent work in the anthropology of the senses, Kathryn Geurts investigates the cultural meaning system and resulting sensorium of Anlo-Ewe-speaking people in southeastern Ghana. Geurts discovered that the five-senses model has little relevance in Anlo culture, where balance is a sense, and balancing (in a physical and psychological sense as well as in literal and metaphorical ways) is an essential component of what it means to be human.Much of perception falls into an Anlo category of seselelame (literally feel-feel-at-flesh-inside), in which what might be considered sensory input, including the Western sixth-sense notion of "intuition," comes from bodily feeling and the interior milieu. The kind of mind-body dichotomy that pervades Western European-Anglo American cultural traditions and philosophical thought is absent. Geurts relates how Anlo society privileges and elaborates what we would call kinesthesia, which most Americans would not even identify as a sense. After this nuanced exploration of an Anlo-Ewe theory of inner states and their way of delineating external experience, readers will never again take for granted the "naturalness" of sight, touch, taste, hearing, and smell.
AcknowledgmentsNote on Transliteration and OrthographyMap of Southeastern GhanaINTRODUCTION. Cultural Construction of Sensoriums and Sensibilities1. Is There a Sixth Sense?2. Anlo-Land and Anlo-Ewe PeoplePART ONE. Conceptualizing Sensory Orientations in Anlo-Land3. Language and Sensory OrientationsPART TWO. Moral Embodiment and Sensory Socialization4. Kinesthesia and the Development of Moral Sensibilities5. Sensory Symbolism in Birth and Infant Care PracticesPART THREE. Person and Identity6. Toward an Understanding of Anlo Forms of Being-in-the-World7. Personhood and Ritual Reinforcement of BalancePART FOUR. Health, Strength, and Sensory Dimensions of Well-Being8. Anlo Cosmology, the Senses, and Practices of Protection9. Well-Being, Strength, and Health in Anlo WorldsCONCLUSION. Ethnography and the Study of Cultural Difference10. Sensory Experience and Cultural IdentityNotesGlossaryBibliographyIndexIllustrations

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