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Anthropologies of Modernity. Foucault, Governmentality, and Life Politics

  • ID: 2247952
  • Book
  • July 2005
  • 288 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Anthropologies of Modernity brings together a range of anthropological writings inspired by the French philosopher Michel Foucault – specifically by his work on governmentality and biopower. It considers Foucault’s contribution to current theories of modernity and treats modernity as an ethnographic object by focusing on its concrete manifestations.

Authored by some of the foremost writers in anthropology, these essays explore modern government as a field of thought and action. They examine the multiplicity of authorities, bodies of knowledge, strategies, and technologies involved in governing the biological and social life of the human. Their analysis is articulated around diverse phenomena, from colonialism and globalization to war, genetics, and AIDS; and they cover an array of geographic sites, from Brazil and French Guiana to Italy, Ukraine, and India. The volume thereby provides an overview of how anthropologists have engaged with Foucault and how Foucault has transformed anthropological theorizing.

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Notes on Contributors.


Analytics of Modern: An Introduction.

Part I: Colonial Reasons.

1. Colonial Governmentality. (David Scott).

2. Foucault in the Tropics: Displacing the Panopticon. (Peter Redfield).

Part II: Global Governance.

3. Graduated Sovereignty in South East Asia. (Aihwa Ong).

4. Spatializing States: Toward an Ethnography of Neoliberal Governmentality. (James Ferguson and Akhil Gupta).

Part III: Technico Sciences.

5. Performing Criminal Anthropology: Science, Popular Wisdom, and the Body. (David Horn).

6. Science and Citizenship under Postsocialism. (Adriana Petryna).

Part IV: Biosocial Subjects.

7. Artificiality and Enlightenment: From Sociobiology to Biosociality. (Paul Rabinow).

8. Flexible Eugenics: Technologies of Self in the Age of Genetics. (Karen–Sue Taussig, Rayna Rapp, and Deborah Heath).

Part V: Necropolitical Projects.

9. Life During Wartime: Guatemala, Vitality, Conspiracy, Milieu. (Diane M. Nelson) 10. Technologies of Invisibility: Politics of Life and Social Inequality. (João Biehl).


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Jonathan Xavier Inda
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