Via 100 entries or "mini-chapters," 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook highlights the most important topics, issues, questions, and debates any student obtaining a degree in the field of anthropology ought to have mastered for effectiveness in the 21st century. This two-volume set provides undergraduate majors with an authoritative reference source that serves their research needs with more detailed information than encyclopedia entries but in a clear, accessible style, devoid of jargon, unnecessary detail or density.Key Features- Emphasizes key curricular topics, making it useful for students researching for term papers, preparing for GREs, or considering topics for a senior thesis, graduate degree, or career.- Comprehensive, providing full coverage of key subthemes and subfields within the discipline, such as applied anthropology, archaeology and paleontology, sociocultural anthropology, evolution, linguistics, physical and biological anthropology, primate studies, and more.- Offers uniform chapter structure so students can easily locate key information, within these sections: Introduction, Theory, Methods, Applications, Comparison, Future Directions, Summary, Bibliography & Suggestions for Further Reading, and Cross References.- Available in print or electronically at SAGE Reference Online, providing students with convenient, easy access to its contents.
Chapter 49: Agency and Practice Theory
Agency and Practice Theory
In 1984, Sherry Ortner predicted that practice would be the key symbol of anthropology in the 1980s. Research on practice, agency, structure, and power actually filled not only the 1980s, but also the 1990s and extended into the 2000s as well. Issues of inequality, oppression, and resistance have been a staple of anthropological literature and have influenced its many theories, both before and after the 1980s. However, time, from the 1980s up to and including today, has seen a steady strengthening and thickening of agency-related theories.
The critiques of feminism, postcolonialism, and race and ethnicity studies brought to light the many problems with earlier constructions of agency. Two main lessons were taken from these critiques. First, agency is not ...