The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Anthropology is the first instalment of The SAGE Handbook of the Social Sciences series and encompasses major specialities as well as key interdisciplinary themes relevant to the field. Globally, societies are facing major upheaval and change, and the social sciences are fundamental to the analysis of these issues, as well as the development of strategies for addressing them. This handbook provides a rich overview of the discipline and has a future focus whilst using international theories and examples throughout. The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Anthropology is an essential resource for social scientists globally and contains a rich body of chapters on all major topics relevant to the field, whilst also presenting a possible road map for the future of the field. Part 1: Foundations; Part 2: Focal Areas; Part 3: Urgent Issues; and Part 4: Short Essays: Contemporary Critical Dynamics.

Paradoxes of Personhood

Paradoxes of Personhood

Paradoxes of personhood
Ellen Schattschneider

Concepts of ‘the person’ and ‘personhood’ remain among the most tendentious in socio-cultural anthropology, highly resistant to all attempts to reach anything close to a consensual definition. Nearly all anthropologists tend to assume, explicitly or implicitly, that in any given human cultural order there must be some sort of widely diffused, shared understanding of what constitutes a functional, sentient human being (adult or in training) and that these models of what a person is, or should be, guide members of that society as they negotiate the complexities of social life through the life cycle (Appell-Warren, 2014).

Yet, is ‘the person’ to be understood in any given society as a cultural ideal or model of what ...

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