by Marilyn Strathern
introduction by Eric Hirsch
HAU, 2022
Paper: 978-0-9991570-7-7 | eISBN: 978-0-9991570-9-1
Library of Congress Classification HB615.S7723 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.32

In engaging essays, celebrated anthropologist Marilyn Strathern reflects on the complexities of social life. 

Property, Substance, and Effect draws on Marilyn Strathern’s longstanding interest in the reification of social relations. If the world is shrinking in terms of resources and access to them, it is expanding in terms of new candidates for proprietorship. How new relations are brought into being is among the many questions about property, ownership, and knowledge that these essays bring together.

Twenty years have not diminished the interest in the book’s opening challenge: if one were inventing a method of enquiry by which to configure the complexity of social life, one might wish to invent something like the anthropologist’s ethnographic practice. A wide range of studies deliberately brings into conversation claims people make on one another through relations imagined in the form of body-substance along with the increasing visibility of conceptual or intellectual work as property. Whether one lives in Papua New Guinea or Great Britain, categories of knowledge are being dissolved and reformed at a tempo that calls for reflection—and for the kind of lateral reflection afforded through the “ethnographic effect.”

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