Cosmologies in the Making: A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New Guinea by Fredrik BarthCosmologies in the Making: A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New Guinea by Fredrik Barth

Cosmologies in the Making: A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New Guinea

byFredrik Barth

Paperback | January 26, 1990

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In examining the changes that have taken place in the secret cosmological lore transmitted in male initiation ceremonies among the Mountain Ok of Inner New Guinea, this book offers a new way of explaining how cultural change occurs. Professor Barth focuses on accounting for the local variations in cosmological traditions that exist among the Ok people, who otherwise share largely similar cultures. Rejecting existing anthropological theory as inadequate for explaining this, Professor Barth constructs a new model of the mechanisms of cultural change, emphasizing the role that individual creativity plays in it, and maintaining that cosmologies can be adequately understood only if they are regarded as knowledge in the process of communication, rather than as fixed bodies of belief.
Title:Cosmologies in the Making: A Generative Approach to Cultural Variation in Inner New GuineaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 8.98 X 5.98 X 0.28 inPublished:January 26, 1990Publisher:Cambridge University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521387353

ISBN - 13:9780521387354

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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Table of Contents

Foreword Jack Goody; Map; 1. The problem; 2. An attempt at systematic comparison: descent and ideas of conception; 3. The possible interrelations of sub-traditions: reading sequence from distribution; 4. The context for events of change; 5. The results of process - variations in connotation; 6. Secret thoughts and understandings; 7. The stepwise articulation of a vision; 8. Experience and concept formation; 9. The insights pursued by Ok thinkers; 10. General and comparative perspectives; 11. Some reflections on theory and method; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"Barth provides significant theoretical insight into the nature of traditional and cultural variation. His focus on the mechanisms of communication and their effects on cultural symbols and the distribution of knowledge opens up a promising direction for future research." William H. McKellin, Pacific Affairs