The Body Impolitic: Artisans and Artifice in the Global Hierarchy of Value

Paperback | December 15, 2003

byMichael Herzfeld

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The Body Impolitic is a critical study of tradition, not merely as an ornament of local and national heritage, but also as a millstone around the necks of those who are condemned to produce it.

Michael Herzfeld takes us inside a rich variety of small-town Cretan artisans' workshops to show how apprentices are systematically thwarted into learning by stealth and guile. This harsh training reinforces a stereotype of artisans as rude and uncultured. Moreover, the same stereotypes that marginalize artisans locally also operate to marginalize Cretans within the Greek nation and Greece itself within the international community. What Herzfeld identifies as "the global hierarchy of value" thus frames the nation's ancient monuments and traditional handicrafts as evidence of incurable "backwardness."

Herzfeld's sensitive observations offer an intimately grounded way of understanding the effects of globalization and of one of its most visible offshoots, the heritage industry, on the lives of ordinary people in many parts of the world today.

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The Body Impolitic is a critical study of tradition, not merely as an ornament of local and national heritage, but also as a millstone around the necks of those who are condemned to produce it.Michael Herzfeld takes us inside a rich variety of small-town Cretan artisans' workshops to show how apprentices are systematically thwarted int...

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The Body Impolitic is a critical study of tradition, not merely as an ornament of local and national heritage, but also as a millstone around the necks of those who are condemned to produce it.Michael Herzfeld takes us inside a rich variety of small-town Cretan artisans' workshops to show how apprentices are systematically thwarted int...

Michael Herzfeld is a professor of anthropology at Harvard University. He is the author, most recently, of Portrait of a Greek Imagination: An Ethnographic Biography of Andreas Nenedakis, published by the University of Chicago Press, and Anthropology: Theoretical Practice in Society and Culture.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:December 15, 2003Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226329143

ISBN - 13:9780226329147

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Note on Transliteration
1. The Pedestal and the Tethering Post
2. Schooling the Body
3. Hostility and Cooperation
4. Engendered States
5. Boredom and Stealth
6. Associative States
7. Artisans in the State and the Nation
8. Embodying Value
Notes
Bibliography
Index