The Mana Of Mass Society by William MazzarellaThe Mana Of Mass Society by William Mazzarella

The Mana Of Mass Society

byWilliam Mazzarella

Paperback | October 24, 2017

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We often invoke the “magic” of mass media to describe seductive advertising or charismatic politicians. In The Mana of Mass Society, William Mazzarella asks what happens to social theory if we take that idea seriously. How would it change our understanding of publicity, propaganda, love, and power?
Mazzarella reconsiders the concept of “mana,” which served in early anthropology as a troubled bridge between “primitive” ritual and the fascination of mass media. Thinking about mana, Mazzarella shows, means rethinking some of our most fundamental questions: What powers authority? What in us responds to it? Is the mana that animates an Aboriginal ritual the same as the mana that energizes a revolutionary crowd, a consumer public, or an art encounter? At the intersection of anthropology and critical theory, The Mana of Mass Society brings recent conversations around affect, sovereignty, and emergence into creative contact with classic debates on religion, charisma, ideology, and aesthetics.
William Mazzarella is the Neukom Family Professor of Anthropology and the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.
Title:The Mana Of Mass SocietyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.6 inPublished:October 24, 2017Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022643625X

ISBN - 13:9780226436258

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Table of Contents


A Certain Rush of Energy

Part I: The Social in the Subject

Chapter 1: Modern Savagery
Mana beyond the Empiricist Settlement

Chapter 2: Ecstatic Life and Social Form
Collective Effervescence and the Primitive Settlement

Part II: The Subject in the Social

Chapter 3: Anxious Autonomy
The Agony of Perfect Addressability and the Aesthetic Settlement

Chapter 4: Are You Talking to Me?
Eros and Nomos in the Mimetic Archive


Editorial Reviews

“This book feels its way into thinking differently about a world of incipience beyond the zero-sum academic drama-storms that purify anthropological objects. Here, the undead ethnographic object of encounters and gestures returns to re-prompt attentive description.”