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Balinese Worlds

In Balinese Worlds, Fredrik Barth proposes a new model for anthropological analysis of complex civilizations that is based on a fresh, synthetic account of culture and society in North Bali and one that takes full notice of individual creativity in shaping the contours of this dynamic culture.

In this detailed ethnography of the Northern district of Buleleng, Barth rejects mainstream anthropological generalizations of Bali as a cultural system of carefully articulated parts. Instead—drawing on many sources, including the sociology of knowledge, interactional analysis, postmodern thought, and his own exceptionally varied field experience—Barth presents a new model that actually generates variation. Barth’s innovative analysis of Balinese life highlights both the constructive and the disorganizing effects of individual action, the constant flux of interpretation, and the powerful interaction of memory and social relationships, and knowledge as a cultural resource.

Balinese Worlds is a unique contribution not only to Balinese studies but also to the theory and methods of the anthropology of complex societies.

380 pages | 12 halftones, 2 maps, 1 line drawing | 6 x 9 | © 1993

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Asian Studies: Southeast Asia and Australia

Table of Contents

Part One - The Challenge of North Bali
1. A Luminous Mosaic
Part Two - Features of Social Organization in North Balinese Communities
2. Prabakula: A Bali-Hindu Village
3. Pagatepan: A Muslim Balinese Village
4. Irrigation Associations and the Organization of Production
5. Further Variations in Village Organization
6. The Problem of Variation
Part Three - Realities and Practical Concerns of Village Living
7. Leadership, Faction, and Violence in Pagatepan
8. Family, Marriage, and Making a Living in Pagatepan
9. Factionalism in Prabakula
10. A General Framework for Analyzing the Meaning of Acts
Part Four - Major Traditions of Knowledge
11. Islam in North Bali
12. Bali-Hinduism as a Tradition of Knowledge
13. Kings, Courts, Castes, and the Bali Aga
14. The Modern Sector
15. A Sorcery View of Social Relations
Part Five - Action, Interpretation, and Practice
16. The Romance of Panji and Asiah
17. So Many Concerns
18. Coherence, Hegemony, and Productivity in Knowledge
19. Love, Freedom, and the Multivalency of Public Symbols
Part Six - The Complexity of Civilization
20. A Surfeit of Culture

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