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Culture and Practical Reason

"The main thrust of this book is to deliver a major critique of materialist and rationalist explanations of social and cultural forms, but the in the process Sahlins has given us a much stronger statement of the centrality of symbols in human affairs than have many of our ’practicing’ symbolic anthropologists. He demonstrates that symbols enter all phases of social life: those which we tend to regard as strictly pragmatic, or based on concerns with material need or advantage, as well as those which we tend to view as purely symbolic, such as ideology, ritual, myth, moral codes, and the like. . . ."—Robert McKinley, Reviews in Anthropology

259 pages | 5-1/4 x 8-1/2 | © 1976

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

Sociology: General Sociology

Table of Contents

1. Marxism and Two Structuralisms
2. Culture and Practical Reason
Two Paradigms of Anthropological Theory
3. Anthropology and Two Marxisms
Problems of Historical Materialism
4. La Pensée Bourgeoise
Western Society as Culture
5. Conclusion
Utility and the Cultural Order


The University of Chicago Press: Gordon J. Laing Award

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