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"Culture" and Culture

Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Rights

Brazilian anthropologist Manuela Carneiro da Cunha examines here the complex meaning—and anthropological implications—of the word “culture” for indigenous peoples. Caneiro da Cunha explores the contradictions inherent in the interface between Western and traditional understandings of knowledge and intellectual property rights. 

Distinguishing culture from “culture,” the latter being a reflexive awareness of one’s culture, Carneiro da Cunha then poses questions such as: What are the cognitive and pragmatic consequences when “culture” and culture coexist? She shows how the word “culture,” as used in the anthropological sense, is employed by indigenous people to distinguish the different interpretations and avoid contradictions. “Culture” and Culture offers a concise and innovative anthropological study of a crucial issue faced by indigenous peoples the world over.

80 pages | 3 halftones | 4 1/2 x 7 | © 2009

Anthropology: Cultural and Social Anthropology

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Table of Contents

Cantes de Ida y Vuelta


A First Story


How Do Negotiations About Traditional Knowledge Arise in the First Place?


UN Talk on Traditional Knowledge: The Brundtland Report and the Earth Summit


The Convention on Biological Diversity


International Indigenous Declarations


Traditional Knowledge Regimes as Figments of Different Imaginations


National Legislations


Traditional Knowledge and Nationalism


Extreme Diffidence and the Rise of Esoteric Knowledge


Contracts, Associations, Projects


The Krahó Imbroglio: Legitimacy, Mirroring, Collectives and Pragmatic Understanding


The Frog Story


The Biochemist’s Story


The Ethnographers’ Story


“Culture” vs. Culture


Reflexivity and Its Effects (With Thanks to Mauro Almeida)


Regimes of Knowledge


Our Own Regime of Knowledge


“Culture” Talk, Kastom Talk


“Culture” and Culture Belong to Different Realms

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