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Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Islands Kingdom
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Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities: Structure in the Early History of the Sandwich Islands Kingdom

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  117 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Assoc. for Social Anthropology in Oceania, Special Pubs. No. 1

Hawaiian culture as it met foreign traders and settlers is the context for Sahlins's structuralist methodology of historical interpretation.
Paperback, 84 pages
Published March 16th 1981 by University of Michigan Press
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Pradipa Rasidi
If history did repeat itself, for Marx the first would be as tragedy, the second, farce; while for Sahlins, history repeats first as myth (structure), the second, as event.

That would be the main point of Sahlin's rather short book on historical structuralism, I think. I see this book as Sahlin's response to the structuralism developed by Ferdinand de Saussure, as he begins with a discussion of Saussurian structuralism.

Saussure sees structure (or in his words, langue) as separate from event or i
...more
Susan
Dec 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is definitely a must-read for everyone interested in anthropological miscommunications between two very different, separate, distinct societies and cultures and what the results may be.

I won't give away the storyline, but let's just say this is the sophisticated version of a Grimm Brother's fairytale: a documentation of something that actually happened in times of exploration and colonization.

Very interesting read.
Calvin
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it
A thesis that explores the misunderstandings through culture. While the structuralism discourse went over my head much of the time, the overall message of how systems and actions feed one another was useful. I would have appreciated more illustrations of what the thesis meant for the field
Ying
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Appealed to my English lit sensibilities. The impossibility of human relationships-- "Why can't you be more like me?"
Anders Hjortshøj
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Some interesting and genuinely worthwhile points about structures in culture and history packed in between the kind of inscrutable, overwrought jargon that gives the humanities a bad name.
Whitney
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-for-school
Great overview of structuralist theory in anthropology. I really enjoyed it.
Whitney
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: anthro
Pretty funny in parts.
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Marshall David Sahlins (/ˈsɑːlɪnz/ SAH-linz; born December 27, 1930) is an American anthropologist best known for his ethnographic work in the Pacific and for his contributions to anthropological theory. He is currently Charles F. Grey Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and of Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.
More about Marshall Sahlins...