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Алиса Калита Алиса Калитаhas quoted4 months ago
In doing so, he explicitly recognized the change in anthropology, acknowledging that its practitioners had become wary of using Western concepts to understand non-Western cultures and preferred to employ those of the people whom they were studying. He accepted that they now desired to reconstruct different cultural systems in their entirety rather than employing terms unthinkingly used by historians, such as ‘witchcraft’, ‘belief’ and ‘magic’, to make comparisons between them.
Алиса Калита Алиса Калитаhas quoted4 months ago
He also asserted that conceptual categories varied so much between cultures that ‘witchcraft’ could not be treated as a general topic at all, and warned historians off ethnographic material, proclaiming (without actually demonstrating) that ‘English witchcraft is not like the phenomena so labelled in other cultures’.10
Алиса Калита Алиса Калитаhas quoted4 months ago
Anthropologists who studied this phenomenon found themselves needing to dissuade fellow Westerners from attributing the persistence of a belief in witchcraft in Africa to any inherent disposition to ‘superstition’ or ‘backwardness’ on the part of its peoples. Such a strategy called for a new emphasis on the prevalence of such beliefs across the globe, including in the relatively recent European past, and a return to a comparative method; and direct calls for that were being made by prominent Africanists by the mid-1990s
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