An Anthropology of Indirect Communication (A.S.a. by Joy Hendry

By Joy Hendry

Occasionally we express what we suggest now not by way of what we are saying yet by means of what we do. this kind of oblique conversation is typically known as 'indirection'. From patent miscommunication, via effective ambiguity to pregnant silence this incisive assortment examines from a unprecedented anthropological point of view the various features of oblique conversation. From a Mormon topic Park to carnival time on Montserrat the members examine indirection through illustrating how nutrients, silence, sun shades, martial arts and rudeness name represent strong methods of conveying that means. An Anthropology of oblique verbal exchange is an interesting textual content which gives a not easy creation to this topic.

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Extra info for An Anthropology of Indirect Communication (A.S.a. Monographs, 37)

Sample text

38 Roger Just Cultural translation and the idiom of honour If, however, the little episode on the quay that I have just described was the sort of stuff that prompted anthropologists in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s to talk about honour (and I assert that it was), two further points should be noted. First, at no time were any of the Greek words that are standardly translated or glossed as ‘honour’, or which have been related to the concept of ‘honour’, uttered. No one spoke of honour, no one called me dishonourable, no one cried ‘shame’.

Analytically, at the least, this means rejecting any empirical inevitability of meaning, any objectivity, any coercive historicity or moral authority, in a language of institutional and habituated forms. Indirection in Wanet and beyond Far from mouthpieces of universal social structures and members of a singular community, I have described individual interactants in Wanet as aggregations of idiosyncrasies whose most vibrant and significant communities were ultimately, perhaps, private to themselves; it was within the boundaries of self that their most significant conversations perhaps took place and their most important truths resided.

In use in individuals’ different habitual talking-relationships, however, as these are individually interpreted, the forms come to imply, to refer to, different things; such that the connection between different uses is at best partial, and the aggregation of these uses amounts to a commonality which is polythetic. Individuals like Doris and Sid personalise behaviours so that far from being representative of community-wide norms of exchange, they represent them alone. Commonality is hence transformed into diversity.

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