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An Anthropology of Names and Naming

An Anthropology of Names and Naming

$114.00 (C)

Barbara Bodenhorn, Gabriele vom Bruck, Linda Layne, André Iteanu, Stephen Hugh-Jones, Maurice Bloch, Michael Lambek, Caroline Humphrey, Susan Benson, Thomas Blom Hansen
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  • Date Published: April 2006
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521848633

$114.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book is about personal names, something of abiding interest to specialists and lay readers alike. Over a million people have checked the American Name Society website since 1996, for instance. Many philosophers and linguists suggest that names are 'just' labels, but parents internationally are determined to get their children's names 'right'. Personal names may be given, lost, traded, stolen and inherited. This collection of essays provides comparative ethnography through which we examine the politics of naming; the extent to which names may be property-like; and the power of names themselves, both to fix and to destabilize personal identity. Our purpose is not only to renew anthropological attention to names and naming, but to show how this intersects with current interests in political processes, the relation between bodies and personal identities, ritual and daily social life.

    • Introduction providing a cross-disciplinary overview
    • Written by well-known authors spanning a wide range of disciplines and countries
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2006
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521848633
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 161 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.545kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Entangled in histories': an introduction to the anthropology of names and naming Barbara Bodenhorn and Gabriele vom Bruck
    2. 'Your child deserves a name': possessive individualism and the politics of memory of pregnancy loss Linda Layne
    3. Names that do not need people André Iteanu
    4. The substance of northwest Amazonian names Stephen Hugh-Jones
    5. Teknonymy and the evocation of the 'social' among the Zafimaniry of Madagascar Maurice Bloch
    6. What's in a name? Name bestowal and the identity of spirits in Mayotte and Northwest Madagascar Michael Lambek
    7. Calling into being: naming and speaking names on Alaska's North Slope Barbara Bodenhorn
    8. On being named and not named: authority, persons and their names in Mongolia Caroline Humphrey
    9. Injurious names: naming, disavowal and recuperation in contexts of slavery and emancipation Susan Benson
    10. Where names fall short: names as performances in contemporary urban South Africa Thomas Blom Hansen
    11. Names as bodily signs Gabriele vom Bruck.

  • Editors

    Gabriele vom Bruck, University of Edinburgh

    Barbara Bodenhorn, University of Cambridge


    Barbara Bodenhorn, Gabriele vom Bruck, Linda Layne, André Iteanu, Stephen Hugh-Jones, Maurice Bloch, Michael Lambek, Caroline Humphrey, Susan Benson, Thomas Blom Hansen

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