Between Culture and Fantasy

A New Guinea Highlands Mythology

Between Culture and Fantasy

The myths of the Gimi, a people of the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, attribute the origin of death and misery to the incestuous desires of the first woman or man, as if one sex or the other were guilty of the very first misdeed. Working for years among the Gimi, speaking their language, anthropologist Gillian Gillison gained rare insight into these myths and their pervasive influence in the organization of social life. Hers is a fascinating account of relations between the sexes and the role of myth in the transition between unconscious fantasy and cultural forms. Gillison shows how the themes expressed in Gimi myths—especially sexual hostility and an obsession with menstrual blood—are dramatized in the elaborate public rituals that accompany marriage, death, and other life crises. The separate myths of Gimi women and men seem to speak to one another, to protest, alter, and enlarge upon myths of the other sex. The sexes cast blame in the veiled imagery of myth and then play out their debate in joint rituals, cooperating in shows of conflict and resolution that leave men undefeated and accord women the greater blame for misfortune.

Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture

Mobility and Fantasy in Visual Culture

This volume offers a varied and informed series of approaches to questions of mobility—actual, social, virtual, and imaginary—as related to visual culture. Contributors address these questions in light of important contemporary issues such as migration; globalization; trans-nationality and trans-cultural difference; art, space and place; new media; fantasy and identity; and the movement across and the transgression of the proprieties of boundaries and borders. The book invites the reader to read across the collection, noting differences or making connections between media and forms and between audiences, critical traditions and practitioners, with a view to developing a more informed understanding of visual culture and its modalities of mobility and fantasy as encouraged by dominant, emergent, and radical forms of visual practice.

Gaming as Culture

Essays on Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games

Gaming as Culture

Since tabletop fantasy role-playing games emerged in the 1970s, fantasy gaming has made a unique contribution to popular culture and perceptions of social realities in America and around the world. This contribution is increasingly apparent as the gaming industry has diversified with the addition of collectible strategy games and other innovative products, as well as the recent advancements in videogame technology. This book presents the most current research in fantasy games and examines the cultural and constructionist dimensions of fantasy gaming as a leisure activity. Each chapter investigates some social or behavioral aspect of fantasy gaming and provides insight into the cultural, linguistic, sociological, and psychological impact of games on both the individual and society. Section I discusses the intersection of fantasy and real-world scenarios and how the construction of a fantasy world is dialectically related to the construction of a gamer’s social reality. Because the basic premise of fantasy gaming is the assumption of virtual identities, Section II looks at the relationship between gaming and various aspects of identity. The third and final section examines what the personal experiences of gamers can tell us about how humans experience reality. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight

Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles

Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight

Los Angeles pulsed with economic vitality and demographic growth in the decades following World War II. This vividly detailed cultural history of L.A. from 1940 to 1970 traces the rise of a new suburban consciousness adopted by a generation of migrants who abandoned older American cities for Southern California's booming urban region. Eric Avila explores expressions of this new "white identity" in popular culture with provocative discussions of Hollywood and film noir, Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, and L.A.'s renowned freeways. These institutions not only mirrored this new culture of suburban whiteness and helped shape it, but also, as Avila argues, reveal the profound relationship between the increasingly fragmented urban landscape of Los Angeles and the rise of a new political outlook that rejected the tenets of New Deal liberalism and anticipated the emergence of the New Right. Avila examines disparate manifestations of popular culture in architecture, art, music, and more to illustrate the unfolding urban dynamics of postwar Los Angeles. He also synthesizes important currents of new research in urban history, cultural studies, and critical race theory, weaving a textured narrative about the interplay of space, cultural representation, and identity amid the westward shift of capital and culture in postwar America.

The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology

The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology

The goal of cultural psychology is to explain the ways in which human cultural constructions -- for example, rituals, stereotypes, and meanings -- organize and direct human acting, feeling, and thinking in different social contexts. A rapidly growing, international field of scholarship, cultural psychology is ready for an interdisciplinary, primary resource. Linking psychology, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, and history, The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology is the quintessential volume that unites the variable perspectives from these disciplines. Comprised of over fifty contributed chapters, this book provides a necessary, comprehensive overview of contemporary cultural psychology. Bridging psychological, sociological, and anthropological perspectives, one will find in this handbook: - A concise history of psychology that includes valuable resources for innovation in psychology in general and cultural psychology in particular - Interdisciplinary chapters including insights into cultural anthropology, cross-cultural psychology, culture and conceptions of the self, and semiotics and cultural connections - Close, conceptual links with contemporary biological sciences, especially developmental biology, and with other social sciences - A section detailing potential methodological innovations for cultural psychology By comparing cultures and the (often differing) human psychological functions occuring within them, The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology is the ideal resource for making sense of complex and varied human phenomena.

Empire of Magic

Medieval Romance and the Politics of Cultural Fantasy

Empire of Magic

Empire of Magic offers a genesis and genealogy for medieval romance and the King Arthur legend through the history of Europe's encounters with the East in crusades, travel, missionizing, and empire formation. It also produces definitions of "race" and "nation" for the medieval period and posits that the Middle Ages and medieval fantasies of race and religion have recently returned. Drawing on feminist and gender theory, as well as cultural analyses of race, class, and colonialism, this provocative book revises our understanding of the beginnings of the nine hundred-year-old cultural genre we call romance, as well as the King Arthur legend. Geraldine Heng argues that romance arose in the twelfth century as a cultural response to the trauma and horror of taboo acts—in particular the cannibalism committed by crusaders on the bodies of Muslim enemies in Syria during the First Crusade. From such encounters with the East, Heng suggests, sprang the fantastical episodes featuring King Arthur in Geoffrey of Monmouth's chronicle The History of the Kings of England, a work where history and fantasy collide and merge, each into the other, inventing crucial new examples and models for romances to come. After locating the rise of romance and Arthurian legend in the contact zones of East and West, Heng demonstrates the adaptability of romance and its key role in the genesis of an English national identity. Discussing Jews, women, children, and sexuality in works like the romance of Richard Lionheart, stories of the saintly Constance, Arthurian chivralic literature, the legend of Prester John, and travel narratives, Heng shows how fantasy enabled audiences to work through issues of communal identity, race, color, class and alternative sexualities in socially sanctioned and safe modes of cultural discussion in which pleasure, not anxiety, was paramount. Romance also engaged with the threat of modernity in the late medieval period, as economic, social, and technological transformations occurred and awareness grew of a vastly enlarged world beyond Europe, one encompassing India, China, and Africa. Finally, Heng posits, romance locates England and Europe within an empire of magic and knowledge that surveys the world and makes it intelligible—usable—for the future. Empire of Magic is expansive in scope, spanning the eleventh to the fifteenth centuries, and detailed in coverage, examining various types of romance—historical, national, popular, chivalric, family, and travel romances, among others—to see how cultural fantasy responds to changing crises, pressures, and demands in a number of different ways. Boldly controversial, theoretically sophisticated, and historically rooted, Empire of Magic is a dramatic restaging of the role romance played in the culture of a period and world in ways that suggest how cultural fantasy still functions for us today.

The Work of Culture

Symbolic Transformation in Psychoanalysis and Anthropology

The Work of Culture

"The Work of Culture is the product of two decades of field research by Sri Lanka's most distinguished anthropological interpreter, and its combination of textual analysis, ethnographic sensitivity, and methodological catholicity makes it something of a blockbuster."—Arjun Appadurai, Journal of Asian Studies

Fact and Fantasy about Leadership

Fact and Fantasy about Leadership

ÔThe author provides a thoughtfully explored, wide-ranging description of the literature, and concludes that followership deserves more attention than it has in the past. In focusing on followers as the chief producers of the phenomenon, the book is one of the few attempys to deviate from the common model of explaining leadership with reference to the leaderÕs characteristics and action. This creative and challenging book will be important to social psychologists, sociologists, managers, and political scientists.Õ Ð D. Sydiaha, Choice ÔFirmly grounded in psychological knowledge, based on detailed historical case studies, highly readable, and offering a multitude of examples from many leadership spheres, PopperÕs book offers a fresh and important perspective from which to understand the phenomenon of leadership. It is one of the very few attempts to deviate from the extant paradigm of explaining leadership with reference to the leaderÕs characteristics and actions and focus instead on the followers as the chief producers of the phenomenon. This perspective challenges some of the basic assumptions on which current practices of leader selection and training are based.Õ Ð Boas Shamir, Hebrew University, Israel Why are we attracted to leaders? Does this attraction have universal origins or is it culture-bound? Why and how are certain concepts and myths regarding leaders generated? Analysing the psychology of followers, this unique book explores these important questions. Micha Popper expertly offers new and surprising insights regarding the leadership phenomenon whilst providing relevant examples. This inspiring book posits that followers are the key to understanding the leadership phenomenon. It analyses leaderÐfollower dynamics in social and organizational settings and in politics which will strongly appeal to students of social psychology, sociology, management and political sciences. The book provides examples and in-depth analyses of Ôthe psychology of followership in everyday lifeÕ and will therefore prove invaluable for managers. A special emphasis is given to leaderÐfollower dynamics at various levels of organizational life.

Beneath the Crust of Culture

Psychoanalytic Anthropology and the Cultural Unconscious in American Life

Beneath the Crust of Culture

In this book, the author presents a pioneering interpretation of culture as constituting a dynamic relationship between the visible "crust" and the elusive "core" of social life. He meticulously maps the role of the unconscious in shaping much of American life in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He crosses and transcends disciplinary boundaries in studies of September 11, 2001, the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the execution of Timothy McVeigh, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the 1999 Worcester, Massachusetts fire, and the eruption of hypernationalism and xenophobia in nations and workplaces -- all as cultural phenomena with a psychodynamic core. He shows how the experience of loss in the face of massive social change often leads to equally massive defence against the experience of mourning. Beneath the Crust of Culture will be of interest not only for behavioural and social science professionals, but also for a lay public interested in understandings of culture deeper than the surface of the news and of official pronouncements.

Environmentalism in the Realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature

Environmentalism in the Realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature

The collection of essays titled Environmentalism in the Realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature discusses the environmental and ecocritical themes found in works of science-fiction and fantasy literature. It focuses on an analysis of important literary works in these genres to yield an understanding of how they address the environmental issues we are facing today. Organized into four sections titled “Industrial Dilemmas,” “The Natural World, Community, and the Self,” “Materialism, Capitalism, and Environmentalism,” and “Dystopian Futures,” the essays included also investigate the solutions that these works present to ensure the sustainability of our natural world and, in turn, the sustainability of humanity. This collection will appeal to a broad range of scholars, including those who focus their studies on one of, or all of, the following fields: Ecocriticism, Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature, and Environmentalism in Literature. The essays investigate the myriad ways that science fiction and fantasy literature address environmental concerns, with a focus on the detrimental effects – on humanity, on society – of environmental destruction. With topics ranging from the dangers of industrial progress to the connection between environmental degradation and the destruction of the individual, to environmental dangers posed by capitalistic societies to ignored warnings of ecological crises, the essays each tactfully analyze the relationship between the environmental themes in literature and how readers and scholars can learn from the irresponsible treatment of the environment, while also considering solutions to this crisis that are found in science fiction and fantasy literature.