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Irony in Action: Anthropology, Practice, and the Moral Imagination

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Irony today extends beyond its classification as a figure of speech and is increasingly recognized as one of the major modes of human experience. This idea of irony as an integral force in social life is at the center of this provocative book. The result of a meeting where anthropologists were invited to explore the politics of irony and the moral responsibilities that accompany its recognition, this book is one of the first to lend an anthropological perspective to this contemporary phenomenon.

The first group of essays explores the limits to irony's liberating qualities from the constrained use of irony in congressional hearings to its reactive presence amid widening disparities of wealth despite decades of world development. The second section presents irony's more positive dimensions through an array of examples such as the use of irony by Chinese writers and Irish humorists. Framed by the editors' theoretical introduction to the issues posed by irony and responses to the essays by two literary scholars, Irony in Action is a timely contribution in the contemporary reinvention of anthropology.

Synopsis:

Irony today extends beyond its classification as a figure of speech and is increasingly recognized as one of the major modes of human experience. This idea of irony as an integral force in social life is at the center of this provocative book. The result of a meeting where anthropologists were invited to explore the politics of irony and the moral responsibilities that accompany its recognition, this book is one of the first to lend an anthropological perspective to this contemporary phenomenon.

The first group of essays explores the limits to irony's liberating qualities from the constrained use of irony in congressional hearings to its reactive presence amid widening disparities of wealth despite decades of world development. The second section presents irony's more positive dimensions through an array of examples such as the use of irony by Chinese writers and Irish humorists. Framed by the editors' theoretical introduction to the issues posed by irony and responses to the essays by two literary scholars, Irony in Action is a timely contribution in the contemporary reinvention of anthropology.

Synopsis:

Irony, no longer simply a figure of speech, is increasingly viewed as an integral and pervasive force that shapes our understanding as well as our behavior. This idea of irony as one of the major modes of human experience is at the center of this provocative book. The result of a meeting where anthropologists were invited to explore the politics of irony and the moral responsibilities that accompany its recognition, this book looks at both the positive and negative aspects of irony and lends an anthropological perspective to this contemporary phenomenon, both within anthropology and without.

About the Author

James W. Fernandez is a professor of anthropology at the University of Chicago. He is the author and editor of numerous works including Persuasions and Performances: The Play of Tropes in Culture and Beyond Metaphor: The Theory of Tropes in Anthropology.

Mary Taylor Huber is a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. She is the author of The Bishop's Progress: A Historical Ethnography of the Catholic Missionary Experience on the Sepik Frontier and co-editor of Gendered Missions: Women and Men in Missionary Discourse and Practice.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Anthropology of Irony

Part One

Chapter 1 The Constrained Use of Irony in U.S. Congressional

Hearings on Immigration

Chapter 2 Irony and Power: Toward a Politics of Mockery

in Greece

Chapter 3 The Irony of Complicity and the Complicity

of Irony in Development Discourse

Chapter 4 What Makes the Anthropologist Laugh?:

The Abelam, Irony, and Me

Chapter 5 Kenneth Burke's "True Irony": One Model for

Ethnography, Still

Chapter 6 An Apollonian Response

Part Two

Chapter 7 Wine in the Writing, Truth in the Rhetoric:

Three Levels of Irony in a Chinese Essay Genre

Chapter 8 "Paddy's Pig":Irony and Self-Irony in

Irish Culture

Chapter 9 Irony and Paradox in the "Contact Zone":

Missionary Discourse in Northern Papua New Guuinea

Chapter 10 The Predicament of Irony and the Paranoid Style

in Fin-de-Siècle Rationality

Chapter 11 Ironic Irony

Chapter 12 The Last Discussant

Coda: Irony, Practice, and the Moral Imagination

List of Contributors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226244235
Editor:
Fernandez, James W.
Editor:
Huber, Mary Taylor
Editor:
Fernandez, James W.
Editor:
Huber, Mary Taylor
Editor:
Fernandez, James; Huber, Mary Taylor
Author:
Fernandez, James
Author:
Fernandez, James W.
Author:
Huber, Mary Taylor
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Location:
Chicago, Ill.
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
Irony in anthropology
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Edition Description:
1
Series Volume:
105-165
Publication Date:
20010631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 halftones
Pages:
280
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Irony in Action: Anthropology, Practice, and the Moral Imagination New Trade Paper
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Product details 280 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226244235 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Irony today extends beyond its classification as a figure of speech and is increasingly recognized as one of the major modes of human experience. This idea of irony as an integral force in social life is at the center of this provocative book. The result of a meeting where anthropologists were invited to explore the politics of irony and the moral responsibilities that accompany its recognition, this book is one of the first to lend an anthropological perspective to this contemporary phenomenon.

The first group of essays explores the limits to irony's liberating qualities from the constrained use of irony in congressional hearings to its reactive presence amid widening disparities of wealth despite decades of world development. The second section presents irony's more positive dimensions through an array of examples such as the use of irony by Chinese writers and Irish humorists. Framed by the editors' theoretical introduction to the issues posed by irony and responses to the essays by two literary scholars, Irony in Action is a timely contribution in the contemporary reinvention of anthropology.

"Synopsis" by ,
Irony, no longer simply a figure of speech, is increasingly viewed as an integral and pervasive force that shapes our understanding as well as our behavior. This idea of irony as one of the major modes of human experience is at the center of this provocative book. The result of a meeting where anthropologists were invited to explore the politics of irony and the moral responsibilities that accompany its recognition, this book looks at both the positive and negative aspects of irony and lends an anthropological perspective to this contemporary phenomenon, both within anthropology and without.
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