Inuit Way Of Life Essay

Inuit Way Of Life Essay-78
Yet in both disciplines there is an explanatory tension between physical and social causes, which has been largely stabilised through the normative standards of the respective disciplines.In the interdisciplinary field of Inuit studies, human geographers attend more closely to work on navigation, spatiality, toponymy, and the physical landscape than anthropologists who tend to focus on questions of identity, religion, and kinship.Paying close attention to the historical context of the essay reveals strong evidence for an alternative reading: that it was written as a polemic against anthropogeographical theory from the school of Friedrich Ratzel.

Yet in both disciplines there is an explanatory tension between physical and social causes, which has been largely stabilised through the normative standards of the respective disciplines.In the interdisciplinary field of Inuit studies, human geographers attend more closely to work on navigation, spatiality, toponymy, and the physical landscape than anthropologists who tend to focus on questions of identity, religion, and kinship.Paying close attention to the historical context of the essay reveals strong evidence for an alternative reading: that it was written as a polemic against anthropogeographical theory from the school of Friedrich Ratzel.

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Understanding that Mauss was seeking to distance his own sociology/anthropology from geography provides an opportunity to reflect on the divergence in theoretical orientation and choice of research problems amongst the community of Inuit studies.

RésuméLe célèbre «Essai sur les variations saisonnières des sociétés Eskimos» de Marcel Mauss est traditionnellement compris comme un texte sur la prééminence du monde social dans le fait de déterminer et d’imposer une organisation saisonnière au monde physique.

Abstract The famous “Seasonal Variations of the Eskimo” by Marcel Mauss has traditionally been understood as a text about the dominance of the social world in determining and imposing seasonal organisation on the physical world.

Such interpretations of seasonality typically fail to take adequate account of contemporary European and North American debates about land and society.

In what follows, I want to reveal how Mauss employed a rhetorical strategy to pin down his opposition.

Inuit Way Of Life Essay

Febvre’s critique is to some extent forgotten today, so that SV is now associated with a socially determined conception of seasonality and more generally speaking, temporality.It may therefore be surprising that the polemic was concerned with the subject of technology, and that the concept of seasonality in the 19th century enjoyed a long association with physical or Knowing that SV had an important polemical dimension should invite audiences to read the essay with greater attention to its claims, and to be sensitive to Mauss’s techniques of marshalling evidence.The social and material facts of the dramatic changes in the way of life of Inuit between winter and summer landscapes provide Mauss with his primary evidence.Lucien Febvre (1922: 21-38), one of the founders of the French school, set out to reconcile the different approaches of Ratzel’s anthropogeography and Vidal de la Blache’s human geography with the new school of Durkheim’s sociology.He attributed the groups’ clashes to the high intellectual stakes, but no less to their extraordinary ambition, confidence, and appetite for vigorous attacks (.: 26).Il en a conclu que le principe crucial qui gouvernait la vie saisonnière des Inuit était la symbiose entre le monde social et le monde physique, et non pas la détermination physique ou les adaptations technologiques identifiées par les anthropogéographes.Le fait de comprendre que Mauss cherchait à distancier sa propre sociologie/anthropologie de la géographie nous donne la possibilité de réfléchir à la divergence dans l’orientation théorique et le choix des questions de recherche dans la communauté des chercheurs en études inuit.., Fournier 1994; James and Allen 1998; Schlanger 2006).In recognising Mauss’s pioneering work in Inuit studies, this article revisits the debate about the intellectual territory of geography and anthropology, as well as the relationship between physical and social causation.Broadly speaking, there are at least two essential components to any reassessment of a classic essay such as Mauss’s (1906) “Seasonal Variations of the Eskimo” [hereafter abbreviated as SV with page references corresponding to the 1979 edition of James Fox’s translation].De telles interprétations de la saisonnalité ne parviennent pas d’ordinaire à prendre correctement en compte les débats actuels sur la terre et sur la société dans l’Europe et l’Amérique du Nord contemporaines.En examinant attentivement le contexte historique de l’essai, on découvre la forte possibilité d’une lecture alternative: qu’il ait été rédigé dans un but polémique à l’encontre de la théorie anthropogéographique de l’école de Friedrich Ratzel.

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