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Book Corner: “The Invention of Culture” by Wagner Roy (1976)


Eric Crevels

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Eric Crevels reviews the chapter “The assumption of Culture” from Roy Wagners Book “The Invention of Culture” (1976), The University of Chicago Press, London, Page 12 – 21

Cover of The Invention of Culture, Wagner, Roy. (1976)

The Invention of Culture, Wagner, Roy. (1976)

Wagner’s accounts of the invention of culture shows the importance and potentiality of using ethnographic methods to discover about one’s own culture by the understanding of others. Moreover, his notion of “cultural relativity” implies the equivalency of different cultures – by understanding culture as an epistemological tool for investigation, one can assume different communities of practice can be investigated as cultures of their own: for example, those of crafts and architectural production.