The Social Production of Indifference
Exploring the Symbolic Roots of Western Bureaucracy
By (author) Michael Herzfeld
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Social Production of Indifference by Michael Herzfeld
Book DescriptionIn this fascinating book, Michael Herzfeld argues that 'modern' bureaucratically regulated societies are no more 'rational' or less 'symbolic' than the societies traditionally studied by anthropologists. Drawing primarily on the example of modern Greece and utilizing other European materials, he suggests that we cannot understand national bureaucracies divorced from local-level ideas about chance, personal character, social relationships and responsibility. He points out that both formal regulations and day-to-day bureaucratic practices rely heavily on the symbols and language of the moral boundaries between insiders and outsiders; a ready means of expressing prejudice and of justifying neglect. It therefore happens that societies with proud traditions of generous hospitality may paradoxically produce at the official level some of the most calculated indifference one can find anywhere.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780854966387
(216mm x 140mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Berg Publishers
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 20-Feb-1992
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Michael Herzfeld
On the Social Life of Postsocialism, Paperback (December 2009)
Pathbreaking studies of the postsocialist transition
Evicted from Eternity, Paperback (May 2009)
Focuses on Rome's historic Monti district and the wrenching dislocation caused by rapid economic, political, and social change. This book tells the story of the gentrification of Monti - once the architectural home of a community of artisans and shopkeepers now displaced by an invasion of rapacious real estate speculators, and corrupt officials.
Cultural Intimacy, Paperback (January 2005)
Anthropological interest in the nation-state and nationalism has recently intensified. This is an updated second edition of a seminal book partly responsible for this shift. It brings this leading thinker's ideas to a fresh audience.
Body Impolitic, Paperback (December 2003)» View all books by Michael Herzfeld
"The Body Impolitic" is a critical study of tradition, not merely as an ornament of local and national heritage, but also as a millstone around the necks of those who are condemned to produce it.
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Author Biography - Michael Herzfeld
Michael Herzfeld is Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University
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