Dual Classification Reconsidered

Dual Classification Reconsidered

Nyamwezi Sacred Kingship and Other Examples

Book - 1987
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The deep structure of symbolism in religious and ritual activities has hitherto mostly been studied from perspectives deriving from classical and contemporary Western thought, which values symmetry, non-contradiction, equality of terms and the rationality of linear discourse and classification systems have therefore come to be defined in binary terms (right/left, male/female, black/white). In this book, Serge Tcherkezoff presents a new perspective on the study of ritual classification. On the basis of a detailed ethnography of the rituals of the Nyamwezi of Tanzania, Tcherkezoff argues for an analysis which recognised contradictions and asymmetry within ritual systems. Following Dumont, he shows that societies are characterised by a hierarchal structure of values, in which each individual element has a meaning only through its position within the whole, thereby replacing the rigid classical structuralist dichotomy with a rich multidimensional approach.
Publisher: Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] : New York : Cambridge University Press ; Paris : Editions de la maison des sciences de l'homme, c1987
ISBN: 9780521308953
Branch Call Number: DT443.3.N93 T3513 1987
Characteristics: ix, 157 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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