Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds, Paperback Book


This text addresses the central problem in anthropological theory of the late 1990s - the paradox that humans are both products of social discipline and creators of remarkable improvisation.

Synthesizing theoretical contributions by Vygotsky, Bakhtin, and Bourdieu, the authors examine the processes by which people create, as well as enact, culturally scripted worlds and their places within them with their caring about the effects of their actions.

They emphasize throughout that "identities" are not static but variable and interactive.

The ethnographic illumination of this complex theoretical construction comes from vividly described fieldwork in vastly different microcultures: American college women entangled in romance; patients in US mental health facilities; Alcoholics Anonymous members; and women in patriarchal Hindu villages in central Nepal.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Cultural studies
  • ISBN: 9780674005624



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