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An Anthropology of Names and Naming Paperback – 29 Oct 2009


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Review

Review of the hardback: 'This collection of thoughtful essays offers an anthropologically grounded discussion of how names are bestowed, changed, shared, coveted, rejected, used and sometimes abused in a wide range of ethnographic contexts. It provides an excellent array of case studies, from high-ranking Yemeni Imams to African American slaves who must not only relinquish their given names but also answer to demeaning or absurd monikers, and many illustrative examples in between. … In an era when names act simultaneously as markers of identity and tools of surveillance, this edited volume provides much material for thought and comparison on the regional significance of names. Indeed this welcome set of essays will be of interest to both cultural and linguistic anthropologists in search of a deeper answer to the age-old question of what is in a name.' The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Book Description

Many philosophers and linguists suggest that names are 'just' labels, but parents internationally are determined to get their children's names 'right'. This book illustrates the intersection of names and naming with current interests in political processes, the relation between bodies and personal identities, and ritual and daily social life.

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Immediately after the attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, naming the victims and the culprits became an urgent matter. Read the first page
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