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Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 1999. 28:i–xxiii Copyright © 1999 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved

WHAT IS ANTHROPOLOGICAL ENLIGHTENMENT? Some Lessons of the Twentieth Century
Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 1999.28:i-xxiii. Downloaded from www.annualreviews.org by 197.179.183.136 on 11/03/13. For personal use only.

Marshall Sahlins

Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637; e-mail: m-sahlins@uchicago.edu

Key Words: modernity, indigenization, translocality, culture, development n Abstract A broad reflection on some of the major surprises to anthropological theory occasioned by the history, and in a number of instances the tenacity, of indigenous cultures in the twentieth century. We are not leaving the century with the same ideas that got us there. Contrary to the inherited notions of progressive development, whether of the political left or right, the surviving victims of imperial capitalism neither became all alike nor just like us. Contrary to the “despondency theory” of mid-century, the logical and historical precursor of dependency theory, surviving indigenous peoples aim to take cultural responsibility for what has been done to them. Across large parts of northern North America, even hunters and gatherers live, largely by hunting and gathering. The Eskimo are still there, and they are still Eskimo. Around the world the peoples give the lie to received theoretical oppositions between tradition and change, indigenous culture and modernity, townsmen and tribesmen, and other clichés of the received anthropological wisdom. Reports of the death of indigenous cultures—as of the demise of anthropology—have been exaggerated.

CONTENTS Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ii What Is Not Too Enlightening . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ....

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