“PERSONHOOD”
An Examination of the History and Use of an Anthropological Concept

Author: Appell-Warren, Laura
Year:2014
Pages:292
ISBN:0-7734-0053-2
978-0-7734-0053-5
Price:199.95
A comprehensive analysis of how the concept of personhood has been used by anthropologists and how it should be used in the future…This book is a very valuable contribution to the study of the history of anthropological thought, as well as a tremendously useful guide for scholars and students who want to use the concept of personhood analytically in their own work.

Reviews

“Over the last decades ‘personhood’ came to have an important place in anthropological analysis. Appell-Warren’s book is a timely discussion of this concept and of the closely related concepts of person, the self and identity…The accessibility of the book’s arguments makes it eminently suitable as a teaching text…also to scholars of whatever discipline who feel the need to get up to date on the topic.”
-Dr. Anton Ploeg,
Radboud University, Netherlands


“Writing in a clear voice and engaging style, Dr. Appell-Warren takes anthropology and its practitioners head-on, pulling no punches in showing the sloppy thinking and conflations of emic and etic explanatory frameworks that have dogged the debate on personhood for the best part of a century. In the course of her monograph, by giving generous credit where it is due and holding others to account, Dr. Appell-Warren arrives at an elegant, modern and universal definition of her own, drawing on physiological, psychological and social competence in a given cultural setting.”
-Dr. Mark Turin,
Linguistic Anthropologist Program Director,
Yale University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Vanessa L. Fong
Acknowledgements
INTRODUCTION
PART ONE: The Emergence of Personhood as a Concept in Anthropological Research
Chapter One: Context
Chapter Two: Analytical Categories Used in the Study of Personhood

1. Culturally Recognized Markers of Personhood
2. Theoretical Approaches and Categories of Analysis Used by Anthropologist in the Study of Personhood
Chapter Three: An Early History of the Concept of Personhood (1930s-1980s)
1. The Influence of Evolutionary Anthropology on the Study of Personhood
2. The Influence of Mauss and His Followers on the Study of Personhood
3. The First Use of the Term Personhood in the Anthropological Literature
4. The Emergence of the Concept of Personhood in the Anthropological Literature
5. Personhood Becomes Established in the Anthropological Literature
Chapter Four: A Later History of the Concept of Personhood (1980s – 2000s)
1. The (re)-Discovery of Relational versus Individual Modes of Personhood
2. The Concept of the Self Enters the Study of Personhood
3. The Discovery of Non-Animate objects That Possess Personhood
4. Personhood Becomes an Integral Concept in Anthropological Research
5. Studies of Personhood Become Focused on Individual Categories of Analysis
6. The Study of Embodiment as it Applies to the Study of Personhood
7. Personhood and the Environment
8. Personhood and Agency
Chapter Five: Towards a New Definition of Personhood
1. Definition of Personhood in the Literature
2. New Definition of the Concept of Personhood
3. Conclusions
PART TWO: The Confusion and Conflation of Four Anthropological Concepts: Personhood, Person, Self and Identity
Chapter One: The Confusion and Conflation of Personhood With Other Salient Concepts in Anthropology

1. The Concept of Personhood and its Relationship With the Concept of Person in Anthropological Literature
2. The Concept of Personhood and its Relationship With the Concept of Self in the Anthropological Literature
3. The Concept of Personhood and its Relationship With the Concept of Identity in the Anthropological Literature
Chapter Two: Conclusions – The Myth of the Lazy Native, the Peculiar Western Self and the Dangers of Culturally Loaded Concepts
1. Ethnocentrism: The Anthropological Heart of Darkness
2. The Stranglehold of Western Concepts
3. Psychology: An Unwarranted Intrusion
4. Straw Men and Dangerous Assumptions
APPENDICES
1. Appendix A: Brief Ethnographic Account of the Bulusu’ of Eastern Kalimantan, Indonesia and the Rungus of Sabah, Malaysia
2. Appendix B: Named Developmental Stages among the Bulusu’ and the Rungus Momogun
3. Appendix C: Examples of the Use of Personhood in Newspapers and Novels
4. Appendix D: Definitions of Personhood Found in Popular Literature, in the Psychological Literature and in the Anthropological Literature
5. Appendix E: Definitions of Personhood From the Oxford English Dictionary Online
6. Appendix F: Definitions of Person Found in The Anthropological Literature
7. Appendix G: Definitions of the Self Found in The Anthropological Literature
8. Appendix H: Definitions of Identity Found in the Psychological and Anthropological Literature
WORKS CONSULTED
INDEX