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Anthropology and Cryptozoology : Exploring Encounters With Mysterious Creatures (Hardcover)
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Cryptozoology is best understood as the study of animals which, in the eyes of Western science, are extinct, unclassified or unrecognised. In consequence, and in part because of its selective methods and lack of epistemological rigour, cryptozoology is often dismissed as a pseudo-science. However, there is a growing recognition that social science can benefit from engaging with it, for as as social scientists are very well aware, ’scientific’ categorisation and explanation represent just one of a myriad of systems used by humans to enable them to classify and make sense of the world around them. In many cultural contexts, myth, folk classification and lived experience challenge the ’truth’ expounded by scientists. With a reflexive, anthropological approach and drawing on rich empirical and ethnographic studies from around the world, this volume engages with the theoretical and methodological issues raised by reported sightings of unrecognised animals. Bringing into sharp focus the anthropological value and challenges for methodology posed by beliefs about unclassified creatures, Anthropology and Cryptozoology: Researching Encounters with Mysterious Creatures will be of interest to anthropologists, sociologists and geographers working in the fields of research methods, anthrozoology, mythology and folklore and human-animal interaction.