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Reinvention of Primitive Society : Transformations of a Myth (Reprint) (Paperback) (Adam Kuper)
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The Reinvention of Primitive Society critiques ideas about the origins of society and religion that have been hotly debated since Darwin. Tracing interpretations of the barbarian, savage and primitive back through the centuries to ancient Greece, Kuper challenges the myth of primitive society, a concept revived in its current form by the modern indigenous peoples’ movement: tapping into widespread popular beliefs regarding the noble savage and reflecting a romantic reaction against ‘civilisation’ and ‘science’. Through a fascinating analysis of seminal works in anthropology, classical studies and law, this book reveals how wholly mistaken theories can become the basis for academic research and political programmes. Lucidly written and highly influential since first publication, it is a must-have text for those interested in anthropological theory and post-colonial debates.