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Chapter 5. Dreaming in a Global World

Douglas Hollan

Subject Anthropology » Psychological Anthropology

Key-Topics dreams

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631225973.2004.00009.x


Psychocultural anthropologists have been criticized in recent years for failing to appreciate the extent to which the subjects and objects of their study have been shaped by forces that extend far beyond the boundaries of local fieldwork sites. By valorizing the local, the particular, and the isolated, psychocultural anthropologists have both deliberately and unintentionally blinded themselves to the transnational and transcultural flows of images, people, technologies, capital, and ideologies within which human psychologies grow and develop. Many of these criticisms hit the mark, I believe. While it is well to remember that humans, as far as we know, have always been involved in the exchange of people, ideas, and artifacts, the scale, pervasiveness, and rapidity of these exchanges in the contemporary world, and their impact on human psychologies, do warrant special attention. But as psycho cultural anthropologists, we cannot just assume that transglobal processes have a dramatic or significant impact on personal experience and individual psychology. Rather, it is our difficult task to assess actively what individual actors make of these processes; to delineate carefully how and under what circumstances “the global,” however defined, gains cognitive and emotional saliency ( Spiro 1984 : 326–330) or directive force ( D'Andrade 1984 : 96–101) for any given person. Otherwise, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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