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Social Anthropology


The detachment volume is out. Read the introduction here.

Candea M., J. Cook, C. Trundle & T. Yarrow (ed.) 2015.Detachment: Essays on the Limits of Relational Thinking. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

This volume urges a reconsideration of the productive potential of disconnection, distance and detachment, as ethical, methodological and philosophical commitments. In so doing, we write against the grain of a strong tendency in contemporary social theory and public life.

Engagement has, in a wide range of contexts, become a definitive and unquestionable social good, one that encompasses or abuts with a number of other seductive cultural tropes, such as participation, democracy, voice, equality, diversity and empowerment. Conversely, detachment has come to symbolise a range of social harms: authoritarianism and hierarchy, being out of touch, bureaucratic coldness and unresponsiveness, a lack of empathy, and passivity and inaction. Yet as this book argues, in a wide range of settings detachment is still socially, ethically and politically valued, and the relationship between detachment and engagement is not simple or singular.