Social Anthropology Essay

This is a 3,000 word essay not including the bibliography in the word count

Please read the following information carefully instructing you on how this essay needs to be written:

  1. Please refute the below statement – you are disagreeing with the notion

Essay title/question/statement:  “Any notion of the mind as the instrument of the body or society is absurd.”

  • Quote thoroughly and ONLY from the following texts showing your clear understanding of, and engagement with, the ideas expressed

Two core texts to quote from:

Scheper-Hughes, N. & M. Lock 1987. The mindful body: a prolegomenon to future work in

medical anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly (n.s.) 1 (1): 6-41. Link to text


Csordas, T. 1990 Embodiment as a paradigm for anthropology, Ethos 18: 5-47. Link to text

Note: these two texts will form the basis of your argument and therefore you should read them carefully to understand your position in the argument. Please take adequate time to go through the texts carefully as they are very dense and require thorough understanding for optimal engagement.

  • Use 9 sources from the below texts to back up your argument further making connections between your points while maintaining your position of refutation. Again, make sure you read through the chosen passages carefully in order to demonstrate your understanding in your writing.

Csordas, T. 1994. Words from the Holy People: a case study in cultural phenomenology, in T. Csordas (ed.)

Csordas, T. 1994. Embodiment and experience: the existential ground of culture and self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


The body’s career in anthropology, in H. Moore (ed.) Anthropological theory today. Cambridge: Polity. 1999.


Jackson, M. 1983. Knowledge of the body, Man (n.s.) 18 (2): Page 327-345.
—– 1995. At home in the world. Durham: Duke University Press.
——(ed.) 1996. Things as they are: new directions in phenomenological anthropology.
Bloomington: University of Indiana Press.


Frank, A.W. 1991. For a sociology of the body: an analytical review, in M. Featherstone et al.


The Body: social processes and cultural theory. London: Sage.


Farnell, B. 1994. Ethno-graphics and the moving body, Man (n.s.) 29 (4): page 929-937.


Feher, M., R. Naddaff, & N. Tazi, (eds.) 1989. Fragments for a history of the human body. Vol. 3.New York: Zone. Ch. by Knauft.


Strathern, A. & M. Lambek 1998. Introduction: embodying sociality: Africanist-Melanesianist


comparisons, in A. Strathern & M. Lambek (eds.) Bodies and persons. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.


Merleau-Ponty, M. 1962. Phenomenology of perception. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
—– 1964. Phenomenology and the science of man, in The primacy of perception. Evanston, IL:Northwestern.


Moran, D. 2000. Introduction to phenomenology. London: Routldge.


Young, I. 1990. Throwing like a girl: a phenomenology of feminine body comportment, motility and spatiality, in Throwing like a girl and other essays in feminist philosophy and social Theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


Ingold, T. 1992. Culture and the perception of the environment, in E. Croll & D. Parkin (eds.)

 Hunting and gathering as ways of perceiving the environment, in R. Ellen & K.


Fukui (eds.) Rethinking nature and culture: ecology, cognition and domestication. London: Berg.32


Scheper-Hughes, N. 1994. Embodied knowledge: thinking with the body in critical medical anthropology, in R. Borofsky (ed.) Assessing cultural anthropology. New York: McGraw- Hill.Ethnographies


Csordas, T. 1994. The sacred self: a cultural phenomenology of charismatic healing. Berkeley: University of California Press.


Desjarlais, R. 1992. Body and emotion: the aesthetics of illness and healing in the Nepal Himalayas. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.


Scheper-Hughes, N. 1992. Death without weeping: the violence of everyday life in Brazil. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Do not use outside the sources provided

  • Use the Harvard referencing system at all times
  • Please begin the essay in the following fashion:

In this paper I seek to refute the assertion that the mind could not possibly be an instrument of the body or society.

Important: use the first person moderately when you are outlining what you are going to do and how you are going to address your argument, i.e. your method

No passive sentences