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dc.contributor.authorCandea, Mateien
dc.date.accessioned2018-09-27T14:11:32Z
dc.date.available2018-09-27T14:11:32Z
dc.date.issued2018-08-01en
dc.identifier.issn0964-0282
dc.identifier.urihttps://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/282824
dc.description.abstractIn order to ask what work the elusive concept of ‘character’ might do for anthropology, this article first ask what work the concept does for Euroamerican epistemology more broadly. It examines two invocations of ‘character’ in relation to animals at a scientific research site in South Africa. The first is the commonplace use of the term to denote the way the research subjects have been made into ‘characters’ on the tv show ‘Meerkat Manor’. The second is the technical term ‘biological character’ – the basic unit of contemporary evolutionary biology, and the main object of study at the site. These two characters are more than mere homonyms – they hark back to related concerns about purposive action, they populate conflicting moral narratives, and they operate on the threshold between self-conscious fiction and essential truth. Building on this case, I argue that the distinctive value of the concept of character for anthropology resides in its ambivalence – the way it can point both to a contrived mask (a character in an account) and to the very essence of the entity in question (its true character). Such ambivalence maps a particular social form, which echoes across the anthropology of institutions, of ethics and of knowledge.
dc.publisherWiley-Blackwell
dc.titleThe two faces of character: moral tales of animal behaviouren
dc.typeArticle
prism.endingPage375
prism.issueIdentifier3en
prism.publicationDate2018en
prism.publicationNameSocial Anthropologyen
prism.startingPage361
prism.volume26en
dc.identifier.doi10.17863/CAM.30188
dcterms.dateAccepted2018-06-11en
rioxxterms.versionofrecord10.1111/1469-8676.12547en
rioxxterms.licenseref.urihttp://www.rioxx.net/licenses/all-rights-reserveden
rioxxterms.licenseref.startdate2018-08-01en
dc.contributor.orcidCandea, Mathieu [0000-0001-7260-4194]
dc.identifier.eissn1469-8676
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen
rioxxterms.freetoread.startdate2019-08-01


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