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Volume 1

ASAO Studies in Pacific Anthropology


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The Anthropology of Empathy

Experiencing the Lives of Others in Pacific Societies

Edited by Douglas W. Hollan and C. Jason Throop

252 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-102-6 $120.00/£85.00 Hb Published (August 2011)

eISBN 978-0-85745-103-3 eBook


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“This volume is not only of value to anthropologists; it is highly recommended for anybody involved in or preparing for cross-cultural work. It can help raise awareness of the importance and the limitation of cross-cultural empathy, encouraging quality fieldwork, as well as more research into empathy elsewhere in the world.”  ·  Missiology: An International Review

Exploring the role of empathy in a variety of Pacific societies, this book is at the forefront of the latest anthropological research on empathy. It presents distinct articulations of many assumptions of contemporary philosophical, neurobiological, and social scientific treatments of the topic. The variations described in this book do not necessarily preclude the possibility of shared existential, biological, and social influences that give empathy a distinctly human cast, but they do provide an important ethnographic lens through which to examine the possibilities and limits of empathy in any given community of practice.

Douglas W. Hollan is Professor of Anthropology and Luckman Distinguished Teacher at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an instructor at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles.

C. Jason Throop is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UCLA. He has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork on pain, suffering, and morality on the island of Yap in the Western Caroline Islands of Micronesia.

Subject: General Anthropology Sociology
Area: Asia-Pacific



Contents

Acknowledgements

Introduction
Douglas W. Hollanand C. Jason Throop

Part I:  History and Fieldwork as Lenses on Empathy

Chapter 1. Empathy, Ethnicity, and the Self among the Banabans in Fiji
Elfriede Hermann

Chapter 2. The Boundaries of Personhood, the Problem of Empathy, and “the Native’s Point of View” in the Outer Islands
Maria Lepowsky

Part II:  Universal and Particular Aspects of Empathy

Chapter 3. Empathy and “As-If” Attachment in Samoa
Jeannette Mageo

Chapter 4. Empathic Perception and Imagination Among the Asabano: Lessons for Anthropology
Roger Lohmann

Part III:  Personhood, Morality, and Empathy

Chapter 5. Suffering, Empathy, and Ethical Subjectivity in Yap (Waqab), Federated States of Micronesia
C. Jason Throop

Chapter 6. Do Anutans Empathize?:  Morality, Compassion, and Opacity of Other Minds
Richard Feinberg

Chapter 7. Bosmun Foodways:  Emotional Reasoning in a PNG Life-World
Anita von Poser

Part IV:  Vicissitudes of Empathy

Chapter 8. Vicissitudes of “Empathy” in a Rural Toraja Village
Douglas W. Hollan

Afterword
Alan Rumsey

Bibliography
Index

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