Choice and morality in anthropological perspective: essays in honor of Derek Freeman

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This book explores choice behavior as constrained by culture, biology, and psychoanalytic processes in a variety of ethnographic contexts in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Africa--the arena in which the controversy between Derek Freeman and anthropologist Margaret Mead's ideas of culture first developed. It also examines the interface between a nomothetic anthropology and a This book explores choice behavior as constrained by culture, biology, and psychoanalytic processes in a variety of ethnographic contexts in Southeast Asia, Oceania, and Africa--the arena in which the controversy between Derek Freeman and anthropologist Margaret Mead's ideas of culture first developed.

It also examines the interface between a nomothetic anthropology and a hermeneutic, idiographic anthropology, raising the critical question as to how ethnographic "knowledge" of another culture is achieved and transmitted to others. Freeman rejects an exclusive reliance on either culture or biology as key to explaining human behavior, proposing instead an interactionist paradigm. Fundamental to this paradigm is choice behavior, which is intrinsic to our biology and basic to the formation of culture: for cultures are the accumulation of socially sanctioned past choices.

However, the greater the freedom to choose, the greater the scope for good or bad, and the greater the need for ethics, rules, and laws for defining prohibited alternatives. Choice and Morality investigates these themes. Its authors examine the emergent nature of social reality as a result of choice behavior and illustrate the complexity of Freeman's theoretical position. Get A Copy. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1.

Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 15, Jen rated it liked it. This is not really my thing. The title makes it seem like it is, but it's really not. While breakfasting in the Government Resthouse, he read a letter in the local paper, written by two Iban students abroad, defending the Iban against aspersions cast by another overseas Iban student.

Freeman does not say, but it seems straight-forward.

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The plight of the Dayaks he blamed on the corruption of Harrisson and his cronies. The drama of vice and corruption came together with the pathos of injured innocence in such a way that Freeman could identify unreservedly with innocence: he and they were both victims of the same iniquity. Indeed, as we learn from his interviews with Donald Tuzin and Judith Heimann, he was moved to tears by the pathos of this imagined scene and contemplated returning to the Iban to live with them and espouse their cause. Another was the replacement of structuralist-functionalist theory by evolution-based psychology.

Henceforth, the social anthropology of his teachers was for Freeman verbiage obfuscating the psychological processes lying beneath. This adjustment, he believed, brought his new approach to anthropology into line with the humanistic quest for self-understanding.

The memo to Crawford provides the clue to unraveling this relationship. This clinical study brings together three classes of phenomena—battle fatigue, brainwashing, and religious conversion. In each case the subject undergoes a transformative experience owing to psychological shock.


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When therapy succeeds, the subject undergoes a cathartic emotional upheaval—abreaction. Was there such an event? It seems there was.

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It occurred in Harrisson launched a violent tirade at Freeman and anthropology, dipping both in a torrent of obscenities. In interviews with Heimann and Tuzin, Freeman recalls that he was so shaken that he could make no reply and trembled for hours after Heimann ; Tuzin Freeman and anthropology were humiliated before a potential student and he was powerless to resist. This submission is perhaps what Freeman interpreted as mind control. Since Freeman was the supervisor, it was a direct insult to him. His identification with the Dayaks makes sense in terms of the drama.

Thus there is no indication of his reaction to this startling claim. Several statements, in addition to the improbable claim to serene rationality which Crawford did not accept , must have struck him as dubious. I draw attention to one in particular.


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  5. In seeking to rebut reports about himself to which he had no access, he recalls that Crawford had mentioned a report that in Kuching he had consulted one Dr. Schmidt, a psychiatrist. The source of this information is the report of R. Schmidt whom Freeman had apparently seen on the previous night.

    Where have morals and values gone?

    Schmidt said that in his opinion Freeman was mentally unsound, but that this state would pass when he left Sarawak. The logic is this.

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    Indeed, so urgent was his need for confirmation that Harrisson was the mad one that on reaching Singapore he reticketed to London so that he might consult with his old friend Morris Carstairs, a psychiatrist. His need for expert confirmation that Harrisson was the mad one implies fear that he might be in the throes of mental instability. There are also discrepancies between the deposition that Freeman gave Gambrill and his subsequent claims. Finally, Freeman declares that he intends to depart Kuching that day for Singapore and Medan, Indonesia, where he had university business.

    He did indeed have business in Medan, but he re-ticketed to London on unapproved travel. Why travel to Bangkok when safe keeping might be found with the High Commissioner in Singapore? Why, for that matter, not wait for the next flight to Australia? According to one fragmentary report, Freeman did contact the High Commission in Singapore, but was given the brush-off by the Deputy High Commissioner, who, having served in Kuching, dismissed his tale of a plot.

    The BOAC flight stopped in Bangkok, where Freeman telephoned the Australian ambassador requesting an urgent meeting to inform him of the plot in Sarawak and to hand over the film. The ambassador declined to discuss it. In Calcutta he attempted to contact the High Commissioner in Delhi, but got no further than the Trade Commissioner, with whom he declined to discuss his urgent business.

    The next stop was Karachi, where the fabulous St. This man was High Commissioner A. Cutler who, as it happened, was a long-standing friend of Crawford. They were among the distinguished public servants of their generation.

    Madan, T. N.

    Crawford, an economist, had chaired a landmark policy committee that opened Australia to trade with South East Asia and Japan. Cutler, a diplomat with outstanding service, had assisted that effort. They were respected for wisdom and judgment, and both would go on to climb higher on the ladder of success.

    By the time Freeman reached Karachi, the Australian diplomatic corps was on the alert. I must confine myself to some of the highlights.

    - SCHOLARS AT WAR: AUSTRALASIAN SOCIAL SCIENTISTS, - ANU

    Butterfield, who in turn referred him to a psychiatrist, Dr. Karachi messaged the ANU directly that someone must journey to Karachi to accompany him on the inbound flight. Barnes invited Mrs. Freeman to make the journey but her passport had expired. Barnes flew to Karachi instead. Freeman up to date.

    2d12907afe3d7433c9b7ac51c4520ab80a551ef4.serversuit.com/jeryp-comprare-idrossiclorochina-vs.php She, accompanied by the university Registrar, would meet Freeman at the Sydney air terminal. He would be waived through Customs and together they would return to Canberra in a Commonwealth vehicle. Psychiatric treatment in Canberra had been arranged. All of this transpired as Crawford anticipated.

    Indeed he was recipient of the highest honor for valor, the Victoria Cross. He was also noted for his generosity and forbearance. His care of Freeman was probably meant to assist his return to normalcy by mobilizing his confidence and soothinghis nerves. Freeman had panicked on arrival in Karachi when porters took charge of the haversack containing the all-important films, which he rescued causing a commotion. It was another sign of his anxiety that he asked the BOAC captain for a pistol for his personal protection. Again, he decided that it was unsafe for him to continue his flight on BOAC, because, he believed, the airline was somehow in on the Sarawak plot.

    There is also no record of the response of a key person in this story, Mrs. The relationship between them was intimate and trusting. However that may be, in his first meeting with Crawford and Barnes after his return, Freeman stated the position that he would inflexibly maintain. The position was this:.

    He needed no period of rest. On the contrary, he maintained that he had never been physically and mentally more fit. Dispatching Barnes to Karachi, VIP treatment—these things had been unnecessary and were based on drastically erroneous reports. Trethowan, on the condition that it not be a medical consultation.

    Choice and Morality in Anthropological Perspective: Essays in Honor of Derek Freeman

    Crawford accepted this condition. It will be recalled that when invited to submit such a report by the Chief Secretary, Freeman declined because Harrisson was no longer his concern.

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