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A Place Apart: An Anthropological Study of the Icelandic World

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Readers will find here a rich and reflective representation of Iceland and Icelanders today. Kristen Hastrup not only draws on extensive first-hand research of Iceland, she also relies on her own theory of what anthropology is and should be in fully documenting this place and its people. In two previous books, Hastrup studied the processes and patterns that shaped Icelandi Readers will find here a rich and reflective representation of Iceland and Icelanders today. Kristen Hastrup not only draws on extensive first-hand research of Iceland, she also relies on her own theory of what anthropology is and should be in fully documenting this place and its people. In two previous books, Hastrup studied the processes and patterns that shaped Icelandic society from medieval times to the nineteenth century. In these pages, she updates this record by giving us a view of contemporary Iceland from within the landscape. Hastrup also traces key resonances from Icelandic history as encountered today. Many images of Icelandicness are examined, with an emphasis on how such images relate to local social experience. The book seeks to convey how the villagers of Iceland understand their world, to show readers the Icelandic viewpoint from the inside out, and to give a unique portrait of a unique country.


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Readers will find here a rich and reflective representation of Iceland and Icelanders today. Kristen Hastrup not only draws on extensive first-hand research of Iceland, she also relies on her own theory of what anthropology is and should be in fully documenting this place and its people. In two previous books, Hastrup studied the processes and patterns that shaped Icelandi Readers will find here a rich and reflective representation of Iceland and Icelanders today. Kristen Hastrup not only draws on extensive first-hand research of Iceland, she also relies on her own theory of what anthropology is and should be in fully documenting this place and its people. In two previous books, Hastrup studied the processes and patterns that shaped Icelandic society from medieval times to the nineteenth century. In these pages, she updates this record by giving us a view of contemporary Iceland from within the landscape. Hastrup also traces key resonances from Icelandic history as encountered today. Many images of Icelandicness are examined, with an emphasis on how such images relate to local social experience. The book seeks to convey how the villagers of Iceland understand their world, to show readers the Icelandic viewpoint from the inside out, and to give a unique portrait of a unique country.

25 review for A Place Apart: An Anthropological Study of the Icelandic World

  1. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    To say that A Place Apart isn’t for everyone is an understatement. It’s dense with anthropological details about how best to study a culture. Author Hastrup lived in both a farming and a fishing community for a short period of time in the 1980s. She seems a bit naïve, desiring to become a part of these isolated communities, when her main purpose was to study and analyze them rather than live in them permanently. The book details how to interpret lives of people within the community far more than To say that A Place Apart isn’t for everyone is an understatement. It’s dense with anthropological details about how best to study a culture. Author Hastrup lived in both a farming and a fishing community for a short period of time in the 1980s. She seems a bit naïve, desiring to become a part of these isolated communities, when her main purpose was to study and analyze them rather than live in them permanently. The book details how to interpret lives of people within the community far more than describing actions and beliefs of community members. Hastrup was also very conscious of herself within this society, and frequently spent paragraphs working out her role, which to me is less important than the role of the Icelanders. But then, I’m not an anthropologist, and anthropological writing styles might have changed since the 1998, when the book was published. The apex of this anthropological over-examination occurred when Hastrup defended a criticism by another anthropologist of her previous book on Iceland. Although the book topic was Iceland, her defense had nothing to do with Iceland itself, and was purely a defense of her previous studies and analyses. After this point in the book, the proportion of analysis to facts increased and I lost interest, lowering my rating from 3 to 2 stars. Serious students of anthropology who have interest in 1980s Icelandic communities might like A Place Apart. Other readers, including casual students of Icelandic history, are advised to skip it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leora DeFlumere

  3. 5 out of 5

    Miranda

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alix J

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura Alice Watt

  6. 4 out of 5

    Michael Petersen

  7. 5 out of 5

    James Tomasino

  8. 5 out of 5

    Trampas Jones

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bryce

  10. 5 out of 5

    Stef To

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kdd

  12. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Campbell

  13. 4 out of 5

    Todd Keyser

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  15. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kirstine

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kusaimamekirai

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  20. 5 out of 5

    Francesco

  21. 4 out of 5

    Christina Dawn

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Ensor

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pol Olivella

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin

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