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Full-Text Articles in Social and Behavioral Sciences

Legal Anthropology: An Introduction, James M. Donovan Jan 2008

Legal Anthropology: An Introduction, James M. Donovan

James M. Donovan

LEGAL ANTHROPOLOGY: AN INTRODUCTION offers an initial overview of the challenging debates surrounding the cross-cultural analysis of legal systems. Equal parts review and criticism, the author outlines the historical landmarks in the development of the discipline, identifying both strengths and weaknesses of each stage and contribution. LEGAL ANTHROPOLOGY suggests that future progress can be made by treating as the distinguishing feature of law the perceived fairness of structural inequalities of social systems, rather than the traditional emphasis upon sanction or dispute resolution.


Prolegomenon To A Fairness-Centered Anthropology Of Law, James M. Donovan Mar 2007

Prolegomenon To A Fairness-Centered Anthropology Of Law, James M. Donovan

James M. Donovan

Legal anthropology, which began with Malinowski’s holistic reflections on law, has today drifted toward an emphasis on the study of dispute resolution. Part I outlines the three historical phases of this development—Holism, Realism, and Processualism—and identifies two shortcomings of viewing the dispute as the central problem for legal anthropology: (1) the collapse of law into dispute analyses has not been, and perhaps cannot be, fully theorized; and (2) the most pressing of current problems, such as human rights and intellectual property issues, cannot be reduced without distortion to the disputing paradigm. Part II offers fairness as an ...


"Anticipatory Self-Defense" And Other Stories, Jeanne Woods, James Donovan Dec 2005

"Anticipatory Self-Defense" And Other Stories, Jeanne Woods, James Donovan

James M. Donovan

We argue that the specious justification for the invasion of Iraq -- a war based on a pretext of anticipatory self-defense -- necessarily exacerbates the inherent tendency of war to dehumanize and humiliate the enemy. This tendency is particularly evident in the variant of anticipatory self-defense that we have denominated as "capacity preemption," a type of claim that by definition depends upon characterizations of the opponent as utterly inhuman.

The Bush Doctrine tells a timeless story of self-defense. This story is shaped by an identifiable and predictable narrative structure, one that is able to transform the morally outrageous -- an unprovoked aggressive war ...


Implicit Religion And The Curvilinear Relationship Between Religion And Death Anxiety, James Donovan Jan 2002

Implicit Religion And The Curvilinear Relationship Between Religion And Death Anxiety, James Donovan

James M. Donovan

Debate over the relationship of religion to death anxiety has included the opposing views of Malinowski, who held that religion lessened death anxiety, and Radcliffe-Brown, who argued that religion increased death anxiety. Homans' theoretical synthesis of these viewpoints was tested by Leming, who concluded that the empirical relationship was curvilinear, meaning that both high and low religious involvements resulted in low death anxiety while middle-range attachments did not.

Reconsideration of this result argues that the presence of death anxiety is not dependent upon social learning, and that either high or low levels of theism leads to the resolution of anxiety ...


Psychic Unity Constraints Upon Successful Intercultural Communication, James Donovan, Brian Rundle Aug 1997

Psychic Unity Constraints Upon Successful Intercultural Communication, James Donovan, Brian Rundle

James M. Donovan

This article begins with the unchallenged assertion that intercultural communication episodes are necessarily imperfect. The disciplinary corpus reflects the correct assumption that much of this failure is attributable to the lock of various competencies on the part of the communicants. Experts become vague, however, where the line should be drawn, if at all, beyond which increased competency will not yield improved communication.

The principle of psychic unity assures us that there will be some experiences (not many, but some) which are so far removed from the ordinary processes of categorization and conceptualization that the raw data cannot be encapsulated faithfully ...


Relating Psychological Measures To Anthropological Observations: Procrastination As A Field Proxy For Death Anxiety?, James M. Donovan Jun 1995

Relating Psychological Measures To Anthropological Observations: Procrastination As A Field Proxy For Death Anxiety?, James M. Donovan

James M. Donovan

Anthropologists frequently incorporate psychological concepts such as death anxiety into their sociocultural theorizing, but are reluctant to use the psychological instrumentation quantifying these concepts. Due to the needs of ethnographic fieldwork, behavioral proxies should be identified for psychological concepts wherever possible. Two exploratory studies investigate whether procrastination might serve as just such a proxy for death anxiety. While significant results were found, they are too weak for the intended field application.


Sociobiological And Psychosocial Models Of Physical Attractiveness Phenomena: A Confrontation Of Theories, James M. Donovan Aug 1989

Sociobiological And Psychosocial Models Of Physical Attractiveness Phenomena: A Confrontation Of Theories, James M. Donovan

James M. Donovan

A majority of cultural anthropologists underestimate the value of sociobiological theory for a better understanding of human behavior. This essay attempts to demonstrate the shortcomings of this position by presenting an illustrative problem. Sexually asymmetrical physical attractiveness phenomena are examined first from a traditional psychosocial model. In its pure form this model is unable to account for the known data; when supplemented by sociobiological premises, however, these difficulties are resolved.