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The Reconfiguring Self


  • Jeannette Marie Mageo

    1. Washington state university and University College London
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    • JEANNETTE MARIE MAGEO is Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4910, and Research Fellow, Department of Anthropology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E6BT.


This essay presents a theory about cultural systems of self. It counters disclaimers as to the possibility of building cross-culturally valid theory, often taken to be the intellectual outcome of postmodernism. Nonetheless, such theory is a logical descendant of the postmodern project, predicating multiple selves and multiple constructions of social reality. It offers an explanatory framework for conceptions of personhood that are loosely interconnected and only partially and problematically shared between culture members.

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