Anthropological Study of People by Sax and Smith
The author states that he is presenting an ethnology and that, to do so, it is always necessary to journey to the site and observe the people. He also discusses his views of anthropology and finds that he is now siding with those who see anthropology not as a natural science in search of fixed and immutable laws but as an interpretive science in search of local logics, particular processes, and fluid systems of meaning. He also states that he is presenting an ethnosociological point of view in this book, finding this particularly valuable in a study of religion such as is seen in his discussion of the ritual of the Nandadevi. He wants to describe religion not on mystical or religious terms as such but as a sociological phenomenon, and he also sees a value in considering the worldview of the people he is studying in analyzing what their religion means to them. This analysis is an attempt to take this indigenous world view into account to determine the meaning of social and cultural forms.

Sax discusses in general terms what the sort of journey undertaken by the Nandadevi means, and he bases this on his study of other cultures and other ethnographic analyses. He finds that the act of journeying to powerful places and the performance of certain actions in those places provides the pilgrims with what are called "fruits," usually transformations of themselves or their life situations. Pilgrims may be cured of diseaseone thinks of th

    Some topics in this essay  
    Smith Sax | North India | Lourdes France | Royal Pilgrimage | Himalaya Sax | Sax Smith | Gavin Smith | Peru Smith | Nandadevi Dynasties | Peruvian Sierras | political social | smith examines | daily lives | community institutions | communities region | religious ritual | social institutions | central themes | science search | earlier periods |  
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