“the explanation of ideology”

so, i finally got my hands on “the explanation of ideology” by emmanuel todd. flipped through it today and it looks pretty interesting, altho a little heavy on the marxism for my tastes (french academics!). this passage really caught my eye [pgs. 134-36]: “The paradoxical process by which a taboo [inbreeding] becomes an endogamous preference […]

family types in eastern europe, 1500-1900

speaking of viscous populations, large parts of eastern europe, beyond the hajnal line, have been characterized by extended families for a very long time, in contrast to northwestern “core” europeans. here from karl kaser a map (probably roughly) showing both the limits of bipartite manorialism in europe (it didn’t extend into eastern europe) as well […]

asabiyyah

asabiyyah. it’s a word that was used by ibn khaldun in his work on history entitled Muqaddimah or Prolegomena (“Introduction” — here’s a version on google books). asabiyyah often gets translated simply as “group solidarity” or “social cohesion” or “group feeling” which has led many a westerner to think that it can be applied to […]

forget it, jake. it’s the middle east.

the western world doesn’t understand middle easterners (or any of the peoples who live in the greater arabized region) — we really don’t. the headlines about iraq from this past week illustrate this — in technicolor: sectarianism. yeah, right. as if the issues between the peoples in iraq are theological ones. (just like they were/are […]

“pshe-pshe” and misunder- standing afghanistan

here’s a really interesting looking new book!: An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict “Mike Martin’s oral history of Helmand underscores the absolute imperative of understanding the highly local, personal, and non-ideological nature of internal conflict in much of the ‘third’ world. “‘An Intimate War’ tells the story of the last thirty-four […]

kindreds, communes, feuds, and mating patterns in medieval france

when it comes to clan-based societies vs. nation-states and all that, the reigning paradigm is that peoples resort to relying on their extended families/clans/tribes for all sorts of things like justice and economic support in the absence of a (strong?) state, but if they somehow miraculously acquire a state, people quickly drop the connections with […]

where do emmanuel todd’s family types come from?

from long-term mating patterns. there. i said it! (~_^) just to remind everybody — emmanuel todd is a french historian/anthropologist/demographer/sociologist/political scientist who, amongst other things, has (more or less correctly, imho) noticed a connection between family types (nuclear, extended, clan, etc.) and ideology (capitalism, communism, christianity, islam, etc.). see his The Explanation of Ideology: Family […]