Imagining the Alterity: The Position of the Other in the Classic Sociology and Anthropology


Maximiliano Korstanje
University of Palermo, Buenos Aires Argentina & CERS, University of Leeds, UK

Adrian Scribano
CONICET, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Series: Anthropology Research and Developments
BISAC: SOC026000

From its inception, the capitalist system has been mainly oriented to the economic and limitary expansion. The adventures –if not challenges- to index over-seas territories was not only fraught of dangers and mysteries but also by the needs of colonizing other cultures, landscapes and territories (economies) to legitimate the European order inside and outside. The colonial authority, which was cemented on a much deeper technological revolution, developed, adopted and imposed ideological discourses for the local native to internalize the so-called inferiority. The importance of the figure of alterity in social science occupied a central position for the colonial expansion, without mentioning the decolonization process. For West, the figure of the “Other”, above all the Non-Western Other” was an object of curiosity, entertainment and fear.

This book deals with 6 chapters which are organized in two parts. The first part deals with the problem of the “Other” from the lens of sociology (in the ink of Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim and William Thomas) while the second focuses on the problems of anthropology to situate the natives as a mirror of pre-modern Europe (in Bronislaw Malinowski, Claude Levi-Strauss & Marc Auge). In a moment when the world goes through a sentiment of extreme radicalization, where the “Other” is considered an enemy –or at the best as “an undesired guest” living within-, the present editorial project, at least it is the main objective of the authors, interrogates furtherly on the conflictive figure of “Otherness” in the epistemological pillars of Western humanism and social sciences.

Each chapter may be read independently but –once lumped together- they share a common-thread argumentation which traces back on the problem of alterity for the Western rationality -from colonialism to the post-modern capitalism-. Doubtless, the founding parents of anthropology and sociology offer a fertile ground to expand the current understanding of past and present times.



Table of Contents

Part 1: Adrian Scribano

Introduction by Adrian Scribano

Chapter 1. The Other as a Radical Intersubjectivity in Karl Marx

Chapter 2. Durkheim’s Vision of the Individual and Corporations

Chapter 3. Desire, Person, and the Other in William Isaac Thomas

Part 2: Maximiliano E Korstanje

Introduction by Maximiliano E. Korstanje

Chapter 4. The Colonial Period and the Archetype of the Noble Savage: B Malinowski

Chapter 5. Claude Levi Strauss and the Alterity

Chapter 6. Marc Augé and the COVID-19: The Enemy Living Within

About the Authors


Additional information