Existential anthropology

Events, exigencies and effects

Michael Jackson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportBook

182 Citations (Scopus)


Inspired by existential thought, but using ethnographic methods, Jackson explores a variety of compelling topics, including 9/11, episodes from the war in Sierra Leone and its aftermath, the marginalization of indigenous Australians, the application of new technologies, mundane forms of ritualization, the magical use of language, the sociality of violence, the prose of suffering, and the discourse of human rights. Throughout this compelling work, Jackson demonstrates that existentialism, far from being a philosophy of individual being, enables us to explore issues of social existence and coexistence in new ways, and to theorise events as the sites of a dynamic interplay between the finite possibilities of the situations in which human beings find themselves and the capacities they yet possess for creating viable forms of social life.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherBerghahn Books
Number of pages216
ISBN (Electronic)9781782381969
ISBN (Print)9781571814760
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

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    Jackson, M. (2005). Existential anthropology: Events, exigencies and effects. Oxford, UK: Berghahn Books.