Council on Southeast Asia Studies Publications
Yale University

Anarchic Solidarity: Autonomy, Equality and Fellowship in Southeast Asia
Edited by Thomas Gibson and Kenneth Sillander

This collection marks an epochal leap in anthropological studies of egalitarianism. Rather than engage in the usual quixotic and rather pointless debate over whether it is possible to find a truly "egalitarian society," the authors start from the much more sensible assumption that we must begin by considering egalitarianism as a form of moral commitment, and conclude that those places where that moral commitment is strongest are precisely those places where "society," as we usually conceive it, can least be said to exist. This volume should become a model for future research.
- David Graeber, Reader in Anthropology, University of London

How do anarchic, egalitarian societies maintain their shape and values in a world of hierarchy? Here in Anarchic Solidarity, Gibson and Sillander have brought together the most experienced and sophisticated scholars to brilliantly illuminate the social, economic, geographic and ritual foundations and practices that underwrite individual autonomy and coordination without hierarchy. Unsurpassed and bound to be influential far beyond regional studies.
- James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology, Yale University

Table of Contents

- Introduction. Thomas Gibson and Kenneth Sillander

1. A theoretical overview of anarchic solidarity
Charles Macdonald

2. Sources of sociality in a cosmological frame: Chewong, Peninsular Malaysia
Signe Howell

3. Cooperative autonomy: social solidarity among the Batek of Malaysia
Kirk Endicott

4. Childhood, familiarity and social life among East Semai
Robert Dentan

5. Kinship and fellowship among the Palawan
Charles Macdonald

6. Kinship and the dialectics of autonomy and solidarity among the Bentian of Borneo
Kenneth Sillander

7. Egalitarianism and ranking in the Malay world
Geoffrey Benjamin

8. Encapsulation and solidarity in northeast Borneo: Punan of the Malinau area
Lars Kaskija

9. Mending nets of relatedness: words and gifts as sources of solidarity in a Sama Dilaut fishing community
Clifford Sather

10. Nicknames at work and at play: sociality and social cohesion among the Cuyonon of the Philippines
James Eder

11. Egalitarian islands in a predatory sea
Thomas Gibson

Forthcoming spring/early summer 2011
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