Cover

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Title Page, About the Series, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

This book is based on field research that was fully supported by the Bernstein Israeli Research Trust of the University of Manchester, England, in the 1960s. The Bernstein project was anthropological, concerned to describe and analyze the nature of the absorption of immigrants in Israel. ...

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Prologue

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pp. xiii-xviii

This book has been too long in the making, at least by any reasonably prudential standards. It began in the early 1970s as an article-length, extended case study centering on an attempt to introduce secret balloting into the direct democracy of Timem, an Israeli kibbutz I researched in the mid-1960s. ...

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1. Dualism and Anthropology

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pp. 1-16

Though this book is firmly rooted in anthropological fieldwork, it is well outside the mold of standard ethnographic monography. The book is more directly preoccupied with the study of human existence in general than with the particular ethnographic problems arising from the field data. ...

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2. The Kibbutz

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pp. 17-29

This study takes as its ethnographic point of departure a set of two incidents that occurred in Timem, an Israeli kibbutz in which I did intensive field research.1 Together the incidents composed a formal debate over a move to change the rule of voting in Timem's General Assembly, from open to secret ballot. ...

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3. Democratic Procedure and Secret Ballot

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pp. 30-50

The occasion for my argument is a dispute about democratic procedure that took place in Kibbutz Timem. Like all kibbutzim, Timem is dedicated to direct democracy. Indeed, for understanding the case to follow, it is worth mentioning that the ideal process of arriving at community decisions in Timem may be said to surpass even direct democracy— ...

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4. Conflict between the Generations versus Social Differentiation: The Empirical Picture

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pp. 51-74

Generational conflict is a salient theme in the sociology of the kibbutz (see, for example, Talmon-Garber 1972: 32; Spiro 1965: 11 ff.; Rosner 1982: chap. 8; Rosner et al. 1978; E. Cohen and Rosner 1983). Judging from my own field data, it is also a common focus of discussion and an oft-cited social problem within the kibbutzim themselves. ...

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5. Conflict between the Generations as a Normative Expectation

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pp. 75-85

Although in its focus on public affairs, and as a public affair, the contest on secret balloting was highly political, its politics were distinctly ambiguous. By that I mean, it was not at all clear in whose separate interest was a standing rule of a secret ballot, if indeed anyone stood indubitably to gain by it. ...

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6. Conflict between the Generations as a Metaphor

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pp. 86-117

I have argued that the debate on secret balloting was assimilated categorically to the contest between the generations in Timem. So far I have identified two of the objective conditions of this turn of events. First, with an eye to who was pro and who contra in the public arena, the debate did indeed simulate a dispute between the generations. ...

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7. Conflict between the Generations as a Primordial Choice: The Paradigm of Genesis

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pp. 118-147

The main ethnographical question at issue in this book is why Timem's members failed to pursue an explanation in terms of heterogenization, choosing instead to define the debate in the empirically less adequate terms of generational conflict. ...

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8. Primordial Choice and "The Universal": Kibbutz Familism and the Sexual Division of Labor

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pp. 148-162

In the preceding chapter, in conjunction with an intensive reading of the myth of Genesis, I argued that self-identification through the biblical notion of generation is a primordial choice for Timem's members. As such, though it served to define the situation, it did not move the members as if it were a cause or, even, reason of their conduct. ...

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9. The Historical Link between Genesis and Timem's Story: Rousseau as Biblical Redactor

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pp. 163-191

With the preceding chapter, my ethnographic argument is essentially complete. The crux of the argument is that "conflict between the generations" was selected to define the situation for reasons basically of neither functional nor metaphorical design, but as a primordial choice, an act as creative and self-fashioning as it is determined by choices preceding it. ...

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10. Two Kinds of Rationality

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pp. 192-217

The myth of Genesis is the invisible foundation without which the visible form of life I call Kibbutz Timem would not appear. The profound way in which Timem's social dynamic expresses the myth is not coincidental but culturally essential. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 218-224

Beginning with a discussion of mind-body dualism in social anthropology, and predicating an ontology other than the one received in Western thought, an ontology of basic ambiguity instead of things in themselves, I have set out to forge a nondualist anthropology. ...

Notes

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pp. 225-237

Bibliography

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pp. 238-246

Index

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pp. 247-252

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About the Author

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T. M. S. Evens is professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He did his graduate training at the University of California at Los Angeles and at Manchester University, where he took his Ph.D. ...