Dreaming and the Self
New Perspectives on Subjectivity, Identity, and Emotion
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Anthropological perspectives on dreams around the world.
Drawing upon original fieldwork, cultural theory, and psychological research, Dreaming and the Self offers new approaches to the self—particularly to subjectivity, identity, and emotion. Through an investigation of dreams in various cultures, the contributors explore how people as subjects actually experience cultural life, how they forge identities out of their cultural and historical experiences, how the cultural and historical worlds in which they live shape even their bodily habits and responses, and how the person as agent responds to and imaginatively recreates his or her culture. These essays demonstrate that dreams reflect tellingly on topics of great currency in anthropology, such as how people personally manage postcolonialism, transnationalism, and migration. Actual dreams are examined, including dreams of Samoan young people about race; of a Haitian priestess about vodou deities; of a Pakistani about spiritual teachers; of psychoanalytic clients in Los Angeles and San Diego about cars, witches, and sex; and of a young Balinese mother about a neglected dog.
Jeannette Marie Mageo is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Washington State University and the editor of several books, including most recently Power and the Self. She is also the author of Theorizing Self in Samoa: Emotions, Genders, and Sexualities.