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Abstract

In recent decades, ethnographic research in Brazil has been influenced by a model termed perspectivism that inverts the equation between nature (as a given) and culture (as variable). Focusing on the interaction between humans and animals, this model attempts to generalize about thought processes across indigenous Amazonia, resulting in the proposition that nature is the variable whereas culture remains the same. The model's generality has resulted in a remarkable similarity of ethnographic interpretations, giving the false impression that the Amazon is a homogeneous culture area. This critique of perspectivism highlights its theoretical and empirical flaws and points out that the recurrent use of certain laden expressions can have adverse consequences for indigenous peoples.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145950
2012-10-21
2024-06-24
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-anthro-092611-145950
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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