Negotiating Personal Autonomy: Communication and Personhood in East Greenland

1st Edition

Sophie Elixhauser

Published March 14, 2018
Reference - 250 Pages - 34 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9781138068551 - CAT# Y332433
Series: Arctic Worlds

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Negotiating Personal Autonomy offers a detailed ethnographic examination of personal autonomy and social life in East Greenland.

Examining verbal and non-verbal communication in interpersonal encounters, Elixhauser argues that social life in the region is characterized by relationships based upon a particular care to respect other people’s personal autonomy. Exploring this high valuation of personal autonomy, she asserts that a person in East Greenland is a highly permeable entity that is neither bounded by the body nor even necessarily human. In so doing, she also puts forward a new approach to the anthropological study of communication.

An important addition to the corpus of ethnographic literature about the people of East Greenland, Elixhauser‘s work will be of interest to scholars of the Arctic and the North, Greenland, social and cultural anthropology, and human geography. Her conclusion that, in East Greenland, the ‘inner’ self cannot be separated from the ‘public’ persona will also be of interest to scholars working on the self across the humanities and social sciences.

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