Konstantinos Retsikas. Becoming: An Anthropological Approach to Understandings of the Person in Java. London and New York, NY: Anthem Press, 2012. 192 pp. Ward Keeler How readers respond to this book will depend on the preferences they bring to their reading: how they feel about the work of Deleuze and Guattari, and what they look for in anthropological writing. Retsikas presents what he learned about ethnicity, self, space, kinship, healing, and sorcery in East Java, among people of mixed Javanese and Madurese origins, as a demonstration of how fertile Deleuze and Guattari's work can be when applied to ethnographic material.1 Apart from a certain number of passages at the beginning and end of the book, that ethnographic material appears only in the background, as the foundation upon which Retsikas elaborates his analyses. The gist of Deleuze and Guattari's work might be summarized as a critique of the long-standing penchant in the Western intellectual tradition of looking "beneath" phenomena to find underlying patterns, regularities, and principles. In place of such "levels" of analysis, some identified as more "superficial" and others as more "profound," Deleuze and Guattari propose an approach that singles out no privileged or generative or explanatory element
Indonesia – Southeast Asia Program [Cornell University]
Published: Jun 6, 2013
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