The demographic situation in France. Population report Various fields of research increasingly use the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions EU-SILC database because of its large country coverage, the availability of harmonized socioeconomic measures, and the possibility of merging partners.
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Its measures of the number of children risk being biased, however, because the questionnaire does not directly ask about the number of children ever born to a woman or man, and only those children who live in the parental household are observed. Europeans were fascinated hy the concept. What distinguished the two was thought to he ration-ality. And yet modernist philosophers insisted that West-ern morality owed too much to Christian morality, which was itself irrational and tahoo-based.
Modernist ethics required rational foundations which could claim universality and owed nothing to particularistic tradition or Christian revelation. Kant grounded ethics in a tran-scendental rationality detached from cultural particu-larities. Others, like Frazer, focused attention on the cul-tural particularities of other times and places, defining all others with reference to the modern and the suhor-dinating them to it.
In The Golden Bough , writing of reason hattling through centuries of superstition, Fra-zer devoted hundreds of pages to the taboos of others, and in Folk-Lore in the Old Testament he made clear that the Bible itself was grounded in taboo. Mod-ernist ethics were articulated through a discourse of con-trast with the morality of the not-modern other and dis-tingiuished from Christian morality through a discourse which equated the latter with the morality of the not-modern other.
By implication, Christian interdictions were not inherent in universal morality hut an unnecessary and unhealthy imposition. Whereas Christians insisted that God was founda-tional to morality, modernist discourses stressed that so-cial others who did not worship God were nonetheless moral. The Chinese, for example, were moral: they hon-ored their parents, their ancestors, their teachers.
Paruvendu N°115 du 03/04/19
Their leaders were scholars, instructors in morality, and athe-ists. Clearly God was unnecessary to morality. Rather than needing missionaries, he argued, such people should send missionaries to America p. Almost any social others will do, hut the most common location for the narrative is on some South Pacific island. In assessing this symholism, what is important is not the objective properties of social others in a geographical space but their properties as they appear in the dis-courses of modernity.
While narrative may locate the missionary po-sition in the South Pacific, it is a South Pacific of the Western imagination. It is douhtless hecause light-skinned Polynesians, for racial reasons, occupy a more prominent place in the Western sexual imagination than do dark-skinned Melanesians that the narrative com-monly refers to Polynesia or, more hroadly, to the South Pacific instead of to Trohriand Melanesia.
American film based on this short story were suhse-quently produced. Pivotal to its extraordinary grip on American viewers was the theme of the repressed mis-sionary hringing sin to an exuherant, life-filled people. We had to make it a sin, not only to commit adultery. Her nakedness was a challenge, her heauty a danger, her way of life an ahomination and. You cbeck to see wbo bas alcobol on bis breatb. Eacb week you band me a list of people to be expelled from cburcb. Am I a sin-ner? And I was beautiful.
Leslie Huben tbreatened to witbbold medicine from dying Indians un-less tbey would submit to bis direction. His wife Andy lost ber faitb and offered berself to a soldier of fortune.
No prayer is unaccompanied by a lustful tbougbt, an overbeard profanity, someone scratcbing bis crotcb, or some otber desanctifying accompaniment. It is missionaries of the modern secular imagination rather than fiesh-and-bloodm issionaries tbat inform tbis narrative. Sin is a tbird component of tbe narrative. At tbe time of tbe discovery of tbe New World, tbe concept of sin was at tbe beart of Western refiection on tbe buman condition. Tbeology, sermons, tbe confessional, art, and literature united in instructing people to interpret tbem-selves tbrougb a vocabulary of sin. Tbe encounter witb social otbers wbo lacked a sense of sin and guilt was electrifying.
Wben in Villegaignon led Huguenot colonists to Brazil to civilize and evangelize tbe natives, Ronsard reproacbed bim for trying to cbange a people so.
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Live happy, you people without pain, without cares. Here we see tbemes repeatedly elaborated in modernist dis-courses on social otbers. Nudity and innocence were linked. Lacking any sense of sin, tbese people were tbougbt to enjoy a bappiness tbat escaped tbe guilt-rid-den European. Tbe image of people witbout guilt was a powerful and moving symbol to be exploited in dis-courses designed to remove guilt and sin. Saxon and Protestant culture. Upside down, bent over double, end-on-end, back-to-front.
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There are other viewpoints in the world besides Christian, man-wife Goldschmidt is not alone in positing an antithesis be-tween anthropologist and missionary cf. Stipe ; Bonsen, Marks, and Miedema ; Stocking ;. Van der Geest If missionaries are identified by an idea of sin, as Goldschmidt says, an-thropologists historically have been identified by their emphasis on cultural relativism and respect for cultural difference. It follows that if the key anthropological vir-tue is respect, then the primary sin is to evidence a lack of respect by crossing boundaries with a message imply-ing moral judgment—in a word, to be ethnocentric.
One cannot but wonder why this is true. Typically the missionary is referred to as a symbol of ethnocentrism, as in the following quote from an anthropology text Cohen and Eames :.
The premises of missionary work are directly oppo-site to those of anthropology. As cultural relativists, anthropologists begin with the assumption that any cultural system is as good or bad as any other. Missionaries begin with the ethnocentric view that. Anthropologieal silence about missionaries in Afriean ethnog-raphy has been documented by van der Geest and Kirby Missionaries in the Pa-cific are known to have urinated and defecated on native shrines to demonstrate.
My queries of ethnohistorians failed to elicit knowledge of such a practice. Clearly the meaning of the account lies not in history but in symbol and allegory. Many anthropologists historically have been interested in the missionary pri-marily as a symbol and thus have been less likely to study missionaries than to refer to them in socializing students to relativistic values or warning that such val-ues are threatened. I should qualify these comments by noting that, while one is hard-pressed to find systematic examination by anthropologists of missionary realities prior to the late s for a notable exception see Rapoport , there is now a sizable body of anthropological writings on mis-sionaries and indigenous responses to them e.
Whereas historically anthropological discourses tended to allude to missionaries only briefiy, often for symbolic ends, anthropologists have increasingly chosen to make them the object of careful, sustained research.
Even here, of course, scholarly texts are underdetermined by the data, with standard symbolism sometimes being invoked to bring meaning to the data. Yet only 4 of the 13 essays in this volume are solidly anthropological Canfield ; Stipe , and 3 of these provide rich ethnographic description which repeatedly fails to support the symbolic rhetoric of the other chapters. What missionaries actually are fre-quently diverges as markedly from the missionary of the modernist secular imagination as it does from the mis-sionary of the devout religious imagination.
But when anthropologists engage in careful anthropological study of missionaries, the results cumulatively tend toward understandings resistant to summary in standard stereotypes. Many of the sources cited above are similarly of high quality. The message of the missionary-position narrative is that the morality of the missionary is ethnocentric. How much more ethnocentric could one be than to insist that only one position in intercourse is permissible? Cbristian church. Absolutely notbing outside of. If Cbristian morality is summarized in tbe image of a missionary forbidding as sinful any sexual position in intercourse but one, tbe image is clearly one of morality as taboo.
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Hale tells Malama the queen that she must renounce her husband because be is also her brotber. Sbe is puzzled over sucb a moral judgment, but tben comprehension dawns pp. I know. Not a little kapu like certain fish, but a big kapu, like not entering tbe temple if you are un-clean. All gods bave big and little kapus. So Kelolo [my busband] is a big kapu and he must go. I understand.
What, after all, is the ban on all positions in intercourse except one but a kapu, a taboo? In a taboo-based etbic, ethical interdictions do not make sense; they are not available universally to moral intuitions and recogni-tions. Instead they are imposed by raw assertion and au-thority. Lacking universal grounds, taboo-based etbics are, above all, etbnocentric.
Tbis is wbat tbe missionary-position story asserts about. Cbristian morality.