Transcendent Individual argues for a reappraisal of the place of the individual in anthropolgical theory and ethnographic writing. A wealth of voices illustrate and inform the text, showing ways in which individuals creatively 'write', narrate and animate cultural and social life. This is an anthropology imbued with a liberal morality which is willing to make value judgements over and against culture in favour of individuality.
Rapport draws widely on ethnographic and theoretic materials bringing into the debate a range of voices, among them Nietzsche, Wilde, George Steiner, Richard Rorty, John Berger and Anthony Cohen. In doing so he approaches individuality in terms of a range of issues: biological integrity, consciousness, agency, democracy, discourse, globalism, knowledge and play.

chapter |11 pages


Towards a liberal and literary appreciation of the conscious and creative individual

chapter 1|18 pages

Writing Individual Knowledge and Personal Relations

Eschewing the paths to impersonalisation

chapter 2|13 pages

‘Going Meta’

Structure and creativity

chapter 3|21 pages

Individual Narratives

‘Writing’ as a mode of thought which gives meaning to experience

chapter 4|16 pages

Movement and Identity

Narrations of ‘home’ in a world in motion

chapter 6|13 pages

Writing Fieldnotes

On the conventionalities of note-taking and taking note, local and academic

chapter 7|35 pages

Domino Worlds

At home on the dominoes-table in Wanet

chapter 8|23 pages

Hard-sell or Mumbling “Right” Rudely

The hold of conversation: the power of discursive surfaces

chapter 9|16 pages

Discourse and Creativity

chapter 10|22 pages

Individual Morality

Between liberalism, anthropology and biology