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The Comfort of People DANIEL MILLER University College London “The Comfort of People reveals, in both technicolour and shades of grey, the ordinariness, the drama, the simplicity and the complexity of networks as people live out lives in the shadow of a serious diagnosis… These stories need to be read by all those working with dying people.” Dr Ros Taylor, Clinical Director, Hospice UK At the end of life, our comfort lies mainly in relationships. In this book, Daniel Miller, one of the world’s leading anthropologists, examines the social worlds of people suffering from terminal or long-term illness. Threading together a series of personal stories, based on interviews conducted with patients of an English hospice, Miller draws out the implications of these narratives for our understanding of community, friendship, and kinship, but also loneliness and isolation. This is a book about people’s lives, not their deaths: about the hospice patients rather than the hospice. It focuses on the comfort given by friends, carers and relatives through both face-to-face relations and, increasingly, online communication. Miller asks whether the loneliness and isolation he uncovers is the result of a decline of English patterns of socializing, or their continuation. This moving and deeply humane book combines warmth and sharp observation with anthropological insight and practical suggestions for the use of media by the hospice. It will be of interest not only to students and scholars of anthropology, sociology, social policy and media and cultural studies, but also to healthcare professionals and, indeed, to anyone who would like to know more about the role of relationships in the final stage of our lives. 197 x 130mm | 240 pages | September 2017 (UK), November 2017 (US) HB | 978-1-5095-2431-0 | £50.00 | $64.95 | €65.90 PB | 978-1-5095-2432-7 | £15.99 | $22.95 | €20.90 ebook available

Webcam DANIEL MILLER & JOLYNNA SINANAN Both of University College London “My grandmother used to shout into the phone to make sure she was heard across the country. Now, grandmothers and babies enjoy each other on webcams. This fascinating book shows how far-flung people use Skype to maintain and extend their networks. Friends become like kin; kin become like friends.” Barry Wellman, NetLab Director and co-author, Networked 229 x 152mm | 224 pages | 2014 HB | 978-0-7456-7146-8 | £50.00| $64.95 | €65.90 PB | 978-0-7456-7147-5 | £15.99 | $22.95 | €20.90 ebook available

For other titles by Daniel Miller published by polity, visit our website at www.politybooks.com

Doctors and Healers TOBIE NATHAN & ISABELLE STENGERS Université Paris-VIII; Université Libre de Bruxelles Translated by Stephen Muecke We think we know what healers do: they build on patients’ irrational beliefs and treat them in a “symbolic” way. If they get results, it’s thanks to their capacity to listen, rather than any influence on a clinical level. At the same time, we also think we know what modern medicine is: a highly technical and rational process, but one that scarcely listens to patients at all. In this book, ethnopsychiatrist Tobie Nathan and philosopher Isabelle Stengers argue that this commonly posed opposition between traditional and modern medicine is misleading. They show instead that healers are interesting precisely because they don’t listen to patients, using techniques of “divination” rather than “diagnosis”. Healers construct genuine therapeutic strategies by identifying the origins of symptoms in external forces, outside of the mind of the sufferer, and in this regard African healers are virtuosos. Though it may claim otherwise, modern medicine, for its part, is characterized by empiricism rather than rationality. What appears to be the pursuit of rationality is ultimately only a means to dismiss and exclude other forms of treatment. 216 x 138mm | 206 pages | June 2018 (UK), July 2018 (US) HB | 978-1-5095-2185-2 | £50.00 | $64.95 | €65.90 PB | 978-1-5095-2186-9 | £15.99 | $22.95 | €20.90 ebook available

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Media Anthropology for the Digital Age ANNA CRISTINA PERTIERRA Western Sydney University “An extremely useful elucidation of the specific contribution of anthropologists in our understanding of the social and cultural significance of media and digital technologies around the world. Anna Pertierra has done the field a huge service by providing a clear and comprehensive overview of media anthropology.” Ien Ang, Western Sydney University The field of anthropology took a long time to discover the significance of media in modern culture. In this important book, Anna Pertierra tells the story of how anthropology became a central part of the global study of media and communication. She recounts the rise of anthropological studies of media, the discovery of digital cultures, and the embrace of ethnographic methods by media scholars. Bringing together longstanding debates in sociocultural anthropology with recent innovations in digital cultural research, this book explains how anthropology fits into the story and study of media in the contemporary world. 216 x 138mm | 192 pages | December 2017 (UK), January 2018 (US) HB | 978-1-5095-0843-3 | £50.00 | $64.95 | €65.90 PB | 978-1-5095-0844-0 | £15.99 | $22.95 | €20.90 ebook available

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