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Paper 111: Everyone, the Human Actor: Recognisng the Non-Indexical Individual

Nigel Rapport

This article argues that the individual, as an actor with an identity over and above his or her membership in social groupings and cultural traditions, exists universally as an ontological reality. The recognition of this figure in anthropology is both an empirical and a moral necessity. The article suggests the moniker, Everyone, for the transcendent individual figure.
The course of the article, after the introduction of Everyone, is to admit the critiques that have appeared in social commentary of such a figure, critiques of cultural, institutional, real-politische and phenomenological kinds. The article suggests ripostes to these critiques, ripostes which would invest Everyone with an ontological and a moral existence that is anthropologically persuasive and accord with the ethnographic record. Everyone is the individual within the role-player, the actor who has the capacity to ‘pass’ as member of any social grouping, any cultural tradition.

The article concludes with a discussion concerning the way ahead for anthropology were Everyone to become disciplinarily legitimated and be given free passage into social accounting.

Working Paper 111, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Series Working Paper Series, July(2008)

Additional Information

 This working paper was delivered at a SOCSI Social Theory Forum Seminar held in the Glamorgan Building on the 18th June 2008