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Christopher Roberts

In The British Courts and Extra-territoriality in Japan, 1859-1899, Christopher Roberts reviews the Courts' day-to-day workings and examines the nature of, and fluctuations in, their case-load. By examining the Courts’ case-load, it shows that, whilst some complaints that earlier commentators have made about the system’s structure and the Consuls’ lack of legal training and poor judgments may have been justified initially, the British authorities responded to them so that, over time, the Courts—and the practitioners within the system—came to reflect an increasing professionalism and sophistication. Using both a quantitative and a qualitative analysis of the reported cases, the author concludes that accusations of an anti-Japanese, pro-British bias on the part of the Courts are overstated.
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Christopher Roberts

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Christopher Roberts

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Christopher Roberts

Abstract

Lévi-Strauss’s scientism positions structuralism midway between information theory and semiotics, a limitation that appears most clearly in his treatment of ritual. At specific junctures Lévi-Strauss could have taken his research more towards semiotics, but opted to hew closely to the information paradigm. Phenomena of ritual repetition, redundancy and the extreme case of sacrificial destruction can only be treated as instances of inefficiency and unrecuperated waste from the perspective of information theory. After exploring the factors that led Lévi-Strauss to dismiss ritual as a legitimate topic of structuralist analysis, this essay retools analytical resources developed from Mauss to Bataille that Lévi-Strauss ignored. As binary oppositions and conceptual exclusions give way to immanent networks of relational structures, the paradigmatically excluded topics of ritual and sacrifice help to bridge the gap between the structuralist approaches that Lévi-Strauss developed and other resources in semiotic theory.

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Christopher Roberts

Seitz, Christopher R. and Wall, Robert W.