The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

Rethinking Latin American Social and Cultural Systems

Joint Research Coordinator KIMURA Hideo (Special Guest Researcher)

Reserch Theme List


In anthropological research on Latin America, numerous sociocultural phenomena have been explained in terms of concepts like institutions, structures of authority, and forms and spoken of in terms of firmly established entities. For example, for social phenomena, we have cargo system, ceque system, communal systems of indigenous peoples, and populism systems and in terms of culture, the Chabin forms or Cuzco forms. However, among these are quite a few instances in which we have to doubt the value of assigning the appellation “system” to something, or where there is absolutely no guarantee that the item in question is even stable. This study proposes to empirically research phenomena like these which until now have been uncritically accepted, in terms of new systems theory arising from research on such things as immune systems, nervous systems or complex systems, so as well as in the academic fields of ethnology, history, and aesthetics to thoroughly reinvestigate the situation. By doing so, while undertaking theoretical investigations into systems theory, we should be able to rectify the theoretical course for Latin American research which prior to now has probably been headed in the wrong direction.