Idology in Transcultural Perspective: Anthropological Investigations of Popular Idolatry

Aoyagi Hiroshi (Editor), Patrick W Galbraith (Editor), Mateja Kovacic (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook or reportpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This edited volume expands on what Aoyagi Hiroshi intended in the first decade of the new millennium to establish as a subfield of symbolic anthropology called “idology.” It brings together case studies of popular idolatry in Japan, but goes further to provide a transcultural perspective to guide anthropological investigations in different places and times. In proposing an integrated paradigm for the growing body of literature on idols, the volume redirects recurrent questions to more fundamental points of sociocultural inquiry. Contributions from scholars conducting ethnographic fieldwork, as well as those engaged in theoretical and historical analyses, facilitate comparative reading and critical thought. Exceeding a narrow focus on human idols, the chapters shed new light on virtual idols and YouTubers, cartoon characters and voices, robot idols and cybernetic systems. Science and technology studies thus comes together with theories of animation and anthropological work on life in more-than-human worlds.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages321
ISBN (Electronic)9783030826772
ISBN (Print)9783030826765
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Idology
  • Popular Idolatry
  • Japanese idols
  • Kpop
  • Material Culture
  • Pop Culture
  • Idolatry


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