By Prof. Thomas Hylland Eriksen
This can be the 1st paintings to hide the full historical past of social and cultural anthropology in one quantity. The authors supply a precis of the self-discipline within the 19th century, from the cultural theories of Herder, Morgna, and Tylor to the usually missed contributions of the German students of the interval. The paintings of early-twentieth century anthropologists equivalent to Boas and Malinowski within the US and Britain, and the sociology of Durkheim and Mauss in France, is tested. The ambiguous courting among anthropology and nationwide cultures--many of the discipline's founders have been migrants or Jews--also gets attention.
The primary concentration of the booklet is on subject matters attribute of publish First-World-War anthropology, from structural functionalism , through structuralism, to hermeneutics, cultural ecology, and discourse research. every one significant anthropologist is supplied with a tablet biography, and key controversies arecovered, equivalent to the debates on alliance and descent versions of kinship, the puzzle of totmism, the issues of neo-Marxism and cultural ecology and the present battles over representations of the ''Other'' and deconstruction. This quantity offers a well timed, concise, and finished historical past of an immense highbrow self-discipline, in an attractive and thought-provoking narrative that might attract scholars of the self-discipline around the globe.
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Additional resources for A History of Anthropology
Most societies have elements of both. Moreover, the distinction does more than posit a contrast between ‘ourselves’ and ‘the other’. Both Durkheim and many of his successors, right up to Louis Dumont (see Chapter 6), were intrigued by the complexities of traditional Indian society, and maintained that its caste system expressed an advanced form of organic complexity. Durkheim’s last, and perhaps greatest work, Les Formes élémentaires de la vie réligieuse (1915; The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, 1995) was published just two years before his death.
But the influence from Herder, with 28 A History of Anthropology its emphasis on the unique and local, along with the relativism we have noted in Bastian’s work, counteracted this tendency, and when evolutionism was challenged at the turn of the century, this tradition again came to the fore. Scholars like Friedrich Rätzel (1844–1904), Fritz Graebner (1877–1936), Leo Frobenius (1873–1938) and Wilhelm Schmidt (1869–1954) followed the lead of Herder (and Bastian), emphasising the uniqueness of each people’s cultural heritage.
Malinowski differed from Boas, however, in his reluctance to engage in any form of historical reconstruction. With Radcliffe-Brown he waged an anti-evolutionary – and anti-historical – campaign that was so successful that the subject was more or less banned in British anthropology for nearly half a century. Malinowski called himself a functionalist, but his views differed fundamentally from the rival programme of structural-functionalism. In Malinowski’s view, the individual was the foundation of society.