Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology

Paperback Anthropology, Culture, and Society

By (author) Thomas Hylland Eriksen

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  • Publisher: PLUTO PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 213mm x 25mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2001
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0745317723
  • ISBN 13: 9780745317724
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: index
  • Sales rank: 200,571

Product description

Ranging from the Pacific islands to the Arctic north and from small villages to modern nation states, this concise introduction to social and cultural anthropology reveals the rich global variation in social life and culture. The text also provides a clear overview of anthropology, focusing on central topics such as kinship, ethnicity, ritual and political systems, offering a wealth of examples that demonstrate the enormous scope of anthropology and the importance of a comparative perspective. Unlike previous texts on the subject, "Small Places, Large Issues" broadens the study to incorporate the anthropology of complex modern societies, thus providing a unique key text for all students of social and cultural anthropology. Using reviews of key monographs to illustrate his argument, Eriksen's text remains an established introductory text in anthropology. This new edition is updated throughout and includes a new chapter on the history of anthropology. It also shows clearly and comprehensively, through numerous new examples, why classic studies of small-scale societies are relevant for the study of complex phenomena such as nationalism, consumption and the Internet. In this way, the book bridges an often perceived gap between "classic" and "contemporary" anthropology.

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Author information

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. He is the author of numerous books on anthropological issues, including Ethnicity and Nationalism, also available from Pluto Press.

Review quote

Praise for the First Edition:  'Fills a gap and fills it in an exemplary fashion ... Students at all levels will learn a lot from it, and, perhaps more importantly, be provoked to think more.' --Journal of Area Studies

Table of contents

1. Social Anthropology: Comparison and Context: The Origins of Social Anthropology 2. The Course of Inquiry: Why We Believe We Know Something; Field Work; Interpretation and Analysis; Anthropology as Politics 3. The Social Person: The Societal Character of Humans; Social Statuses and Relationships, Roles 4. Social Organisation: Social Control and Socialisation, The Household, The Village 5. Individual and Society, Social Organisation and Systems, Society and Individuals, Structures and Processes. 6. Why is Kinship Important, Kinship as Society, Forms of Kin-Reckoning 7. Marriage and Kinship: Exchange of Women, Descent and Alliance, some Further Reflections on Kinship 8. Social Differentiation, 1. Gender and Age. 9. Social Differentiation, 2. Caste and Class 10 Politics Without a State, What is Politics, Integration and Conflict in Kinship Societies, Political Dynamics and Change, Politics as Strategic Action. 11. Economy and Society, Reciprocity and Gift Economies, Economics and Morality: Economic Spheres, Economic Systems, Economy and Power. 12. Nature and Society, Interrelationships between Social and Ecological Factors, Technology, Ecology and Social Organisation. 13. Religion and Ritual, the Supernatural, Ritual, Religion in Practise, Some Perspectives on Morality 14. Modes of Thought, The Social Construction of Knowledge, Classification 15. Social and Cultural Change, The Spread of Capitalism, Encounters between Cultures, Anthropology on its Way Home 16. Ethnicity, Relationships Between Groups, Identity and Organisation 17. Nationalism and Minorities, Nationalism, Minorities and the State. 18. The Local and the Global, Towards a Global Culture, Differences and Similarities Bibliography Subject Index Name Index