Fredrik Barth

Fredrik Barth : An Intellectual Biography

4.28 (7 ratings by Goodreads)

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Fredrik Barth is one of the towering figures of twentieth-century anthropology. This intellectual history traces the development of Barth's ideas and explores the substance of his contributions. In an accessible style, Thomas Hylland Eriksen's biographical study reveals the magic of ethnography to professional anthropologists and non-practitioners alike.

Exploring his six decade career, it follows Barth from early ecological studies in Pakistan, to political studies in Iran, to groundbreaking fieldwork in Norway, New Guinea, Bali and Bhutan. Eriksen argues that Barth's voracious appetite for fieldwork holds the key to understanding his remarkable intellectual development and the insights it produced. The book raises many of the same questions that emerge from Barth's own work - of unity and diversity, of culture and relativism, of art and science.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 133.35 x 215.9 x 22.86mm | 453.59g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745335365
  • 9780745335360

Table of contents


Part I: A man of action

1. Watching and wandering

2. The power and the glory

3. Nomadic freedom

4. Entrepreneurship

5. The global theorist

6. Ethnic groups and boundaries

Part II: An anthropology of knowledge

7. Baktaman vibrations

8. A new complexity

9. Turbulent times

10. Cultural complexity

11. The guru and the conjurer

12. Between art and science

Fredrik Barth's published work



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Review quote

'The book is rich with discussions of Barth's work, thought, and activities on the world stage of anthropology. Thomas Hylland Eriksen has given us a fine intellectual and professional portrait of a first-class anthropologist and a credit to the breed' -- History of Anthropology Newsletter 'A timely and essential guide ... Eriksen is probably the person best situated to write this admirable intellectual biography and accomplishes the task with elegance and balance' -- American Anthropologist 'Fredrik Barth was an extraordinary ethnographer who did path-breaking fieldwork in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia and New Guinea. This book tells Barth's story with sympathy, insight and great verve' -- Adam Kuper, Centennial Professor, London School of Economics
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About Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and former President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists. He is the author of numerous classics of anthropology, including Small Places, Large Issues - 4th Edition (Pluto, 2015) and What is Anthropology? - 2nd Edition (Pluto, 2017).
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Rating details

7 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
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2 14% (1)
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