A History of Anthropology

A History of Anthropology

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This is the first book to cover the entire history of social and cultural anthropology in a single volume. Beginning with a summary of the discipline in the nineteenth century, exploring major figures such as Morgan and Tylor, it goes on to provide a comprehensive overview of the discipline in the twentieth century. The bulk of the book is devoted to themes and controversies characteristic of post First World War anthropology, from structural functionalism via structuralism to hermeneutics, cultural ecology, discourse analysis and, most recently, globalization and postmodernism. The authors emphasise throughout the need to see changes in the discipline in a wider social, political and intellectual context. This is a timely, concise history of a major discipline, in an engaging and thought-provoking narrative, that will appeal to students of anthropology worldwide.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 216 pages
  • 140.7 x 221.5 x 19.1mm | 426.38g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745313906
  • 9780745313900

About Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. He is the author of numerous books, including Ethnicity and Nationalism, A History of Anthropology, Small Places, Large Issues, Tyranny of the Moment and Globalisation, all available from Pluto Press. Finn Sivert Nielsen is a senior lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Copenhagen. He has published on fieldwork, Russia and the USSR and general anthropology.show more

Review quote

"In this concise yet well-rounded history of anthropology, Eriksen (Univ. of Oslo) and Nielsen (Univ. of Tromso) provide historical portraits of the scholars, events, and thoughts that have shaped this academic discipline concerned with mostly human affairs. They reveal that the history of anthropology is not only forged out of its attentions toward and relationships with non-Western societies, but that it also reflects the intellectual, social, and political histories that define the Western experience. Beginning with the European Enlightenment and Age of Discovery that foregrounded European imperialism and colonialism, the authors locate developments in anthropological methods and theoretical orientations as historical artifacts of emerging social relations on a global scale shaped by inequalities of power. Paradigmatic shifts in anthropological thought and practice are grounded in current events and worldviews. Importantly, the essential anthropologists and their contributions are profiled in a succinct and clear prose of surprising depth that traverses a history of anthropology into the present. The result is an evenhanded narrative that captures the major and many of the not-so-major developments in anthropology. Especially useful for advanced students of the discipline, but as a history on its own, this book offers an insightful journey to faraway places and back home again. All levels and collections." -- S. Ferzacca, University of Lethbridge, in CHOICEshow more

Table of contents

From the Enlightenment to Tylor; the sociologists; Boas and Malinowski - beyond evolutionism; structural functionalism; structuralism and agency; from neo-evolutionism to neo-Marxism; the interpretative turn; poststructuralism, globalization and deconstruction; the complex present.show more

Rating details

105 ratings
3.54 out of 5 stars
5 16% (17)
4 37% (39)
3 32% (34)
2 13% (14)
1 1% (1)
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