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A History of Anthropology by Prof. Thomas Hylland Eriksen

By Prof. Thomas Hylland Eriksen

This is often the 1st paintings to hide the full background 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 resembling 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 valuable concentration of the ebook is on issues attribute of submit 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, resembling the debates on alliance and descent types 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 heritage of a massive highbrow self-discipline, in an enticing and thought-provoking narrative that would entice scholars of the self-discipline around the globe.

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What is called ‘classical sociology’ in textbooks and undergraduate courses, usually refers to the oeuvre of a handful of (mostly German or French) theorists, who produced most of their work between the 1850s and the First World War. The leading lights of the first wave were Marx, Comte and Spencer, though the latter two are nearly forgotten today. The second generation included Ferdinand Tönnies (1855–1936), Emile Durkheim (1858–1917), Georg Simmel (1858–1918) and Max Weber (1864–1920). Like Marx, all of these authors are still read for the intrinsic interest of their work (rather than as expressions of an historical Zeitgeist).

A research programme for the study of human prehistory was established that mimicked the spread and movement of languages in much the same way as evolutionism mimicked biology. This programme, diffusionism, studied the origin and dissemination of cultural traits. The challenge posed by these concrete historians to the abstract histories of evolutionism, made diffusionism a truly radical innovation around the turn of the century. In the USA and Britain, evolutionism remained dominant, but scholars were becoming increasingly specialised, focusing on particular subfields, such as kinship, religion, magic or law.

But there was also a silent acknowledgement of the fact that the evolutionists, from Morgan to Tylor, had after all established some of the basic parameters of the discipline. The transition to a modern, largely non-evolutionist social science occurred in different ways in the three countries. In Great Britain, there was a radical rupture with the past. Radcliffe-Brown and Malinowski proclaimed an intellectual revolution and criticised some of their teachers severely. In the USA and France, continuity appeared to be greater.

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