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A History of Anthropology

Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Finn Sivert Nielsen, Rawat Pub, 2008, pbk, viii, 208 p, ISBN : 8131602168, $22.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Contents: Preface. 1. Beginnings. 2. Victorians, Germans and a Frenchman. 3. Four founding fathers. 4. Expansion and institutionalisation. 5. Forms of change. 6. The power of symbols. 7. Questioning authority. 8. The end of modernism? 9. Reconstructions. Bibliography. Index.

"This is the first work to cover the entire history of social and cultural anthropology in a single volume. The authors provide a summary of the discipline in the nineteenth century, from the cultural theories of Herder, Morgan and Tylor to the often neglected contributions of the German scholars of the period. The work of early twentieth-century anthropologist such as Boas and Malinowski in the US and Britain, and the sociology of Durkheim and Mauss in France, is examined. The ambiguous relationship between anthropology and national cultures-- many of the discipline's founders were migrants of Jews--also receives considerations.

The principal focus of this book is on the themes characteristic of Post-First World War anthropology, from structural functionalism, via structuralism, to hermeneutics, cultural ecology and discourse analysis. Each major anthropologist is provided with a capsule biography, and key controversies are covered, such as the debates on alliance and descent models of kinship, the puzzle of totemism, the problem of neo-Marxism and cultural ecology and the current battles over representations of 'the other' and deconstruction. This volume provides a timely, concise and comprehensive history of a major intellectual discipline, in an engaging and thought-provoking narrative that will appeal to students of the discipline worldwide."

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