Cover image for A history of anthropology
A history of anthropology
Eriksen, Thomas Hylland.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; Sterling, Va. : Pluto Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
viii, 207 pages ; 22 cm.
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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GN17 .E75 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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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 19th century, exploring major figures such as Morgan and Tylor, it goes on to provide a comprehensive overview of the discipline in the 20th century.

Author Notes

Finn Sivert Nielsen is a senior lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Tromso.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

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

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vi
1. Beginningsp. 1
2. Victorians, Germans and a Frenchmanp. 16
3. Four Founding Fathersp. 36
4. Expansion and Institutionalisationp. 54
5. Forms of Changep. 76
6. The Power of Symbolsp. 96
7. Questioning Authorityp. 111
8. The End of Modernism?p. 135
9. Reconstructionsp. 157
Bibliographyp. 179
Indexp. 192