Anthropology: A Student's Guide to Theory and Method by Stanley Barrett

By Stanley Barrett

Stanley R. Barrett's Anthropology has lengthy been a best sourcebook for college students, delivering a accomplished assessment of either idea and approach within the self-discipline. during this up to date moment version, Barrett's dialogue of the origins and evolution of anthropology is still, augmented through sections addressing fresh alterations and ongoing questions within the field.

The moment version of Anthropology provides very important new fabric on questions of tradition as opposed to strength, Max Weber's proposal, the possibility of utilized anthropology, and the increase of public anthropology, whereas in short referring to the anthropology of globalization. As within the earlier version, Barrett continues to be devoted to exploring the influence of postmodernism at the perform and idea of anthropology, positing that it's a formless and eventually short-lived procedure. together with case reviews to illustrate real-world functions of the theories mentioned, Barrett's Anthropology is still a vital textual content for college kids and academics of anthropology.

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Anthropology: A Student's Guide to Theory and Method

Stanley R. Barrett's Anthropology has lengthy been a prime sourcebook for college kids, supplying a finished assessment of either thought and strategy within the self-discipline. during this up to date moment variation, Barrett's dialogue of the origins and evolution of anthropology continues to be, augmented by way of sections addressing fresh adjustments and ongoing questions within the box.

Additional info for Anthropology: A Student's Guide to Theory and Method

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Yet in these several examples it must not be forgotten that these people are also Canadians; their ethnic origins are only one part of their identity. This leads to a potentially critical observation. A century or two ago, when people lived more isolated lives in pockets around the globe, it may have made more sense to evoke culture as the explanatory tool. In today’s world, however, the pace of geographical mobility and the impact of mass communications have eroded the integrity of individual cultures and thrown people of various ethnic backgrounds together as never before.

A Historical Overview 19 7. culture versus power During the past two decades, a quite different and potentially much more devastating attack against the culture concept has sent shock waves through the discipline. The accusation is that culture, as portrayed by anthropologists, has played a key role in generating and sustaining Western domination. Culture allegedly is an ahistorical concept which exaggerates uniqueness and difference, portrays such difference as inferiority, and promotes a sense of stability and homogeneity while ignoring conflict, hierarchy, and change and obscuring power imbalances between the West and the non-West.

Durkheim, whose writings have inspired both anthropologists and sociologists, claimed that comparative sociology is not merely a branch of sociology; it is sociology. Radcliffe-Brown, who was a disciple of Durkheim, advocated that social anthropology be renamed comparative sociology. As evidence of the cross-fertilization of the two disciplines, there is now a subfield in sociology called the sociology of culture (Hall and Neitz 1993). Goody, a prominent British social anthropologist, has written: ‘a sociological “theory” which is distinct from a “theory” of social anthropology is conceivable only to the extent that zoological theory differs from sheep A Historical Overview 35 and goats; the base must be common for both’ (1969:10).

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