Anthropology in the Public Arena: Historical and by Jeremy MacClancy

By Jeremy MacClancy

This articulate and authoritative survey of either the preferred and educational tendencies in anthropology demonstrates the extensive relevance of anthropological wisdom and argues for a extra inclusive belief of the self-discipline that engages the general public imagination.

  • Demonstrates the evolving social contexts of British anthropological thought and perform from the mid-19th century
  • Highlights the significance of well known anthropology in forming and maintaining the pro discipline
  • Explores the earlier and current cross-fertilization of anthropologists, scientists and well-known literary figures
  • Assesses the pioneering efforts on-line to increase the function of anthropology in public debates
  • Appeals to a broader readership attracted to cultural and highbrow history

Chapter 1 Beating the limits of self-discipline? (pages 1–57):
Chapter 2 John Layard, “Study of a Failure” (pages 58–80):
Chapter three Geoffrey Gorer, “Britain's Margaret Mead” (pages 81–109):
Chapter four Robert Graves (pages 110–134):
Chapter five Mass commentary (pages 135–157):
Chapter 6 The Literary picture of the Anthropologist (pages 158–183):
Chapter 7 Parting reviews (pages 184–192):

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Example text

At the same time we should recognize the initial influence of anthropologists such as Gorer, a unique British proponent of Culture and Personality, whose books were available to British PoWs in Axis prison camps (Goody 1991: min. 18). (Indeed the role of “the barbed-wire university” in the formation of Goody’s cohort has been strangely underplayed [Gillies 2011]). Though many were interested in Freud, as a dominant intellectual figure of the time, they usually excluded his approach from their analyses.

They had to keep mum about their own political opinions if they did not wish to endanger their own prospects or queer the pitch for their students or successors. As James remembers, “An anthropologist who turned out to be anything more than a mild social embarrassment could scarcely have been tolerated; and thus, for anthropology to continue at all, appearances of co-operation had to be kept up” ( James 1973: 43). It seems this self-imposed silence was a price the politically inclined were prepared to pay.

They may be considered the more anthropologically inclined within a loose but extensive network of intellectuals and writers who broached broader evolutionary themes, from the beginning of the universe to present times. To questioning Victorians, science was thought especially important, a new mode to truth, able to challenge religious certainties. Thus those who spoke on behalf of science won both cultural authority and intellectual prestige. Their words had weight and a broad readership, because rising levels of literacy, the development of the railroads, and an industrial revolution in publishing methods enabled the production of series of cheap books, whose market stretched from the middlebrow to sectors of the working class (Lightman 2007: ch.

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