A History of Anthropology By Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Finn Sivert Nielsen
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 anthropologists 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 or Jews–also receives consideration.
The principal focus of the book is on 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 problems 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.