By Stanley Barrett
Stanley R. Barrett's Anthropology has lengthy been a most suitable sourcebook for college kids, offering a complete evaluate of either idea and technique within the self-discipline. during this up-to-date moment variation, Barrett's dialogue of the origins and evolution of anthropology is still, augmented via sections addressing fresh alterations and ongoing questions within the field.
The moment variation of Anthropology provides very important new fabric on questions of tradition as opposed to energy, Max Weber's suggestion, the possibility of utilized anthropology, and the increase of public anthropology, whereas in brief bearing on the anthropology of globalization. As within the earlier variation, Barrett continues to be dedicated to exploring the influence of postmodernism at the perform and concept of anthropology, positing that it's a formless and finally short-lived process. together with case reports to illustrate real-world purposes of the theories mentioned, Barrett's Anthropology is still a vital textual content for college students and academics of anthropology.
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Extra info for Anthropology: A Student's Guide to Theory and Method
Yet even this is changing as I write. What we are currently witnessing is a new style of anthropology, one that eschews generalizations and abstractions, and opts instead to dig deeply into individual cases – the approach long preferred by historians. Let me conclude with two or three observations. First, there is considerably more overlap in these several disciplines than most of their practitioners are prepared to admit. Second, there is a tendency towards what can appropriately be labelled disciplinary imperialism.
Such an approach may elucidate group behaviour, but obviously it cannot explain individual variation within the group. In recent years the Durkheimian anti-reductionist stance has become much less popular even among British-trained anthropologists. Bailey (1969), for example, rejected the procedure whereby group interaction and institutionalized norms were considered a sufficient basis to explain social life. His alternative was a more fluid and dynamic model of society, one which viewed the individual as innovative, an active agent helping to shape an ever-changing social structure.
That probably is correct, but the rejection of racism in this sense is only indirect. Very few anthropologists have launched direct assaults by actually conducting ethnographic studies of racism. While most textbooks in cultural anthropology include at least a short section on racism, they rarely move beyond the obligatory statement that all human beings belong to a single species, that there is no scientific basis for ranking different population groups on a scale of superiority and inferiority.