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One Discipline, Four Ways: British, German, French, and American Anthropology (Halle Lectures) Hardcover – May 16, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0226038285 ISBN-10: 0226038289 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Halle Lectures
  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 16, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226038289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226038285
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,553,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"This is an absorbing and much needed volume that has considerable potential as a teaching tool. It is the first cross national review of history of anthropology in its Euro-American experience. This is an excellent source for anyone who might want to know how anthropology arose in different settings, where it has been, and where it might be going."
(George Marcus George Marcus 2004-09-21)

"The history of anthropology is the central arena in which debates about theory are clarified and thrashed out. One Discipline, Four Ways explores the development of anthropology's richest national traditions, and will advance the development of a truly cosmopolitan discipline."
(Adam Kuper Adam Kuper 2005-01-11)

Choice "Outstanding Academic Title" 2006
(Choice 2006-01-01)

"A substantial resource (with extensive bibliographies and further reading references) for students and enthusiasts of anthropology today."
(Emilie Bickerton Times Literary Supplement)

"The book's originality is immediately apparent: this is the first work to present compact and readable analyses of these rich national traditions side by side. This approach not only allows for illuminating comparisons, it also widens the scope of inquiry by including anthropological traditions usually ignored in general histories of the discipline. . . . A significant and original volume that contributes to our understanding of anthropology's past, and possibly its future."
(Andrew D. Evans Journal of Anthropological Research)

"A monumental contribution to understanding some key moments in the shaping of anthropology, as well as points where it might proceed in the future. Also, it is presented here as a series of stories, in the best narrative tradition of scholars who know how to address a general public. . . . A true jewel of the anthropological scholarship--provocative for practitioners and informative for students."
(Aleksander Boskovic Anthropos)

From the Inside Flap

One Discipline, Four Ways offers the first book-length introduction to the history of each of the four major traditions in anthropology-British, German, French, and American. The result of lectures given by distinguished anthropologists Fredrik Barth, Andre Gingrich, Robert Parkin, and Sydel Silverman to mark the foundation of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany, this volume not only traces the development of each tradition but considers their impact on one another and assesses their future potentials.

Moving from Edward Burnett Tylor all the way through the development of modern fieldwork, Barth reveals the repressive tendencies that prevented Britain from developing a variety of anthropological practices until the late 1960s. Gingrich, meanwhile, articulates the development of anthropology in German, paying particular attention to the Nazi period, of which surprisingly little analysis has been offered until now. Parkin then assesses the French tradition and, in particular, its separation of theory and ethnographic practice. Finally, Silverman traces the formative influence of Franz Boas, the expansion of the discipline after World War II, and the "fault lines" and promises of contemporary anthropology in the United States.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Julie Clare on December 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is very helpful in describing the four different schools of (primarily sociocultural) anthropology. I'm a grad student in public anthro who majored in international relations in college, so I really liked the overview of the discipline that it provided. Unless you have a strong interest in Germany, you can probably skip that section; however, the chapters on French anthropology offer an insightful contrast to the British and American traditions. Frederik Barth (Boston U) writes about British anthro in a detailed yet clear manner. Sydel Silverman (who was married to the late and influential Eric Wolf) also does a good job discussing the American school. I would have liked to have read more about contemporary topics/anthropologists and about applied/public anthropology. However, this book is meant to be a historical overview, so I don't really hold the lack of recent topics against them. Even my boyfriend, who is a grad student in international relations, liked this book. Recommended for anthro students as well as those who would like to learn more about the subject and prominent anthropologists.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ever on December 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very convoluted when it comes to anthropological theory. I had to get it for my undergraduate theory class and it was no help at all. The authors go on several tangents that barely ever relate back to the original point that was trying to be made. On top of that, the structure for the topics are very broad. They are not concise at all and the authors use too many examples to explain one point. With all this said, the one thing this book does accomplish is that it shows why anthropological theory has had almost no effect on society over the years. No one can say anything without being criticized by every single theorist that ever lived (even the dead ones). On a brighter note, I will say it would be helpful for grad students who need this level of deep analysis for the work they have to do but this is in no way an introduction to the material.
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