“A provocative and problematizing look at the history and present state of anthropology in the United States, a century after the ‘sacred bundle’ was first questioned by its patron saint and uniquely preeminent practitioner, Franz Boas. Revolutionary in editorial intent, diversely dialogical in the essays themselves, this volume should be read and pondered by all those interested in the future of anthropology and its role in general intellectual discourse.”—George W. Stocking Jr., Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago
“Anthropology is perhaps the last of the great nineteenth-century conglomerate disciplines still for the most part organizationally intact. Long after natural history, moral philosophy, philology, and political economy have dissolved into their specialized successors, it has remained a diffuse assemblage of ethnology, human biology, comparative linguistics, and prehistory, held together mainly by the vested interests, sunk costs, and administrative habits of academia, and by a romantic image of comprehensive scholarship. In this intense, precise, and sharply written book, six leading anthropologists from a variety of subfields question both the logic and the effectiveness of such sentimental ‘holism’ and produce a powerful critique of their profession's mythology.”—Clifford Geertz, Institute for Advanced Study
About the Author
Daniel A. Segal is Jean M. Pitzer Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Historical Studies at Pitzer College. He is a coauthor of Jane Austen and the Fiction of Culture: An Essay on the Narration of Social Realities and editor of Crossing Cultures: Essays in the Displacement of Western Civilization. He is a former editor of the journal Cultural Anthropology (1995–2001).
Sylvia J. Yanagisako is Professor and former Chair of Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford University. She is the author of Producing Culture and Capital: Family Firms in Italy and coeditor of Naturalizing Power: Essays in Feminist Cultural Analysis.