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Other People's Anthropologies

Other People's Anthropologies: Ethnographic Practice on the Margins

edited by Aleksandar Bošković
Copyright Date: 2010
Edition: 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 254
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  • Book Info
    Other People's Anthropologies
    Book Description:

    Anthropological practice has been dominated by the so-called "great" traditions (Anglo-American, French, and German). However, processes of decolonization, along with critical interrogation of these dominant narratives, have led to greater visibility of what used to be seen as peripheral scholarship. With contributions from leading anthropologists and social scientists from different countries and anthropological traditions, this volume gives voice to scholars outside these "great" traditions. It shows the immense variety of methodologies, training, and approaches that scholars from these regions bring to anthropology and the social sciences in general, thus enriching the disciplines in important ways at an age marked by multiculturalism, globalization, and transnationalism.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-020-3
    Subjects: Anthropology, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction: Other People’s Anthropologies
    (pp. 1-19)
    Aleksandar Bošković and Thomas Hylland Eriksen

    There were several formative moments in the creation of this book. First of all, the idea of organizing the workshop on “Other Anthropologies” at the 2004 EASA conference in Vienna was suggested by Thomas Hylland Eriksen, as we were walking through the High Street of Grahamstown (South Africa) on a windy Sunday morning in May 2003. The two day (10–11 September) and three session workshop in Vienna went extremely well, both in terms of attendance and the discussions. Many papers from this workshop (by Kuznetsov, Elchinova, Sugishita, and Guber) eventually made it into this book.

    This book cannot be...

  6. Chapter 1 Russian Anthropology: Old Traditions and New Tendencies
    (pp. 20-43)
    Anatoly M. Kuznetsov

    The interest in Russian (Soviet) ethnography and its affiliated disciplines was present in the West for a number of decades. There were publications in the US, the UK, and other countries (Gellner 1980; Clay 1995; Eidlitz 1985; Rethmann 1999; Skalník 1988). The articles by Russian authors in English began to appear more frequently. All of this gives one a possibility of understanding current conditions of ethnology and anthropology in Russia (Elfimov 1997; Slezkine 1991, 1996; Tishkov 1992). However, due to its lengthy development, the territorial extent, and the sheer quantity of scholars involved, Russian ethnology (or Soviet ethnography) is still...

  7. Chapter 2 Anthropology in the Netherlands: Past, Present, and Future
    (pp. 44-69)
    Han F. Vermeulen

    Anthropology in the Netherlands is a rich field of socio-cultural studies that has been practiced in the Netherlands and its overseas colonies from the 1770s and was institutionalized from the 1830s onward.¹ It is the result of a complex interaction between scholarly interests in peoples at a distance, several centuries of colonialism and international trade, as well as political decisions on the structuring of higher education and research in the Netherlands and its former colonies.² To a large extent, this historical background has shaped the way research is currently organized and funded.

    Seen from a Dutch colonial perspective, stretching over...

  8. Chapter 3 Sociocultural Anthropology in Bulgaria: Desired and Contested
    (pp. 70-82)
    Magdalena Elchinova

    Anthropology as an academic discipline appeared in Bulgaria after the fall of the communist regime in November 1989, and was commonly regarded as a by-product of the democratization of Bulgarian society. I have discussed elsewhere the ideological reasons for the absence of anthropology during the era of state socialism and the development instead of folklore study and ethnography (Elchinova 2002; 2002a). Such a process may seem typical for the former communist countries in Europe, which had their own ways and traditions in the discipline (Skalník 2002). Anthropology had never been a part of the academic list of disciplines in less...

  9. Chapter 4 Refacing Mt. Kenya or Excavating the Rift Valley? Anthropology in Kenya and the Question of Tradition
    (pp. 83-96)
    Mwenda Ntarangwi

    The development and growth of anthropology in Kenya can be linked to the colonial project of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. This relationship not only directed the line of inquiry (mostly a focus on “tribal” ways), but provided financial and administrative support necessary to meet the then needs of the colonial administration. However, anthropology as a taught subject in Kenya remained undeveloped until the mid 1980s—except for a handful of students trained in archaeology through the History Department at the University of Nairobi. Indeed, many who were trained in archaeology then studied under foreign or foreign-trained teachers....

  10. Chapter 5 Anthropology in Turkey: Impressions for an Overview
    (pp. 97-109)
    Zerrin G. Tandoğan

    This overview on Turkish social/cultural anthropology¹ is confined to the current status of the discipline, along with a brief political and historical background. Thus, it is by no means an exhaustive study aiming to cover all anthropologists and their work in and on Turkey. However, it can provide an insight for those who are not closely acquainted with the topic. Taking the venture of representation, I have to state that this essay is written from my perspective and it can neither claim a totally neutral position—nor deny the selectivity in perception. I will incorporate the views and assessments of...

  11. Chapter 6 Committed or Scientific? The Southern Whereabouts of Social Anthropology and Antropología Social in 1960–70 Argentina
    (pp. 110-124)
    Rosana Guber

    Since 1984, Social Anthropology has become the main branch of Argentine anthropology. Many anthropologists celebrate this position, first, as a reply to a fifty-year long intrusion of right wing ideology in academia and of conservative theory in anthropology, and second, as evidence of the anthropologists’ involvement into the fate of their social subjects. Thus, Argentine social anthropologists still depict Argentineantropología socialas the “committed” (Alberti 1962), “militant,” and “persecuted” discipline (Herrán 1990; Garbulsky 1991–92), the democratic orientation (Ratier & Ringuelet 1997), and as the “weak” and “marginal” branch of anthropology (Bartolomé 1980; Vessuri 1989). Thus,antropología socialhas...

  12. Chapter 7 Themes and Legacies: Anthropology’s Trajectories in Cameroon
    (pp. 125-141)
    Jude Fokwang

    Located between West and Central Africa, Cameroon offers a unique setting both geographically and culturally, serving as a powerful attraction to the ever growing number of scholars, especially anthropologists, who have interacted intimately with its amazing peoples and landscapes. Indeed, it is now a widely held opinion that Cameroon ranks among the few African countries that attract the most foreign anthropologists (Gausset 2004: 223). Often described as “Africa in miniature” owing to its exceptional geographies, ethnic diversity,¹ and intricate histories, Cameroon is also easily known as the source and origin of the Bantu group that migrated over a thousand years...

  13. Chapter 8 Japanese Anthropology and Desire for the West
    (pp. 142-155)
    Kaori Sugishita

    The disciplinary system of anthropology is geared to investigation of “different cultures/societies” in the world. As a logical extension, the system investigates its own diversification into “national anthropologies” (Gerholm and Hannerz 1982). It can be fairly argued that anthropology takes different forms in different “nations” as distinctive socio-cultural entities, not to mention as polities. However, it should be remembered that distinctiveness of a nation, society or culture is a product of geopolitics in which anthropology itself is involved, namely the differentiation of “we/here” from “others/there” (Gupta and Ferguson 1992). The investigation of national anthropologies plays along with the same politics,...

  14. Chapter 9 Anthropology in Unlikely Places: Yugoslav Ethnology Between the Past and the Future
    (pp. 156-168)
    Aleksandar Bošković

    Ethnology in the Balkans is the product of nineteenth century romanticism, coupled with the wish to understand the “Spirit of the People” (Volksgeist) and its mysterious doings (cf. Vermeulen 1995; Bratanić 1976; Kulišić 1961). Within the Balkans, and all of its obsession with ideology (Nixon 1997), my emphasis here is on anthropology in the former Yugoslavia—taking my examples from Serbia, but with some comparisons with Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia. I take Serbia as my primary example because it has had an interesting ethnological tradition since at least 1884, but also because it had an institutionalized ethnology before the Second...

  15. Chapter 10 The Otherness of Norwegian Anthropology
    (pp. 169-185)
    Thomas Hylland Eriksen

    It is debatable whether Norwegian anthropology merits inclusion in a book about “other” anthropologies. A criterion for “otherness”—the main criterion, one might say—is that the subject has, in the country in question, followed an itinerary separate from the Anglophone and French mainstream, building on theories and intellectual impulses unfamiliar to mainstream anthropology, or facing empirical challenges which give direction and shape to the work of local anthropologists as well as the domestic anthropological discourse, that make it in important ways distinct from dominant trends.

    A promising case could be made for the otherness of Norwegian anthropology before the...

  16. Chapter 11 Anthropology with No Guilt—A View from Brazil
    (pp. 186-198)
    Mariza G.S. Peirano

    A new divide seems to be going on in anthropology: while in the metropolitan centers it appears either doomed to extinction or bent into “studies” (feminist, cultural, science and technology, etc.), in other locations anthropology is well and thriving or, if not thriving, at least providing a positive and constructive edge or approach. Renowned scholars in the 1960s warned their colleagues that anthropology might become a science without an object because of the physical disappearance of whole populations following contact, and because of the rejection of anthropology by newly independent nations. Anthropology’s past sins and malpractices would lead former “natives”...

  17. Postscript: Developments in US Anthropology Since the 1980s, a Supplement: The Reality of Center-Margin Relations, To Be Sure, But Changing (and Hopeful) Affinities in These Relations
    (pp. 199-214)
    George E. Marcus

    This collection, in addition to theEthnosspecial issue published more than two decades ago, provides not only a valuable understanding of the diversity of anthropologies, but also how, wherever it has been institutionalized, anthropology has served as a screen or projection, from a marginalized cosmopolitan perspective, of the national histories and dramas in which it has grown up. This is no less true of the anthropologies of the so-called “center” (imperial anthropologies? those of the United States, Britain, and France) as of the anthropologies of the so-called “margins.” One of the advantages of understanding the histories of the anthropologies...

  18. Afterword: Anthropology’s Global Ecumene
    (pp. 215-230)
    Ulf Hannerz

    Sometime by the late 1970s, after I had seen a fair amount of the American and British varieties of anthropology, as well as a little of some others, and had been observing at close hand the commitments and peculiarities of Swedish anthropology in its first decade or so of serious growth, I suggested to a colleague with interests in intellectual history and the sociology of knowledge, Tomas Gerholm, that we should try and put together a journal issue on “The Shaping of National Anthropologies.” It turned out to be a somewhat complicated enterprise, but materialized in the journalEthnosa...

  19. Name Index
    (pp. 231-233)
  20. General Index
    (pp. 234-238)
  21. Back Matter
    (pp. 239-239)