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good Anthropology books

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  • 11-03-2010 9:18pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 50 ✭✭


    Hi I was just wondering if you good folks could recommend any important books on anthropology that you would consider essential reading. I have read bits and pieces but would like to expand my knowledge of the subject.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,810 ✭✭✭Seren_


    I wouldn't know an awful lot about anthropology myself, but there's a series of books called A Very Short Introduction to..., and there's one about social anthropology :) If you're thinking of theorists and stuff like that, Malinowski and Levi-Strauss would be good people to read up on.

    I hope that helps, there'll probably be boardsies way better able to answer this than me :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,483 ✭✭✭Ostrom


    Mr Fonnen wrote: »
    Hi I was just wondering if you good folks could recommend any important books on anthropology that you would consider essential reading. I have read bits and pieces but would like to expand my knowledge of the subject.

    Anything in particular? Social, cultural, physical? Theory or method?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 50 ✭✭Mr Fonnen


    Cultural and social, I really just want to hit up a few key texts to get into the subject.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,483 ✭✭✭Ostrom


    Small Places, Large Issues: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology, Thomas Hylland Eriksen. This was my first undergrad text way back when, and is a great starter. Chapters are organized thematically (Local Organization, Kinship, Marriage, Production and Technology etc).

    I always found the classics very enjoyable - Morgan's Ancient Society is worth a look to see where the big debates branched out from. I'm not sure if it has been reprinted recently, but I would think so. Early 20th century ethnographers are staples of any course - Evan's Pritchard's Magic, Witchcraft and Oracles Among the Azande is a popular one, but very very boring :) Bateson and Mead's Balinese Character is much more readable. Durkheim's Elementary Forms of Religious Life is another. There are some good recent pop-ethnograhies showing up, such as Sudhir Venkatesh's Gang Leader for a Day. He also published a more extensive volume than the penguin paperback titled Off the Books, so if you can get the latter, you should - same case and location, just more detail. You might also enjoy Loic Wacquants Body and Soul, a study of golden gloves boxers and boxing tournaments where he trained and fought whilst writing. From sociology, there is Foot-Whyte's Street Corner Society, which is a little more technical, but no less enjoyable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,038 ✭✭✭sponsoredwalk


    Here is a link to a book which drew enormous influence from Morgan's Ancient Society. I haven't read Morgan but I would assume his work to be highly detailed & maybe a bit too much for a first read [speculation]. The author makes great pains to explain Morgans ideas & quotes many passages throughout.

    The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/index.htm

    This piece is, without a doubt, a must read & should really be required reading for all. I remember checking about a year ago, though I'll admit not thoroughally enough, that the claims the book makes are still undisputed & have only been elaborated on since it's publication.

    I had to have my copy shipped over from America, I've never seen it in a shop but I highly recommend either buying it or getting pen and paper & copying down the many intriguing one-liners from the online version.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,483 ✭✭✭Ostrom


    Here is a link to a book which drew enormous influence from Morgan's Ancient Society. I haven't read Morgan but I would assume his work to be highly detailed & maybe a bit too much for a first read [speculation]. The author makes great pains to explain Morgans ideas & quotes many passages throughout.

    The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/index.htm

    This piece is, without a doubt, a must read & should really be required reading for all. I remember checking about a year ago, though I'll admit not thoroughally enough, that the claims the book makes are still undisputed & have only been elaborated on since it's publication.

    I had to have my copy shipped over from America, I've never seen it in a shop but I highly recommend either buying it or getting pen and paper & copying down the many intriguing one-liners from the online version.

    Aye, that's Engels work - I wouldn't say it has gone undisputed though. Marx also discusses Morgan in the Ethnological Notebooks. That site should host pre-capitalist economic formations, which is similar in scope, and a little more readable. You can find the full text of this in Grundrisse also


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