Readings for a History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition

Readings for a History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition

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Edited by Paul A. Erickson and Liam D. Murphy
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2013
World Rights
608 Pages
ISBN 9781442606562
Published Apr 2013
ISBN 9781442607682
Published Jul 2013
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442606586
Published Apr 2013
Full purchase $59.95
This comprehensive anthology offers over 40 readings that are critical to the understanding of anthropological theory and the development of anthropology as an academic discipline. The fourth edition maintains a strong focus on the "four-field" roots of the discipline in North America but has been reorganized with a new section on twenty-first-century theory, including coverage of postcolonial and public anthropology. New key terms and introductions accompany each reading and a revamped glossary makes the book more student-friendly. Used on its own, or together with the overview text A History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition, this anthology offers a flexible and unrivaled introduction to anthropological theory that reflects not only the history but also the changing nature of the discipline today.

For additional resources, visit the "Teaching Theory" page at

Paul A. Erickson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.

Liam D. Murphy is a Professor in the Anthropology Department at California State University, Sacramento.

Part One: The Early History of Anthropological Theory


1. Bourgeois and Proletarians
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
2. The Science of Culture
Edward Burnett Tylor
3. Ethnical Periods
Lewis Henry Morgan
4. The Organic Analogy Reconsidered
Herbert Spencer
5. General Summary and Conclusion [The Descent of Man]
Charles Darwin
6. [Part] III [Civilization and Its Discontents]
Sigmund Freud
7. Introduction [The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life]
Émile Durkheim
8. The Sociology of Charismatic Authority
Max Weber
9. Nature of the Linguistic Sign and Synchronic and Diachronic Law
Ferdinand de Saussure

Part Two: The Earlier Twentieth Century


10. The Methods of Ethnology
Franz Boas
11. Conclusion [Primitive Society]
Robert Lowie
12. What Anthropology Is About
Alfred Louis Kroeber
13. Introduction [Coming of Age in Samoa]
Margaret Mead
14. The Individual and the Pattern of Culture
Ruth Benedict
15. Structuralism and Ecology
Claude Lévi-Strauss
16. Structuralism in Social Anthropology
Edmund Leach
17. Introduction [Islands of History]
Marshall Sahlins
18. Social Structure
Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown
19. The Subject, Method, and Scope of This Inquiry [Argonauts of the Western Pacific]
Bronislaw Malinowski
20. Rituals of Rebellion in South-East Africa
Max Gluckman

Part Three: The Later Twentieth Century


21. The Unconscious Patterning of Behavior in Society
Edward Sapir
22. Energy and Tools
Leslie White
23. The Epistemology of Cultural Materialism
Marvin Harris
24. Symbols in Ndembu Ritual
Victor Turner
25. Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture
Clifford Geertz
26. Woman the Gatherer: Male Bias in Anthropology
Sally Slocum
27. Language, Gender, and Power: An Anthropological Review
Susan Gal
28. Knowing the Oriental
Edward W. Said
29. Globalization and Postcolonial States
Akhil Gupta and Aradhana Sharma
30. Introduction [Europe and the People Without History]
Eric R. Wolf
31. The Birth of the Asylum
Michel Foucault
32. The Production and Reproduction of Legitimate Language
Pierre Bourdieu
33. Partial Truths
James Clifford
34. A Crisis of Representation in the Human Sciences
George E. Marcus and Michael M.J. Fischer
35. Theory in Anthropology since the Sixties
Sherry B. Ortner
36. A Critical-Interpretive Approach in Medical Anthropology: Rituals and Routines of Discipline and Dissent
Margaret Lock and Nancy Sheper-Hughes

Part Four: The Early Twenty-First Century


37. Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy
Arjun Appadurai
38. 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
George E. Marcus
39. Anthropology and The Bell Curve
Jonathan Marks
40. Counterinsurgency as a Cultural System
David B. Edwards
41. Introduction [Other People's Anthropologies]
Alexandar Boškovic and Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Erickson and Murphy's fourth edition of Readings for a History of Anthropological Theory provides an outstanding introduction to key analysts and themes. The overview sections, chapter introductions, identification of key words, and study questions will help students contextualize the material. Both instructors and students will find this a useful and valuable collection.

A.H. Peter Castro, Syracuse University

While no single book can ever encapsulate entirely the broad scope of anthropology, Erickson and Murphy have provided the best and most comprehensive set of readings available, including a wide, yet balanced, range of theoretical perspectives. Importantly, the editors provide well-written intellectual and historical context for each set of readings, demonstrating how each of the featured scholars fits into the larger anthropological discourse. In addition, each chapter finishes with thoughtful study questions as well as a list of suggested readings. Students of the history of anthropological theory will find this text to be a powerful learning tool.

Barbara E. Erickson, California State University, Fullerton