Open Journal Systems

Socio-Cultural Anthropology Today — An Overview

Aleksandar Boskovic


The paper offers a powerful deconstruction of the idea of the 'crisis' of anthropology, linking it with the fashionable way of thinking at the turn of the millennium, but very little support in practice. It is argued that this notion of 'crisis' can only be applicable to some segments of the 'Anglo-American' anthropology, not to the discipline as a whole. The paper also includes a presentation of some major theoretical debates and terminological issues present in the 19th and 20th centuries, with special focus on functionalism. One of the points made is that some of the historically popular criticisms of the discipline (for its role in the colonialism, for example) should be contextualised, as the anthropologists' role in this endeavour was actually quite limited. The paper presents five crucial sets of themes where contemporary anthropology is moving today, and where some of the most interesting research is being published. They are: the issues of identity; research on the body; consumption and material culture; studies of space and hybridity; and media and popular culture. Finally, it is claimed that social and cultural anthropology moved a long way since 1911, reaching the point where it can serve as a powerful tool for understanding all the complexities of the contemporary world.


history of anthropology; anthropological theory; anthropology: contemporary aspects

Texto completo:



AMSELLE, Jean-Loup. 2001. Branchements: Anthropologie de l'université des cultures. Paris: Flammarion.

AMSELLE, Jean-Loup. 2002. 'Globalization and the Future of Anthropology.' African Affairs 101:213-229.

BARNARD, Alan. 2000. History and Theory in Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

BARTH, Fredrik. 2002. 'An Anthropology of Knowledge.' Current Anthropology 43(1):1-18.

BOSKOVIC, Aleksandar. 1998. 'Postmodernizam, antropologija i zdrav razum.' Sociologija XL(2):211-242.

BOSKOVIC, Aleksandar. 2004. 'Rivers, W. H. R.' In Vered Amit (ed.) Biographical Dictionary of Social and Cultural Anthropology, pp. 430-431. London and New York: Routledge.

CARDOSO DE OLIVEIRA, Roberto. 2000. "Peripheral Anthropologies 'versus' Central Anthropologies.' Journal of Latin American Anthropology 4(2)-5(1): 10-30.

CLIFFORD, James, and George E. Marcus (eds.). 1986. Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of ethnography. Berkeley: University of California Press.

ERIKSEN, Thomas Hylland. 2002. Ethnicity and Nationalism: Anthropological perspectives. 2nd, revised edition. London: Pluto Press.

ERIKSEN, Thomas Hylland. 2003. "Social Anthropology". Typescript for the Encyclopedia of Social Sciences (Adam and Jessica Kuper, eds.).

ERIKSEN, Thomas Hylland, and Finn Sievert Nielsen. 2001. A History of Anthropology. London: Pluto Press.

EVANS-PRITCHARD, E. E. 1950. Social Anthropology. An inaugural lecture delivered before the University of Oxford on 4th February 1948. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

GEERTZ, Clifford. 2001. "Life among the Anthros". The New York Review of Books, 8 February 2001:18-22.

GEERTZ, Clifford. 2002. "An Inconstant Profession: The anthropological life in interesting times". Annual Review of Anthropology 31:1-19.

GELLNER, Ernest. 1992. Postmodernism, Reason, and Religion. London: Routledge.

GRIMSHAW, Anna, and Keith Hart. 1994. "Anthropology and the Crisis of the Intellectuals". Critique of Anthropology 14(3):227-261.

HAMMOND-TOOKE, W. D. 1997. Imperfect Interpreters: South Africa's Anthropologists, 1920-1990. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand Press.

HANNERZ, Ulf. 2002. "Anthropology". In Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Social & Behavioral Sciences, pp. 513-519. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

HART, Keith. 2000. The Memory Bank: Money in an unequal world. London: Profile Books.

HART, Keith. 2003. "British Social Anthropology's Nationalist Project". Anthropology Today 19(6): 3-4.

HERZFELD, Michael. 2001. Anthropology: Theoretical practice in culture and society. Oxford: UNESCO and Blackwell.

HOLY, Ladislav, and Milan STUCHLIK. 1983. Actions, Norms and Representations: Foundations of anthropological inquiry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

KHAZANOV, Anatoly M. 1995. "Anthropologists in the Midst of Ethnic Conflicts". Anthropology Today 12(2):5-8.

KROTZ, Esteban. 1991. "A Panoramic View of Recent Mexican Anthropology". Current Anthropology 32(2):183-188.

KUPER, Adam. 1996. Anthropology and Anthropologists: The modern British school. 3rd revised ed. London: Routledge.

LATOUR, Bruno. 1993. We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

LATOUR, Bruno. 1999. Pandora's Hope: Essays on the reality of science studies. Cambridge (MA): Harvard University Press.

LEACH, Edmund. 1982. Social Anthropology. Glasgow: Fontana.

LEACH, Edmund. 1984. "Glimpses of the Unmentionable in the History of British Social Anthropology". Annual Review of Anthropology 13:1-23.

LEIRIS, Michel. 1996. Miroir de l'Afrique. Édition établie, présentée et annotée par Jean Jamin, avec la collaboration de Jacques Mercier pour les textes ayant trait à l'Éthiopie. Paris: Gallimard.

LÉVI-STRAUSS, Claude. 1987 [1960]. 'Les Trois Sources de la Réflexion Ethnologique.' Gradhiva 2:37-41. LOWIE, Robert H. 1937. The History of Ethnological Theory. New York: Farrar & Rinehart.

MAFEJE, Archie. 1997. "Who are the Makers and Objects of Anthropology? A critical comment on Sally Falk Moore's 'Anthropology in Africa'". African Sociological Review 1(1):1-15.

MARCUS, George E. 2002. 'Beyond Malinowski and after Writing Culture: On the future of cultural anthropology and the predicament of ethnography.' Australian Journal of Anthropology 13(2):191-199.

MARCUS, George E., and Michael Fischer. 1986. Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An experimental moment in the human sciences. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

MONAGHAN, John, and Peter Just. 2000. Social and CulturalAnthropology: A very short introduction. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

MOORE, Henrietta L. (ed.) 1996. The Future of Anthropological Knowledge. London: Routledge.

MAUSS, Marcel. 1950. Sociologie et anthropologie. Paris: PUF.

PEIRANO, Mariza G. S. 1995. A Favor da Etnografia. Rio de Janeiro: Relume-Dumará.

PEIRANO, Mariza G. S. 2006. "Anthropology with no Guilt - A view from Brazil.' In Aleksandar Boskovic (ed.) Other People's Anthropologies. New York and Oxford: Berghahn. [forthcoming]

PINA-CABRAL, João de. 2003. "The Public Image of Social Anthropology.' EASA Newsletter n 35, April 2003.

RAPPORT, Nigel, and Joanna Overing. 2000. Social and Cultural Anthropology: The key concepts. London: Routledge.

SCOTT, David. 1992. 'Criticism and Culture: Theory and post-colonial claims on anthropological disciplinarity.' Critique of Anthropology 12(4):371-394.

SEGALEN, Martine. (ed.) 1989. L'Autre et le semblable. Paris: Presses du CNRS.

SHORE, Chris. 1996. "Anthropology's Identity Crisis: The politics of public image".Anthropology Today 12(2): 2-5.

STOCKING, George W. 1995. After Tylor: British SocialAnthropology, 1888-1951. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

VAN BREMEN, Jan, Vesna Godina, and Jos Platenkamp (eds.). 1996. Horizons of Understanding: An Anthology of Theoretical Anthropology in Europe. Leiden: Research School CNWS.

VERMEULEN, Han F. 1995. "Origins and Institutionalization of Ethnography and Ethnology in Europe and the USA, 1771-1845.' In Vermeulen and Roldán 1995:39-59.

VERMEULEN, Han F., and Arturo Alvarez Roldán (eds.). 1995. Fieldwork and Footnotes: Studies in the History of European Anthropology. London: Routledge.

VINCENT, Joan. 1990. Anthropology and Politics: Visions, Traditions, and Trends. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.



  • Não há apontamentos.