The tradition of intensive fieldwork by a single anthropologist in one area has been challenged by new emphasis on studying historical patterns, wider regions, and global networks. Some anthropologists have started their careers from the new vantage point, amidst a chorus of claims for innovative methodologies. Others have lived through these changes of perspective and are able to reflect on them, while re-evaluating the place of fieldwork within the broader aims of general anthropology. This book explores these transformations of world view and approach as they have been experienced by anthropological colleagues, a number of whom began their work very much in the earlier tradition. They cover experiences of field research in Africa, Papua New Guinea, South America, Central and South Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Indonesia, Japan and China. Constant through the chapters is a distinctively qualitative empirical approach, once associated with the village but now being developed in relation to large-scale or dispersed communities.
A dozen papers reflect the newer perspective of studying historical patterns, wider regions, and global networks beyond traditional anthropological fieldwork. New wave scholars reflect on their field and desk experiences and may let the field come to them; e.g., an ethnomusicologist studies the fieldwork of others and observes non- Western performances in a British museum. Includes b&w photos of authors' studies and a substantial bibliography. The editors and contributors are from the U. of Oxford, where the social and cultural anthropology department held a 1997 seminar on the teaching of methods on which this volume is based. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)