Arguments about Aborigines: Australia and the Evolution of Social Anthropology

Arguments about Aborigines: Australia and the Evolution of Social Anthropology

by L. R. Hiatt
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521460085

ISBN-13: 9780521460088

Pub. Date: 11/28/2012

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

The emergence of anthropology in Britain coincided with the publication of Darwin's book on the origin of species. In the context of inescapable questions about the natural history of our own species, Australian Aborigines were assigned the role of exemplars par excellence of beginnings and early human forms. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, European…  See more details below

Overview

The emergence of anthropology in Britain coincided with the publication of Darwin's book on the origin of species. In the context of inescapable questions about the natural history of our own species, Australian Aborigines were assigned the role of exemplars par excellence of beginnings and early human forms. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, European scholars bent on discovering the origins of social institutions began a rush on the Australian material that lasted well into the present century. The Aborigines have consequently featured as a crucial case-study for generations of social theorists, including Tylor, Frazer, Durkheim and Freud. Arguments about Aborigines reviews a range of controversies (some still alive) that played an important role in the formative period of British social anthropology. The chapters cover family life, male/female relationships, conception beliefs, the mother-in-law taboo, various aspects of religion and ritual, political organization, and land rights: all subjects that have been matters of lively interest and long-running research. Along the way, the study traces changes in Aboriginal circumstances and practices and notes the ways in which these changes affected the scholarly debate.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521460088
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
11/28/2012
Pages:
225
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
1Prologue1
2Real estates and phantom hordes13
3Group marriage36
4The woman question57
5People without politics78
6High gods100
7Conception and misconception120
8Dangerous mothers-in-law and disfigured sisters142
9Initiation: the case of the cheeky yam165
10Epilogue183
Notes187
References207
Index222

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