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Crime and Custom in Savage Society

Crime and Custom in Savage Society

by Bronislaw Malinowski, James M. Donovan (Introduction)

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The author discusses aspects of savagery, including primitive economics, the study of the mental processes of savages, and primitive law.


The author discusses aspects of savagery, including primitive economics, the study of the mental processes of savages, and primitive law.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Malinowski has said a great deal for so small a book. This little treatise is destined to be widely read and oft referred to.”

—Frank H. Hankins, Social Forces

“Brilliant, weighted with many concrete facts, illustrated with graphic accounts of Melanesian crimes and tragedies, and illuminated with the clear insight of one who knows these people well, Crime and Custom offers the social scientist a fascinating and scholarly study in the sociology of law.”

—Leslie A. White, American Journal of Sociology

“[A] stimulating contribution to the study of law and order in a primitive society.”

—I. Schapera, Man

“Rarely has such a little book had such a big intellectual influence… Until well after World War II almost every work of legal anthropology felt the need to cite it and take it on. Even now, it remains a core element of the legal anthropologist’s basic literacy.”

—John M. Conley and William M. O’Barr, Law & Social Inquiry

Saturday Review
Now and then a book is written which cuts mercilessly through an accumulation of traditional conceptions and by the light of overlooked or misinterpreted facts and common sense shows us how absurd the orthodox ideas have really been. Such a book is this volume of Dr. Malinowski's, which brilliantly, concisely, and in non-technical language demonstrates how very wrong and indeed impossible are the currently accepted views of some of the fundamentals of savage life.

Product Details

Transaction Publishers
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.34(d)

Meet the Author

Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) was one of the most important anthropologists of the twentieth century. He was known for his ethnographic work in the Trobriand Islands, which yielded material for such classic works as Argonauts of the Western Pacific, Sexual Life of Savages in Northwestern Melanesia, Coral Gardens and Their Magic, and Crime and Custom in Savage Society.

James M. Donovan is director and associate professor of law at the University of Kentucky College of Law. His publications include Legal Anthropology: An Introductionand Anthropology & Law (with H. Edwin Anderson).

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