Edmund Leach: An Anthropological Life / Edition 1

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Edmund Leach is widely regarded as the outstanding figure in Cambridge archaeology in the second half of the twentieth century, and as one of the leading social anthropologists of his generation. Stanley Tambiah's intellectual biography covers his professional career and reviews his writings. The work is organized chronologically—providing an introductory assessment as well as a closing portrait. Two brief chapters discuss Leach's early years, but the bulk of the book deals with his anthropological projects.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'... a more important contribution of Tambiah's is to have clarified Leach's understanding of structuralism and functionalism and to explore how he reconciled them in quite innovative ways. ... he offers an interpretation of Leach's work from the point of view of a distinguished contemporary ...'. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521521024
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 538
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley J. Tambiah is the Esther and Sidney Rabb Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He received his PhD from Cornell University in 1954. He joined the faculty at the University of Cambridge, where he taught for ten years, and was a Fellow of King's College. He went to the University of Chicago in 1973, and moved to Harvard Univesity in 1976. He began field work in Sri Lanka (1956-59), the island of his birth, and and later worked in Thailand. He is the author of eight books.

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Table of Contents

1. Edmund Leach (1910-1989): Achievements; 2. Childhood and youth; 3. Apprenticeship and the Second World War; 4. The anthropologist at work: teacher and theorist; 5. The Political Systems of Highland Burma; 6. The Frontiers of Burma; 7. Pul Eliya: the challenge to the descent group theory; 8. Hydraulic Society in Ceylon: contesting Wittfogel's thesis and Sri Lankan mytho-history; 9. The engagement with structuralism; 10. The comparativist stance: us and them; 11. The Structural Analysis of Biblical Narratives (with illustrations); 12. Anthropology of art and architecture (with illustrations); 13. Individuals, social persons and masquerade; 14. Leach and Levi Strauss: similarities and differences; 15. A Runaway World?; 16. British anthropology and colonialism: challenge and response; 17. Retrospective assessment and rethinking anthropology; 18. The work of sustaining institutions; 19. Retirement, retrospection and final illness; Bibliography.

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