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"This new edition of the Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology provides a unique guide to the ideas, arguments and history of the discipline. Combining anthropological theory and ethnography, it includes 275 substantial entries, over 300 short biographies of important figures in anthropology, and nearly 600 glossary items." "The new entries reflect major changes in anthropology in the past decade: subdisciplines like medical anthropology have become more central to mainstream work in the discipline; recent work includes issues of gender and sexuality, and anthropology's new ethnographic engagement with the central institutions of modernity like finance and science. Anthropology is now an unequivocally global discipline, so the second edition explores other traditions of anthropological work (Japanese anthropology, Latin American anthropology) as well as the process of globalization itself." Authoritative entires have been commissioned from among the world's leading anthropologists. Alphabetically organized, the main entries contain clear, concise and provocative explanations of key anthropological theories and ideas, as well as surveys of the most important ethnographic regions and regional traditions of ethnographic research. Each major entry contains cross-references and a list of further reading.
"This is an inspired volume. If anyone doubts that anthropology is in a new phase, they should look at the manner in which Second Edition enlarges on the First. A formidable task this, here executed with wisdom, acumen and brilliant collaboration. But what is really inspiring is the way contributors have been teamed up with topics. Some classic pairings, but also interesting and surprising ones. And the quality of the entries makes this not just a book of reference but, almost wherever one lands, an exceedingly good read in its own right."
- Marilyn Strathern, Emeritus Professor, Cambridge University
"This new edition is a magisterial work. Written by an erudite set of authors and edited with a sure hand, it is much more than a compendium of accumulated knowledge, although it is certainly that as well. It also maps the discipline as practiced today, pointing out its controversies and challenges, its critical edges, its areas of unsettlement. It is an indispensable source for anyone with an interest in things anthropological."
- John and Jean Comaroff, University of Chicago
"Libraries that found the first edition useful should note that this, while it still contains much of what was in the previous version, has been very substantially expanded, updated and rewritten, so they will probably find it worth upgrading." – Reference Reviews
"...a useful addition to the toolkit that practitioners and students of the discipline already have for their research."
"...a good resource with many excellent contributions. It is a useful tool for students and scholars starting their research on new topics or wanting to know more about their discipline, its fields of research and different scholarly traditions that distinguish it." - Michele Filippo Fontefrancesco, Durham University
Anthropological Institute - February 1997)