Partial Connections

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $79.87
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 6%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (5) from $79.87   
  • New (4) from $79.87   
  • Used (1) from $99.83   


Updated with a new Preface, this seminal work challenges the routine ways in which anthropologists have thought about the complexity and quantity of their materials. Marilyn Strathern focuses on a problem normally regarded as commonplace; that of scale and proportion. She combines a wide-ranging interest in current theoretical issues with close attention to the cultural details of social life, attempting to establish proportionality between them. Strathern gives equal weight to two areas of contemporary debate: The difficulties inherent in anthropologically representing complex societies, and the future of cross-cultural comparison in a field where 'too much' seems known. The ethnographic focus of this book emphasizes the context through which Melanesianists have managed the complexity of their own accounts, while at the same time unfolding a commentary on perception and the mixing of indigenous forms. Revealing unexpected replications in modes of thought and in the presentation of ambiguous images, Strathern has fashioned a unique contribution to the anthropological corpus. This book was originally published under the sponsorship of the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Man, Vol. 27, Sept. 1992 - Simon Harrison
Strathern's central insight is that much unexplored ground lies between difference and identity, between the many and the one: that is to say, that there are alternatives to the apparently insoluble dichotomies of society and the individual, holism and atomism, comparison and ethnography. This book is provocative and pathbreaking, both as a search for an escape from these antinomies, and as a critique of the intellectual practices which give rise to them.
Donald Brenneis
On its initial publication in 1991, Partial Connections provided a bracing, subtle, and brilliantly wrought complex of forays into questions at the center of anthropology, among them history, comparison, representation, and the productively partial character of our shared enterprise. On rereading more than ten years later, it speaks with even greater clarity and insight to anthropological practice. Fresh, brilliant, and deeply rewarding, this is a contemporary classic.
American Anthropologist, Vol. 95, 1993 - Debbora Battaglia
Strathern's Partial Connections, perhaps her most theoretically exhilarating and accessible work to date, offers a potent antidote to any disenchanting effects of the comparative project in anthropology...More than a spectacular collection of provocative throught bites, Partial Connections has far-reaching implications for the way we think about the future of anthropology, and about problems of authoring and athorizing criteria for comparison...This is essential reading for serious students of cultural criticism and, quite simply, a brilliant piece of anthropological discourse
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759107595
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Edition description: Updated Edition
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Marilyn Strathern is the William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Cambridge, England. She is the 2003 recipient of the Viking Fund Medal in Anthropology. Her many writings include The Gender of the Gift(University of California Press), After Nature(Cambridge University Press), and Women In Between(Rowman & Littlefield Publishing, Inc).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part 1 Writing Anthropology Chapter 2 Ethnography as Evocation Chapter 3 Complex society; incomplete knowledge Chapter 4 Feminist critique Chapter 5 Intrusions and comparisons Part 6 Partial Connections Chapter 7 Full of trees, full of flutes Chapter 8 Center and periphery Chapter 9 Historical critique Chapter 10 Prosthetic extensions

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)