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Readings for a History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition / Edition 4

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This comprehensive anthology offers over 40 readings that are critical to the understanding of anthropological theory and the development of anthropology as an academic discipline. The fourth edition maintains a strong focus on the "four-field" roots of the discipline in North America but has been reorganized with a new section on twenty-first-century theory, including coverage of postcolonial and public anthropology. New key terms and introductions accompany each reading and a revamped glossary makes the book more student-friendly. Used on its own, or together with the overview text A History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition, this anthology offers a flexible and unrivaled introduction to anthropological theory that reflects not only the history but also the changing nature of the discipline today.

For additional resources, visit the "Teaching Theory" page at

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What People Are Saying

A.H. Peter Castro
Erickson and Murphy's fourth edition of Readings for a History of Anthropological Theory provides an outstanding introduction to key analysts and themes. The overview sections, chapter introductions, identification of key words, and study questions will help students contextualize the material. Both instructors and students will find this a useful and valuable collection.
Barbara E. Erickson
While no single book can ever encapsulate entirely the broad scope of anthropology, Erickson and Murphy have provided the best and most comprehensive set of readings available, including a wide, yet balanced, range of theoretical perspectives. Importantly, the editors provide well-written intellectual and historical context for each set of readings, demonstrating how each of the featured scholars fits into the larger anthropological discourse. In addition, each chapter finishes with thoughtful study questions as well as a list of suggested readings. Students of the history of anthropological theory will find this text to be a powerful learning tool.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442606562
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
  • Publication date: 4/21/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 204,953
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul A. Erickson is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Saint Mary's University in Halifax.

Liam D. Murphy is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Sacramento.

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Table of Contents



Part One: The Early History of Anthropological Theory


1. Bourgeois and Proletarians

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

2. The Science of Culture

Edward Burnett Tylor

3. Ethnical Periods

Lewis Henry Morgan

4. The Organic Analogy Reconsidered

Herbert Spencer

5. General Summary and Conclusion [The Descent of Man]

Charles Darwin

6. [Part] III [Civilization and Its Discontents]

Sigmund Freud

7. Introduction [The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life]

Émile Durkheim

8. The Sociology of Charismatic Authority

Max Weber

9. Nature of the Linguistic Sign and Synchronic and Diachronic Law

Ferdinand de Saussure

Part Two: The Earlier Twentieth Century


10. The Methods of Ethnology

Franz Boas

11. Conclusion [Primitive Society]

Robert Lowie

12. What Anthropology Is About

Alfred Louis Kroeber

13. Introduction [Coming of Age in Samoa]

Margaret Mead

14. The Individual and the Pattern of Culture

Ruth Benedict

15. Structuralism and Ecology

Claude Lévi-Strauss

16. Structuralism in Social Anthropology

Edmund Leach

17. Introduction [Islands of History]

Marshall Sahlins

18. Social Structure

Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown

19. The Subject, Method, and Scope of This Inquiry [Argonauts of the Western Pacific]

Bronislaw Malinowski

20. Rituals of Rebellion in South-East Africa

Max Gluckman

Part Three: The Later Twentieth Century


21. The Unconscious Patterning of Behavior in Society

Edward Sapir

22. Energy and Tools

Leslie White

23. The Epistemology of Cultural Materialism

Marvin Harris

24. Symbols in Ndembu Ritual

Victor Turner

25. Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture

Clifford Geertz

26. Woman the Gatherer: Male Bias in Anthropology

Sally Slocum

27. Language, Gender, and Power: An Anthropological Review

Susan Gal

28. Knowing the Oriental

Edward W. Said

29. Globalization and Postcolonial States

Akhil Gupta and Aradhana Sharma

30. Introduction [Europe and the People Without History]

Eric R. Wolf

31. The Birth of the Asylum

Michel Foucault

32. The Production and Reproduction of Legitimate Language

Pierre Bourdieu

33. Partial Truths

James Clifford

34. A Crisis of Representation in the Human Sciences

George E. Marcus and Michael M.J. Fischer

35. Theory in Anthropology since the Sixties

Sherry B. Ortner

36. A Critical-Interpretive Approach in Medical Anthropology: Rituals and Routines of Discipline and Dissent

Margaret Lock and Nancy Sheper-Hughes

Part Four: The Early Twenty-First Century


37. Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy

Arjun Appadurai

38. Developments in US Anthropology since the 1980s, a Supplement: The Reality of Center-Margin Relations, To Be Sure, but Changing (and Hopeful) Affinities in These Relations

George E. Marcus

39. Anthropology and The Bell Curve

Jonathan Marks

40. Counterinsurgency as a Cultural System

David B. Edwards

41. Introduction [Other People's Anthropologies]

Alexandar Bo?kovic and Thomas Hylland Eriksen




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