A History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition

A History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition

by Paul A. Erickson, Liam D. Murphy


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In the latest edition of their popular overview text, Erickson and Murphy continue to provide a comprehensive, affordable, and accessible introduction to anthropological theory from antiquity to the present. A new section on twenty-first-century anthropological theory has been added, with more coverage given to postcolonialism, non-Western anthropology, and public anthropology. The book has also been redesigned to be more visually and pedagogically engaging. Used on its own, or paired with the companion volume Readings for a History of Anthropological Theory, Fourth Edition, this reader offers a flexible and highly useful resource for the undergraduate anthropology classroom.

For additional resources, visit the "Teaching Theory" page at www.utpteachingculture.com.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442607699
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division
Publication date: 07/15/2013
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 7.75(w) x 9.65(h) x 0.87(d)

About the Author

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

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

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations




Part One: The Early History of Anthropological Theory

Anthropology in Antiquity

The Middle Ages

The Renaissance

Voyages of Geographical Discovery

The Scientific Revolution

The Enlightenment

The Rise of Positivism


Classical Cultural Evolutionism

Evolutionism v. Diffusionism

Archaeology Comes of Age

Charles Darwin and Darwinism

Sigmund Freud

Émile Durkheim

Max Weber

Ferdinand de Saussure

Part Two: The Earlier Twentieth Century

American Cultural Anthropology

Franz Boas

Robert Lowie and Alfred Louis Kroeber

Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict

The Development of Psychological Anthropology

French Structural Anthropology

Marcel Mauss

Claude Lévi-Strauss

Edmund Leach and Mary Douglas

The Legacy of French Structural Anthropology

British Social Anthropology

A.R. Radcliffe-Brown

Bronislaw Malinowski

E.E. Evans-Pritchard

Max Gluckman and the "Manchester School"

The Legacy of British Social Anthropology

Part Three: The Later Twentieth Century

Cognitive Anthropology

Edward Sapir

Ethnoscience and the "New Ethnography"

Cultural Neo-Evolutionism

Leslie White

Julian Steward

Marshall Sahlins and Elman Service

The New Archaeology

Cultural Materialism

Marvin Harris

Biologized Anthropology

Biology of Behaviour

The New Physical Anthropology

Ethology and Behavioural Genetics


Symbolic and Interpretive Anthropology

Victor Turner and Symbolic Anthropology

Clifford Geertz and Interpretive Anthropology

Post-processual Archaeology

The Influence of Symbolic and Interpretive Approaches


Frederik Barth

Feminism and Anthropology

Postcolonial Theory

Political Economy

Marx and the World System

Sins of the Fathers

Ideology, Culture, and Power


Paul Feyerabend

Michel Foucault

Pierre Bourdieu

Anthropology as Text

Medical Anthropology

Part Four: The Early Twenty-first Century


Public Anthropology

Alternative National Traditions in Anthropology


Review Questions


Sources and Suggested Reading

Illustrated Sources


What People are Saying About This

Barbara E. Erickson

The latest edition adds insightful discussions of important contemporary questions and concerns of the twenty-first century, putting anthropology out into the world of action and activism as well as academia. Further, this text provides rich support for students in the form of discussion questions, detailed glossary, and extensive lists of suggested resources. While most "history of anthropology" books tend to be either too biographical or too theoretical, Erickson and Murphy find just the right balance for students of anthropology.

Robert Borofsky

Erickson and Murphy have done something very important. They have shown that a discipline dominated by fragmenting tendencies has a coherent historical core that helps make sense of the fragmentation. Highly recommended.

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