Sociology Index

Social Anthropology

Social anthropology or cultural anthropology is the science of human social and cultural behavior and its development. Social anthropology is pre-eminent in French academia. Social anthropology is conceptually and theoretically similar to sociology. Social anthropology is the main constituent of anthropology in United Kingdom, Commonwealth and Europe, where it is distinguished from cultural anthropology. Social anthropology covers methodological and ethical problems entailed by social research. In the United States, social anthropology is commonly subsumed within cultural anthropology or sociocultural anthropology. Social anthropologists use quantitative research methods, in topics such as local economies, demography, human ecology, and cognition. 

Abstracts On Social Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology or Social Anthropology? A Transatlantic Dispute - Erwan Dianteill.

Abstract: Why was cultural anthropology not successful in France? The answer seems to lie in the lineage leading from Durkheim to Levi-Strauss through Mauss. However, this explanation takes scant account of an important debate in which Levi-Strauss was involved between British and Americans about the nature of the anthropological discipline in the 1950s: Should anthropology be cultural or social?

Is social anthropology really a part of anthropology? Or is it simply sociology? In France and the UK, supporters of social anthropology were victorious, even if Levi-Strauss departs paradoxically from sociology when he takes structural linguistics as a model. In the United States, anthropology remained mainly cultural, that is to say, open to psychology, archeology, geography, technology, history, aesthetics and the humanities in general.

The "natural preserve of anthropologists": social anthropology, scientific planning and development - Benoit de L'Estoile. This article focuses on the relationship between practical and cognitive interests in the production of anthropological knowledge. A reconstruction of the process of autonomization of British social anthropology in Africa during the interwar period thus offers at the same time a genealogy of the uses of anthropology in development. The "professionalization" of social anthropology and its institutionalization as an academic discipline then appears as a process of construction of a monopoly of competence on non-western social phenomena.

Economics and Social Anthropology - Reconciling Differences - Peter J. Buckley, Malcolm Chapman. This paper is the outcome of collaborative work between an economist and a social anthropologist. It explores the differences of outlook and approach between these two subjects, both in general, and in the specific context of a research project, "The Management of Cooperative Strategies," which tests economistic hypotheses using methods largely derived from social anthropology.

The Role of Social Anthropology in the Debate on Funeral Rites in Africa - van't Spijker, Gerard. Abstract: In view of the actual debate on funeral rites in Christian Churches in Africa, a revision of the old position of missionaries that forbade all traditional ritual concerning death as belonging to paganism should be undertaken on the basis of social anthropological research which analyses structure and function of the funeral practices. Thus the mourning rites are understood as means of purification and reconciliation of the bereaved extended family. Parallels between African rituals and those of Israel of the Old Testament may also be taken into account.

Is Social Anthropology Still Worth the Trouble? A Response to Some Echoes from America - Godelier M. Abstract: More than broadly agreeing on the need for a critical deconstruction of the very foundations of anthropological theory and practice aimed at uncovering the elements implicitly excluded from analysis, the silences in a reasoning process and the blind spots in observations, the author stresses need to distinguish between this kind of deconstruction, which is positive and essential for any knowledge-building activity, and another deconstruction which can lead to hyper-relativism. The second tendency, baptized 'postmodernism' and highly popular in the USA, is a largely overblown enterprise of deconstructive dissolution which, if carried to its logical conclusion, threatens to submerge social anthropology in the rising tide of 'Cultural Studies'.

BRITISH SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY: A Retrospective - Jonathan Spencer. This article reviews the history of British social anthropology, concentrating on the expansion of the discipline in the British university sector since the 1960s. Particular emphasis is placed on the relationship between social anthropology and the main source of its funding, the British government, in particular the Economic and Social Research Council. Social anthropology in the 1990s has grown swiftly. British social anthropology retains much of its distinctive identity, not least because of the peculiar institutional structures, such as the research seminar, in which the social anthropological habitus is reproduced in new generations of researchers.

Social anthropology in sensitive research contexts. A case study: State prisons, Province of Neuquen, Argentina - Beatriz Kalinsky.
This paper discusses some of the methodological and ethical problems entailed by social research, specifically anthropology, in State prisons in the Province of Neuquen, Argentina. Traditional anthropological research methodology has to be combined with a range of additional precautions because this is a sensitive field for research where a balance (almost always an unstable one) must be struck among the different actors involved: inmates, warders, the authorities, members of the judiciary and inmates' families.

Industry and inequality: The social anthropology of Indian labour : Mark Holstrom

The Building of British Social Anthropology: W. H. R. Rivers and His Cambridge Disciples in the Development of Kinship Studies, 1898-1931. by Ian Langham.

Addiction as a life style: on the social anthropology of addiction - Emrich HM, Eggers C. - Med. Hochschule Hannover. Regularly the unsolved problems of addiction- and dependence-research are discussed in the sense of the psycho-body-dichotomy, arguing that the biological mechanisms of reward-systems and their pathobiochemistry have to be confronted with the psychological and philosophical/anthropological dimensions within persons. The present paper, however, tries to demonstrate that this dichotomy is insufficient insofar as social-anthropological components of being addicted, which represent integrative constituents of a theory of addiction, are neglected within such a scheme.

Social Anthropology Syllabus

Syllabus - Social Anthropology and Sociology BSc - Social anthropology is particularly suited to students who are curious about their own and other societies and who are interested in understanding social processes and meanings in the world around them. You will apply the ideas of social anthropology to practical issues and will gain a solid grounding in the social sciences Special emphasis in placed on cross-cultural analysis and studies. The earliest sociologists tried to understand the major issues of their time like poverty, unemployment, social conflict, and the social and economic consequences of rapid and profound industrial and economic change.

Social Anthropology Journals

The International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal published that will be monthly by Academic Journals. JSA is dedicated to increasing the depth of the subject across disciplines with the ultimate aim of expanding knowledge of the subjects Sociology, Anthropology and Social Anthropology.

Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology - Member of the Max Planck Society.

Division of Social Anthropology, School of Global Studies, Goteborg University: In the division research is carried out in several fields – Anthropology of religion; Environmental anthropology; Anthropology of Health; Migration and refugees; and Material Culture and Cross-cultural Aesthetics.