chapter  six
20 Pages

How Many Centers and Peripheries in Anthropology?

A Critical View of France
WithEduardo P. Archetti

Anthropologists had to work under shifting social and economic conditions. These included changes in political contexts and institutional organization; transformations in the sources of financial support; the development of new class structures; the effects of world politics and imperialism; and social conflicts both at home and abroad. French colonial anthropology, French ethnology and Louis Dumont’s influence outside the Indian subcontinent constitute “vignettes” presented for the purpose of getting a more nuanced picture of trends, patterns, and power inside France. The institutionalization of French anthropology can be dated back to the opening of the Institute of Ethnology at the University of Paris in 1925. The chapter explores the contributions of Marcel Griaule and Michel Leiris to a decentered anthropology. The anthropology of France done by French anthropologists was and is clearly a national project financed by the centralized state with centralized institutions such as the Mission du Patrimoine Ethnologique.