The social anthropologists represented in this volume share the view that, together, ethnography and theoretically informed comparison constitute a single, plausible enterprise, and they reject both the postmodernist criticism of ethnography as epistemologically problematic, and the opposing view that no theory could possibly do justice to the insights and complex descriptions of ethnography. In this volume, the first papers taken from the first conference of the newly-formed European Association of Social Anthropologists, the contributors discuss the various models at the disposal of the modern ethnographer. Their concerns range through structuralism, postmodernism and world systems theory, and the volume as a whole offers a lively account of the state of general theory in social anthropology today.

chapter |14 pages


ByAdam Kuper

part |2 pages

Part I Individuals and networks

chapter 1|17 pages

Towards greater naturalism in conceptualizing societies

ByFredrik Barth

chapter 2|23 pages

The global ecumene as a network of networks Ulf Mannerz

ByUlf Hannerz

part |2 pages

Part II Parts and wholes The individual and society

chapter 3|16 pages

Comparison, a universal for anthropology

Daniel de Coppet
ByFrom ‘re-presentation’ to the comparison of hierarchies of values

chapter 4|30 pages

Parts and wholes: refiguring relationships in a post-plural world

Marilyn Strathern
ByReflguring relationships in a post-plural world

part |2 pages

Part III Models of society, the individual, and nature

chapter 5|20 pages

Societies of nature and the nature of society

ByPhilippe Descola

chapter 6|20 pages

What goes without saying

Maurice Bloch
ByThe conceptualization of Zafimaniry society