Comparison has long been the backbone of the discipline of anthropology. But recent developments in anthropology, including critical self-reflection and new case studies sited in a globalized world, have pushed comparative work aside. For the most part, comparison as theory and method has been a casualty of the critique of 'grand theory' and of a growing mistrust of objectivist, hard-science methodology in the social sciences.
Today it is time for anthropology to resume its central task of exploring humankind through comparison, using its newfound critical self-awareness under changing global conditions. In Anthropology By Comparision, an international group of prominent anthropologists re-visits, re-theorizes and re-invigorates comparison as a legitimate and fruitful enterprise. The authors explore the value of anthropological comparison and encourage an international dialogue about comparative research. While rejecting older, universalist comparative methods, these scholars take a fresh look at various subaltern and neglected approaches to comparison from their own national traditions. They then present new approaches that are especially relevant to the globalized world of the twenty-first century.
Every student and practitioner of anthropology and the social sciences will find this thought-provoking volume essential reading. Anthropology, by Comparison is a call to creative reflection on the past and productive action in the present, a challenge to anthropologists to revitalize their unique contribution to human understanding. Anthropology, by Comparison is an indispensable overview of anthropology's roots - and its future - with regard to the comparative study of humankind.

chapter |24 pages


part |2 pages

PART I Comparison and anthropology’s public responsibility

chapter 1|17 pages

Anthropology’s comparative consciousness

The case of human rights

chapter 2|26 pages

Action comparison

Efforts towards a global and comparative yet local and active anthropology

chapter 3|23 pages

Issues of relevance

Anthropology and the challenges of cross-cultural comparison

part |2 pages

Part II Reinvigorating past comparative methods

chapter 4|29 pages

Conditions of comparison: a consideration of t wo anthropological traditions in the Netherlands

A consideration of two anthropological traditions in the Netherlands

chapter 6|24 pages

Comparison and contextualization

Reflections on South Africa

part |2 pages

Part III New methods of comparison

chapter 8|17 pages

Comparison and ontogeny

chapter 9|21 pages

The notion of art: from regional to distant comparison THOMAS FILLITZ

From regional to distant comparison

chapter 10|24 pages

When ethnic majorities are ‘dethroned’: towards a methodology of self-reflexive, controlled macrocomparison

Towards a methodology of self- reflexive, controlled macrocomparison