LUMPERS, SPLITTERS AND SAGGING PILLARS

Hal B. Levine, With contributions from Paula Brown Glick

Abstract


Anthropologists have been narrowing the scope of the discipline for a long time. It has become less comparative, less concerned with wide-ranging questions about human nature, more narrowly ethnographic and increasingly relativistic. These trends have become strong enough in recent times to seriously undermine anthropology’s fundamental project – to understand social and cultural reality. Personal experiences with researching and writing about ethnicity, kinship, and questions of social scale are chronicled here in a paper that supports the need to move beyond ethnography in order to productively confront important issues. The section on scale contains contributions by Professor Paula Brown Glick, the well-known ethnographer of the Chimbu, who has recently received recognition of her lifetime achievements by the Association of Social Anthropologists of Oceania.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11157/sites-vol3iss2id18