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By Robert Parkin, Anne de Sales

Outdoor France, French anthropology is conventionally obvious as being ruled via grand thought produced by means of writers who've performed very little fieldwork themselves, and who would possibly not even count number as anthropologists by way of the institutional buildings of French academia. this is applicable to figures from Durkheim to Derrida, Mauss to Foucault, notwithstanding there are partial exceptions, reminiscent of Levi-Strauss and Bourdieu. It has ended in a distinction being made, particularly possibly within the Anglo-Saxon global, among French thought counting on rational inference, and British empiricism in keeping with induction and usually skeptical of concept. whereas there are contrasts among the 2 traditions, this can be basically a fake view. it really is this point of French anthropology that this assortment addresses, within the trust that the overlook of lots of those figures outdoor France is heavily distorting our view of the French culture of anthropology total. while, the gathering will supply a favorable view of the French culture of ethnography, stressing its blend of technical competence and the sympathies of its practitioners for its a number of ethnographic matters.

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Extra info for Out of the Study and into the Field: Ethnographic Theory and Practice in French Anthropology (Methodology and History in Anthropology)

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1983. W. ), Observers observed: essays on ethnographic fieldwork, Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press. Colchester, M. 1982. Les Yanomami, sont-ils libres? Les utopies amazoniennes, une critique: a look at French anarchist anthropology, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford, 13(2): 147–64. Condominas, G. 1965. L’exotque est quotidien: Sar Luk, Vietnam, Paris: Plon. Copans, J. 1998. L’enquête ethnologique de terrain, Paris: Nathan. Copans, J. and J. Jamin. (eds). 1994 [1978]. Aux origines de l‘anthropologie française: les mémoires de la Société des Observateurs de l’Homme en l’An VIII, Paris: Jean-Michel Place.

This aspect is perhaps reflected mainly in the ethnolinguistic atlases Bernot created, which traced the distribution of key words across vast swathes of Southeast Asia, but also in his use of written sources for purposes of historical reconstruction and his frequent citation of diffusionist geographers. Fundamentally, though, he was what Toffin describes as a ‘ruralist’ by both upbringing and professional interest, that is, a specialist in rural, agricultural communities, which, the world over, had similarities that link them and distinguish them from urban society: thus the people of Nouville (northeast France) have more in common with Burmese peasants than with Parisians – one respect in which he disagreed with his friend Haudricourt’s stress on the differences among rural communities in the world at large.

Mauss’s usage often seems to be purely normative in these passages. 9. The more questionable aspects of Griaule’s methods were the main reason for Leiris breaking with him; see Leiris (1934). A good account of Griaule in the field is Clifford (1983). 10. Now l’Institut pour la Recherche et le Développement (IRD). 11. In order of appearance, these include Laplantine (1996), Beaud and Weber (1997), Copans (1998) and Berger (2004). 12. In Revue d’Histoire des Sciences humaines, No. 10, 2004. For an innovative analysis, from a similar perspective, of the genesis of different ‘national anthropologies’ in Europe, the Americas and South Africa, and the linkage between them, see L’Estoile et al.

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