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After Society: Anthropological Trajectories out of Oxford

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Volume 39

Methodology & History in Anthropology

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After Society

Anthropological Trajectories out of Oxford

Edited by João Pina-Cabral and Glenn Bowman

232 pages, 1 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-768-2 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (July 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78920-769-9 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“[The book] tell us a lot about the development of anthropology and of a difficult period faced by universities in UK at the time resulting mainly from government policy.” • David Parkin, University of Oxford

“This volume provides a valuable mix of autobiographical reflections on what it was to be a student of anthropology at Oxford at a particular time in the Institute’s history. Such reflections are all the more insightful, written as they are, by former students who by now have had largely successful (indeed very successful) careers in the discipline.” • Elizabeth Ewart, University of Oxford


In the early 1980s, when the contributors to this volume completed their graduate training at Oxford, the conditions of practice in anthropology were undergoing profound change. Professionally, the immediate postcolonial period was over and neoliberal reforms were marginalizing the social sciences. Analytically, the poststructuralist critique of the notion of ‘society’ challenged a discipline that dubbed itself as ‘social’. Here self-ethnography is used to portray the contributors’ anthropological trajectories, showing how analytical and academic engagements interacted creatively over time.

João Pina-Cabral is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Kent and Research Professor at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon. He was co-founder and president both of the Portuguese Association of Anthropology and of the European Association of Social Anthropologists.

Glenn Bowman is Professor Emeritus in Socio-Historical Anthropology at the University of Kent.  He carried out his DPhil fieldwork on pilgrimage in Jerusalem's Old City (1983-85), before returning to the UK to teach at UCL and Kent. His recent publications include Sharing the Sacra (Berghahn, 2012).

Subject: Theory and Methodology
Area: Europe


Introduction: After Society
João Pina-Cabral and Glenn Bowman

Part I: The Oxford Experience and Beyond

Chapter 1. Plodding Towards Prosopography: Oxford Anthropology from 1976 on
Jeremy MacClancy

Chapter 2. Amor Fati and the Institute of Social Anthropology
Glenn Bowman

Chapter 3. The Lucky Anthropologist? Becoming an Anthropologist of Japan in Oxford
Dolores P. Martinez

Chapter 4. Lost and Found in Oxford
Roger Just

Chapter 5. Is Necessity the Mother of Invention?
A. David Napier

Part II: Ethnography as a Vocation

Chapter 6. Changing Questions? Reflections on Anthropology in and out of Oxford since the 1980s
David N. Gellner

Chapter 7. The Fieldwork Tradition and the Quest for Essential Perplexities
Signe Howell

Chapter 8. Journeys of an Ethnographer: From Oxford to the Field and on to the Archives
Sandra Ott

Part III: Why Anthropology? Concluding Remarks

Chapter 9. Why Anthropology? Structuralism and Since
Timothy Jenkins

Chapter 10. From Oxford to Cambridge: Chasing the ‘Aka’
Maryon McDonald

Chapter 11. Mediterranean Equivoques at Oxford
João Pina-Cabral


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