In this volume Professor Firth has brought together and commented upon a number of his papers on anthropological subjects published over the last thirty years. All these essays relate in different ways to his continuing interest in the study of social process, especially in the significance within a social context of individual choice and decision. Although some specialist studies are included, e.g. the group of papers dealing with the Polynesian island of Tikopia, the main themes of the book are broad ones and there are important general essays on such topics as social change; social structure and organization; modern society in relation to scientific and technological progress; and the study of values, mysticism, and religion by anthropologists. There is also a hitherto unpublished chapter on anthropology as a developing science.
Table of Contents
PART I. SOCIAL ORGANIZATION INTRODUCTORY NOTES 3 I. COMMENT ON DYNAMIC THEORY IN SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY 7 II. SOCIAL ORGANIZATION AND SOCIAL CHANGE 30Ill. SOME PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL ORGANIZATION 59 IV. MARRIAGE AND THE CLASSIFICATORY RELATIONSHIP 88 V. AUTHORITY AND PUBLIC OPINION IN TIKOPIA 123 VI. SUCCESSION TO CHIEFTAINSHIP IN TIKOPIA 145 PART II. MEANINGS AND VALUES INTRODUCTORY NOTES 173 VII. STRUCTURAL AND MORAL CHANGES PRODUCED IN MODERN SOCIETY BY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCE 183 VIII. SOCIAL CHANGES IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC 191 IX. THE STUDY OF VALUES BY SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS 206 X. PROBLEM AND ASSUMPTION IN AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL STUDY OF RELIGION 225 XI. RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND PERSONAL ADJUSTMENT 257 XII. AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL VIEW OF MYSTICISM 294 REFERENCES 307 INDEX 319
The author is Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics and Political Science and a fellow of the British Academy.