These essays examine the importance of historical consicousness and the role of historiography in ‘ethnic’ situations, exploring the many ways in which ethnic groups select history, write or rewrite it, rescue appropriate or ignore it, forget or traduce it. Drawing on expert knowledge of regions ranging from the Amazon to contemporary Germany, the contributors bring anthropological and historical understanding to answer these questions, and investigate major topics such as the relationship between ethnic, national and state identifications, and the cultural work of creating them. Examples include Afrikaaners and Northern Ireland Protestants, as well as Mormons and Catalans. Bringing together a variety of themes that have recently become the focus of study – ethnicity, the uses and nature of history and the likelihood of objectivity in historical telling – the book will be of great interest ot students in the social sciences, anthropology, politics, history and international relations.
Introduction – History and Social Anthropology Malcolm Chapman, Maryon McDonald, and Elizabeth Tonkin 1. The Construction of History: ‘Vestiges of Creation’ Edwin Ardener 2. Tribal Ethnography: Past, Present, Future Edmund Leach 3. Fiction and Fact in Ethnography Raymond Firth 4. Wārībi and the White Men: History and Myth in Northwest Amazonia Stephen Hugh-Jones 5. Triumph of the Ethnos Roger Just 6. Investigating ‘Social Memory’ in a Greek Context Anna Collard 7. The Social Relations of the Production of History John Davis 8. Israel: Jewish Identity and Competition Over ‘Tradition’ Robert Paine 9. German Identity and the Problems of History Diana Forsythe 10. French Historians and their Cultural Identities Peter Burke 11. Mormon History, Identity and Faith Community Douglas Davies 12. ‘We’re Trying to Find Our Identity’: Uses of History Among Ulster Protestants Anthony Buckley 13. The Cultrual Work of Yoruba Ethnogenesis J. D. Y. Peel 14. Afrikaner Historiography and the Decline of Apartheid: Ethnic Self-Reconstruction in Times of Crisis Gerhard Schutte 15. Ethnic Identities and Social Categories in Iran and Afghanistan Richard Tapper 16. Catalan National Identity: The Dialectics of Past and Present Josep Llobera