During the First World War the pioneer anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski found himself stranded on the Trobriand Islands, off the eastern coast of New Guinea. By living among the people he studied there, speaking their language and participating in their activities, he invented what became known as 'participant-observation'. This new type of ethnographic study was to have a huge impact on the emerging discipline of anthropology. In Sex and Repression in Savage Society Malinowski applied his experiences on the Trobriand Islands to the study of sexuality, and the attendant issues of eroticism, obscenity, incest, oppression, power and parenthood. In so doing, he both utilized and challenged the psychoanalytical methods being popularized at the time in Europe by Freud and others. The result is a unique and brilliant book that, though revolutionary when first published, has since become a standard work on the psychology of sex.
Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) was a founder of modern social anthropology. He held the first chair in social anthropology at the London School of Economics from 1927. In 1938 he moved to the United States, where he taught at Yale and conducted field research in Mexico.
'No writer of our times has done more than Bronislaw Malinowski to bring together in single comprehension the warm reality of human living and the cool abstractions of science.' - Robert Redfield