The Ashgate Research Companion to Anthropology (Hardback) book cover

The Ashgate Research Companion to Anthropology

By Andrew J. Strathern

Edited by Pamela J. Stewart

© 2015 – Routledge

440 pages

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This companion provides an indispensable overview of contemporary and classical issues in social and cultural anthropology. Although anthropology has expanded greatly over time in terms of the diversity of topics in which its practitioners engage, many of the broad themes and topics at the heart of anthropological thought remain perennially vital, such as understanding order and change, diversity and continuity, and conflict and co-operation in the reproduction of social life. Bringing together leading scholars in the field, the contributors to this volume provide us with thoughtful and fruitful ways of thinking about a number of contemporary and long-standing arenas of work where both established and more recent researchers are engaged. The companion begins by exploring classic topics such as Religion; Rituals; Language and Culture; Violence; and Gender. This is followed by a focus on current developments within the discipline including Human Rights; Globalization; and Diasporas and Cosmopolitanism. It provides an interesting and challenging look at the state of current thinking in anthropology, serving as a rich resource for scholars and students alike.


’This is a rich source of anthropological approaches to significant social and cultural issues across the globe. The subject matter is topical, the contributors are scholars of renown and the analyses are informed by detailed empirical inquiry. The collection is a valuable resource for scholars, teachers, students and general readers.’ David Trigger, University of Queensland, Australia ’The editors and authors are to be congratulated for this compelling companion to research in what it means to be human. Twenty anthropologists provide rich synopses of anthropology’s intellectual heritage in their critical appraisals of key concepts long central to the discipline - belief systems, ritual, magic, sacrifice, myth, gender, war, violence, globalisation, language change and loss, indigenous knowledge and so on. More than the sum of its parts, this volume situates anthropological research as absolutely essential to understanding humanity’s past, present and possible futures.’ Naomi M. McPherson, University of British Columbia, Canada

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Andrew J. Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart. Part I Religion, Experience and Change: Healing, Geoffrey Samuel; Embodiment, performance and healing, Anne Sigfrid Grønseth; Mortuary rituals, Satsuki Kawano. Part II Ritual, Myth and Creativity: Anthropology, dreams and creativity, Katie Glaskin; Sacrifice, Kathryn McClymond; Charisma and myth, Raphael Falco. Part III Work, Play and Gender: Secular rituals, Margit Warburg; Anthropology of sport, John W. Traphagan; Gender, Victoria Goddard; Gender and space, Susan Rasmussen. Part IV Studies of World Religions: Christianity: an (in-)constant companion?, Simon Coleman; On Muslims and the navigation of religiosity: notes on the anthropology of Islam, David W. Montgomery. Part V Perspectives on Violence and Globalization: Ethnographies of political violence, Sami Hermez; Warfare and ritual in anthropology, Bryan K. Hanks; Globalization and its contradictions, Thomas Hylland Eriksen. Part VI Emergent Themes: Languages in change, Jonathan D. Hill and Juan Luis Rodriguez; Indigenous knowledge, Paul Sillitoe; Philosophy in anthropology, Nigel Rapport; Anthropology and the Iliad, Margo Kitts; Disaster anthropology, Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew J. Strathern. Index.

About the Author/Editor

Pamela J. Stewart (Strathern) and Andrew J. Strathern are a wife-and-husband research team who are based in the Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, and direct the Cromie Burn Research Unit. They are frequently invited international lecturers and have worked with numbers of museums to assist them with their collections. Stewart and Strathern have published over 46 books and over 200 articles, book chapters, and essays on their research in the Pacific; Asia (especially Japan, Taiwan, and China), Europe; and also New Zealand and Australia. Their most recent co-authored books include Witchcraft, Sorcery, Rumors, and Gossip; Kinship in Action: Self and Group; Peace-Making and the Imagination: Papua New Guinea Perspectives; Ritual: Key Concepts in Religion and Working in the Field: Anthropological Experiences Across the World. Their recent co-edited books include Exchange and Sacrifice and Religious and Ritual Change: Cosmologies and Histories Stewart and Strathern’s current research includes the topics of Cosmological Landscapes; Ritual Studies; Political Peace-making; Comparative Anthropological Studies of Disasters and Climatic Change; Language, Culture and Cognitive Science; and Scottish and Irish Studies. For many years they served as Associate Editor and General Editor (respectively) for the Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania book series and as Co-Series Editors for the Anthropology and Cultural History in Asia and the Indo-Pacific book series. They currently co-edit three book series: Ritual Studies; Medical Anthropology; and European Anthropology and they are the long-standing Co-Editors of the Journal of Ritual Studies. Another current scholarly interest they have that feeds into a series of articles and essays that they are writing, is the topic of open and concealed forms of discrimination in academia, especially the neglected but important issue of Ageism and its corrosive and anti-intellectual impacts.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural