On its first publication in 1973 Adam Kuper's entertaining history of half a century of British social anthropology provoked strong reactions. But his often irreverent account soon established itself as one of the introductions to anthropology. Since the second revised edition was published in 1983, important developments have occurred within British and European anthropology. This third, enlarged and updated edition responds to these fresh currents. Adam Kuper takes the story up to the present day, and a new final chapter traces the emergence of a modern European social anthropology in contrast with developments in American cultural anthropology over the last two decades. Anthropology and Anthropologists provides a critical historical account of modern British social anthropology: it describes the careers of the major theorists, their ideas and their contributions in the context of the intellectual and institutional environments in which they worked.
The Social Science Encyclopedia, first published in 1985 to acclaim from social scientists, librarians and students, was thoroughly revised in 1996, when reviewers began to describe it as a classic. This third edition has been radically recast. Over half the entries are new or have been entirely rewritten, and most of the balance have been substantially revised. Written by an international team of contributors, the Encyclopedia offers a global perspective on key issues within the social sciences. Some 500 entries cover a variety of enduring and newly vital areas of study and research methods. Experts review theoretical debates from neo-evolutionism and rational choice theory to poststructuralism, and address the great questions that cut across the social sciences. What is the influence of genes on behaviour? What is the nature of consciousness and cognition? What are the causes of poverty and wealth? What are the roots of conflict, wars, revolutions and genocidal violence? This authoritative reference work is aimed at anyone with a serious interest in contemporary academic thinking about the individual in society.
Suddenly culture seems to explain everything, from civil wars to financial crises and divorce rates. But when we speak of culture, what, precisely, do we mean? Adam Kuper pursues the concept of culture from the early twentieth century debates to its adoption by American social science under the tutelage of Talcott Parsons. What follows is the story of how the idea fared within American anthropology, the discipline that took on culture as its special subject. Here we see the influence of such prominent thinkers as Clifford Geertz, David Schneider, Marshall Sahlins, and their successors, who represent the mainstream of American cultural anthropology in the second half of the twentieth century-...
Adam Kuper’s iconoclastic intellectual history argues that the idea of “primitive society” is a western myth. The “primitive” is imagined as the opposite of the “civilised”. But this is a protean myth. As ideas about civilisation change, so the image of primitive society must be adjusted. By way of fascinating account of classic texts in anthropology, ancient history and law, Kuper reveals how this myth underpinned academic research and inspired political programmes. Its ancestry is traced back to classical western beliefs about barbarians and savages, and Kuper also tackles the latest version of the myth, the idea of a global identity of “indigenous peoples”. The Reinvention of Primitive Society is a key text in the history of anthropology, and will interest anyone who has puzzled about the very idea of “primitive society” – and so, by implication, about “civilisation”.
Like many gentlemen of his time, Charles Darwin married his first cousin. In fact, marriages between close relatives were commonplace in nineteenth-century England, and Adam Kuper argues that they played a crucial role in the rise of the bourgeoisie. This groundbreaking study brings out the connection between private lives, public fortunes, and the history of imperial Britain.
Both a critical history of anthropological theory and methods and a challenging essay in the sociology of science, The Invention of Primitive Society shows how anthropologists have tried to define the original form of human society.
Is there a Darwinian explanation for the evolution of human nature? The great debates about human origins, cultural history, and human nature confront us with two opposing, often irreconcilable images of human beings: biology vs. culture. Now Kuper reframes these debates and reconsiders fundamental questions of anthropology. 21 halftones.