Book title: Paul Erickson and Liam Murphy.2003. A history of Anthropological Theory. Peterborough, Ont.; Orchard Park, NY: Broadview Press, c1998.
-conclusion – generally speaking, at the dawn of the 21st century, the adherent of anthropological postmodernity and globalization theory arise form a camp of ‘human scientist’ whose proverbial tents are pith alongside those who defend narrowly materialist vision of their discipline. (174)
-we believed that there has continued to exit general agreement about the unity of anthropological theory and this unity remains largely intact. (176) for one thing, Boas, Geertz and Levi-Strauss remained firmly enshrined with an anthropological pantheon. This may reflect a significant defect in the postmodern critique: namely that it only succeed at throwing the historical baby out, questioning the work of ancestral generations but offer little substance to replace them. (176)
- we can speculate to a limited extent about trends of the future. We believe that one implication of the diversity encountered in this book is that anthropologist will continue to consider consensuses regarding the best theories and method the ‘holy grail’ of our discipline; this longing might well prove utopian. (178)
- we are living in and passing through a ‘Janus-faced’ moment, in which we are looking both to the past and to the future for inspiration.(178)
- equally important is that the history of anthropological theory is really a history of anthropological theory. We must allow for other anthropologies’, or other tales of discovery and cross-cultural encounters – other methods and context in which knowledge is formed. (179)
- it seems that the history of theory is defined not so much by ‘facts’, as by the tendency of different anthropological historians and the changing consensus that develop around one or another perspective. Only the most novice readers will conclude that theory is ‘out there’, ready to be plucked from the air by a fortuitous ‘discoverer’.(180)