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Engaging Anthropology


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Table of Contents

1. A short History of Engagement 2. What went Wrong? 3. Complexity and Simplicity 4. Fast and Slow Media 5. Narrative and Analysis 6. Altercentric Writing 7. Why Anthropology Matters

Promotional Information

Also available in hardback, 9781845200640 GBP50.00 (November, 2005)

About the Author

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and the Free University of Amsterdam.


'Anthropologists should be at the forefront of public debates on questions ranging from human rights, multiculturalism and migration to development, education and health. Why are our voices so seldom heard? Thomas Hylland Eriksen demonstrates that the fault is partly our own, and his lively and insightful essay will help us to raise our game.' Adam Kuper 'A magnificent primer on how anthropologists might engage a wider public and why they generally fail to do so. The proof of the message is in the quality of the writing itself.' Keith Hart 'Anthropology will engage with public issues, or it will wither. This is the central message of Thomas Eriksen's stimulating polemic. As he warns, 'Anthropologists must stop fidgeting, and get on with it'. His provocative essay is easy to read and full of key reasons why anthropologists today more than ever need to face the world and not just one another. We have no option but to put our message across, yet do so at our own peril.' Jeremy MacClancy, Oxford Brookes University 'With fluid language and a tone demonstrating that it is possible to be both academic and compelling, Eriksen indicts the discipline, calling for a conscious effort to re-enter the public sphere.' Satish Kedia, University of Memphis, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (Vol 13, No 2, June 2007) 'Engaging Anthropolgy is an outstanding example of engaged anthropology as proposed by the author. It is one of the most agreeable and sympathetic books in anthropolgy I have read in the last few years, and can be recommended to all colleagues.' Anthropos, 103.2008

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