Anthropology and Egalitarianism

Anthropology and Egalitarianism

Ethnographic Encounters from Monticello to Guinea-Bissau
Eric Gable
Distribution: World
Publication date: 12/03/2010
Format: Paperback 7 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-22275-6
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Anthropology and Egalitarianism is an artful and accessible introduction to key themes in cultural anthropology. Writing in a deeply personal style and using material from his fieldwork in three dramatically different locales—Indonesia, West Africa, and Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson—Eric Gable shows why the ethnographic encounter is the core of the discipline's method and the basis of its unique contribution to understanding the human condition. Gable weaves together vignettes from the field and discussion of major works as he explores the development of the idea of culture through the experience of cultural contrast, anthropology's fraught relationship to racism and colonialism, and other enduring themes.

Author Bio

Eric Gable teaches anthropology at the University of Mary Washington. He is author (with Richard Handler) of The New History in an Old Museum: Creating the Past at Colonial Williamsburg.


“Among the most eloquent and deeply reflexive works I have read in some time. . . . Accessible, conversational, and at times disarmingly colloquial, it is precisely the kind of work that should be taught at the undergraduate level.”
 — Liam D. Murphy, co-author of A History of Anthropological Theory

“A major work of scholarship, with the potential to become a classic work of anthropology that will be read and debated for years to come.”
 — Paul Stoller, author of The Power of the Between: An Anthropological Odyssey

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: Culture by Contrast and Theory in Anthropology
1. Supping with Savages
2. Standing in a Line
3. Jefferson’s Ardor
4. The Colonialist’s Dress Code
5. Taking Pictures in the Field, or the Anthropologist’s Dress Code
6. Beyond Belief
7. The Sex Life of Savages
Conclusion: Tending to Nature, Tending to Culture, or Is Anthropology History?
Notes on Sources

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