Fredrik Barth is one of the towering figures of twentieth-century anthropology. This intellectual history traces the development of Barth's ideas and explores the substance of his contributions. In an accessible style, Thomas Hylland Eriksen's biographical study reveals the magic of ethnography to professional anthropologists and non-practitioners alike.
Exploring his six decade career, it follows Barth from early ecological studies in Pakistan, to political studies in Iran, to groundbreaking fieldwork in Norway, New Guinea, Bali and Bhutan. Eriksen argues that Barth's voracious appetite for fieldwork holds the key to understanding his remarkable intellectual development and the insights it produced. The book raises many of the same questions that emerge from Barth's own work - of unity and diversity, of culture and relativism, of art and science.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and former President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists. He is the author of numerous classics of anthropology, including Small Places, Large Issues - 4th Edition (Pluto, 2015) and What is Anthropology? - 2nd Edition (Pluto, 2017).
Preface Part I: A man of action 1. Watching and wandering 2. The power and the glory 3. Nomadic freedom 4. Entrepreneurship 5. The global theorist 6. Ethnic groups and boundaries Part II: An anthropology of knowledge 7. Baktaman vibrations 8. A new complexity 9. Turbulent times 10. Cultural complexity 11. The guru and the conjurer 12. Between art and science Fredrik Barth's published work Notes Bibliography Index