Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea

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Taylor & Francis, Sep 1, 2003 - Social Science - 616 pages
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First published in 1922, this classic text examines the extensive and complex trading system maintained by the Trobriand Islanders. While the main theme is economics and social organization, the power of magic, mythology and folklore are also examined.

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About the author (2003)

Bronislaw Malinowski, a Polish-born British anthropologist, was a major force in transforming nineteenth-century speculative anthropology into an observation-based science of humanity. His major interest was in the study of culture as a universal phenomenon and in the development of fieldwork techniques that would both describe one culture adequately and, at the same, time make systematic cross-cultural comparisons possible. He is considered to be the founder of the functional approach in the social sciences which involves studying not just what a cultural trait appears to be, but what it actually does for the functioning of society. Although he carried out extensive fieldwork in a number of cultures, he is most famous for his research among the Trobrianders, who live on a small island off the coast of New Guinea.

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