After Tylor: British Social Anthropology, 1888-1951

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University of Wisconsin Press, 1995 - Social Science - 570 pages
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The culmination of George W. Stocking, Jr.'s, quarter-century of research in the archival and published sources of British anthropology, After Tylor is the first comprehensive exploration of the intellectual transition that gave rise to modern British social anthropology. A sequel to Victorian Anthropology, his widely acclaimed study of British anthropology and the Darwinian revolution, After Tylor focusses on the decades between the heyday of social evolutionism and the establishment of structural functionalism in the 1930s and 1940s. Stocking emphasizes the interplay of ethnographic data and anthropological theory, offering a richly detailed account of the lives and works of a series of influential figures, both well remembered and lesser known, against a background of overseas colonial concerns and domestic intellectual ferment. Taking as its starting point a major comparative essay published in 1888 by Edward Burnett Tylor, the reigning patriarch of evolutionary anthropology, the book examines the developing tension between the social evolutionary paradigm and the ethnographic data collected by British missionaries in Australia (Lorimer Fison) and Melanesia (Robert Henry Codrington) and the attempts by second-generation evolutionary theorists (Robertson Smith and Andrew Lang) to treat the growth of religion in less purely rationalistic terms than those of Tylor's animism. Tracking the development of an academic fieldwork tradition in the work of two evolutionary biologists (Baldwin Spencer in Australia and Alfred Haddon in Melanesia), Stocking then discusses the crisis in evolutionary theory that developed around 1900, as Edward Westermarck and Robert Marett called into questionevolutionary sequences of marriage and religion, and James G. Frazer struggled to explain the origins of totemism. He also explores the first attempt to find a paradigmatic alternative - the since demeaned and neglected alternative of historical diffusionism - as it developed in the work of William Rivers and his followers (Elliot Smith, William Perry, and A. M. Hocart).

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Armchair Anthropology
Melanesian Mana
Missionary Ethnography and Paradigm Change

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About the author (1995)

George W. Stocking, Jr., is Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Committee on Conceptual Foundations of Science at the University of Chicago.

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