Comparison in Anthropology -

Comparison in Anthropology

The Impossible Method

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Why and how do social and cultural anthropologists make comparisons? What problems do they encounter in doing so, and how might these be resolved? What, if anything, makes one comparison better than another? This book answers these questions by exploring the many ways in which, from the nineteenth century to the present day, comparative methods have been conceptualised and re-invented, praised and rejected, multiplied and unified. Anthropologists today use comparisons to describe and to explain, to generalise and to challenge generalisations, to critique and to create new concepts. In this multiplicity of often contradictory aims lie both the key challenge of anthropological comparison, and also its key strength. Matei Candea maps a path through that entangled conversation, providing a ground-up re-assessment of the key conceptual issues at the heart of any form of anthropological comparison, whilst creating a bold charter for reconsidering the value of comparison in anthropology and beyond.

Product code: 9781108465045

ISBN 9781108465045
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H228xW152xS21
No. Of Pages 404
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Series New Departures in Anthropology
A comprehensive exploration of historical and current debates about anthropological comparison. Addressed to anthropologists and to students of anthropology embarking upon their own comparative projects, it will also be of interest to students and scholars in other disciplines which rely on comparative methods.