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Fredrik Barth

Fredrik Barth

An Intellectual Biography

by Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Series: Anthropology, Culture and Society

A definitive biography of Fredrik Barth, one of the leading lights of anthropology, by one of today's finest anthropologists.
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).

'Fredrik Barth was an extraordinary ethnographer who did path-breaking fieldwork in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Indonesia and New Guinea. This book tells Barth's story with sympathy, insight and great verve' - Adam Kuper, Centennial Professor, London School of Economics 'A timely and essential guide ... Eriksen is probably the person best situated to write this admirable intellectual biography and accomplishes the task with elegance and balance' - American Anthropologist 'The book is rich with discussions of Barth’s work, thought, and activities on the world stage of anthropology. Thomas Hylland Eriksen has given us a fine intellectual and professional portrait of a first-class anthropologist and a credit to the breed' - History of Anthropology Newsletter
List of Illustrations
Series 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 Kind of Complexity
9. Turbulent Times
10. Cultural Complexity
11. The Guru and the Conjurer
12. Between Art and Science
List of Works by Fredrik Barth
List of Other References
Published by Pluto Press in Apr 2015
Paperback ISBN: 9780745335353
eBook ISBN: 9781783713066

264 pages

135mm x 215mm