The Handbook of Methods in Cultural Anthropology establishes a benchmark for synthesizing anthropological research practices over the past 100 years. Avoiding the divisive debates over science and humanism, the authors contributing to this important volume draw upon both traditions to define and describe anthropological fieldwork in practice. Authored by 27 of the leaders in the discipline, these chapters provide the reader with comprehensive, contemporary descriptions of the methods that anthropologists use, the logic behind them, and the complex problems that field research with humans entails. In addition to traditional participant observation and related strategies, the Handbook examines historical methods, surveys, linguistic methods, comparative research, social intervention, and visual anthropology as ways in which anthropologists seek to understand the world. Related questions of research strategies and designs, ethics, epistemology, and presentation of anthropological results round out the volume. This is an essential reference tool for all academic, professional and graduate-level anthropologists, and will also be of inestimable value to other social researchers who use field methods in their work.
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University of Florida. Received the Boas Award in 2003 for Exemplary Service to Athropology.Review:
The book is useful in that it presents a wide range of methodological problems and possibilities within two covers....An undoubted strength is that this book takes seriously the fact that anthropology no longer solely builds upon ethnographic studies of small-scale societies. While participant observation is likely to remain a core method, there is a growing need for supplementary methods, many of which are instructively outlined here. (Journal Of Peace Research, Vol. 36)
The contributors have two things in common: Faith in the importance of the ethnographic enterprise, and they have put substantial effort into their respective papers.... Extensive, up-to-date, reference section.... This book is a valuable resource for any social scientist preparing to do research. (Victor C. de Munk American Anthropologist, Vol. 102, No. 1)
The Handbook contains a wealth of information and will be useful for any social scientist engaged in fieldwork. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates through faculty. (L. Joseph Choice)
Bernard...avoids the well-known tendency to polarize along dichotomous, thematic and disciplinary lines... the book was deasigned to be useful for scholars from other disciplines as well... it is a book to have on the shelf, next to the dictionaries, to consult whenever the need arises...Its eclectic perspective is a guarantee that any reader will find his or her interests addressed. (Andre Droogers Anthropological Theory, Vol. 2, No. 2, June 2002)
Authoritative text on the methods of anthropological research over the last century.<...>gets down to practical matters of the systematic collecting and interpreting of information on human behavior in its natural settings. Russel (Florida) has assembled27 experts on fieldwork in anthropology who explain the principles behind their researches and carefully outline the ways in which they go about applying them.... (Geolinguistics, Vol. 25, 1999)
Authoritative text on the methods of anthropological research over the last century.<...>gets down to practical matters of the systematic collecting and interpreting of information on human behavior in its natural settings. Russel (Florida) has assembled 27 experts on fieldwork in anthropology who explain the principles behind their researches and carefully outline the ways in which they go about applying them. (Geolinguistics, Vol. 25, 1999)
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