Appetites and Identities: An Introduction to the Social Anthropology of Western Europe

Appetites and Identities: An Introduction to the Social Anthropology of Western Europe

Appetites and Identities: An Introduction to the Social Anthropology of Western Europe

Appetites and Identities: An Introduction to the Social Anthropology of Western Europe

Synopsis

Appetites and Identitiesis a clear, inviting and fascinating introduction to the social anthropology of western Europe. It covers food, migration, politics, urban and country life, magic, religion, sex and language in an accessible and straightforward fashion, introducing the student to aspects of the anthropology of contemporary European culture from mussel farmers in the Netherlands to Basque chambermaids in Lourdes, and from unhappy bachelors in western Ireland to unwitchers in Portugal.
Avoiding the technical language of many anthropological textbooks, Appetites and Identitiessets out the anthropological literature on the rich diversity of dialects, cultures and everyday lives of western European people, offering fascinating insights on how each region and community differs from its counterparts despite the notion of an integrated Europe. The book will stimulate curiosity about social anthropological investigation, and about life in Europe today.

Excerpt

This is a book about the diverse cultures which exist in western Europe, drawn from the research done by social anthropologists, written for non-anthropologists, indeed for the non-social scientist. It is designed for students studying European languages and cultures, doing degrees in European studies, plus those taking courses in the sociology, politics or anthropology of Europe. The perspective is anthropological, but the book is written for people who have no prior knowledge of social anthropology.

All the chapters have titles taken from the poems of J. Elroy Flecker (1947), who died, aged only 31, in 1915. He wrote lovingly of both the northern and the Mediterranean regions of Europe.

A CAVEAT FOR ANTHROPOLOGISTS

This book over-simplifies anthropology and presents a rather static and old-fashioned picture of the discipline. I read social anthropology, and have recently been doing research on social anthropologists, so I know that the way the discipline is presented here will be resented by scholars in that tradition. I have done this deliberately, cold-bloodedly, and ruthlessly. For fifteen years I have been teaching anthropological materials to modern language students who have no social science training, and have discovered that they find the books and journals of social anthropology mystifying. They are perplexed by material I set them to read, repulsed by the technical vocabulary and the theoretical assumptions, puzzled by the data collection methods and convinced that their personal experiences in Spain or Italy are more 'up to date'. This book is for them.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.