Malinowski, Bronislaw

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Malinowski, Bronislaw

Bronislaw Malinowski (brŏnē´slŏf mălĬnŏf´skē), 1884–1942, English anthropologist, b. Poland, Ph.D. Univ. of Kraków, 1908. Working in the field of cultural anthropology, he gained renown through his studies (1914–18) of the indigenous peoples of the Trobriand Islands off New Guinea. He began teaching at the Univ. of London in 1924, becoming a professor in 1927. Malinowski traveled and did research in Africa, Latin America, and the United States. His research techniques and insistence on the study of different cultures in terms of their particular internal dynamics caused him to be regarded as the founder of "functionalism" in social anthropology. In 1939, Malinowski became a visiting professor at Yale. Among his writings are Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922), Crime and Custom in Savage Society (1926, 4th ed. 1947), and The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia (1929, 3d ed. 1948). Posthumous works include the volumes of essays The Dynamics of Culture Change (1945; ed. by P. M. Kaberry) and Magic, Science and Religion (1948; introd. by Robert Redfield).

See studies by M. Gluckman (1949 and 1963), R. Firth (1957, repr. 1964), J. P. S. Uberoi (1971), and R. Ellen et al., ed. (1989).

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