Small Places, Large Issues Third Edition: An Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology (Anthropology, Culture and Society) Paperback – 6 Apr 2010
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This book fills a gap in the market and fills it in an exemplary fashion. (Journal of Area Studies)
About the Author
Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo. He is the author of numerous books, including Ethnicity and Nationalism, A History of Anthropology, Small Places, Large Issues, Tyranny of the Moment and Globalisation, all available from Pluto Press.
Top customer reviews
For the whole of my degree I would start any essay by opening my copy of 'Small Places', scanning the index and reading Eriksen's informative yet condensed account of almost every key topic a young Anthropology undergraduate will encounter - gender, hierarchies, politics, exchange, ethnicity, religion, marriage, fieldwork and kinship. From here, I would explore his suggestions on further reading, and note any interesting entries in the bibliography that I could chase up at 11p.m. the evening before a deadline.
Eriksen's ability to inter-link every topic he covers with a broad range of classic anthropological theory means that, as well as picking up the fascinating quirks of other cultures that you can later drop in to conversation (or when you inevitably have to explain to people exactly what it is you study), you get a solid grounding in the 'drier' stuff that scores you brownie points in seminars and essays. In this sense I found Small Places, Large Issues to be infinitely superior to other 'Introductory' books that my fellow students had purchased.
One thing to note is that while incredibly useful, this book relatively brief (about 300 pages covering 18 actual topics) and is only intended to act as an 'introduction' to an issue. If used correctly, it will provide you with a brilliant stepping-stone on to other books and ethnographic texts with which to formulate your essays.
The writing style is academic enough to reference in your dissertation, yet accessible and engaging enough for people with a general interest in anthropology to pick up and find enthralling. I cannot recommend this enough to anyone who is going to university to study or just wants to better understand of, in my (biased) opinion, an incredibly fascinating subject.
I actually study sociology, but have done at least one module of anthropolgy in various guises each year, and I have used this book for all of them.
Very clearly written and easy to understand, with a very clear layout too. Key terms and writers often have boxes with brief explanations for quick reference, and the chapters cover all the basic areas of anthropology.
From the very beginning as a clueless first year when it explained to me concepts and ideas I had not even considered right up until the final year when it acted as clarification of things studied way back in the almost forgotten first year.
The book covers almost everything you could want to know for a grounding in Social Anthropology - it is not a daunting prospect, unlike many the other course books I was set to read in my first year which still remain pristine and unread. Whereas my copy of this book is much loved and somewhat dog-eared from regular reference.
I liken the book to a super market because it's a bit of a 'onestop' shop giving you an overview of most areas that you will be required to study and understand. If you want to learn more about a specific area the book's bibliography will point you in the right direction and will have given you the groundwork to build upon to study in further detail.
I love this book and recommend it as a must for anyone studying Social Anthropology even people who aren't studying the subject but just want to learn more - it is a very accessible book.
Thank you for writing it Mr Thomas Hylland Eriksen!
If you are studying Anthropology for the first time this is a must have and you can get it very cheap if you buy a used copy!
Never bought a used book from Amazon before, give it a try you can save loads on academic books.
Top Tip: your Uni may not have used the latest edition when the course was written, so get the edition they used and life will be easier and cheaper!
I am finding this book very useful and interesting - if you are curious about anthropology this is a good book to start with
Waste of money personally as my lecturer told us we needed them and it was never touched so i cant comment on the actual book itself as i never looked at it
Price is better than in the bookshops but still expensive - delivery was good
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