Anthropology written for a popular audience is the most neglected branch of the discipline. In the 1980s postmodernist anthropologists began to explore the literary and reflective aspects of their work. Popularizing Anthropology advances that trend by looking at a key but previously marginalized genre of anthropology.
The contributors, who are well known anthropologists, explore such themes as: why so many anthropologists are women; how the Japanese have reacted to Ruth Benedict; why Margaret Mead became so successful; how the French media promote Levi-Strauss and Louis Dumont; Why Bruce Chatwin tells us more about Aboriginals than many anthropologists in Australia; how personal accounts of fieldwork have evolved since the 1950s; how to write a personal account of fieldwork.
Popularizing Anthropology unearths a submerged tradition within anthropology and reveals that, from the beginning, anthropologists have looked beyond the boundaries of the academy for their listeners. It aims to establish the popularization of the discipline as an illuminating topic of investigation in its own right, arguing that it is not an irrelevant appendage to the main body of the subject but has always been an integral part of it.
'Read and enjoy this book, but treat its arguments seriously. In the modern age of mass communication, and (as if we need reminding) dwindling resources for higher education, it is time this important, but much-neglected genre is given the recognition it deserves.' – Anthropology in Action