Autor: Victoria A. Goddard, Josep R. Llobera, Cris Shore

It would be impossible, in a short introduction, to do justice to the breadth and complexity of anthropological studies in Europe in the post-war period. What follows is simply an attempt to map out the broad developments that have shaped the scope and character of anthropological work in Western Europe. For heuristic purposes only, a rough periodization is given, setting out the general context within which the main themes of this introduction are explored. In particular, we focus on the category of the ‚Mediterranean‘ as a culture area and the slow and erratic emergence of ‚Europe‘ as a distinctive object of anthropological investigation. As we point out, much of the controversy surrounding these issues is bound up in wider questions of method (particularly the centrality of fieldwork), and the epistemological legacy of small-community studies which anthropologists have struggled to transcend. We ask, what have been the achievements of the past four decades of anthropological forays into Europe? When addressing this question we have focused predominantly on the Anglo-Saxon tradition of anthropology. There is an element of arbitrariness in our selection; but while recognizing that there is no single ap- proach to doing anthropology in Europe, we have tried to outline some of the problems associated with an anthropology of Europe. We have therefore concentrated on those works which we deem to be significant in defining the area of study.

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