Reflections on Anthropology
The Kent State University Press
Landmarks addresses a wide range of questions relevant to the recent history of anthropology and its importance to contemporary issues. These questions include the significance of anthropology for Third World studies; the debate on whether anthropology is a scientific or a humanistic subject; anthropology as a means of reflecting on ourselves as well as others; and the criticisms of anthropological work that have emerged out of postmodernism. Drawing on his research findings in Papua New guinea since 1964 and his more recent work on the cross-cultural study of medicine, the author examines the extent to which we can achieve understanding between different cultures and the relative merits of approaches that stress indigenous categories or those of the observer. He concludes that the discipline now requires reconstruction rather than deconstruction, and advances the call for holistic models of human behavior which re-conceptualize the relationship between body and mind.