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New to Anthro, what's remarkable about Radcliffe-Brown?


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Hello all!


I am NOT asking you to do my research so don't be upset! :) 


I'm new to Anthropology and I have to present this Anthropologist to the class via a presentation. But since I'm new all I have is a very long wikipedia page loaded that I'm reading, but out of context(never done anthro)it's hard to grab onto anything. I think by now you must understand that I'd like help with some 'direction', like what theory brought this man to fame or something like that. 


Thank you, have a swell day! :D  And this is my first post! :)



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To the above response I'd add that Radcliffe-Brown departed from an historical/ethnological social science tradition, in which anthropologists merely reported on or superficially described cultures, and thus intitated an interpretive analytical turn. Though he is not known for ethnographic fieldwork, RB began to interpret ethnological data. He segmented human culture into constituent parts and interpreted how these structures worked together to create integrated sociocultural systems. He was one of the first anthropologists to examine how these 'structures', such as kinship, functioned with and in response to one another (as well as in addition to other external conditions) to generate a bounded cultural identity or unified practice. Like Malinowski, he was very focused on function -- how behaviors and sociocultural structures functioned strategically to generate particular outcomes or responses. He is also known for cross-cultural comparative anthro; still, more interested in utilizing interpretive methods for analyzing current cultural practices than relying on historical description, which a lot of armchair anthropologists were inclined to do.



I'm sure there are others on this board, more current in their anthro studies, who will be able to assist you further with your question. It's been some years since I completed my anthro major, but I did go through a big Malinowski phase as an undergrad, and he and Radcliffe-Brown are the founders of British social anthropology. Unfortunately, my knowledge of RB is informed mostly by way of Malinowski and partly by what I recall from a requisite History of Anthropological Thought course.


Good luck!


Edited by La_Di_Da
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I'm forced to use the forums from my phone lately, hence my short reply, but the link I provided and what the above poster said should get you started.

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