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The Making of British Anthropology, 1813–1871
  • This book is no longer available to purchase from Cambridge Core
  • Publisher: Pickering & Chatto
  • Online publication date: December 2014
  • Online ISBN: 9781781440285

Book description

Victorian anthropology has been derided as an 'armchair practice', distinct from the scientific discipline of the twentieth century. But the observational practices that characterized the study of human diversity developed from the established sciences of natural history, geography and medicine. Sera-Shriar argues that anthropology at this time went through a process of innovation which built on scientifically grounded observational study. Far from being an evolutionary dead end, nineteenth-century anthropology laid the foundations for the field-based science of anthropology today.

Reviews

"'A valuable contribution to the history of the "study of man" over the long nineteenth century. Sera-Shriar gives us an intellectual lineage from Prichard to Tylor, opening up new ways of thinking about a form of thought that undoubtedly lay at the heart of imperial expansion and governance.'"

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