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Anthropology through the Looking-Glass


  • Page extent: 272 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.548 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 306
  • Dewey version: 19
  • LC Classification: GN33 .H47 1987
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Anthropology--Philosophy
    • Ethnology--Europe
    • Ethnology--Greece
    • Greece--Social life and customs

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521340038 | ISBN-10: 0521340039)

Despite having emerged in the heyday of a dominant Europe, of which Ancient Greece is the hallowed spiritual and intellectual ancestor, anthropology has paradoxically shown relatively little interest in contemporary Greek culture. In this innovative and ambitious book, Michael Herzfeld moves Greek Ethnography from the margins to the centre of anthropological theory, revealing the theoretical insights that can be gained by so doing. He shows that the ideology that originally led to the creation of anthropology also played a large part in the growth of the modern Greek nation-state, and that Greek ethnography can therefore serve as a mirror for an ethnography of anthropology itself. He further demonstrates the role that scholarly fields, including anthropology, have played in the construction of contemporary Greek culture and Greek identity.


1. Romanticism and Hellenism: burdens of otherness; 2. A secular cosmology; 3. Aboriginal Europeans; 4. Difference as identity; 5. The double-headed eagle: self-knowledge and self-display; 6. Strict definitions and bad habits; 7. The practice of relativity; 8. Etymologies of a discipline.


'If the field of European ethnography has largely been ignored by the discipline of anthropology, which is still bent on living out of its fantasies of the erotic other, this work persuasively sets out the value of looking closer to home.' The Times Literary Supplement

'… he has moved scholarship decisively forward and set new standards for Europeanist anthropology.' Journal of Modern Greek Studies

'… a book which may be one of those few which change a landscape.' Anthropology Today

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