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Comparing Cultures
Innovations in Comparative Ethnography

Edward D. Lowe, Michael Schnegg, Caroline B. Brettell, Richard Handler, Guido Sprenger, Andre Gingrich, Jennifer S. Hirsch, Holly Wardlow, Daniel Jordan Smith, Harriet Phinney, Shanti Parikh, Constance A. Nathanson, Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, Niko Besnier, Daniel Guinness
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  • Publication planned for: July 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from July 2020
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108720014

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About the Authors
  • A new and important contribution to the re-emergent field of comparative anthropology, this book argues that comparative ethnographic methods are essential for more contextually sophisticated accounts of a number of pressing human concerns today. The book includes expert accounts from an international team of scholars, showing how these methods can be used to illuminate important theoretical and practical projects. Illustrated with examples of successful inter-disciplinary projects, it highlights the challenges, benefits, and innovative strategies involved in working collaboratively across disciplines. Through its focus on practical methodological and logistical accounts, it will be of value to both seasoned researchers who seek practical models for conducting their own cutting-edge comparative research, and for teachers and students who are looking for first-person accounts of comparative ethnographic research.

    • A new approach to ethnographic comparison in anthropology: configurational comparisons
    • Enables readers to explore a range of options for conducting ethnographic comparative projects
    • Includes a variety of examples of successful collaborative comparative multi-sited projects with important scientific and policy implications
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Comparison is almost as fundamental to the human mind as air and water is to the body. It is therefore puzzling and paradoxical that anthropology, which was founded as an explicitly comparative discipline, has often been ambivalent, reluctant and even hostile to comparative research. This extremely timely book reinstates comparison as a key element in anthropological theory and methodology, demonstrating a variety in comparative strategies which reflect the diversity of anthropology itself and, indeed, the human world. Highly recommended.' Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo

    ‘This book engages with a welcome and timely project: restoring comparative perspectives to anthropology. By exploring the challenges, dimensions, and complexities of comparative methodologies, it illustrates how critical comparisons can inform theory and illuminate underlying political economic and institutional processes.’ Nina Glick Schiller, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: July 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108720014
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: Not yet published - available from July 2020
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction – Comparative Ethnography: Its Promise, Process, and Successful Implementations Edward D. Lowe and Michael Schnegg
    Part I. Binary Comparisons:
    1. Thinking with Comparison in the Anthropology/ Historical Anthropology of Migration Caroline B. Brettell
    2. Comparing Tangerines: Dorothy Lee and the Search for an Authentic Individualism Richard Handler
    3. A Comparative Ethnographic Study of Suicide Epidemics in Two Pacific Island Societies Edward D. Lowe
    Part II. Regional Comparisons:
    4. The Comparison of Structures and the Comparison of Systems: Lévi-Strauss, Dumont, Luhmann Guido Sprenger
    5. Regional Comparison in Historical Anthropology: Three Case Examples from South Arabia Andre Gingrich
    6. Scaling Ethnography Up Michael Schnegg
    Part III. Distant and Fluid Comparisons:
    7. Best, Worst, and Good Enough: Lessons Learned from Multi-Sited Comparative Ethnography Jennifer S. Hirsch, Holly Wardlow, Daniel Jordan Smith, Harriet Phinney, Shanti Parikh, and Constance A. Nathanson
    8. Research Across Cultures and Disciplines: Methodological Challenges in an Interdisciplinary and Comparative Research Project on Emotion Socialization Birgitt Röttger-Rössler
    9. Global Sport Industries, Comparison, and Economics of Scales Niko Besnier and Daniel Guinness.

  • Editors

    Michael Schnegg, Universität Hamburg
    Michael Schnegg is Professor of Anthropology at Universität Hamburg.

    Edward D. Lowe, Soka University of America
    Edward D. Lowe is Professor of Anthropology at Soka University of America.

    Contributors

    Edward D. Lowe, Michael Schnegg, Caroline B. Brettell, Richard Handler, Guido Sprenger, Andre Gingrich, Jennifer S. Hirsch, Holly Wardlow, Daniel Jordan Smith, Harriet Phinney, Shanti Parikh, Constance A. Nathanson, Birgitt Röttger-Rössler, Niko Besnier, Daniel Guinness

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