Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

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
View all contributors
  • Date Published: July 2020
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108720014


Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
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 to 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
    Read more

    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

    ‘A thoughtful, subtle guide to a critical, but often neglected, anthropological approach.’ Rob Borofsky, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108720014
    • length: 234 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.35kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 5 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • 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.


    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

Related Books

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.