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The Manchester School: Practice and Ethnographic Praxis in Anthropology

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The Manchester School

Practice and Ethnographic Praxis in Anthropology

Edited by T. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman

348 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-282-7 $29.95/£23.95 pb Published (September 2006)

eISBN 978-0-85745-858-2 eBook

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“The book accomplishes admirably its stated aim, namely ‘to highlight and critically examine the fundamental features of the extended-case method, in order to advance its substantial, continuing merits’. Its editors and chapter contributors demonstrate that the extended-case method is more than a ‘method’, it is a sophisticated mode of research and analysis arising from the long-standing political, institutional and epistemological concerns of Gluckman and his students...This book is a timely addition to the ongoing rethinking of practice theory after Bourdieu… With its ethnographic grounding, attention to situated process, and stress on the latent potentialities of social interaction for the structuring of social life (cf. Giddens 1984), the renewal of this social anthropological tradition signaled by the present study has much to offer cultural anthropologists in the United States and elsewhere.”  ·  Ethnos

... Everyone will welcome this renewal of the extended case / situational analysis approach. Recovering the original reasons for doing things that one otherwise takes for granted not only recovers an earlier richness and generosity of intellect but makes for a very spirited and reinvigorating contemporary exercise....this is an important enterprise in charting the development of anthropology, and indeed social science more broadly.  ·  Marilyn Strathern, DBE, FBA, University of Cambridge<

Misunderstood and neglected for decades, the Manchester School's influence on contemporary social anthropology is considerable, even if often unacknowledged. This excellent book shows that Gluckman et al. were years ahead of their time in formulating methodological and theoretical questions of crucial importance to anthropology today. A timely book indeed!  ·  Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo/Free University of Amsterdam


Pioneered by Max Gluckman to demonstrate the way in which social practice and structure together constitute and are themselves constituted by the situational flow of social life, the extended case method became diagnostic of the Manchester School of Social Anthropology. Anticipating practice theory, and implicitly politically charged, it was developed as a tool to bring into account what orthodox structural functionalism was ill-equipped to address, namely, problems such as change, conflict, deviance, and individual choice.

Edited by two students of Gluckman, the volume comprises reprinted pieces by Gluckman and his colleague Clyde Mitchell, a Coda by Mitchell’s student, Bruce Kapferer, contributions by Gluckman’s students and/or friends and colleagues, including Ronnie Frankenberg, Kapferer, Evens, Handelman, and Sally Falk Moore, as well as a number of contributions from other practitioners of the extended case. Apart from the reprinted pieces by Gluckman and Mitchell, all the contributions have been written for this volume. These essays, historical, theoretical, and ethnographical, serve to highlight and critically examine the fundamental features of the extended-case method, in order to advance its substantial, continuing merits.

T. M. S. (Terry) Evens, Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, received his Ph.D. in 1971 at Manchester University. He is author of Two Kinds of Rationality: Kibbutz Democracy and Generational Conflict (University of Minnesota Press, 1995), and co-editor of Transcendence in Society: Case Studies (JAI Press, 1990). His work reflects an abiding interest in the philosophical underpinnings of anthropology.

Don Handelman, Sarah Allan Shaine Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, received his Ph.D. from the University of Manchester. He has published Models and Mirrors: Towards an Anthropology of Public Events (Berghahn Books, 1998) and Nationalism and the Israeli State: Bureaucratic Logic in Public Events (Berg 2004). He is the coauthor with David Shulman of Siva in the Forest of Pines: An Essay on Sorcery and Self-Knowledge (Oxford, 2004), and the coeditor with Galina Lindquist of Ritual in Its Own Right: Exploring the Dynamics of Transformation (Berghahn Books, 2004).

Subject: Theory & Methodology in Anthropology
Area: Europe


Introduction: The Ethnographic Praxis of the Theory of Practice
T. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman


Preface: Theorizing the Extended-Case Study Method
T. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman

Chapter 1. Ethnographic Data in British Social Anthropology
Max Gluckman

Chapter 2. Case and Situation Analysis
J. Clyde Mitchell

Chapter 3. An Ontology for the Ethnographic Analysis of Social Processes: Extending the Extended-Case Method
Andreas Glaeser

Chapter 4. Some Ontological Implications of Situational Analysis
T. M. S. Evens

Chapter 5. The Extended Case: Interactional Foundations and Prospective Dimensions
Don Handelman

Chapter 6. Situations, Crisis, and the Anthropology of the Concrete: The Contribution of Max Gluckman
Bruce Kapferer


Preface: Historicizing the Extended-Case Method
T. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman

Chapter 7. Made in Manchester? Methods and Myths in Disciplinary History
David Mills

Chapter 8. History of the Manchester ‘School’ and the Extended-Case Method
Marian Kempny

Chapter 9. A Bridge over Troubled Waters, or What a Difference a Day Makes: From the Drama of Production to the Production of Drama
Ronald Frankenberg


Preface: Extended-Case Studies—Place, Time, Reflection
T. M. S. Evens and Don Handelman

Chapter 10. The Workings of Uncertainty: Interrogating Cases on Refugees in Sweden
Karin Norman

Chapter 11. The Vindication of Chaka Zulu: Retreat into the Enchantment of the Past C.
Bawa Yamba

Chapter 12. The Politics of Ethnicity as an Extended Case: Thoughts on a Chiefly Succession Crisis
Björn Lindgren

Chapter 13. From Tribes and Traditions to Composites and Conjunctures
Sally Falk Moore

Bruce Kapferer


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