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It Happens Among People: Resonances and Extensions of the Work of Fredrik Barth

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Volume 8

WYSE Series in Social Anthropology

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It Happens Among People

Resonances and Extensions of the Work of Fredrik Barth

Edited by Keping Wu and Robert P. Weller
Afterword by Ulf Hannerz

242 pages, 5 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-428-5 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (November 2019)

ISBN  978-1-78920-537-4 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Published (November 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-429-2 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“The entire volumes testifies to Barth’s long-lived relevance in anthropological theory and practice.” • Choice

“This is an unusually interesting volume. Part conventional Festschrift for Fredrik Barth (one of the most significant and influential anthropologists, also one of the most original and distinctive, of the second half of the twentieth century), but also part record and outcome of Barth’s specific influence in China and makes for a very distinctive volume.” • James Laidlaw, University of Cambridge


Written by eleven leading anthropologists from around the world, this volume extends the insights of Fredrik Barth, one of the most important anthropologists of the twentieth century, to push even further at the frontiers of anthropology and honor his memory. As a collection, the chapters thus expand Barth’s pioneering work on values, further develop his insights on human agency and its potential creativity, as well as continuing to develop the relevance for his work as a way of thinking about and beyond the state. The work is grounded on his insistence that theory should grow only from observed life.

Keping Wu is Associate Professor at the Department of China Studies in Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University. Trained as an anthropologist, she had previous teaching and research positions at Sun Yat-sen University, National University of Singapore, and The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has recently published Religion and Charity: The Social Life of Goodness in Chinese Societies, co-authored with Robert P. Weller and Julia Huang (Cambridge, 2018).

Robert P. Weller is Professor of Anthropology at Boston University.  Most of his work concentrates on Chinese societies in a comparative context, frequently with a focus on the problem of religious meaning and authority.  His most recent book is How Things Count as the Same: Memory, Mimesis, and Metaphor, co-authored with Adam Seligman (Oxford, 2019).  He is currently working on urbanization and religious change.

Subject: Anthropology (General)


List of Figures

Robert P. Weller and Keping Wu

Chapter 1. Humility First: Fredrik Barth in His Own Words – and Mine
Unni Wikan

Chapter 2. Transacting Knowledge and Value: Fredrik Barth and the Tactics of Mutual Incomprehension
Michael Herzfeld

Chapter 3. Cosmologies in the Remaking: Variation and Time in Chinese Temple Religion
Robert P. Weller

Chapter 4. Building Infrastructure and Making Boundaries in Southwest China
Keping Wu

Chapter 5. On Nomads of South Persia
Thomas Barfield

Chapter 6. The Language of Trust and Betrayal
Gunnar Haaland

Chapter 7. Khan and Sufi:  Two Types of Authority in Swat, Northern Pakistan
Charles Lindholm

Chapter 8. Values and the Value of Secrecy: Barthian Reflections on Values and the Nature of Mountain Ok Social Process
Joel Robbins

Chapter 9. Paradigm Change in Chinese Ethnology and Fredrik Barth’s Influence
Ke Fan

Chapter 10. An Overall Generative Approach: Fredrik Barth's Contribution to Anthropological Research and Writing
Chee-Beng Tan

Afterword: A Rooted Cosmopolitan Remembered
Ulf Hannerz


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