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The Birth of a Discipline

The Birth of a Discipline

(p.25) Chapter One The Birth of a Discipline
Far Afield
Vincent Debaene
University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines the birth of anthropology as an institutionalized academic discipline in early twentieth-century France. It looks at the founding of the Institut d’ethnologie and the Musée de l’Homme in Paris and the key roles played by such figures as Paul Rivet, Marcel Mauss, Marcel Griaule, and Arnold Van Gennep in the early history of French anthropology. Additionally, the chapter addresses the increasingly central role played by fieldwork in anthropological research and scholarship and how the ethnographer’s sense of self also became an object of investigation. Through fieldwork, anthropologists began to study “man” in its broadest sense, a perspective that seemed to betoken the return of a universal form of experience in the face of increasing social segmentation.

Keywords:   Fieldwork, Marcel Griaule, Paul Rivet, Marcel Mauss, Arnold Van Gennep, History of anthropology, Institut d’ethnologie, Musée de l’Homme

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