Manual of Ethnography

PDF-file by Marcel Mauss

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Marcel Mauss (1872-1950) was the leading social anthropologist in Paris between the world wars, and his Manuel d'ethnographie, dating from that period, is the longest of all his texts. Despite having had four editions in France, the Manuel has hitherto been unavailable in English. This contrasts with his essays, longer and shorter, many of which have long enjoyed the status of classics within anthropology. We are therefore pleased to present, in the English language for the first time, this extraordinary work that is based on the more than thirty lectures Mauss delivered each year under the title "Instructions in descriptive ethnography, intended for travelers, administrators and missionaries." Despite his dates, Mauss's treatment of fundamental questions, such as how to conceptualize and classify the range of social phenomena known to us from history and ethnography, has lost none of its freshness.

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