Anthropology and ethnohistorians
in The houses of history
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In the second half of the nineteenth century there were many parallels between the disciplines of history and anthropology. Both employed an empiricist methodology. This chapter briefly outlines the main currents of thought in anthropology. It examines the influence of two specific approaches that were to be fertile ground for historians: everyday life and symbolic anthropology, and ethnohistory. In the context of these approaches to history research and writing, the chapter also examines the key concept of 'ethnicity'. Two schools of thought within anthropology emerged in Britain and the United States. These schools were characterized respectively as social anthropology and cultural anthropology. Ethnohistorians particularly seek to bring into view the experiences and perspectives of indigenous and minority peoples in colonial contexts. One of the significant achievements of ethnohistory has been to approach all those engaged in cultural encounter as active agents who jointly determined the outcome.

The houses of history

A critical reader in history and theory, second edition


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