Victor C. de Munck
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Elisa J. Sobo
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Introduction, or ‘Yes that’s it!’
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Bailey’s prominence in anthropology reflects the unique capacity he had to seamlessly integrate good ethnography with coherent theory. He accomplished this by having a clear and flexible theory of social interaction, a toolkit of methods for synthesizing his findings, and an ability to transform his mind’s eye understandings of social interactions into text. This is no mean feat. To situate Bailey’s contributions, we describe and appraise the growth of the Manchester School of Anthropology under Max Gluckman and the development of the extended case study method. We then interrogate the two anthropological lives of Bailey ‒ one in India and England, the other in the USA, where his growing interest in adapting cognitive anthropology to his own work on leadership styles blossomed. We explore how, through Bailey’s lens, people behave as moral actors adhering to cultural practices signifying normative values, while at the same time being motivated by instrumental and desired personal ends. This is the basic paradigm for everyday life in Bailey’s Bisipara; and it appears to be the basic paradigm for everyday life most anywhere in the world. The introduction concludes with an overview of the 16 chapters that make up this volume. The chapters were written by anthropologists who have been strongly influenced by Bailey (many are either former students or colleagues). The diversity of the chapters, in content and approach, attest to Bailey’s enduring legacy as anthropology moves forward.

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The anthropology of power, agency, and morality

The enduring legacy of F. G. Bailey


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