Mancunian Realism and Melanesian anthropology
in The anthropology of power, agency, and morality
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The chapter argues that there has been an unacknowledged relationship of Manchester Anthropology that Max Gluckman promoted, and in which F. G. Bailey was trained, to a small network of Melanesianists, myself included. The chapter begins with a brief account of the orientation and interests of what I call ‘Mancunian Realism’, Gluckman’s actor-centered methodology. I then appraise the political anthropology that Bailey went on to develop from it, before turning to the impact of Mancunian Realism on Melanesian anthropology. Specifically, I assess exemplary texts in the work of John Barnes, Peter Worsley, and A. L. Epstein, and go on to evaluate the extent to which Mancunian Realism did and did not influence my own doctoral research in Papua New Guinea.

The anthropology of power, agency, and morality

The enduring legacy of F. G. Bailey

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