Brief Introduction to Urban Anthropology

Perhaps the most revealing feature of anthropological studies in urban sites is the lack of precedence accorded to kinship (eg Whyte 1943; Geertz 1960; Finnegan 1989). In contrast to the classical ethnography of the Iroquois, All, Trobriand Islanders or Nuer – societies in which almost all the associates of an informant can be placed in a cognitive grid of kinship, clan and related – in urban places are relationships ordered in other ways those that assume centrality in daily life. This does not mean that kinship is not important in cities or that anthropologists do not study it there; it is, and they do. Urban anthropology, however,

Urban anthropologists have persecutedyour goals with bottom-up and bottom-up approaches. The research traditions that document the micro-terraces of everyday life are well established in studies of migration, social networks, street cliques, neighborhoods, political processes, merchants and entrepreneurs, careers, and client relationships. , voluntary associations, religious congregations, public ceremonies, urban festivals, bureaucratic meetings and social movements. And so are the more holistic attempts to elaborate forms and qualities of urbanism, the rural-urban continuum, the diverse heterogeneous and traditional orthogenic urban centers, the regional and transnational social orders, the marketing networks, the dimensions of scale and specialization, spatial symbolism and cross-cultural domains of urban life. In short, anthropology in the city has evolved, as well as that of the city.

Lineages of urban anthropology

Fieldwork of anthropologists in urban places began in the 1930s and 1940s, with their theoretical direction marked mainly by the social anthropology of AR Radcliffe-Brown and Bronislaw Malinowski. During these decades the ethnographic method of observing the participants was used by W. Lloyd Warner and his students in ‘Yankee City’, Chicago and Natchez, Mississippi; by Robert Redfield and associates in Yucatan; and by William F. Whyte in Boston (1943), Edward Spicer among the Yaqui in Tucson, Arizona, Horace Miner in Timbuctoo, William Bascom in Ife, Godfrey Wilson in Zambia, and Ellen Hellmann and Bengt Sundkler in South Africa. This work shared inspiration with contemporary studies of rural and peasant communities in Europe, North America, Japan and China,

This research in towns and cities (not then called or thought of as a separate “urban anthropology”) also had non-anthropological roots. The most important were at the University of Chicago the sociological tradition of research on the neighborhoods and institutions of that city started by Robert Park after the First World War (Hannerz 1980). Based on the nin

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