The nature of a cosmopolitan anthropology and the nature of human difference

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Thomas Hylland Eriksen argues in his incisive and fair-minded insight to “what is European about European anthropology” by advocating its cosmopolitanism. Anthropology that is cosmopolitan might go beyond hierarchies of language, country and institution, he urges; might provide the friction between different traditions that sparks a global intellectual exchange; and might bring global insights to bear, comparatively, on local issues of political economy. In this way Eriksen makes interesting links between “European anthropology” as an idea or concept and “European anthropology” as a set of ethnographic studies: I read him as saying that by virtue of the empirical facts that anthropological research in European settings has unearthed, we can now imagine a way of practising anthropology that is “cosmopolitan” – as amplified above. I would invest equally in a cosmopolitan anthropology, and would like to explore further what in the nature of cosmopolitanism as a concept enables it to have its intellectual and its moral power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-232
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Dec 2019


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