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Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World$
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Charles Forsdick and David Murphy

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781846310546

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846319808

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date: 20 October 2018

Postcolonial Anthropology in the French-speaking World

Postcolonial Anthropology in the French-speaking World

(p.173) Chapter 13 Postcolonial Anthropology in the French-speaking World
Postcolonial Thought in the French-speaking World

David Richards

Liverpool University Press

Anthropology was a product of colonialism, a science that emerged out of empire. In Tristes Tropiques, Claude Lévi-Strauss laments a world that is disappearing due to destruction caused by the encroachment of Western civilisation and predatory colonisation. The subject matter of postcolonial anthropology reflects anthropology's traditional focus on issues relating to politics, language, religion, economics, social formation, and other forms of cultural production, but the social subjects' own interpretation is placed at the centre of the enquiry rather than subjugated to ‘authoritative’ external discourses. Although the term ‘postcolonial anthropology’ is generally ignored in France, it is deeply indebted to French-language theoretical and critical writings in feminism, poststructuralism, Marxism, and psychoanalysis. At the centre of postcolonial anthropology is a critique of all forms of essentialism, particularly race, ethnicity, ethnocentrism, and nationality.

Keywords:   France, postcolonial anthropology, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, colonisation, politics, feminism, Marxism, essentialism, race

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