Original title: L’Anthropologie
Born institutionally with the colonial empires and the advent of nationalism, anthropology has never ceased to search itself. On which string should it pull to understand the diversity of human customs, societies and cultures? On that of natural history, physical sciences, mental sciences, political or economic sciences?
Fueled by ethnographers, the ideas of anthropology have acquired their autonomy by isolating objects favourable to their deployment as bases for comparison between cultures and societies, and very often, between the Others and ourselves.
If today these objects are renewed, it is because the picture of the world’s political and cultural otherness has changed since the second half of the 20th century. This is why we felt it was important to take stock of this discipline, which is ultimately poorly known, yet so fundamental. The major currents (functionalism, structuralism, but also cultural ecology and evolutionary psychology…) and the classic objects (kinship, arts, language…) of anthropology, embodied by researchers such as Marcel Mauss, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown, Margaret Mead, Françoise Héritier, Philippe Descola… are discussed, as well as its topicality, which is the great asset of this work. The new favourite subjects of anthropology anchored in our present time are thus dealt with: tourism, scientific activity, political and memorial rites, or even hot topics such as artificial intelligence and migrations.