Thomas Hylland Eriksen
Small Places - Large Issues
Introduction to Social Anthropology

Is there such a thing as a “common human condition”? What is the relationship between religion, science and mysticism? What is the role of family ties in traditional or modern societies? How does politics function in a society without leadership? Why are ethnicity and nationalism such central issues in our time?

Small places, Large Issues is a clear and accessible overview of social and cultural anthropology. Hylland Eriksen focuses on the central topics such as kinship, ethnicity, ritual and political systems, and offers a wealth of examples that demonstrate the enormous scope of anthropology and the importance of a comparative perspective.
Ranging from the pacific islands to the Arctic north and from small villages to modern nation states, this concise introduction reveals the rich global variation in social life and culture. Eriksen emphasises the need to establish interrelations between action and social structure and between the study to incorporate the anthropology of complex modern societies, thus providing a key text for all students of social and cultural anthropology.

Thomas Hylland Eriksen

Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo and the author of numerous books on anthropological and cultural issues, including Small Places, Large Issues and Tyranny of the Moment, which have both enjoyed tremendous success in Norway and abroad.

From 1993 to 2001 he was affiliated with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture at the University of Oslo. His research spans ethnic relations, nation building and cultural dynamism in multicultural societies and he has written several books on such subjects. He has carried out field work in Mauritius and Trinidad.

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Edited October 31, 2023 by Universitetsforlaget