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.