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Perry Alfred Reginald Radcliffe

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 2 months ago

 Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown, 1881-1955

(By Joey Perry-Conlon)




Special Contribution:

Pioneering the study of social relations as integrated systems, influencing modern social anthropology.


Combining theories of other anthropologists and adapting them to create his own battery of concepts to frame ethnographies and generalisations of social structures.


Failing to consider the effects of historical changes in the societies he studied.  Also, his absence from the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford during the war years prevented his theories from having any major influence at Oxford.


Known for his theory of functionalism and role in founding British social anthropology.  He combined Durkheimian sociology with traditional anthropological interest in kinship to develop a systematic framework relating societal structures of pre-industrial societies and their functions.


Publications Include:

The Andamen Islands, 1922

Social Organisations of Australian Tribes, 1931

Structure and Function in Primitive Societies (posthumous)

Natural Science of Society (posthumous, based on his lecture series)

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