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Anthropology after GluckmanThe Manchester School, colonial and postcolonial transformations$
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Richard Werbner

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526138002

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526138019

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Clyde Mitchell and A. L. Epstein: urban perspectives

Clyde Mitchell and A. L. Epstein: urban perspectives

(p.100) 4 Clyde Mitchell and A. L. Epstein: urban perspectives
Anthropology after Gluckman

Richard Werbner

Manchester University Press

Chapter 4 turns from rural research by the home town anthropologist Colson to urban research by Clyde Mitchell, whose lack of a home town in his early life and need to pay attention to railway timetables – his Scottish father worked on the South African railway – may well have been formative for a life-long disposition towards following people newly on the move, especially strangers encountering fresh situations and innovating in towns. Arguably, Mitchell’s formative disposition appears to be dual: both an affinity with mapping, navigating and finding the way through flux and complexity, and also a fascination with empirical bits of the kind a mathematician might parse. Chapter 4 complements a review of Mitchell’s seminal urban studies, especially on the Kalela dance, by giving a full account of the fiercely controversial attack, led by the Marxist sociologist Bernard Magubane, on Mitchell’s work in collaboration with A. L. Epstein. Carrying forward the interest in Gluckman’s impact, this chapter examines the nature of Mitchell’s interdependent, if ambivalent, relation with his mentor and friend, Gluckman, from whom he learned and whom, in turn, he taught, in good measure through restatements and revisions of Gluckman’s work and ideas.

Keywords:   urban sociology, Kalela dance, decolonization, Marxism, engaged anthropology, ethnicity, urban innovation, social stratification, labour migration, situational analysis

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