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L’Année sociologique

2012/1 (Vol. 62)

  • Pages : 256
  • ISBN : 9782130593331
  • DOI : 10.3917/anso.121.0093
  • Publisher : P.U.F.

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How did the expression « social anthropology » become pre-eminent in French academy? Why was « cultural anthropology » not successful in France? The answer seems to be in the lineage leading from Durkheim to Lévi-Strauss through Mauss. However, this explanation makes little case of an important debate -in which Lévi-Strauss was involved- between British and Americans about the nature of the anthropological discipline in the 1950s: should anthropology be cultural or social? Is social anthropology really a part of « anthropology »? Or is it simply sociology? In France and the uk, supporters of social anthropology were victorious, even if Lévi-Strauss departs paradoxically from sociology when he takes structural linguistics as a model. In the United States, anthropology remained mainly « cultural », that is to say open to psychology, archeology, geography, technology, history, aesthetics and the humanities in general.


  • anthropology
  • culture
  • Lévi-Strauss
  • scientific controversy
  • sociology

To cite this article

Erwan Dianteill, “ Anthropologie culturelle ou anthropologie sociale ? Une dispute transatlantique ”, L’Année sociologique 1/2012 (Vol. 62) , p. 93-122
URL : www.cairn.info/revue-l-annee-sociologique-2012-1-page-93.htm.
DOI : 10.3917/anso.121.0093.

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