Theory for Anthropology


Theory for Anthropology

OAC already has a group named Theory in Anthropology, a good place to discuss theories already embraced by anthropologists. This group is, instead, intended for discussion of theory found outside anthropology that anthropologists might find useful.

Members: 119
Latest Activity: Nov 9, 2017

Discussion Forum

Action Anthropology and Sol Tax in 2012: The Final Word?

A new book on action anthropology put out by the Journal of Northwest Anthropology is out. You can find it at Amazon. Here is the abstract of this excellent new work:Action Anthropology and Sol Tax…Continue

Started by Joshua Smith Apr 3, 2013.

Emergence of Organizations and Markets 5 Replies

My recent explorations of the work of the Anthropology of Administration group at Minpaku, Japan's National Museum of Ethnology, have led me to have a look at recent developments in organization…Continue

Started by John McCreery. Last reply by John McCreery Nov 15, 2012.

Model Thinking 7 Replies

Scott Page, one of the two authors of Complex Adaptive Systems: An Introduction to Computational Models of Social Lifeis…Continue

Started by John McCreery. Last reply by John McCreery Apr 11, 2012.

Global Ethnography, A Sociological Perspective

How long has it sat on my bookshelf, this volume titled Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections, and Imaginations in a Postmodern World, authored by Michael Burawoy, Joseph A. Blum, Sheba George,…Continue

Started by John McCreery Apr 4, 2012.

Comment Wall


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Comment by John McCreery on November 5, 2012 at 8:41am

Tara, welcome to the group. It has been inactive for quite a long time, but I would be happy to see it revived. What sort of theory would you like to bring to our attention?

Comment by John McCreery on June 20, 2012 at 7:22am

Welcome to our new members, Marc Morell and Hugo Ferran. Let me use this occasion to offer another reminder that no group is better than what its members are willing to contribute to it. 

Comment by John McCreery on March 13, 2012 at 5:55pm

Welcome to our new members, Tea Fromholt Hansen and Johannes Castner. Let me say to everyone who has joined our ranks recently that this, like any other group, will only flourish if many contribute. So please don't be shy. If you've stumbled on something, a theory or approach that you think anthropologists should be aware of, please do tell us about it. 

Comment by Keith Hart on January 20, 2012 at 9:43am

Thanks, John. I am very concerned about the lack of activity. This includes every member of the Admins group with the possible exception of me and this in each case for personal reasons that are disabling. One way to go is to find out more about the members, what they do and don't do and why. This would take some effort of the kind raised by you and Elaine in the last flurry of discussion about the OAC. But no-one wants to work alone and getting up a head of steam for a number working together takes leadership. I hope to find the space for some such initiative before long, but we all operate with conflicting demands on our time. In the absence of a coordinated effort to lift the OAC to another level of participation (and I agree that includes simplifying the layout and focusing the content), I take the view that we should just keep accumulating mostly passive members and encourage some of them to start up their own small initiatives. One possible obstacle is the widespread perception that there is a hidden clique of governing powers who need to be squared before anything new can be done. So perhaps we need to make it clearer on the front page that there are no such obstacles. The more active step would be to write to some of those who showed an interest last time and set up a private forum to discuss what to do, where to go and who might do it. You can be sure you would be on that list. But at a time when I am launching a huge enterprise in South Africa while looking after a young family elsewhere, I can't see the window of opportunity for me to launch such an effort yet.

Comment by John McCreery on January 20, 2012 at 9:07am

OK. I leave it here.

P.S. I've been using the Blog to add a bit of content now and again. But you're right. Things are awfully damned quiet, despite the fact that a steady stream of newcomers seem to be signing up. Do they come just to plow through our midden? Or do they take a look and bag it? Any way to tell?

Comment by Keith Hart on January 20, 2012 at 8:57am

I realise that you feel frustrated that the Admins have not responded to your reasonable suggestion that the plethora of Groups needs to be weaned in order to make the site less cluttered. But this is because we have not been able to resolve the contradictions involved in such a move. Moreover, you will have noticed the precipitous decline in activity at the OAC and it is not obvious that our limited energies should be devoted to removing content rather than stimulating its addition. There is some evidence that many readers use the site as an archive. It is also the case that many are deterred by the abundance of confusing semi-moribund activity here. I would like to add my voice to those of Paul and Oscar. To delete the group and its content would be viewed as a hostile act and I wouldn't want that on several grounds.

Comment by Oscar González on January 20, 2012 at 8:49am


I think "theory for anthropology" is a very good idea and I thank you the creation of this group. Please don't close the discussion, even if it is quiet now.


Comment by John McCreery on January 20, 2012 at 8:39am

Paul, is there an alternative to deletion, an archive, for example? I just thought that having said multiple times that inactive groups should be pruned, I'd better set a good example.

Comment by Paul Wren on January 20, 2012 at 8:25am

John,  what are your intentions in terms of "shutting it down"?  Lots of good content here., I hope you are not deleting it.

Comment by John McCreery on January 20, 2012 at 7:16am

Since there has been no action in this group since last September and I am otherwise preoccupied, I will, if there is no objection, shut down this group 24 hours from now.


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