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Ethnology and/or Cultural Anthropology in Italy: Traditions and Developments [and Comments and Reply]

Vinigi Grottanelli, Giorgio Ausenda, Bernardo Bernardi, Ugo Bianchi, Y. Michal Bodemann, Jack Goody, Allison Jablonko, David I. Kertzer, Vittorio Lanternari, Antonio Marazzi, Roy A. Miller, Jr., Laura Laurencich Minelli, David M. Moss, Leonard W. Moss, H. R. H. Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark, Diana Pinto, Pietro Scotti and Tullio Tentori
Current Anthropology
Vol. 18, No. 4 (Dec., 1977), pp. 593-614
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2741501
Page Count: 22
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Ethnology and/or Cultural Anthropology in Italy: Traditions and Developments [and Comments and Reply]
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Abstract

The paper attempts to summarize the development of ethnology in Italy, from its early antecedents in past centuries to the present day, and its relation to other sciences of man as understood and organized in the country. Since 1870, the year in which the nation's political unification was completed, the unity of anthropological disciplines has been recognized in principe and reflected in the programs of learned societies, specialized museums, scientific journals, and occasional congreses; but, as elsewhere, specialization soon led to the emergence of separate and largely independent branches-physical anthropology, prehistory, folklore, and ethnography/ethnology-while archaeology and sociology remained from the start even more distinctly autonomous. The pioneering work of explorers and other militant scientists before World War I, the limited impact of colonial administration on studies of overseas populations, the predominant influence of German "historical" trends in the period between the two wars, the conflicting emphasis on domestic folklore researches and extra-European fieldwork, and the production and theoretical leanings of some othe leading scholars are briefly discussed in turn. The lasttthree decades have been marked by an increased interest in traditional ethnology understood as culture history, but also by an incipient influence of Anglo-Saxon trends in social and cultural anthropology. The recent creation of new teaching posts in the universities is seen as a prelude to a reshaping of the educational system in the field of the sciences of man.

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