Fredrik Barth

Fredrik Barth

Fredrik Barth (born 1928) is a Norwegian social anthropologist who has published several ethnographic books with a clear formalistic view. He is professor in the Department of Anthropology at Boston University, and has previously held professorships at the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen (where he founded the Department of Social Anthropology), Emory University and Harvard University.

He is well-known among anthropologists for his transactional analysis of politic processes in the Swat Valley of northern Pakistan and his study of microeconomic processes and entepreneurship in the area of Darfur in Sudan. The latter has been regarded as a classical example of formalistic analysis in economic anthropology. During his long career he has also done acclaimed studies based on field works in Bali, New Guinea, and several countries in the Middle East, thematically covering a wide array of subjects.

Barth was the editor of the ground-breaking and highly influential "Ethnic Groups and Boundaries" (1969) in which he outlines an approach to the study of ethnicity which focuses on the on-going negotiations of boundaries between groups of people. Barth's view is that such groups are not discontinuous cultural isolates, or logical a prioris to which people naturally belong.

Barth wants to part with anthropological notions of cultures as bounded entities, and ethnicity as primordialist bonds, replacing it with a focus on the interface between groups.

"Ethnic Groups and Boundaries", therefore, is a focus on the interconnectedness of ethnic identities. Barth writes (p. 9): " [...] categorical ethnic distinctions do not depend on an absence of mobility, contact and information, but do entail social processes of exclusion and incorporation whereby discrete categories are maintained "despite" changing participation and membership in the course of individual life histories." Furthermore, Barth accentuates that group categories - i.e. ethnic labels - will most often endure even when individual members move across boundaries or share an identity with people in more than one group.

The interdependency of ethnic groups is a pivotal argument throughout both the introduction and the following chapters in Barth's edited book. As interdependent, ethnic identities are the product of continuous so-called ascriptions and self-ascriptions, whereby Barth stresses the interactional perspective of social anthropology on the level of the persons involved instead of on a socio-structural level. Ethnic identity "becomes" and is maintained through relational processes of inclusion and exclusion.

Barth is married to Unni Wikan, professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, Norway.

elected Works

*"Balinese worlds." Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993. ISBN 0226038335
*"Cosmologies in the making : a generative approach to cultural variation in inner New Guinea." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. ISBN 0521342791
*"Sohar, culture and society in an Omani town." Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983. ISBN 0801828406
*"Ritual and knowledge among the Baktaman of New Guinea." Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1975. ISBN 0300018169
*"Ethnic groups and boundaries. The social organization of culture difference". Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1969.
*"Models of social organization". London, Royal Anthropological Institute, 1966.
*"Nomads of South-Persia; the Basseri tribe of the Khamseh Confederacy." Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1962.
*"Political leadership among Swat Pathans". London : The Athlone Press, 1959.

External links

* [ Los grupos étnicos y sus fronteras. Introducción] es
* [ Los Pathanes: su identidad y conservación] es
* [ Barth, Fredrik (b.1928) - Entry in the AnthroBase Online Dictionary of Anthropology] en
* [ video interview of Fredrik Barth from Alan Macfarlane's FILMS OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL AND OTHER "ANCESTORS"] en

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  • Fredrik Barth — (nacido en 1928) es un antropólogo social noruego que ha publicado varias etnografías con una clara visión formalista. Actualmente ejerce como profesor en el departamento de Antropología de la Universidad de Boston, y previamente ha llevado a… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Fredrik Barth — (* 1928) ist ein norwegischer Ethnologe, der sich hauptsächlich mit der politischen Anthropologie staatenloser Gesellschaften befasst. Als Sohn norwegischer Eltern geboren in Leipzig, aufgewachsen in Deutschland, den USA und während des Zweiten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Fredrik — ist ein skandinavischer und finnischer männlicher Vorname.[1] Herkunft und Bedeutung Fredrik ist die schwedische, norwegische und finnische Form eines germanischen Namens mit der Bedeutung friedvoller Herrscher, Friedensfürst.[2][3] Die deutsche… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Thomas F. W. Barth — Thomas Fredrik Weiby Barth (* 18. Mai 1899 auf der Insel Bolsøy, Norwegen; † 7. März 1971 in Oslo) war ein norwegischer Mineraloge, Petrologe und Geochemiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Literatur 3 Schriften …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Ethnic group — Ethnicity redirects here. For the 2003 kayla listening album, see Ethnicity (Yanni album). Peoples redirects here. For the defunct chain of department stores, see Peoples (store). For jewelry store chain in Canada, see Zale Corporation. An ethnic …   Wikipedia

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