Questioning local boundaries: a critique of the "anthropology of locality"

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


A key element of the self‐critique in contemporary anthropology centres on the idea that categories such as culture and society have exaggerated human differences. This paper argues that the work of Anthony Cohen, which has attempted to frame “localities” as a new anthropological object, can be criticized on similar grounds. A close reading of Cohen's theoretical and ethnographic writings shows that the “anthropology of locality”, while claiming to be a critique of nationalhomogenization, in fact replicates ata lower level of scale features of the national units. Consideration of this particular example of the exaggeration of (local) difference, moreover, occasions reflection on the wider critique of generalization within anthropology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-231
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Questioning local boundaries: a critique of the "anthropology of locality"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this