The anthropology of power, agency, and morality

The enduring legacy of F. G. Bailey

Edited by Victor de Munck and Elisa J. Sobo

The anthropology of power, agency, and morality
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  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526158253
  • Publish Date: Jun 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    eBook -
  • Price: £90.00
  • ISBN: 9781526158246
  • Publish Date: Jun 2022
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
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    Book Information

    • Format: eBook
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5824-6
    • Published Date: June 2022


    The works of F. G. Bailey (1924-2020) provide a seminal template for good ethnography. Central to this is Bailey's ability to conceptually connect the well-described micro-contexts of individual interactions to the macro-context of culture. Bailey's core concerns - the tension between individual and collective interests, the will to power, and the dialectics of social forces which foster both collective solidarity as well as divisiveness and discontent - are themes of universal interest; the beauty of his work lies in his analyses of how these play out in local arenas between real people. His models provide nuanced, yet explicit road maps to analysing the different leadership styles of everyday people and contemporary leaders.

    This volume seeks to inspire new generations of anthropologists to revisit Bailey's seminal texts, to help them navigate their way through the ethnographic thicket of their own research.


    Preface - Edward Simpson
    Introduction, or: 'Yes that's it!' - Victor de Munck and Elisa J Sobo

    Part I: Contributions to the discipline
    1 F. G. Bailey's political anthropology and its malcontents - Felix Girke
    2 Morality, truth and power in F. G. Bailey's ethnography of politics - Gitika De
    3 Politics as theatrical performance and backstage pragmatism: work and legacy of F. G. Bailey - Stanley R. Barrett

    Part II: Professional mentoring
    4 Leadership influence: an aperture on 'character' - Christopher Griffin
    5 A personal memory of F. G. Bailey - Gavin Smith
    6 Mancunian realism and Melanesian anthropology - David Lipset

    Part III: Individuals in situations
    7 Negotiating the gap between the 'ought' and the 'is': older Americans' strategies - Yohko Tsuji
    8 Conundrums of caste, history, and truth: Hindu Nadar identities in urban South India - Sara Dickey
    9 The moral guises of injustice: from Bisipara to Aotearoa - Erica Prussing

    Part IV: Rules and roles of conflict
    10 The social construction of the Washington Consensus on international trade policy - Robert H. Wade
    11 'Rules are Weapons': Can F. G. Bailey's toolbox aid our understanding of irrigation bureaucracies? - Namika Raby
    12 Politics and administration in the narrow neck of the hourglass: an account of normative and pragmatic rules in Norwegian local politics - Christian Lo
    13 'Tertius Gaudens aut Tertium Numen? Third-party Roles in Conflict and Conflict Resolution' - Kevin Avruch

    Part V: Social change
    14 Tribe and nation in the Balkans: Bailey's Concepts of agency, expediency, morality and change in the former Yugoslavia - Mary Kay Gilliland
    15 Old boys or a new middle class?: Defining leadership through bridge-actions in a Fijian Pentecostal church - Karen J. Brison
    16 'The Need for Enemies': modernity and malevolence in Tribal India - Andrew Willford


    Victor de Munck is Professor, Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies, Vilnius University

    Elisa J Sobo is Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, San Diego State University

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