Mancunian Realism and Melanesian anthropology

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chapter argues that there has been an unacknowledged relationship of Manchester Anthropology that Max Gluckman promoted, and in which F. G. Bailey was trained, to a small network of Melanesianists, myself included. The chapter begins with a brief account of the orientation and interests of what I call ‘Mancunian Realism’, Gluckman’s actor-centered methodology. I then appraise the political anthropology that Bailey went on to develop from it, before turning to the impact of Mancunian Realism on Melanesian anthropology. Specifically, I assess exemplary texts in the work of John Barnes, Peter Worsley, and A. L. Epstein, and go on to evaluate the extent to which Mancunian Realism did and did not influence my own doctoral research in Papua New Guinea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Anthropology of Power, Agency, and Morality
Subtitle of host publicationThe Enduring Legacy of F. G. Bailey
PublisherUniversity of Manchester
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781526158260
ISBN (Print)9781526158253
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Manchester University Press 2022.


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