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Max Gluckman Papers

Date range: 1950-1972

Medium: Archive

(Herman) Max Gluckman was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester from 1949 until his death in 1975, and an important figure in the development of the discipline of social anthropology.

Influenced by functionalist theories, Gluckman’s early work centred on social and racial relations in southern Africa. He made original contributions to anthropological jurisprudence, most notably through his studies of tribal law in Zambia: The Judicial Process among the Barotse (1955) and The Ideas in Barotse Jurisprudence (1965).

After moving to Manchester, he built up a highly successful department, and introduced a research programme, which became known as the ‘Manchester School’ approach. This was based on individual case studies, and took a conflict theory approach to social and kinship relations.

This small collection of Gluckman’s papers comprises correspondence with other leading anthropologists, including Elizabeth Colson (1917-2016), Bill Epstein (1924-1999), E. E. Evans-Pritchard (1902-1973), Raymond Firth (1901-2002), J. Clyde Mitchell (1918-1995), A. Radcliffe-Browne (1881-1955), and Victor Turner (1920-1983). The collection provides insights into the Manchester School of Anthropology at the height of its influence.

Further information:

Catalogue available via ELGAR.

Bruce Kapferer, 'The Anthropology of Max Gluckman', Social Analysis: The International Journal of Social and Cultural Practice, no. 22 (1987), pp. 3-21.


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