The Sociology of Anthropology and of Asian Studies

A fascinating, subject with which I have engaged (again, alone or with colleagues) is the anthropology of Asia and anthropology in Asia. The focus of this scholarly interest has been on how anthropology has developed as a discipline in Asian contexts, the relation between the discipline and nation-states and systems of higher education, and ways in which anthropology figures in producing and reproducing wider collective identity. The governing perspective in this regard is what may be termed a sociology of anthropological knowledge. In this regard, I have published a small number of articles and an edited book with the late Prof Jan van Bremen of Leiden University (an anthropologist) and Prof Farid Alatas of the National University of Singapore (a sociologist and social historian) entitled “Anthropologies of Asia: Anthropologies in Asia” and look forward to carrying on this line of interest in the future.


Eyal Ben-Ari On Acknowledgements in Ethnographies, Journal of Anthropological Research, 43(1), 63‑84, 1987. (also appears in John Van Maanen (ed.): Representations in Ethnography. Pp. 13-164. London: Sage.[PDF | Download]
Jan van Bremen, Eyal Ben-Ari and Farid Al-Atas (eds) Anthropologies of Asia: Anthropologies in Asia. London: RoutledgeCurzon, 2005. [Amazon Link]

Timothy Tsu, Jan van Bremen and Eyal Ben-Ari (eds) Perspectives on Social Memory in Japan. London: Global Oriental, 2005. [Book Link]

Eyal Ben-Ari Colonialism, Anthropology and the Politics of Professionalization: An Argumentative Afterword. In Jan van Bremen and Akitoshi Shimizu (eds.): Anthropology and Colonialism: The Japanese and Dutch Experience in East and South-East Asia. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press and London: Curzon Press. 384-411, 1998.

Eyal Ben-Ari Japanese Anthropological Scholarship: An Alternative Model? In Joy Hendry and Heung Wah Wong (eds): Dismantling the East-West Dichotomy: Essays in Honor of Jan van Bremen. London: Routledge. Pp. 203-10, 2006.

Review Essay: Northeast Asian Regionalism.. New Books on Asia (International Institute for Asian Studies). [Review Link]