Off the Verandah - Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942)

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Off the Verandah - Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) - Programme 4. © RAI
52 minutes / Colour / 1986
Directed by
André Singer

Country of production United Kingdom

Series Strangers Abroad

Central Television’s major documentary series looks at the first anthropologists to stop ‘armchair theorising’ and go out to live among the peoples who so interested them. The six part series was filmed all over the world, from the frozen Canadian Arctic to the dry outback of Australia, from New Guinea to India, Africa to the South Pacific.The programme makers retraced the steps of the pioneering anthropologists in those countries and, by following the life story of each scholar, they reveal how social anthropology has contributed to our lives. Bronislaw Kaspar Malinowski was born into an aristocratic family in Poland in 1984. It was the chance reading of Frazer's Golden Bough that put him on the path of his future career. He pursuit anthropological training at London School of Economics and was awarded a doctorate for work on Australian Aborigines, based on data provided by Spencer and Gillen. Following a first field study among the Mailu off the New Guinea cost, using the well-tested formula of his predecessors, Spencer and Rivers, he moved 1915 to the Trobriands. There he abandoned the veranda and developed his style of fieldwork, which came to be called participant-observation: speaking the language, living in the community and becoming part of it, making a detailed record of all aspects of native life. Malinowski's intimate experience with Trobriand society generated a growing awareness of the myriad of links that hold society together.

Region Various

Country Various

Keywords History of Anthropology Public Figure