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Toon van Meijl

In: The SAGE Handbook of Identities

Chapter 4: Anthropological Perspectives on Identity: From Sameness to Difference

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Anthropological Perspectives on Identity: From Sameness to Difference
Anthropological perspectives on identity: From sameness to difference

For a long time the concept of identity did not belong in the toolbox of anthropologists. Traditionally identity was assumed to exist within individuals, whereas anthropology focused on the interpretation of socio-cultural relations between people. Identity was considered a psychological concept and therefore the study of identity was largely neglected by anthropologists. Over the past few decades the interest in identity has changed in anthropology, which is connected to changes in anthropology's understanding of culture, the discipline's key concept. These, in turn, follow a rather fundamental transformation of socio-cultural relations that are intertwined with the end of colonization and the beginning of globalization, and therefore also reflect on the meaning ...

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