British Universities Film & Video Council

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Strangers Abroad (6 Parts)

Alternative title
Strangers Abroad: Pioneers of Social Anthropology
Synopsis
Series on the first anthropologists to go out to live among the peoples who interested them. Retraces the steps of these pioneering anthropologists in the countries where they worked and, through their stories, explains how social anthropology has contributed to modern thinking, illuminating our understanding of ourselves and of people in other societies.
1: Shows the work of Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer with the Australian Aborigines. In 1887 he went from England to Australia and saw them for the first time. Spencer began work with Frank Gillen, the operator of a telegraph station and an initiated elder of the Aranda tribe - a remarkable man who was befriending Aborigines at a time when most whites were persecuting them. Gillen’s special place in Aboriginal society enabled both men to witness scenes that no white man had ever seen. The approach that the two men used to study the Aborigines, known as fieldwork, strongly influenced the study of cultures and is still valid today.
2: William Rivers originally trained as a doctor. On a Cambridge University expedition to the Torres Straits north of Australia, his psychological tests on the islanders made him realise the unexpected importance of relatives in their society. His subsequent work as a pioneering psychologist and his research into the workings of the nervous system and the action of drugs on the human body enabled Rivers to bring something new to anthropology - a scientific approach. His field study with a hill tribe in southern India, the Todas, ultimately set the trend for anthropologists to go and visit the cultures in which they were interested, rather than staying at home and theorising.
3: Profiles Franz Boas, the German scientist who is considered the founding father of American anthropology, beginning with his investigations of the relations between Eskimo migrations and the physical geography of their region and extending to his fieldwork among the Indian tribes of the north-west coast of America.
4: Bronislaw Malinowski was the anthropologist who changed the way field studies were carried out. He worked on a remote group of Pacific islands, the Trobriands, and lived for long periods among the people he was studying and made their lives intelligible to the West.
5: Chronicles the life and career of Margaret Mead, one of the most controversial anthropologists and fieldworkers of her day. Includes original footage from American Samoa, New Guinea and Bali.
6: Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard was the first trained anthropologist to do work in Africa, where he lived among the Azande in Zaire and studied their belief in witchcraft. Later he worked with the Nuer tribe in the Sudan. His work on witchcraft found philosophers asking what could be considered rational thinking in any society, his study of tribal organisation was intriguing to political theorists, and his attention to the sophisticated religious sentiments of so-called primitive peoples has had a strong influence on theologians.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Video; Videocassette. VHS. col. 6 x 52 min.
Year of production
1985
Availability
Sale; 2000 sale: £60.00 (+VAT +p&p) each
Notes
Broadcast on C4 from 11/10/86.
Subjects
Anthropology
Keywords
Aboriginal peoples; Azande; Boas, Franz (1858-1942); Evans-Pritchard, Edward (1902-1973); Inuit; Malinowski, Bronislaw (1884-1942); Mead, Margaret (1901-1978); Nuer; Rivers, William (1864-1922); social anthropology; Spencer, Walter Baldwin (1860-1929); Toda; Trobriand Islands; witchcraft

Credits

Director
André Singer
Producer
André Singer
Writer
Bruce Dakowski
Contributor
Karl Sabbagh
Cast
Bruce Dakowski 

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Price
£60.00 each part or £300 the series
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
6 x 52 minutes
Year
2006

Type
VHS
Price
£60.00 each part or £300 the series
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
6 x 52 minutes
Year
2006

Sections

Title
Fieldwork: Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer
Synopsis
1: Shows the work of Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer with the Australian Aborigines. In 1887 he went from England to Australia and saw them for the first time. Spencer began work with Frank Gillen, the operator of a telegraph station and an initiated elder of

Title
Everything is relatives: William Rivers
Synopsis
2: William Rivers originally trained as a doctor. On a Cambridge University expedition to the Torres Straits north of Australia, his psychological tests on the islanders made him realise the unexpected importance of relatives in their society. His subsequ

Title
Shackles of tradition, The: Franz Boas
Synopsis
3: Profiles Franz Boas, the German scientist who is considered the founding father of American anthropology, beginning with his investigations of the relations between Eskimo migrations and the physical geography of their region and extending to his field

Title
Off the verandah: Bronislaw Malinowski
Synopsis
4: Bronislaw Malinowski was the anthropologist who changed the way field studies were carried out. He worked on a remote group of Pacific islands, the Trobriands, and lived for long periods among the people he was studying and made their lives intelligibl

Title
Coming of age: Margaret Mead
Synopsis
5: Chronicles the life and career of Margaret Mead, one of the most controversial anthropologists and fieldworkers of her day. Includes original footage from American Samoa, New Guinea and Bali.

Title
Strange beliefs: Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard
Synopsis
6: Sir Edward Evans-Pritchard was the first trained anthropologist to do work in Africa, where he lived among the Azande in Zaire and studied their belief in witchcraft. Later he worked with the Nuer tribe in the Sudan. His work on witchcraft found philos

Production Company

Name

Central Independent Television

Notes
use Carlton UK Television

Distributor

Name

Royal Anthropological Institute

Contact
Susanne Hammacher (Film Officer)
Email
film@therai.org.uk
Web
https://www.therai.org.uk/film/film-sales External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7387 0455
Fax
020 7388 8817
Address
50 Fitzroy Street
London
W1T 5BT
Notes
The Institute sells more than 250 anthropology and ethnology titles on video and DVD, including some produced by students and staff of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology. There is also a large library of internationally produced film and video productions from which items may be borrowed within the UK.

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