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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


From Ethnography to Social Anthropology Notes on the Development of the Anthropological Research in Taiwan

Vol. 23 No. 4   12/1993   


From Ethnography to Social Anthropology 

Notes on the Development of the Anthropological Research in Taiwan 


Yih-yuan Li 









Key words



   The paper is to describe and analyze the development of anthropological studies in Taiwan during the last 45 years. The author divides this development into three stages. The first stage is from 1949 to 1965, it was a period emphasized on traditional ethnographic works, since it major focal point was to reconstruct the history of culture life of the Taiwan Aborigines. During the period from 1965 to 1980, the trend of the anthropological research on the island had been undergone great changes, besides the Chinese society has been added to the research subject, the theoretical orientation has been much more emphasized on social anthropological side, and the interdisciplinary research orientation among the social sciences were clearly shown. A movement can be called “sinicization of social science research” was also a major research trend during this period. However, ever since 1980 until now, a trend of so-called interpretative anthropology has been popular among the academic circle, a question whether anthropology is a social science disciplines which aims to search for nomethetic principles, or a humanistic disciplines which is to gain idiographic 

understanding, has been asked again and again among the young workers. This is a trend to be dominant during the years to come. 


Author: Yih-yuan Li
Genre: Article
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