Radcliffe-Brown Alfred

Radcliffe-Brown Alfred

(1881-1955) UK structural functionalist anthropologist. His major work is Structure and Function in Primitive Society, (1952). With MALINOWSKI he shaped UK anthropology's preference for analysing social structure over culture. Much influenced by COMTE and DURKHEIM, he advocated a version of anthropology he called ‘comparative sociology’. His fieldwork was carried out in the Andaman Islands and Australia, and his research made substantial contributions to the study of KINSHIP. Whilst his POSITIVISM and FUNCTIONALISM are now regarded as dated, his influence on a generation of UK anthropologists, teaching at numerous institutions, was immense.
Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000