Talk:Bronisław Malinowski

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Untitled[edit]

Surely this article should mention The Sexual Life of Savages and the ensuing controversy? See also Talk:Trobriand Islands#Malinowski. Jpatokal 09:19, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

The reference to the Diary is not a link on the thing itself, at least not on his bibliography section. Nandor1 (talk) 17:41, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

WWI[edit]

According to Kuper, when war broke out 'all enemy scientists who chose to do so were allowed to return to Europe'. If there are no objections I'll change this in the article. Tom leather 11:22, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Certainly not Austrian[edit]

Whoever added that he was Austrian please provide a source. He considered himself a Pole and so does his family. Just because Krakow was at the time part of Austria Hungary (a separate province at that) doesn't mean that all those people suddenly became Austrian. JRWalko 22:48, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Reply: He wasn't Austrian, but you have to say that he was an Austrian citizen or else his biography doesn't make any sense. He was trapped in the Pacific and forced to live with the Trobriand islanders during WWI because he was an Austrian citizen, not because he was a Pole. My solution was to simply say that he was from Austria-Hungary but was Polish, a statement that is accurate and lets the readers understand the events of his life in context.

Sabotage[edit]

someone seem sto have written a lot of nonsense about him using thermals to fly a dog as a kite and then fall down dead - an dalthough very interesting, i am not sure it is true. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 89.240.233.12 (talk) 11:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

May 2010Similar now, I reversed a few bits of vandalism, it's pretty blatant if you look at the log. Sss86 (talk) 04:33, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Jomo Kenyatta[edit]

Should Kenyatta be mentioned in the article, as he was a student of Malinowski at the London School of Economics?Georgequizbowl08 (talk) 02:15, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


"savages"?[edit]

"After a period in which he actively avoided contact with the native Trobrainders, who he considered to be "savages", Malinowski finally decided, out of loneliness, to participate in their society". As far as I know, Malinowski arrived to the Trobriands exiled but with the proposal of doing anthropological fieldwork. If the information that he avoided contact with the native considering them "savege" comes from the "diary in a strict sense", I find it wrong. He already was an anthropologist at that time, and would not consider "savage" the trobriandese except in his personal writings and only to express its lonelyness and nostalgia. stafe 08:17 6 april 2008

We have on the page this quote from BM:

  • "Yet it must be remembered that what appears to us an extensive, complicated, and yet well ordered institution is the outcome of so many doings and pursuits, carried on by savages, who have no laws or aims or charters definitely laid down. They have no knowledge of the total outline of any of their social structure. They know their own motives, know the purpose of individual actions and the rules which apply to them, but how, out of these, the whole collective institution shapes, this is beyond their mental range. Not even the most intelligent native has any clear idea of the Kula as a big, organised social construction, still less of its sociological function and implications....The integration of all the details observed, the achievement of a sociological synthesis of all the various, relevant symptoms, is the task of the Ethnographer...the Ethnographer has to construct the picture of the big institution, very much as the physicist constructs his theory from the experimental data, which always have been within reach of everybody, but needed a consistent interpretation."

The page needs to acknowledge the chauvinism in this statement -- there is no question that people doing Kula for their whole lives know the total outline etc etc. And who had laws aims charters laid down in their daily or centuries old perpetuation of this institution of kula. Surely a reference can be made to recent anthro which moved past this. BM's contribution was in developing a method for understanding it from the outside... I don't think neutral (and modern) POV allows us to leave this archaic and offensive perspective without follow up.Katewill (talk) 18:47, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

The first step is to find a reliable source that comments on this part of Malinowski's scholarhship. Also I don't actually think there is any chauvinism in this remarks - he says the same thing about Scotsmen and the French. He is making a comment about how the individual within a culture doesn't have sight of the full scope of all the social systems he partake in - he does so in a jargon that was current when it was written in 1921. Statements have to be read in context - in this case the context makes it clear that he is not making a negative judgment about the people he is describing as he extends the same description of ignorance of larger social structures to western peoples, and the word "savage" was not value laden when used about non-western societies when it was written. Everyone from Boas (who was among the first in the world to take issue with racism and chauvinism in anthropology), to Durkheim used this vocabulary.Figures i the past can't be judged by modern standards - especially not without reliable sources.·Maunus·ƛ· 23:36, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Butt-pincher[edit]

My anthropology teacher studied under Malinowski and told me he was the biggest butt-pincher around. Literally, women would refuse to take the elevator with him. Just thought I'd throw that in. (He must of loved living with the Trobrainders because their culture is so overtly sexual. I figure he would fit right in). KiNgFrOmHeLl (talk) 18:56, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


Reply: First of all - the sxeual life in Triobrands isn't a sexual commune open for everybody. Just try to read anything Malinowski wrote about it. Secondly, he was not only quite shy person, but also homosexual. Of course, at that time he could not live with it openly. He went to Triobrands with his close close friend Witkacy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.10.140.118 (talk) 16:51, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Reply: His diaries reveal he had sexual relations with several island women. This aside from being in a heterosexual marriage for life. I'm not sure that there's significant evidence that he was a homosexual. Sss86 (talk) 04:17, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Universities[edit]

I see just list of universities without explanation. He was educated or worked there? --Dezidor (talk) 22:14, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Problems in the Works section[edit]

--Gonzalcg (talk) 02:45, 6 February 2012 (UTC) I think that the work "The Trobriand Islands (1915)" does not exist.

B-class review: failed[edit]

Failed for WPPOLAND, due to insufficient density of inline refs. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 17:06, 15 February 2013 (UTC)