15 Facts About Alfred Radcliffe-Brown


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown later changed his last name, by deed poll, to Radcliffe-Brown, Radcliffe being his mother's maiden name.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown held this post until his retirement in 1946.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown brought French sociology to British anthropology, constructing a rigorous battery of concepts to frame ethnography.


In 1906, one of Alfred Radcliffe-Brown's primary focuses in the field [Andaman Islands] was kinship and familial relations of Western Australians.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown has often been associated with functionalism, and is considered by some to be the founder of structural functionalism.


Nonetheless, Alfred Radcliffe-Brown vehemently denied being a functionalist, and carefully distinguished his concept of function from that of Malinowski, who openly advocated functionalism.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown believed kinship played a large role in these societies, and that patrilineages, clans, tribes and units all relate to kinship rules in society and are essential in political organization.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown claimed that all research on social structure is based on observations, what anthropologists see and hear about individual peoples.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown argued that the study of social structure encompassed culture, therefore there is no need for a separate field dedicated to culture.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown rejected both of these views because of the untestable nature of historical reconstructions.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown claimed that there was an independent role for social anthropology here, separate from psychology, though not in conflict with it.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown carried out extensive fieldwork in the Andaman Islands, Australia, and elsewhere.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown produced structural analyses of myths, including on the basis of the concept of binary distinctions and dialectical opposition, an idea later echoed by Levi-Strauss.


Alfred Radcliffe-Brown was often criticised for failing to consider the effect of historical changes in the societies he studied, in particular changes brought about by colonialism.


Many critics believe that in Alfred Radcliffe-Brown's theory of structural-functionalism, there is an error arising from the assumption that one's abstraction of a social situation reflects social reality in all details.