These two volumes are considered seminal texts for the study of anthropology, and were first published in 1935, when the author was a well-established figure in the field, and travelling frequently between the UK and the USA. They record his detailed studies of the Trobriand Islands and their inhabitants, and demonstrate the author's radically new approach to social theory - a brand of 'psychological' functionalism, emphasising how social and cultural institutions serve basic human needs, contrasting with Radcliffe-Brown's 'structural' functionalism (emphasising how social institutions function in relation to society as a whole).
Bronisław Kasper Malinowski (1884–1942) is considered one of the most important 20th-century anthropologists. Born in Poland, he studied exchange and economics at the London School of Economics (LSE), analysing patterns of exchange in Aboriginal Australia through ethnographic documents. In 1914 he accompanied anthropologist R.R. Marett to New Guinea, but was unable to return to England because of the war, and instead, with funding from the Australian government, went to the Trobriand Islands in Melanesia where he stayed for several years, studying the indigenous culture. Returning to England after the war he published "Argonauts of the Western Pacific" (1922), which established him as one of the most important anthropologists in Europe at the time. Between the wars he held posts as lecturer and later professor in anthropology at the LSE. From 1933 he visited several American universities, and when WWII broke out he decided to stay there, taking an appointment at Yale.
Our 1966 (2nd edition) copies are in excellent condition, their unclipped and undamaged dust jackets protected in plastic outer covers. The books are bound in bright green cloth with gilt titles etc on the spine, and show no external signs of wear or use. Inside, bindings are firm and all pages clean and bright. An excellent set of important anthropological texts.