International Encyclopaedia
of the Histories of Anthropology

Oceania, A Journal Devoted to the Study of the Native Peoples of Australia, New Guinea, and the Islands of the Pacific was created in 1930 under the auspices of the Australian National Research Council, whose anthropological research programme was largely funded by the Rockefeller Foundation (New York). Under the influence of Radcliffe-Brown and other functionalist anthropologists in its early days, the journal’s deliberate aim was to move beyond the amateurism of ethnographic collections made by missionaries, administrators or adventurers, to make way for a professional connection between observation and theory. However, in its inaugural volume, the journal acknowledges the salvage dimension of this ethnography, and in particular the importance of a systematic study of those peoples that were then deemed in danger of disappearing or changing beyond recognition. Famous texts were published there, for example, “The Social Organization of Australian Tribes” by Radcliffe-Brown (1930-1931).

Keywords: Social and cultural anthropology | Ethnography | 20th century | Polynesia | New Guinea | Australian studies | Melanesian studies | Polynesian studies | Radcliffe-Brown | Journals and periodicals

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