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Factions, Friends and Feasts

Factions, Friends and Feasts

Jeremy Boissevain†


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Drawing on field research in Malta, Sicily and among Italian emigrants in Canada, this book explores the social influence of the Mediterranean climate and the legacy of ethnic and religious conflict from the past five decades. Case studies illustrate the complexity of daily life not only in the region but also in more remote academe, by analysing the effects of fierce family loyalty, emigration and the social consequences of factionalism, patronage and the friends-of-friends networks that are widespread in the region. Several chapters discuss the social and environmental impact of mass tourism, how locals cope, and the paradoxical increase in religious pageantry and public celebrations. The discussions echo changes in the region and the related development of the author’s own interests and engagement with prevailing issues through his career.

Although these essays have been published before, many are important contributions to the discipline, while others have been updated and revised, making this an important contribution to this field… Highly recommended.”  ·  Choice

Jeremy Boissevain is undoubtedly amongst the most qualified and distinguished researchers of Mediterranean societies: this book chronicles an exemplary intellectual path from a methodological, theoretic and empirical standing…the author was one of the major innovators of the anthropology of Mediterranean societies.”  ·  Christian Giordano, University of Fribourg

Professor Boissevain has been among the most prominent social anthropologists since the 1960s, and this collection does justice to his vast and important research and scholarship…Moreover, since we are able to see the development in Boissevain’s thinking, we can see how the discipline has changed over the last fifty years, and how world changes as well as academic transformations have forced anthropologists to rethink their theories and methods.”  ·  Naor Ben-Yehoyada, Harvard University

“…a well integrated collection covering a wide range of interrelated regional subjects… [that] is also admirable for its close attention to ethnographic details and their place and meaning in wider social, cultural, and historical contexts.”  ·  Anton Blok, University of Amsterdam

Jeremy Boissevain was Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam and also taught at the universities of Montreal and Sussex and held visiting appointments in Malta, Britain, the United States, and Poland. His books and co-edited works include Saints and Fireworks (1965), Hal Farrug (1969), The Italians of Montreal (1970), Friends of Friends (1974), Beyond the Community (1975), Coping with Tourists (1996), Contesting the Foreshore (2004) and Hal Kirkop (2006). Translations of his work have appeared in Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Japanese and Maltese.