For a long time, the central focus of anthropology has been on the study of the so-called traditional societies. However, with the transformation of those societies into “ethnicized” groups within state systems, anthropologists have had to rethink their concepts, theories, and methods. They have had to deal with, among others things, issues of cultural difference, cultural boundaries, and cultural movements. This article looks retrospectively at certain changes that have taken place in anthropology especially with regard to the study of ethnicity.

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