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Leach, Edmund Ronald

Edmund Ronald Leach, 1910–89, British anthropologist, grad. Cambridge (B.A., 1932; M.A., 1938) and Univ. of London (Ph.D., 1947). He was (1957–72) university reader in social anthropology at Cambridge, and in 1972 he was appointed professor. In 1966 he became provost of Kings College. His major areas of study were the kinship, mythology, and social anthropology of South Asia, and structural anthropology. Among his writings are Political Systems of Highland Burma (1954), Pul Eliya: A Village in Ceylon (1961), Rethinking Anthropology (1961), A Runaway World? (1968), Lévi-Strauss (1970), and Genesis as Myth (1970).

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Leach, Edmund R.

Leach, Edmund R. (1910–89) An iconoclastic British social anthropologist, influential in introducing continental structuralist thought to the Anglo-Saxon world, as an antidote to the prevailing structural-functionalist orthodoxy. His major research was in the areas of political rhetoric, linguistic categories, kinship, myth and ritual, in works such as Political Systems of Highland Burma (1954), Rethinking Anthropology (1962), Genesis as Myth and Other Essays (1969), Levi-Strauss (1970), Culture and Communication (1976), and Social Anthropology (1982).

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