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The Mediterranean countries have long attracted the attention of social anthropologists, from Frazer and Durkheim to the present day. In this volume, first published in 1977, Dr Davis reviews the extensive anthropological material collected and published by people who have worked in the area and claims that social anthropologists have a distinctive opportunity to compare similar kinds of institution and process in a variety of contexts – political, economic, bureaucratic, religious. He examines countries, tribes and communities stretching from Spain all the way round the Mediterranean and back along the coast of North Africa. In chapters on economics, stratification, politics, family and kinship, he has found it possible and sensible to set Albanian and Berber tribesmen beside each other, and to discuss Italian and Lebanese peasants in the same paragraph. The result is both a survey of the anthropological material and an essay in comparison, founded on a critique of the work of his predecessors and colleagues. The last chapter is an account of the uses anthropologists have made of the historical sources available to them.