© 2013

The Anthropology of Elites

Power, Culture, and the Complexities of Distinction

  • Editors
  • Jon Abbink
  • Tijo Salverda

About this book


Offering insightful anthropological-historical contributions to the understanding of elites worldwide, this book helps us grasp their ways of life and role in times of contested global inequalities. Case studies include the Polish gentry, the white former colonial elite of Mauritius, professional elites, and transnational (financial) elites.


anthropology capital culture democracy identity Nation politics Transnational

About the authors

FRANCE BOURGOUIN Project Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies ALINE COURTOIS PhD candidate at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France and at University College Dublin, Ireland LONGINA JAKUBOWSKA Anthropology Fellow at University College Utrecht, Utrecht University, the Netherlands STEFANIE LOTTER Anthropologist and curator HORACIO ORTIZ Researcher at the Centre de Sociologie de l'Innovation, Mines ParisTech, Paris, France FERNANDA PIRIE University Lecturer in Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Oxford, UK JUSTINE ROGERS Postdoctoral Fellow in the Business School at the University of Sydney, Australia HUIBERT SCHIJF Sociologist with a PhD from the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands where he holds a position at the Department of Sociology/Anthropology DEASY SIMANDJUNTAK Post-doctoral Fellow at the Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV) IRENE SKOVGAARD SMITH Research Consultant at the Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Bibliographic information


"Popular insurgency around the world has recently put the power of elites in the limelight. This fascinating collection of case studies reveals their insecurity as well as the strength that others often project onto them. Of special interest is the contrast between global financial elites, floating above national laws with impunity and more traditional elites embedded in local society." Keith Hart, codirector, Human Economy Program, University of Pretoria Co-Director Human Economy Program

"It is increasingly obvious that anthropological approaches substantially enrich the study of elites. This fine collection of essays contributes further to this trend both from a comparative and analytical standpoint." - Jean-Pascal Daloz, Research Professor, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Strasbourg