Chapter

An Allegory of Anthropology

Steven C. Caton

in Lawrence of Arabia

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780520210820
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520919891 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520210820.003.0005
An Allegory of Anthropology

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This chapter discusses Lawrence of Arabia as an allegory about dilemmas of cross-cultural encounters. It studies many themes in the film that are a portion of this book's author's memories of childhood and his experiences as an anthropologist. Two of these themes are the alienated self that is drawn to travel and the complex process of entering into another culture through war, tourism, or migration. This chapter shows that viewing Lawrence of Arabia as a film that has a cultural anthropologist as its main character allows people to interpret the movie as an insightful moral tale about the practices of anthropologists.

Keywords: cross-cultural encounters; alienated self; cultural anthropologist; practices of anthropologists

Chapter.  13777 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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