The Cultural Evolutionary Perspective: Toward a Multidisciplinary Method to Ethnic Identity Research


  • Anthony Grégoire Université de Montréal École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales


Ethnic Ambiguity and the African Past makes a disciplinary rupture from the precedent thinkers about the study of identity oriented on ethnicity, reviewing the role of ethnicity in social identification among peoples in the present and the past. Claiming all the potential development for the research on peoples’ ethnicity and identity that the collective highlights within the book, it underpins though the complexity for archaeologists to understand this kind of extrasomatic phenomenon solely on the basis of material culture. The case studies assembled together provide a synthesis and demonstrate mastery from the contributors of the early works relating to ethnicity in archaeology, anthropology and history.

Author Biography

Anthony Grégoire, Université de Montréal École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales

Anthony Grégoire is a PhD student in Anthropology at the Université de Montréal, and PhD candidate in Ethnomusicology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Paris. His researches reconsider the importance of colonial and missionary archives for the build of an ethnography done in a now inaccessible « pre-colonial » past and focuse on the contact between Catholic missionaries and the Serer-Noon in Senegal to explain the appropriation by them of Occidental musical practices and the perpetuation of musical and animist symbols through their music nowadays.


Amselle, Jean-Loup, and M’Bokolo, Elikia, eds. Au cœur de l’ethnie. Ethnies, tribalisme et État en Afrique. Paris: La Découverte, 2005.