Fredrik Barth, Norwegian social anthropologist, Died at 87

Thomas Fredrik Weybye Barth was born on December 22, 1928, and died on January 24, 2016.

He was a Norwegian social anthropologist.

He published several ethnographic books with a clear formalist view.

Barth was a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Boston University and has previously held professorships at the University of Oslo, the University of Bergen (where he founded the Department of Social Anthropology), Emory University and Harvard University.

Fredrik was appointed a government scholar in 1985.

His biography Thomas Hylland Eriksen Fredrik Barth: An intellectual biography University of Chicago Press 2015.

Fredrik Barth was well-known among anthropologists for his transactional analysis of political processes in the Swat Valley of northern Pakistan, and his study of micro-economic processes and entrepreneurship in the area of Darfur in Sudan.

Later, regarded as a classical example of formalist analysis in economic anthropology.

Over the years, he has also published acclaimed studies based on field works in Bali, New Guinea, and several countries in the Middle East, thematically covering a wide array of subjects.

Mr.Barth was the editor of Ethnic Groups and Boundaries (1969), in which he describes an approach to the study of ethnicity that focuses on the ongoing negotiations of boundaries between groups of people.

His viewpoint was that such groups are not discontinuous cultural isolates, or logical a prioris to which people naturally belong.

He separated with anthropological notions of cultures as bounded entities, and ethnicity as primordial bonds. He focused on the interface and interaction between groups that gave rise to identities.