Considered the first modern ethnography, Argonauts of the Western Pacific redefined the ethnographic genre. Adam Kuper, in his seminal 1973 book on British social anthropology, begins his analysis with Malinowski's status as the founder of the discipline:
"Malinowski has a strong claim to being the founder of the profession of social anthropology in Britain, for he established its distinctive apprenticeship -- intensive fieldwork in an exotic community."
Many other anthropologists also trace the fieldwork mandate back to Malinowski, including Murray Wax:
"In the final analysis, the major credit for discovering the technique of intensive personal fieldwork among a single people must go to Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942). His researches among the Trobriand Islanders during the years 1916-18 yielded a series of epochal volumes which revolutionized the content and practice of anthropology."
Today, Argonauts of the Western Pacific is the archetypal account of anthropologists' "following the people" method of collecting information for a multi-sited ethnography.