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Thinking Anthropologically A Practical Guide for Students



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This is the 3rd edition with a publication date of 4/21/2010.

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  • Thinking Anthropologically : A Practical Guide for Students
    Thinking Anthropologically : A Practical Guide for Students
  • Thinking Anthropologically : A Practical Guide for Students
    Thinking Anthropologically : A Practical Guide for Students


Thinking Anthropologcially, is an invaluable companion to any introductory anthropology text. For, it focuses on the major themes that permeate all fields of anthropology, and helps students to do better, learn more, and better appreciate the anthropological way of looking at the world.

Author Biography

In This Section:


I. Author Bio

II. Author Letter



I. Author Bio


Phillip Carl Salzman is a professor at the McGill University Department of Anthropology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1972. He has conducted ethnographic research primarily among nomadic and pastoral peoples, in Baluchistan (Iran), Rajasthan (India), and most recently in Sardinia (Italy).


Patricia C. Rice is professor emeritus at the West Virginia University Division of Sociology and Anthropology. Her other publications include Biological Anthropology and Prehistory: Exploring Our Human Ancestry.




II. Author Letter


Dear Colleague,


Thinking Anthropologically: A Practical Guide for Students opens to students a foundational understanding of major topics in anthropology through presentation of those topics in short, original chapters with examples. Most students in basic anthropology classes come into the class without really knowing what anthropology is all about, or they may think they do, but are incorrect. When students begin to think like anthropologists early on they will not only enjoy the class more, they will do better work.


Teachers of anthropology may find TA useful in providing this kind of background coverage, thus allowing alternative focus in lectures and other readings. For example, Thinking Anthropologically might be assigned in conjunction with several ethnographies in a cultural anthropology class. It may also be used as a digestible preface and overview for a large, general textbook in a four-field introductory class.


The First Edition of TA covered the following major topics to help students begin to think anthropologically: patterns, holism, theory, science, change, disagreement among experts, ethics, and applications. In subsequent editions, we have added, partly following the suggestions of teachers who have used earlier editions, a set of new chapters to cover topics that provide further basic understanding for students, as well as those of great current interest.


The Second Edition added two new original chapters, which also appear in the Third Edition:

    · "Making Ideas Researchable," Philip Carl Salzman (McGill University) and Patricia C. Rice (West Virginia University)

    · "Thinking Anthropologically About ‘Race’: Human Variation, Cultural Construction, and Dispelling Myths, " Yolanda T. Moses (University of California, Riverside)


There are also two new original chapters in the Third Edition:

    · "Thinking With Gender," Paloma Gay y Blasco (University of St. Andrews, Scotland)

    · "Fieldwork: Collecting Information," Philip Carl Salzman (McGill University, Canada), Barbara J. King (College of William and Mary), Norah Moloney (Institute of Archaeology, University College London), and Norma Mendoza-Denton (University of Arizona)


All of the articles in the First and Second editions have been revised for the Third Edition in the light of suggestions by instructors. We would welcome comments and suggestions by colleagues, in the hope of improving future editions. How would Thinking Anthropologically serve you and your students better? Please feel free to contact us at and


Sincerely yours,


Philip Carl Salzman and Patricia C. Rice


McGill University and West Virginia University


Table of Contents

Introduction to Thinking Anthropologicallyp. 1
What Anthropologists Look For: Patternsp. 6
Thinking Holisticallyp. 15
Thinking Theoreticallyp. 26
Using Science to Think Anthropologicallyp. 36
Thinking About Change: Biological Evolution, Culture Change, and the Importance of Scalep. 45
Why Do Anthropological Experts Disagree?p. 55
Thinking and Acting Ethically in Anthropologyp. 68
Applying Anthropological Knowledgep. 76
Making Ideas Researchablep. 85
Thinking Anthropologically About ˘Race÷: Human Variation, Cultural Construction, and Dispelling Mythsp. 94
Thinking with Genderp. 106
Fieldwork: Collecting Informationp. 116
How to Take Anthropology Testsp. 128
Glossaryp. 135
Name Indexp. 141
Subject Indexp. 143
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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