Anthropology Asking Questions about Human Origins, Diversity, and Culture

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2016-11-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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What is included with this book?


From the authors who wrote the highly acclaimed Cultural Anthropology: Asking Questions About Humanity, this ground-breaking general anthropology text--co-written with renowned scholar Agustín Fuentes--takes a holistic approach that emphasizes critical thinking, active learning, and applying
anthropology to solve contemporary human problems. Building on the classical foundations of the discipline, Anthropology: Asking Questions About Human Origins, Diversity, and Culture shows students how anthropology is connected to such current topics as food, health and medicine, and the
environment. Full of relevant examples and current topics--with a focus on contemporary problems and questions--the book demonstrates the diversity and dynamism of anthropology today.

Author Biography

Robert L. Welsch is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Franklin Pierce University.

Luis A. Vivanco is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Vermont.

Agustín Fuentes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame.

Table of Contents

Letter from the Authors
About the Authors

PART I: Key Concepts and Methods in Anthropology

Chapter 1. Anthropology: Asking Questions about Humanity
How Did Anthropology Begin?
The Disruptions of Industrialization
The Theory of Evolution
Colonial Origins of Cultural Anthropology
Anthropology as a Global Discipline
What Are the Four Subfields of Anthropology and What Do They Share in Common?
Cultural Relativism
Human Diversity
How Do Anthropologists Know What They Know?
The Scientific Method in Anthropology
When Anthropology Is Not a Science: Interpreting Other Cultures
How Is Anthropology Put to Work in the World?
Applied and Practicing Anthropology: "The Fifth Subfield"?
Putting Anthropology to Work
What Ethical Issues Does Anthropology Raise?
Do No Harm. But Is That Enough?
To Whom Are Anthropologists Responsible?
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: E. B. Tylor and the Culture Concept
--DOING FIELDWORK: Conducting Holistic Research wih Stanley Ulijaszek
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Anthropological Responsibilities to Informants and People in Authority

Chapter 2. Culture: Giving Meaning to Human Lives
What Is Culture?
Elements of Culture
Defining Culture in This Book
If Culture Is Emergent and Dynamic, Why Does It Feel So Stable?
How Is Culture Expressed Through Social Institutions?
Culture and Social Institutions
American Culture Expressed Through Breakfast Cereals and Sexuality
Can Anybody Own Culture?
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Franz Boas and the Relativity of Culture
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Michael Ames and Collaborative Museum Exhibits

Chapter 3. Evolution: Life is Not Static
How And Why Did Evolutionary Thinking Come About?
The Intellectual Foundations of Evolutionary Thinking
Darwin and Wallace Propose a Theory
The Modern Synthesis
Evolutionary Thinking Is Still Changing
Life Changes. But What Does It Mean To Say It Evolves?
Darwin's Principles
What it Means to Have Common Ancestry
Why Evolution is Important to Anthropology . . . and Anthropology to Evolution
What Are The Genetic And Non-genetic Mechanisms Of Evolution?
Basic Sources of Biological Change: Genes, DNA, and Cells
Genetic Mechanisms of Evolution
Non-genetic Mechanisms of Evolution
How And Why Do New Species Evolve And Others Go Extinct?
How Do Evolutionary Processes Actually Affect Organisms?
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Clyde Kluckhohn and the Role of Evolution in Anthropology
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Making Sense of Genetic Relationships
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Andrea Wiley on the Biology and Politics of Human Milk Digestion

Chapter 4. Anthropological Methods: Researching Human Beings and their Pasts
How Do Anthropologists Study The Origins And Evolution Of Early Humans?
What Fossils Can (and Cannot) Tell Us
Dating Fossils and Archaeological Sites
Studying Ancient DNA
What Methods Do Archaeologists Use To Decipher The More Recent Past?
Knowing Where to Excavate
Analyzing Artifacts
Reconstructing Prehistoric Environments
How Do Cultural Anthropologists Research The Lifeways Of Contemporary Peoples?
Fieldwork: Participant-Observation and Interviewing
Knowing What to Ask
Taking Fieldnotes
Seeing the World From "The Native's Point of View" and Avoiding Cultural "Tunnel Vision"
Other Methods That Cultural Anthropologists Use
What Methods Are Important To The Study Of Human Language Within Anthropology?
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin on the "Jigsaw Puzzle" of Studying Human Origins
--DOING FIELDWORK: Studying the Genetic Continuity of Paleoamericans and Modern Native Americans at Hoyo Negro
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Fieldwork in an American Mall

Chapter 5. Linguistic Anthropolog: Relating Language and Culture
Where Does Language Come From?
Evolutionary Perspectives on Language
Historical Linguistics: Studying Language Origins and Change
How Does Language Actually Work?
Descriptive Linguistics
Phonology: Sounds of Language
Morphology: Grammatical Categories
Do People Speaking Different Languages Experience Reality Differently?
The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Hopi Notions of Time
Ethnoscience and Color Terms
Is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Correct?
How Can Languages Be So Dynamic and Stable at the Same Time?
Linguistic Change, Stability, and National Policy
Language Stability Parallels Cultural Stability
How Does Language Relate to Social Power and Inequality?
Language Ideology
Gendered Language Styles
Language and Social Status
Language and the Legacy of Colonialism
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Edward Sapir on How Language Shapes Culture
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Exploring Relationships of Power and Status in Local American Dialects
--DOING FIELDWORK: Untangling Language Ideologies in Contemporary Egypt

Chapter 6. Globalization and Culture: Understanding Global Interconnections
Is the World Really Getting Smaller?
Defining Globalization
The World We Live In
Are There Winners and Losers in Global Integration?
World Systems Theory
Resistance at the Periphery
Globalization and Localization
Doesn't Everyone Want to Be Developed?
What Is Development?
Development Anthropology
Anthropology of Development
Change on Their Own Terms
If the World Is Not Becoming Homogenized, What Is It Becoming?
Cultural Convergence Theories
Clash of Civilizations
What Strategies Can Anthropologists Use to Study Global Interconnections?
Defining an Object of Study
Multisited Ethnography
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Understanding Global Integration Through Commodities
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Eric Wolf, Culture, and the World System
--DOING FIELDWORK: Studying Chernobyl's Aftermath with Adriana Petryna

PART II: Becoming Human

Chapter 7. Living Primates: Comparing Monkeys, Apes, and Humans
What Does It Mean To Be A Primate, And Why Does It Matter To Anthropology?
What It Means to be a Primate
The Distinctions Between Strepsirrhini and Haplorrhini
Primatology as Anthropology
What Are The Basic Patterns Of Primate Behavioral Diversity, And Under What Conditions Did They Develop?
Common Behavior Patterns Among Primates
Accounting for the Emergence of Primate Behavioral Diversity
How Do Behavior Patterns Among Monkeys And Apes Compare With Humans?
The Lives of Macaques
The Lives of Chimpanzees
So How Do They Compare to Us?
What Does Studying Monkeys And Apes Really Illustrate About Human Distinctiveness?
Primate Social Organization and Human Behavior
We Have Culture. Do They Too?
--DOING FIELDWORK: Conducting Anthropological Primatology Among Owl Monkeys with Eduardio Fernandez-Duque
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Sherwood Washburn and the New (Integrative) Physical Anthropology

Chapter 8. Ancestral Humans: Understanding the Human Family Tree
Who Are Our Earliest Possible Ancestors?
Our Earliest Ancestors Were Hominins
The Fossil Record of Hominins in Africa
The Three Hominin Genera
Who is Our Most Direct Ancestor?
A Possible Phylogeny, With Caveats
What Did Walking On Two Legs And Having Big Brains Mean For The Early Hominins?
The Benefits of Upright Movement
The Effects of Big Brains on Early Hominin Behavior
Who Were The First Humans And Where Did They Live?
Introducing Homo Erectus
The Emergence of Archaic Humans
Who Were the Neanderthals and Denisovans?
Anatomically Modern Humans Hit the Scene
How Do We Know If The First Humans Were Cultural Beings, And What Role Did Culture Play In Their Evolution?
The Emerging Cultural Capacity of H. erectus
Culture Among Archaic Humans
Social Cooperation and Symbolic Expression
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Davidson Black and the Brain Capacity of H. erectus
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Challenging Stereotypes of "Cave Men" and Other Prehistoric Humans

Chapter 9. Human Biocultural Evolution: Emergence of the Biocultural Animal
How Do Biocultural Patterns Affect Evolution?
Inheritance Involves Multiple Systems
Evolutionary Processes are Developmentally Open-Ended
Niche Construction and Ecological Inheritance
The Importance of Constructivist Evolutionary Approaches for Biocultural Anthropology
How Does Behavior Evolve?
Prominent Approaches
Why These Approaches Oversimplify Matters
A Contemporary Biocultural Approach to the Evolution of Human Behavior
Are Modern Humans Evolving?
The Impact of Disease on Evolution
Culture, Morphology, and Evolution
Where Are Biocultural Evolutionary Patterns Taking Us?
Global Population and Human Density
Genetic Manipulation
Adaptive Behavioral Patterns
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Sewell Wright, Evolution, and Adaptive Landscapes
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Emergence, Reductionism, and Human Behavior
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Clarifying the Biocultural and Evolutionary Dimensions of Obesity

Chapter 10. Contemporary Human Biodiversity: Understanding Our Differences and Similarities
In What Ways Do Contemporary Humans Vary Biologically?
Genetic Variation Within and Between Human Populations
Genetic Variation Is Tied to Gene Flow
Physiological Diversity and Blood Types
Disease Environments and Human Immunity
Why Do Human Bodies Look So Different Across The Planet?
Is Skin Really Colored?
Variations in Body Shape, Stature, and Size
Are Differences Of Race Also Differences Of Biology?
The Biological Meanings (and Meaninglessness) of "Human Races"
Is it Possible to Tell Someone's Race from a Skull?
What Biocultural Consequences Do Discrimination And Stress Have On Human Bodies?
Eugenics: A Weak Theory of Genetic Inheritance
The Embodied Consequences of Being a Racialized Minority
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Counting and Classifying Race in the American Census
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Ashley Montagu and "Man's Most Dangerous Myth"
--DOING FIELDWORK: Rapid Social Change and the Embodiment of Psychosocial Stress in Samoa

Chapter 11. The Body: Biocultural Perspectives on Health and Illness
How Should We Make Sense Of The Biological and Cultural Factors That Jointly Shap Our Bodily Experiences?
Uniting Mind and Matter: A Biocultural Perspective
Culture and Mental Illness
What Do We Mean By Health And Illness?
The Individual Subjectivity of Illness
The "Sick Role": The Social Expectations of Illness
How And Why Do Doctors And Other Health Practitioners Gain Social Authority?
The Disease-Illness Distinction: Professional and Popular Views of Sickness
The Medicalization of the Non-Medical
How Does Healing Happen?
Clinical Therapeutic Processes
Symbolic Therapeutic Processes
Social Support
Persuasion: The Placebo Effect
What Can Anthropology Contribute to Addressing Global Health Problems?
Understanding Global Health Problems
Anthropological Contributions to Tackling the International HIV/AIDS Crisis
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Kim Hopper, Homelessness, and the Mentally Ill in New York City
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Arthur Kleinman and the New Medical Anthropological Methodology
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: The Emergence of New Disease Categories

PART III: Human Social Relations

Chapter 12. Early Agriculture And The Neolithic Revolution: Modifying the Environment to Satisfy Human Demands
How Heavily Did Prehistoric People Depend On Hunting?
Taking Stock of Living Hunter-Gatherers
"Man the Hunter"
Recent Developments
Back to the Past: Understanding Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers
Why Did People Start Domesticating Plants And Animals?
Defining the Neolithic Revolution
The Hilly Flanks Hypothesis
The Pressure of Population Growth
Some Other Explanations for the Beginnings of Food Production
How Did Early Humans Raise Their Own Food?
Domesticating Plants
Domesticating Animals
Recent Findings on Arboriculture
What Impact Did Raising Plants And Animals Have on Other Aspects of Life?
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: V. Gordon Child on the Neolithic Revolution
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Unpacking the Dynamics of Plant Domestication
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Michael Heckenberger on the Amazon as a Culturally Managed Landscape

Chapter 13. The Rise and Decline of Cities And States: Understanding Social Complexity in Prehistory
When Archaeologists Talk About Social Complexity, What Do They Actually Mean?
Population Growth and Social Complexity
Trade and Contact with Peoples of Different Cultures
Specialization and Production Models
Does Complexity Always Imply Social Inequality?
How Can We Identify Social Complexity from Archaeological Sites and Their Artifacts?
Identifying Social Complexity in Western Mexico
Population Growth and Settlement Patterns
Soils and Land Use
Monuments and Buildings
Mortuary Patterns and Skeletal Remains
Ceramic, Stone, and Metal Objects
Why Don't Cities and States Always Survive?
Rethinking Abandonment in the U.S. Southwest
The Transformation--Not Collapse--of the Classic Maya
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Robert Carneiro on the Role of Warfare in the Rise of Complex Societies
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Deciphering How Monuments Were Erected
--DOING FIELDWORK: Studying What Happened After the Migration from the Four Corners with Scott Van Keuren

Chapter 14. Economics: Working, Sharing, and Buying
Is Money Really the Measure of All Things?
Culture, Economics, and Value
The Neoclassical Perspective
The Substantivist-Formalist Debate
The Marxist Perspective
The Cultural Economics Perspective
How Does Culture Shape the Value and Meaning of Money Itself?
Why Is Gift Exchange Such an Important Part of All Societies?
Gift Exchange and Economy: Two Classic Approaches
Gift Exchange in Market-Based Economies
Why Does Having Some Things Make You Cool?
Are There Distinct Cultures of Capitalism?
Culture and Social Relations on Wall Street
Entrepreneurial Capitalism Among Malays
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Marshall Sahlins on Exchange in Traditional Economies
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: The Role of Exchange in Managing Social Relationships
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Ashraf Ghani and the Reconstruction of the Afghan Economy

Chapter 15. Sustainability: Environment and Foodways
Do All People Conceive Of Nature in the Same Way?
The Human-Nature Divide?
The Cultural Landscape
How Do People Secure an Adequate, Meaningful, and Environmentally Sustainable Food Supply?
Modes of Subsistence
Food, Culture, and Meaning
How Is Non-Western Knowledge of Nature and Agriculture Similar to and Different From Science?
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
How Are Industrial Agriculture and Economic Globalization Linked to Increasing Environmental and Health Problems?
Population and Environment
Ecological Footprint
Industrial Foods and Food Security
Do Only Industrialized Western Societies Protect and Conserve Nature?
Artifactual Landscapes
The Culture of Modern Nature Conservation
Environmentalism's Alternative Paradigms
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Roy Rappaport's Insider and Outsider Models
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Migrant Farmworker Food Security in Vermont with Teresa Mares

Chapter 16. Power: Politics and Social Control
Does Every Society Have A Government?
The Idea of "Politics" and the Problem of Order
Structural-Functionalist Models of Political Stability
Neo-evolutionary Models of Political Organization: Bands, Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States
Challenges to Traditional Political Anthropology
What Is Political Power?
Defining Political Power
Political Power Is Action Oriented
Political Power Is Structural
Political Power Is Gendered
Political Power in Non-state Societies
The Political Power of the Contemporary Nation-State
How Is Social Inequality Constructed And Upheld?
Race, Biology, and the "Natural" Order of Things
The Cultural Construction of Race
Saying Race Is Culturally Constructed Is Not Enough
Why Do Some Societies Seem More Violent Than Others?
What Is Violence?
Violence and Culture
Explaining the Rise of Violence in Our Contemporary World
How Do People Avoid Cycles of Agression, Brutality, and War?
What Disputes Are "About"
How People Manage Disputes
Is Restoring Harmony Always the Best Way?
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: The Power of Personal Connections
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: Maxwell Owusu and Democracy in Ghana
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Hortense Powdermaker on Prejudice

PART IV: Constructing Meaningful Social Worlds

Chapter 17. Kinship and Gender: Sex, Power, and Control of Men and Women
What Are Families, and How Are They Structured in Different Societies?
Families, Ideal and Real
Nuclear and Extended Families
Kinship Terminologies
How Families Control Power and Wealth
Why Do People Get Married?
Why People Get Married
Forms of Marriage
Sex, Love, and the Power of Families over Young Couples
In What Ways Are Males and Females Different?
Toward a Biocultural Perspective on Male and Female Differences
Rethinking the Male-Female Dichotomy
Explaining Gender/Sex Inequality
What Does It Mean to Be Neither Male Nor Female?
Navajo Nádleehé
Indian Hijras
Is Human Sexuality Just a Matter of Being Straight or Queer?
Cultural Perspectives on Same-Sex Sexuality
Controlling Sexuality
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Genealogical Amnesia in Bali, Indonesia, and the United States
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Margaret Mead and the Sex/Gender Distinction
--DOING FIELDWORK: Don Kulick and "Coming Out" in the Field

Chapter 18. Religion: Ritual and Belief
How Should We Understand Religion and Religious Beliefs?
Understanding Religion version 1.0: Edward B. Tylor and Belief in Spirits
Understanding Religion version 2.0: Anthony F. C. Wallace on Supernatural Beings, Powers, and Forces
Understanding Religion version 3.0: Religion as a System of Symbols
Understanding Religion version 4.0: Religion as a System of Social Action
Understanding Suicide Bomber Attacks
What Forms Does Religion Take?
Clan Spirits and Clan Identities in New Guinea
Totemism in North America
Shamanism and Ecstatic Religious Experiences
Ritual Symbols That Reinforce a Hierarchical Social Order
Polytheism and Monotheism in Ancient Societies
World Religions and Universal Understandings of the World
How Does Atheism Fit in the Discussion?
How Do Rituals Work?
Magical Thought in Non-Western Cultures
Sympathetic Magic: The Law of Similarity and the Law of Contagion
Magic in Western Societies
Rites of Passage and the Ritual Process
How Is Religion Linked to Political and Social Action?
The Rise of Fundamentalism
Understanding Fundamentalism
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Sir James G. Frazer on Sympathetic Magic
--DOING FIELDWORK: Studying the Sikh Militants

Chapter 19. Materiality: Constructing Social Relationships and Meanings with Things
Why Is The Ownership Of Artifacts From Other Cultures A Contentious Issue?
Archaeological Excavation and Questions of Ownership
Indian Reactions to Archaeological Excavations of Human Remains
Cultural Resource Management
How Should We Look At Objects Anthropologically?
The Many Dimensions of Objects
A Shiny New Bicycle, in Multiple Dimensions
Why And How Do The Meanings of Things Change over Time?
The Social Life of Things
Three Ways Objects Change over Time
What Role Does Material Culture Play in Constructing The Meaning of a Community's Past?
Claiming the Past
The Politics of Archaeology
"Rediscovery" of the "Lost City" of Chichén Itzá
--ANTHROPOLOGIST AS PROBLEM SOLVER: John Terrell, Repatriation, and the Maori House at The Field Museum
--CLASSIC CONTRIBUTIONS: Nancy Munn on Graphic Signs Among the Walbiri of the Australian Desert
--THINKING LIKE AN ANTHROPOLOGIST: Looking at Objects from Multiple Perspectives


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