Anthropology What Does It Mean to be Human?

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-11-21
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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A unique alternative to more traditional, encyclopedic introductory texts, Anthropology: What Does It Mean to Be Human?, Third Edition, takes a question-oriented approach that incorporates cutting-edge theory and new ways of looking at important contemporary issues such as power, human rights, and inequality. With a total of sixteen chapters, this engaging, full-color text is an ideal one-semester overview that delves deep into anthropology without overwhelming students.

Author Biography

Robert H. Lavenda is Professor of Anthropology and Co-chair of the Department of Anthropology at St. Cloud State University.

Emily A. Schultz is Professor of Anthropology at St. Cloud State University.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: What Is Anthropology?
What Is Anthropology?
What Is the Concept of Culture?
What Makes Anthropology a Cross-Disciplinary Discipline?
Biological Anthropology
In Their Own Words: Anthropology as a Vocation: Listening to Voices
Cultural Anthropology
Linguistic Anthropology
Applied Anthropology
Medical Anthropology
The Uses of Anthropology
In Their Own Words: What Can You Learn from an Anthropology Major?

Module 1: Anthropology, Science, and Storytelling
Scientific and Nonscientific Explanations
Some Key Scientific Concepts

Chapter 2: Why Is Evolution Important to Anthropologists?
What Is Evolutionary Theory?
What Material Evidence Is There for Evolution?
Pre-Darwinian Views of the Natural World
The Great Chain of Being
Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism
Transformational Evolution
What Is Natural Selection?
Population Thinking
Natural Selection in Action
How Did Biologists Learn about Genes?
Mendel's Experiments
The Emergence of Genetics
What Are the Basics of Contemporary Genetics?
Genes and Traits
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Investigating Human-Rights Violations
and Identifying Remains
DNA and the Genome
"There Is No 'Race Memory' in Biology, Only in Books"
Genotype, Phenotype, and the Norm of Reaction
In Their Own Words: How Living Organisms Construct Their Environments
What Does Evolution Mean?

Chapter 3: What Can Evolutionary Theory Tell Us about Human Variation?
What Is Microevolution?
The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis and Its Legacy
The Molecularization of Race?
The Four Evolutionary Processes
In Their Own Words: DNA Tests Find Branches but Few Roots
Microevolution and Patterns of Human Variation
Adaptation and Human Variation
Phenotype, Environment, and Culture
What Is Macroevolution?
Can We Predict the Future of Human Evolution?

Module 2: Dating Methods in Paleoanthropology and Archaeology
Relative Dating Methods
Numerical Dating Methods
Modeling Prehistoric Climates

Chapter 4: What Can the Study of Primates Tell Us about Human Beings?
What Are Primates?
How Do Biologists Classify Primates?
How Many Categories of Living Primates Are There?
In Their Own Words: The Future of Primate Biodiversity
What is Ethnoprimatology?
Are There Patterns in Primate Evolution?
In Their Own Words: Chimpanzee Tourism
How do Paleoanthropologists Reconstruct Primate Evolutionary History?
Primates of the Paleocene
Primates of the Eocene
Primates of the Oligocene
Primates of the Miocene

Chapter 5: What Can the Fossil Record Tell Us about Human Origins?
What Is Hominin Evolution?
Who Were the First Hominins (6-3 mya)?
The Origin of Bipedalism
In Their Own Words: Finding Fossils
Changes in Hominin Dentition
Who Were the Later Australopiths (3-1.5 mya)?
How Many Species of Australopith Were There?
How Can Anthropologists Explain the Human Transition?
What Do We Know about Early Homo (2.4-1.5 mya)?
Expansion of the Australopith Brain
How Many Species of Early Homo Were There?
Earliest Evidence of Culture: Stone Tools of the Oldowan Tradition
Who Was Homo Erectus (1.8-1.7 mya to 0.5-0.4 mya)?
Morphological Traits of H. erectus
The Culture of H. erectus
H. erectus the Hunter
What Happened to H. Erectus?
How Did Homo Sapiens Evolve?
What Is the Fossil Evidence for the Transition to Modern H. sapiens?
Where Did Modern H. sapiens Come From?
Who Were the Neandertals (130,000-35,000 Years Ago)?
What Do We Know About Middle Paleolithic/Middle Stone Age Culture?
In Their Own Words: Bad Hair Days in the Paleolithic: Modern (Re)Constructions of the Cave Man
Did Neandertals Hunt?
What Do We Know About Anatomically Modern Humans (200,000 Years Ago to Present)?
What Can Genetics Tell Us About Modern Human Origins?
What Do We Know About the Upper Paleolithic/Late Stone Age? (40,000?-12,000 Years Ago)
What Happened to the Neandertals?
How Many Kinds of Upper Paleolithic/Late Stone Age Cultures Were There?
In Their Own Words: Women's Art in the Upper Paleolithic?
Where Did Modern H. Sapiens Migrate in Late Pleistocene Times?
Eastern Asia and Siberia
The Americas
Two Million Years of Human Evolution

Chapter 6: How Do We Know about the Human Past?
What Is Archaeology?
Archaeological Excavation
How Do Archaeologists Interpret the Past?
Subsistence Strategies
Bands, Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States
Whose Past Is It?
How Is the Past Being Plundered?
What Are the Critical Issues in Contemporary Archaeology?
Archaeology and Gender
Collaborative Approaches to Studying the Past
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Archaeology as a Tool of Civic Engagement
Cosmopolitan Archaeologies

Chapter 7: Why Did Humans Settle Down, Build Cities, and Establish States?
How Is the Human Imagination Entangled with the Material World?
Is Plant Cultivation a Form of Niche Construction?
How do Anthropologists Explain the Origins of Animal Domestication?
Was There Only One Motor of Domestication?
How Did Domestication, Cultivation, and Sedentism Begin in Southwest Asia?
Natufian Social Organization
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Çatal Höyük in the Twenty-First Century
Natufian Subsistence
Domestication Elsewhere in the World
What Were the Consequences of Domestication and Sedentism?
In Their Own Words: The Food Revolution
How Do Anthropologists Define Social Complexity?
Why Is It Incorrect To Describe Foraging Societies as "Simple?"
What Is the Archaeological Evidence for Social Complexity?
Why Did Stratification Begin?
How Can Anthropologists Explain the Rise of Complex Societies?
In Their Own Words: The Ecological Consequences of Social Complexity
Andean Civilization

Chapter 8: Why Is the Concept of Culture Important?
How Do Anthropologists Define Culture?
In Their Own Words: The Paradox of Ethnocentrism
Culture, History, and Human Agency
In Their Own Words: Culture and Freedom
In Their Own Words: Human-Rights Law and the Demonization of Culture
Why Do Cultural Differences Matter?
What Is Ethnocentrism?
Is It Possible to Avoid Ethnocentric Bias?
What Is Cultural Relativism?
How Can Cultural Relativity Improve Our Understanding of Controversial Cultural Practices?
Genital Cutting, Gender, and Human Rights
Genital Cutting as a Valued Ritual
Culture and Moral Reasoning
Did Their Culture Make Them Do It?
Does Culture Explain Everything?
Culture Change and Cultural Authenticity
The Promise of the Anthropological Perspective

Module 3: On Ethnographic Methods
A Meeting of Cultural Traditions
Single-Sited Fieldwork
Multisited Fieldwork
Collecting and Interpreting Data
The Dialectic of Fieldwork: Interpretation and Translation
Interpreting Actions and Ideas
The Dialectic of Fieldwork: An Example
The Effects of Fieldwork
The Production of Anthropological Knowledge
Anthropological Knowledge as Open-Ended

Chapter 9: Why Is Understanding Human Language Important?
How Are Language and Culture Related?
How Do People Talk about Experience?
In Their Own Words: Cultural Translation
What Makes Human Language Distinctive?
What Does It Mean to "Learn" a Language?
How Does Context Affect Language?
How Does Language Affect How We See the World?
Pragmatics: How Do We Study Language in Contexts of Use?
What Happens When Languages Come into Contact?
What Is the Difference between a Pidgin and a Creole?
How Is Meaning Negotiated?
What Is Linguistic Inequality?
What Are Language Habits of African Americans?
In Their Own Words: Varieties of African American English
What Is Language Ideology?
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Language Revitalization
What Is Lost if a Language Dies?
How Are Language and Truth Connected?
In Their Own Words: The Madness of Hunger
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Lead Poisoning among Mexican American Children

Module 4: Components of Language
Phonology: Sounds
Morphology: Word Structure
Syntax: Sentence Structure
Semantics: Meaning

Chapter 10: How Do We Make Meaning?
What Is Play?
What Do We Think about Play?
What Are Some Effects of Play?
What Is Art?
Is There a Definition of Art?
"But Is It Art?"
In Their Own Words: Tango
"She's Fake": Art and Authenticity
How Does Hip-Hope Become Japanese?
What Is Myth?
How Does Myth Reflect - and Shape - Society?
Do Myths Help Us Think?
What Is Ritual?
How Can Ritual Be Defined?
How Is Ritual Expressed in Action?
What Are Rites of Passage?
In Their Own Words: Video in the Villages
How Are Play and Ritual Complementary?
How Are Worldview and Symbolic Practice Related?
What Is Religion?
How Do People Communicate in Religion?
How Are Religion and Social Organization Related?
Worldviews in Operation: Two Case Studies
Coping with Misfortune: Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic among the Azande
Are There Patterns of Witchcraft Accusation?
Coping with Misfortune: Listening for God among Contemporary Evangelicals in the U.S.
In Their Own Words: For All Those Who Were Indian in a Former Life 306
Maintaining and Changing a Worldview
How Do People Cope with Change?
In Their Own Words: Custom and Confrontation
How Are Worldviews Used as Instruments of Power?

Chapter 11: Why Do Anthropologists Study Economic Relations?
How Do Anthropologists Study Economic Relations?
What Are the Connections between Culture and Livelihood?
How Do Anthropologists Study Production, Distribution, and Consumption?
How Are Goods Distributed and Exchanged?
What Are Modes of Exchange?
Does Production Drive Economic Activities?
In Their Own Words: "So Much Work, So Much Tragedy . . . and for What?"
Modes of Production
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Producing Sorghum and Millet in Honduras and the Sudan
In Their Own Words: Solidarity Forever
What Is the Role of Conflict in Material Life?
Why Do People Consume What They Do?
The Internal Explanation: Malinowski and Basic Human Needs
The External Explanation: Cultural Ecology
In Their Own Words: Questioning Collapse
How Is Consumption Culturally Patterned?
How Is Consumption Being Studied Today?
In Their Own Words: Fake Masks and Faux Modernity
The Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

Chapter 12: How Do Anthropologists Study Political Relations?
How Are Culture and Politics Related?
How Do Anthropologists Study Politics?
Power and National Identity: A Case Study
Can Governmentality Be Eluded?
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Anthropology and Advertising
In Their Own Words: Reforming the Crow Constitution
How Are Politics, Gender, and Kinship Related?
How Are Immigration and Politics Related in the New Europe?
Hidden Transcripts and the Power of Reflection
In Their Own Words: Protesters Gird for Long Fight over Opening Peru's Amazon
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Human Terrain Teams and Anthropological Ethics

Chapter 13: Where Do Our Relatives Come From and Why Do They Matter?
What Is Kinship?
Sex, Gender, and Kinship
What Is the Role of Descent in Kinship?
What Roles Do Lineages Play in Descent?
Lineage Membership
What Are Matrilineages?
In Their Own Words: Outside Work, Women, and Bridewealth
What Are Kinship Terminologies?
What Criteria Are Used for Making Kinship Distinctions?
What Is Adoption?
Adoption in Highland Ecuador
European American Kinship and New Reproductive Technologies
How Does Organ Transplantation Create New Relatives?
Toward a Definition of Marriage
Woman Marriage and Ghost Marriage among the Nuer
Why Is Marriage a Social Process?
Patterns of Residence after Marriage
Single and Plural Spouses
In Their Own Words: Two Cheers for Gay Marriage
How Is Marriage an Economic Exchange?
What Is a Family?
In Their Own Words: Dowry Too High. Lose Bride and Go to Jail
What Is the Nuclear Family?
What Is the Polygynous Family?
Extended and Joint Families
In Their Own Words: Law, Custom, and Crimes against Women
How Are Families Transformed over Time?
Divorce and Remarriage
How Does International Migration Affect the Family?
Families by Choice
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Caring for Infibulated Women Giving Birth in Norway
In Their Own Words: Why Migrant Women Feed Their Husbands Tamales
How Are Sexual Practices Organized?
Ranges of Heterosexual Practices
Other Sexual Practices
Sexuality and Power

Chapter 14: What Can Anthropology Tell Us about Social Inequality?
In Their Own Words: The Consequences of Being a Woman
Caste in India
In Their Own Words: Burakumin: Overcoming Hidden Discrimination in Japan
In Their Own Words: As Economic Turmoil Mounts, So Do Attacks on Hungary's Gypsies
Colorism in Nicaragua
In Their Own Words: On the Butt Size of Barbie and Shani: Dolls and Race in the United States
In Their Own Words: The Politics of Ethnicity
Nation and Nationalism
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Anthropology and Democracy
Australian Nationalism
Naturalizing Discourses
The Paradox of Essentialized Identities
Nation Building in a Postcolonial World: The Example of Fiji
Nationalism and Its Dangers

Chapter 15: How Is Anthropology Applied in the Field of Medicine?
What Is Medical Anthropology?
In Their Own Words: American Premenstrual Syndrome
What Makes Medical Anthropology "Biocultural"?
How Do People with Different Cultures Understand the Causes of Sickness and Health?
Kinds of Selves
Decentered Selves on the Internet
Self and Subjectivity
Subjectivity, Trauma, and Structural Violence
How Are Human Sickness and Health Shaped by the Global Capitalist Economy?
In Their Own Words: Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions
Health, Human Reproduction, and Global Capitalism
Medical Anthropology and HIV/AIDS
The Future of Medical Anthropology

Chapter 16: What Can Anthropology Tell Us about Globalization?
Cultural Imperialism or Cultural Hybridity?
In Their Own Words: Slumdog Tourism
What is Cultural Imperialism?
What is Cultural Hybridity?
In Their Own Words: How Sushi Went Global
Are There Limits to Cultural Hybridity?
How Does Globalization Affect the Nation State?
In Their Own Words: Cofan: Story of the Forest People and the Outsiders
Are Global Flows Undermining Nation-States?
Migration, Transborder Identities, and Long-Distance Nationalism
How Can Citizenship Be Flexible?
Are Human Rights Universal?
Rights versus Culture?
Rights to Culture?
Are Rights Part of Culture?
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Anthropology and Indigenous Rights
How Can Culture Help in Thinking about Rights?
What is the Relationship Between Human Rights and Humanitarianism?
Can We Be at Home in a Global World?
What is Cosmopolitanism?
What is Friction?
What is Border Thinking?
In Their Own Words: The Anthropological Voice
Why Study Anthropology?

Module 5: Background to the Global Political Economy of the Twenty-First Century
What Happened to the Global Economy after the Cold War?
Cultural Processes in a Global World

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