Cultural Anthropology

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  • Edition: 11th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-01-01
  • Publisher: Pearson College Div
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This comprehensive volume reflects recent anthropological research and controversial developments, while integrating features in each chapter to spark and maintain reader interest. A focus on applied anthropology discusses the history and types in the United States and shows how the work of applied anthropologists is playing more of a role in the planning of possible solutions to various global social problems--including AIDS, disasters, homelessness, crime, family violence, and war. This book offers an introduction to anthropology, cultural variation, and using applied anthropology and medical anthropology to address global social problems. For individuals interested in exploring the far-reaching aspects of anthropology.

Table of Contents

(NOTE: All chapters conclude with Summary, Glossary Terms, Critical Questions, Internet Exercises, and Suggested Reading.)


1. What Is Anthropology?
2. The Concept of Culture.
3. Theory and Evidence in Cultural Anthropology.


4. Communication and Language.
5. Getting Food.
6. Economic Systems.
7. Social Stratification: Class, Ethnicity, and Racism.
8. Sex, Gender, and Culture.
9. Marriage and the Family.
10. Marital Residence and Kinship.
11. Associations and Interest Groups.
12. Political Life: Social Order and Disorder.
13. Psychology and Culture.
14. Religion and Magic.
15. The Arts.
16. Culture Change and Globalization.


17. Applied and Practicing Anthropology.
18. Medical Anthropology.
19. Global Social Problems.


Ethnographic fieldwork is the basis of most theory and research on human culture. To emphasize its importance, we have added "Portraits of Culture" as a box feature in this edition. We introduce the new set of boxes in the first chapter, and every other chapter has an extract from a "portrait" of a different culture. These extracts come from a series of original ethnographic articles that we specially commissioned for supplementary reading. The entire series, with other specially commissioned series (on "Research Frontiers in Anthropology" and "Cross-Cultural Research for Social Science"), is now available from Prentice Hall on a CD-ROM (see Supplements). Other major changes in this edition include expanded coverage of globalization and its consequences (see the revised chapter, now called "Culture Change and Globalization") and a new section on terrorism in the chapter on global social problems. Other changes are outlined below in the description of each chapter. In updating the book, we try to go beyond descriptions, as always. We are interested not only inwhathumans are and were like; we are also interested inwhythey got to be that way, in all their variety. When there are alternative explanations, we try to communicate the necessity to evaluate them logically as well as on the basis of the available evidence. Throughout the book, we try to communicate that no idea, including ideas put forward in textbooks, should be accepted even tentatively without supporting tests that could have gone the other way. HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CHAPTERS PART I: INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS ANTHROPOLOGY? Chapter 1 introduces the student to anthropology. We discuss what we think is special and distinctive about anthropology in general, and about each of its subfields in particular. We outline how each of the subfields is related to other disciplines such as biology, psychology, and sociology. We direct attention to the increasing importance of applied anthropology. There are four boxes. The first three focus on an individual anthropologist and her or his work. The fourth box highlights an entirely new series of boxes that are found in all subsequent chapters. Called "Portraits of Culture," these new boxes include extracts from original ethnographic portraits that we commissioned for a series titled with the same name. Although we cannot here include all of the portraits in the series, the entire series is on a CD-ROM that can be obtained from Prentice Hall (see Supplements). CHAPTER 2: THE CONCEPT OF CULTURE This chapter introduces the concept of culture. We first try to convey a feeling for what culture is before dealing more explicitly with the concept and some assumptions about it. A section on cultural relativism puts the concept in its historical context and discusses recent thinking on the subject. We discuss the fact that individual behavior varies in all societies and how such variation may be the beginning of new cultural patterns. The first box, which is new, describes an ethnographer's initial shock at finding out that same-sex public affection in her place of fieldwork has completely different meanings from what it has in North America. The second box, which asks whether Western countries are ethnocentric in their ideas about human rights, incorporates the debate within anthropology about cultural relativism. The third box discusses an applied anthropologist's view of why Bedouin are reluctant to settle down. CHAPTER 3: THEORY AND EVIDENCE IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY In this chapter we focus first on those theoretical orientations that remain popular in cultural anthropology. Then we discuss what it means to explain and what kinds of evidence are needed to evaluate an explanation. We end with a discussion of the major types of study in cultural anthropology--ethnography, ethnohistory, within-culture comparisons, regional comparisons, and wor

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