By Jack David Eller
Cultural Anthropology: Global forces, neighborhood lives is an accessible ethnographically wealthy cultural anthropology textbook which provides a coherent and refreshingly new imaginative and prescient of the self-discipline and its topic matter—human range. The fifteen chapters and 3 prolonged case stories current the entire important parts of cultural anthropology, organizing them in conceptually and thematically significant and unique ways. A full one-third of its content material is dedicated to vital worldwide and ancient cultural phenomena similar to colonialism, nationalism, ethnicity and ethnic clash, financial improvement, environmental matters, cultural revival, fundamentalism, and renowned culture. The more conventional subject matters of anthropology (language, economics, kinship, politics, faith, race) are built-in into this broader dialogue to mirror the altering content material of latest classes. This good written and good organised textual content has been trialled either within the school room and on-line. the writer has vast instructing adventure and is mainly reliable at proposing fabric essentially matching his exposition to the speed of scholars' realizing. particularly designed in color to be beneficial to modern scholars, Cultural Anthropology: international forces, neighborhood lives: helps learn with chapter case reports on matters as varied as "Doing Anthropology at Microsoft" to "Banning spiritual Symbols in France" explains tough keywords with marginal glosses and hyperlinks similar subject matters with marginal cross-references assists revision with boxed bankruptcy summaries, an in depth bibliography and index illustrates thoughts and statement with a brilliant variety of images drawn from the main modern anthropological assets offers a aid site together with learn courses, powerpoint shows, bankruptcy vitamins, multiple-choice, essay, and project questions, a version direction mapped to the textbook, a flashcard word list of phrases, hyperlinks to helpful maps
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Additional info for Cultural Anthropology: Global Forces, Local Lives
What do we learn by thinking this way? Not very much, at least not very much about them. We do learn about ourselves (that we disapprove of headhunting), but we already knew that. Clearly, understanding – let alone judging – others by our standards is not helpful. We might call them bad or immoral or criminal, but that does not explain why they do what they do – and they could just as easily say the same thing about us from their point of view. If anthropologists therefore want to understand the behavior of members of another culture, we cannot apply our norms and morals and values and meanings to them, because they do not use ours.
DEFINING CULTURE Part of the methodology of every science is its vocabulary, its set of core terms and concepts. In physics these include mass, force, velocity, and momentum. Cultural anthropology too has its core terms and concepts, which, according to EvansPritchard (1962: 2), include “society,” “custom,” “structure,” “function,” and of course culture. Of these, culture is the most central. The problem is that there is no single official definition of culture. There are almost as many definitions of culture as there are cultural anthropologists; in fact, there are different fundamental approaches to a definition.
Too many intelligent scholars of humanity have assumed, or written as if they assumed, that human individuals essentially invent their own realities independently or abruptly turn into spontaneous philosophers on their eighteenth birthday, after an irrelevant childhood. However, humans become humans very gradually and not at all independently, and the kinds of humans they ultimately become vary enormously. Only a view of humanity that emphasizes enculturation and cross-cultural comparison can grasp the true extent of human nature.
Cultural Anthropology: Global Forces, Local Lives by Jack David Eller