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Core Concepts in Cultural Anthropology,9780190459727

Core Concepts in Cultural Anthropology

by ;
Edition: 6th
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2/2/2016
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press


Designed for courses that make extensive use of ethnographies and other supplementary readings, this is a concise introduction to the basic ideas and practices of contemporary cultural anthropology. Not a standard textbook, Core Concepts in Cultural Anthropology, Sixth Edition, is more of an annotated bibliography of the terms and concepts that anthropologists use in their work. The book prepares students to read ethnographies more effectively and with greater understanding.

Author Biography

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

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

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Anthropology
1.1 An Anthropological Perspective
1.2 The Subfields of Anthropology
1.3 Is Anthropology a Science? Modernism, Postmodernism, and Beyond
1.4 Reflexive Anthropology
1.5 Moral Anthropology

Chapter 2. Culture
2.1 Culture Against Racism: The Early Twentieth Century
2.2 The Evolution of Culture
2.3 Culture and Symbolism
2.4 Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism
2.5 The Boundaries of Culture?
2.6 The Concept of Culture in a Global World: Problems and Practices
2.7 Culture: Contemporary Discussion and Debate
2.8 Culture: A Contemporary Consensus

Chapter 3. Meaning-Making and Language
3.1 Making Meaning
3.2 Studying Language: A Historical Sketch
3.3 The Building Blocks of Language
3.4 Language and Culture
3.5 Language and Society
3.6 Discourse
3.7 Language Contact and Change
3.8 Meaning Making and Art
3.9 The Anthropology of Media and the Arts

Chapter 4. World View and Religion
4.1 Religion
4.2 Myth
4.3 Ritual
4.4 Magic and Witchcraft
4.5 Religious Practitioners
4.6 Change in Religious Systems
4.7 Secularism, Fundamentalism, and New Religious Movements

Chapter 5. The Dimensions of Social Organization
5.1 What Is Social Organization?
5.2 Dimensions of Social Organization
5.3 Caste and Class
5.4 Race
5.5 Ethnicity

Chapter 6. Sex, Gender, and Sexuality
6.1 Sex, Gender and Feminism in the Twentieth Century
6.2 Sex, Gender, Race and Class
6.3 Gender Performativity
6.4 Theoretical Diversity in Studies of Sex and Gender
6.5 Sex, Gender and the Body
6.6 Sex, Gender and Sexuality
6.7 Sex, Gender and Sexuality in Ethnographic Context

Chapter 7. Relatedness: Kinship, Marriage, Family, and Friendship
7.1 Kinship Versus Biology
7.2 Descent
7.3 Bilateral Descent
7.4 Unilineal Descent
7.5 Kinship Terminologies
7.6 What Is Marriage?
7.7 Whom to Marry and Where to Live
7.8 How Many Spouses?
7.9 Marriage as Alliance
7.10 Family
7.11 Divorce
7.12 Friendship

Chapter 8. Political Anthropology
8.1 Power
8.2 Political Ecology and Political Economy
8.3 Disputes and Dispute Resolution
8.4 Forms of Political Organization
8.5 Social Stratification
8.6 Forms of Political Activity
8.7 Social Control and Law
8.8 Nationalism and Hegemony

Chapter 9. Economic Anthropology
9.1 The "Arts of Subsistence"
9.2 Subsistence Strategies
9.3 Explaining the Material Life Processes of Society
9.4 Modes of Exchange
9.5 Production, Distribution, and Consumption
9.6 Mode of Production
9.7 Peasants
9.8 Consumption
9.9 The Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

Chapter 10. Globalization
10.1 The Cultural Legacy of Colonialism
10.2 Analyzing Sociocultural Change in the Postcolonial World
10.3 Globalization
10.4 The Cultural Effects of Contact
10.5 Globalization, Citizenship, and Human Rights
10.6 Global Assemblages

Chapter 11. The Anthropology of Science, Technology, and Medicine
11.1 Science and Anthropology
11.2 Anthropology, Science, and Technology
11.3 The Anthropology of Medicine
11.4 Human Health in Evolutionary Context
11.5 Human Health and Nutrition
11.6 Health and Human Reproduction
11.7 Sickness and Health in the Global Capitalist Economy

Chapter 12. Theory in Cultural Anthropology
12.1 Anthropology as Science
12.2 Nineteenth-Century Approaches
12.3 Early-Twentieth-Century Approaches
12.4 Mid-Twentieth-Century Approaches
12.5 Late-Twentieth-Century Approaches
12.6 New Directions in the Twenty-First Century

Appendix: Reading Ethnography
The Parts of an Ethnography
The Use of Indigenous and Local Terms
The Photographs
Why Are You Reading This Ethnography (and How Should You Read It)?


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