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Anthropology: Basics

Anthropology: Basics - 05 edition

Anthropology: Basics - 05 edition

ISBN13: 9780415331203

ISBN10: 041533120X

Anthropology: Basics by Peter Metcalf - ISBN 9780415331203
Cover type: Print On Demand
Edition: 05
Copyright: 2005
Publisher: Routledge N. Y.
Published:
International: No
Anthropology: Basics by Peter Metcalf - ISBN 9780415331203

ISBN13: 9780415331203

ISBN10: 041533120X

Cover type: Print On Demand
Edition: 05

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Summary

The ultimate guide for the student who is coming to anthropology for the first time, Anthropology: the Basics explains and explores anthropological ideas, key anthropologist thinkers, concepts and themes, and the history of anthropological ideas. In this immensely readable book, Peter Metcalf makes large and complex topics both accessible and enjoyable, arguing that the issues anthropology deals with are all around us, in magazines and newspapers and on television. This volume provides students with an overview of the fundamental principles of anthropology, and an accessible guide for anyone just wanting to learn more about a fascinating subject.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter One. Encountering Cultural Difference

Far from home, close to home
Awareness of cultural difference
Emotional responses
The reality of culture
What is to be gained
Ethnocentrism
Anthropology's pioneers
First experiments with fieldwork
The techniques of fieldwork
(1) long term residence
(2) language competence
(3) Participant observation
Unstructured research
The role of informants
Checks against misinformation
Antrhropological knowledge
Fieldwork becomes standard
Beyond community studies
Other modes of research
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Two. Misunderstanding Cultural Difference

The Lugbara world view in the 1940's
Homo monstrosus
Near humans
Limits of the species
The hominid line
Variation wirthin the species
The paradox of race
Colour
Blood type
Intelligence quotient
Rethinking "racial" characteristics
Mitochondrial Eve
Afterword. the field of physical anthropology
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Three. Social Do's and Don'ts

Inside your head
Psychology and anthropology
Outside your head
The raised eyebrow
Avoiding the ancestors' mats
Self expression
Status and role, rights and responsibilities
Kinship roles. fathers and sons
Multiple fathers
Society
The social person
Social structure
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Four. African political Systems

Defining "politics"
First example. an expansionary kingdom
Shaka creates a standing army
Chiefs were "raised up" by the king
Chiefs and district administration
Villages and farmsteads, lineages and clans
Simplicity and complexity.
Second example. a matrilineal realm
Matrilineality
Bemba villages
Chiefs and the state
Corporate soles
Third example. an egalitarian anarchy
Defying Hobbes
The law of self-help
Matters get serious. a feud
Limits on the feud. ritually prohibited bloodshed
Containment of the feud. balanced tribal sections
Kinship and politics
Residential mobility
The preoccupation with kinship
Kinship in Oceania
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Five. Anthropology, History, and Imperialism

Indirect rule
Functionalism
Functionalism and history
High Imperialism
Evolutionism
The attractions of evolutionism
The errors of evolutionism
The functionalist revolution
Functionalism as social anatomy
History as process
The limitations of functionalism
The hazards of analogy
The basic flaw of functionalism
The post-colonial world
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Six. Culture and Language

First nations .
The "four fields" approach
Other national traditions of anthropology
Linguistic anthropology
Language confounds biological determinism
(1) language as a human universal
(2) Language as a cultural variable
Language confounds social evolutionism
Culture and cultures
Franz Boas
From sound systems to cultural styles
Little white room ethnography
Indigenous knowledges
A refugee in New York
The unconscious in culture
British and French notions of structure
The Mythologiques
Marriage as gift
The meaning of women
Language as anology
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Seven. Culture and Nature

Right and left
Right and wrong
From body to cosmos. the Atoni house
Religious polarity
The prevalence of dualism
Sex and gender
Mediating male and female
Gender bending
The facts of life
Death and taxes
Producing ancestors
Responding to affliction Curing systems
Useful knowledge
The reflexive role of medical anthropology
Our place in nature
Refining the culture concept
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Eight. The End of the Tribes

Savages and barbarians
Tabu words
Studying "simple" societies
Anthropology's achievement
The fate of indigenous minorities
Indigenous resilience
Inverting the proposition. plus ca change
Marx and modernity
World economies
Wild men and bezoar stones
Beads and brassware
Worlds worldwide
The boundedness of cultures
The culturist illusion
Marxists, post-modernists, and seamstresses
First alternative. class consciousness
Second alternative. disjuncture, incoherence, pastiche
A point of agreement. culture vs. cultural
Resolution. finding cultural niches
Television in remote places
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Nine. Culture and the Individua

Biology, psychology, culture
Cultural impoverishment
Culture and personality
Modal personality in Dobu
Madness and deviance
Psychic unity
Dangers of stereotyping
The wind in the palm trees
Child rearing
Culture and emotion
Culture and motive
Economic Man
Individualism as ideology
Summary
Further reading

Chapter Ten. Critical Anthropology

Reporting from the disempowered
"critical" anthropology
Politics and culture
Uncritical anthropology
The misnomer of "Social Darwinism"
Progress through struggle
Spencer's version of struggle
The politics of the "practical man"
The twentieth-century critique
Activism and critique
The pre-modern family
Moon rythms and goddesses
The feminist connundrum
The achievements of feminist anthropology
Broadening the connundrum
Dealing with the connundrum
Critical studies of science
Medicine and science
Criticizing nationalism
Far from home, close to home
Summary
Further reading

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