Anthropology: The Basics

Anthropology: The Basics

Anthropology: The Basics

Anthropology: The Basics

Synopsis

The ultimate guide for the student encountering anthropology for the first time, Anthropology: The Basicsexplains and explores key anthropological concepts including:

  • what is anthropology?
  • how can we distinguish cultural differences from physical ones?
  • what is culture, anyway?
  • how do anthropologists study culture?
  • what are the key theories and approaches used today?
  • How has the discipline changed over time?

This student-friendly text provides an overview of the fundamental principles of anthropology and is an invaluable guide for anyone wanting to learn more about this fascinating subject.

Excerpt

Anthropology is an adventure. It offers you the opportunity to explore other worlds, where lives unfold according to different understandings of the natural order of things. Different, that is, from those that you take for granted. It allows you to escape the claustrophobia of your everyday life, but anthropology is not mere escapism. On the contrary, it will demand your best efforts at understanding.

FAR FROM HOME, CLOSE TO HOME

Anthropologists travel to every corner of the globe to conduct their research. The first generation of them in the late nineteenth century relied on the reports of travelers and explorers for their information. Consequently, anthropology can be seen as an outgrowth of the vast travel literature that accumulated in European languages following the great voyages of discovery of the fifteenth century. In the twentieth century, anthropologists decided that such reports were not enough, and that they needed to go and see for themselves. The modes of research that they initiated, designed to avoid as far as possible the pitfalls of prejudice, provide the basis of the modern discipline.

For most people in the contemporary world, however, it is not necessary to travel far from home to cross cultural boundaries. On . . .

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