Anthropology: A Global Perspective introduces students to the four fields of anthropology. This text integrates historical, biological, archaeological, and global approaches with ethnographic data available from around the world. Information is drawn from both classic and recent research in the field and reflects the current state-of-the-art understanding of social and cultural changes. Using an applied perspective, Anthropology: A Global Perspective demonstrates how anthropologists use research techniques and methods to help solve practical problems, thus showing students how anthropology is relevant to improving human societies.
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This popular introduction to anthropology integrates an historical and global approach with the ethnographic data available from around the world. Drawing on both classic and recent research in the field, it reflects the current state-of-the-art understanding of social and cultural changes based on the relationships among different types of societies. It demonstrates the diversity of different societies and cultural patterns, but also shows how humans everywhere are fundamentally similar.From the Inside Flap:
PREFACE EDUCATIONAL GOALS AND ORIENTATION OF THIS TEXT
We all recognize that the world is getting smaller. Instantaneous global communications, trade among far-flung nations, geopolitical events affecting countries and hemispheres, and the ease of international travel are bringing people and cultures into more intimate contact with one another than ever before, forcing this generation of students to become more knowledgeable about societies other than their own. With that in mind, this textbook is grounded in the belief that an enhanced global awareness is essential for people preparing to take their place in the fast-paced, increasingly interconnected world of the twenty-first century. We know that anthropology is ideally suited to introduce students to a global perspective. All the subfields in anthropology have a broad focus on humanity; this helps liberate students from a narrow, parochial view and enables them to see and understand the full sweep of the human condition.
The anthropological perspective, which stresses critical-thinking processes, the evaluation of competing hypotheses, and the skills to generalize from specific data and assumptions, contributes significantly to a well-rounded education. This text engages readers in the varied intellectual activities underlying the anthropological approach by delving into both classic and recent research in the fields that make up anthropology.
Its emphasis on cultural anthropology notwithstanding, this text reflects a strong commitment to anthropology's traditional holistic and integrative approach. It spells out how the four basic subfields of anthropology—physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and ethnology—together yield a comprehensive understanding of humanity. Because the subfields tend to overlap, insights from all of these subfields are woven together to reveal the holistic fabric of a particular society or the threads uniting all of humanity.
An interdisciplinary outlook also resonates throughout this book. All contemporary anthropologists draw on the findings of biologists, paleontologists, geologists, economists, historians, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, religious studies specialists, philosophers, and researchers in other fields whose work sheds light on anthropological inquiry. In probing various anthropological topics, this text often refers to research conducted in these other fields. In addition to enlarging the scope and reach of the text, exploring interactions between anthropology and other fields sparks the critical imagination that brings the learning process to life.
The comparative approach, another traditional cornerstone of the anthropological perspective, is spotlighted in this text as well. When anthropologists assess fossil evidence, artifacts, languages, or cultural beliefs and values, they weigh comparative evidence, while acknowledging the unique elements of each society and culture. This text casts an inquiring eye on materials from numerous geographical regions and historical eras to enrich student understanding.
A diachronic approach also characterizes this book. In evaluating human evolution, prehistoric events, language divergence, or developments in social structure, anthropologists must rely on models that reflect changes through time, so this diachronic orientation suffuses the text. TWO UNIFYING THEMES OF THIS TEXT
The thematic architecture of this textbook is to introduce students to the diversity of human societies and cultural patterns the world over and the similarities that make all humans fundamentally alike. To achieve these parallel goals, we pay as much attention to universal human characteristics as we do particular cultural characteristics of local regions.
Another overarching theme is to point out the growing interconnectedness of humans throughout the world and the positive and negative consequences of this reality. Contacts and interactions among people in different societies have occurred throughout history. However, modern advances in communication and transportation have accelerated the process of globalization in recent decades. One goal of this text is to call on anthropological studies of various societies to discover how people are responding to the process of globalization. ORGANIZATION OF THE BOOK
In this fourth edition, the arrangement and treatment of topics differ from that of other texts. In Part I, we introduce the basic concepts within the four fields of anthropology. Chapter 1 introduces the field of anthropology and explains how it relates to the sciences and humanities. This lead-in chapter also examines how anthropologists use the scientific method. Chapter 2 examines how paleoanthropologists and archaeologists locate and interpret fossils and the record of past human behavior. This chapter is intended to provide background information on topics such as dating techniques and excavation methods, which will be mentioned in later chapters. Chapter 3 presents basic evolutionary concepts, focusing on evolutionary processes and the origins of life on earth. Principles of heredity and molecular genetics are also briefly introduced.
In Part II we focus on the research done within physical anthropology. Chapter 4 focuses on the primates, discussing taxonomy and the fossil finds that allow researchers to trace primate ancestry. It also includes a discussion of living nonhuman primates and the primate features found in humans. This background in primate evolution provides an introduction to hominid evolution, the focus of Chapter 5. Trends in hominid evolution and some of the more important hominid fossil finds are examined. The chapter then discusses different interpretations of the evolution of the hominids and the origins of Homo sapiens. This section concludes with the study of modern human variation in Chapter 6. This chapter explores the different sources of human variation&3151;genetic, environmental, and cultural—and how physical anthropologists examine this variation.
Part III concentrates on the contemporary research done by archaeologists. Chapters 7, 8, and 9 present archaeological perspectives on human culture spanning the earliest tool traditions through the appearance of complex societies and the state. Chapter 7 opens with an expanded discussion of Paleolithic cultures. This chapter presents the archaeological evidence for early hominid and human behavior, dealing with the stone tools and technological developments of the Lower, Middle, and Upper Paleolithic. Chapter 8 concentrates on the origins of domestication and settled life. It includes a discussion of how archaeologists study the origins of domestication, as well as developments in different world areas. Chapter 9 presents a discussion of the rise of the state and complex societies. As in the preceding chapters, this discussion includes a substantive presentation of developments in different world areas, as well as the archaeological evidence that archaeologists use to evaluate the growth of political and social complexity in ancient societies.
In Part IV, Chapters 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 reinforce one another. Chapter 10 examines the concept of culture as it is understood in anthropology. Beginning with the notions of material and nonmaterial culture, this chapter goes on to cite examples of cultural diversity found throughout the world. Here we also stress cultural universals and similarities that unify all of humanity. In this edition, we also integrate the discussion of the concept of culture with the process of enculturation in order to bridge Chapters 10 on culture with Chapter 11 on the enculturation process. To refine our discussion of culture and enculturation, we develop some new materials on recent research in cognitive anthropology.
In Chapter 11, we emphasize how anthropologists bridge the gap between biology and culture as they gain a greater understanding of enculturation and personality development in unfamiliar societies. To explore this topic, we turn to the classic studies conducted by Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead as well as the most recent research in psychoanalytic anthropology, childhood training in societies around the world, incest, sexuality, cognition, emotions, and the cross-cultural research on personality disorders. In addition, in Chapter 11 we discuss the new controversial field of evolutionary psychology. Many psychological anthropologists have been attempting to incorporate the findings from this new field into their hypotheses.
Chapter 12, on language, dovetails with the previous chapter in several key ways. We have refined our discussion of the differences between ape communication and human language. New conclusions have been reached recently in laboratory research and primatological fieldwork comparing ape communication with human languages. Following up on these studies, we have revised our section A Chomsky's transformational model and other related anthropological findings that suggest interactive relationships between biology and culture. We have expanded our discussion of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Other research findings in linguistic anthropology, including historical linguistics, complement material in the emerging field of sociolinguistics and introduce students to the most recent developments in the field.
Theory—classic and contemporary—frames Chapter 13, which offers a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of each theoretical paradigm. This chapter also amplifies the earlier treatment of the material-nonmaterial aspects of culture by comparing theories highlighting material culture with those placing greater emphasis on nonmaterial, symbolic culture.
Beginning with Chapter 14, this text presents a much different organizational scheme compared with that of other texts. Instead of structuring the book according to specific topics in anthropology, such as subsistence, economy, family, kinship, political organization, and religion, this text organizes the material based on levels of societal organization and regional topics.
In this fourth edition of Antbropology A Global Perspective, Chapter 14 walks students through the methods, research strategies, and some ethical dilemmas that confront ethnological researchers. Then readers learn about the major variables ethnologists analyze to gain insight into different types of societies: environment and subsistence, demography, technology, economy, social structure, family, kinship, gender, age, political systems, law, and religion. With this background students are ready to understand subsequent chapters.
Chapter 14 also presents the multidimensional approach, which most contemporary anthropologists use to analyze the elements of society and culture. Rather than grounding an understanding of society and culture in a single factor, this orientation taps into both material and nonmaterial aspects of culture to holistically view the full spectrum of society and to produce a balanced treatment of key issues that are aspects of anthropological analysis.
In Part V (Chapters 15, 16, and 17) the text reports the major anthropological findings related to prestate societies (bands, tribes, and chiefdoms). Because these classifications have been open to interpretation among anthropologists, these labels are used with extreme caution. Even though many anthropologists either shun these terms or seriously question their utility in describing complex, changing societies, we believe that these classifications give students who are first exposed to the discipline a good grasp of the fundamentals of prestate societies.
In Part VI, Chapters 18 and 19 move on to agricultural and industrial state societies, whose key characteristics emerge in the interconnections among variables such as political economy and social stratification. Chapter 18 features the basic elements of agricultural societies as revealed by archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists. Chapter 19 opens with a new look at the industrial Revolution and the process of modernization, segueing into comparative research conducted in England, Western Europe, the United States, the former Soviet Union, and Japan to illustrate the dynamics of industrial states.
Sound pedagogical logic underlies this approach. Instead of presenting important anthropological research on demography, gender, economy, kinship, ethnicity, political systems, and religion as single chapters (usually corresponding to single lectures), this organizational scheme spotlights how these variables permeate the entire spectrum of human experience in different types of societies. While the single-chapter format tends to marginalize these topics, this text's approach—based on different levels of societal organization—allows students to focus on the interconnections between the political economy and gender, age, family, kinship, religion, demography, technology, environment, and other variables. As a result, students gain a holistic understanding of human societies.
Organizing material according to levels of societal organization in no way implies or endorses a simplistic, unilineal view of sociocultural evolution. In fact, the ladderlike evolutionary perspective on society comes in for criticism throughout the text. While recognizing the inherent weaknesses of using classifications such as "tribes" and "chiefdoms"—including the parallel tendencies to lump diverse societies into narrow categories and to create artificial boundaries among societies-we believe that these groupings nonetheless serve the valuable purpose of introducing beginning students to the sweeping concepts that make anthropology distinctive. Generalizations about tribes and chiefdoms help students unfamiliar with anthropology's underpinnings to absorb basic concepts and data; the complexities and theoretical controversies within the discipline can always be addressed in more specialized advanced courses.
In Part VII, we have made some significant changes that we believe will make the text more user friendly and easily digestible for students. First, in Chapter 20 we include a discussion of modernization theory with a critique of the terminology of First, Second, Third, and Fourth Worlds as being too simplistic to apply to what anthropological data demonstrates. This Cold War terminology is outdated from today's standpoint, especially based on ethnographic data regarding the complex levels of development and diversity found in the so-called Third World—and the Second World, the formerly industrial socialist societies that have mostly dissipated.
In Chapter 20, we delve into the theoretical paradigms that anthropologists have modified to understand the interrelationships among various societies of the world. Modernization, dependency, and world-systems theories (and criticisms of them) are introduced to develop the global perspective. We emphasize that societies cannot be understood as independent, isolated units. This global perspective informs all the subsequent chapters, reinforcing a sense of global awareness among students.
Chapter 20 also considers the problems generated by contact between the industrial states and prestate aboriginal societies. It goes on to address a number of salient questions raised by these contact...
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