Cultural Anthropology, 11th Edition by Carol R. Ember,
Melvin Ember (Prentice Hall) reflects recent anthropological research and
controversial developments, while integrating features in each chapter to spark
and maintain reader interest. A focus on applied anthropology discusses the
history and types in the United States and shows how the work of applied
anthropologists is playing more of a role in the planning of possible solutions
to various global social problems—including AIDS, disasters, homelessness,
crime, family violence, and war. This book offers an introduction to
anthropology, cultural variation, and using applied anthropology and medical
anthropology to address global social problems. For individuals interested in
exploring the far-reaching aspects of anthropology. This text is well suited for
undergraduate, introductory use and manages to give a useful survey of the state
of the science of anthropology.
Ethnographic fieldwork is the basis of most theory and
research on human culture. To emphasize its importance, the authors have added
"Portraits of Culture" as a box feature in this edition. They introduce the new
set of boxes in the first chapter, and every other chapter has an extract from
a "portrait" of a different culture. These extracts come from a series of
original ethnographic articles that were specially commissioned for
supplementary reading. The entire series, with other specially commissioned
series (on "Research Frontiers in Anthropology" and "Cross-Cultural Research
for Social Science"), is now available from Prentice Hall on a CD-ROM (not seen
by reviewer). Other major changes in this edition include expanded coverage of
globalization and its consequences and a new section on terrorism in the
chapter on global social problems. Other changes are outlined below in the
description of each chapter. In updating the book, the authors attempted to go
beyond descriptions, as always. they are interested not only in what humans are
and were like; they are also interested in why we got to be that way, in all our
variety. When there are alternative explanations, the authors
show the necessity to evaluate them logically as well as on the basis of
the available evidence. Throughout the book, they try to communicate that no
idea, including ideas put forward in textbooks, should be accepted even
tentatively without supporting tests that could have gone the other way.
Anthropology? Chapter introduces the student to anthropology. The authors
discuss what is special and distinctive about anthropology in general, and
about each of its subfields in particular. Each of the subfields is outlined and
related to other disciplines such as biology, psychology, and sociology. The
increasing importance of applied anthropology is emphasized. There are four
boxes. The first three focus on an individual anthropologist and her or his
work. The fourth box highlights an entirely new series of boxes that are found
in all subsequent chapters. Called "Portraits of Culture," these new boxes
include extracts from original ethnographic portraits that wre commissioned for
a CD-ROM series titled with the same name. (not seen)
of Culture chapter introduces the concept of culture. The authors convey a
feeling for what culture is before dealing more explicitly with the concept and
some assumptions about it. A section on cultural relativism puts the concept in
its historical context and discusses recent thinking on the subject. The fact
that individual behavior varies in all societies is discussed and how such
variation may be the beginning of new cultural patterns. The first box, which is
new, describes an ethnographer's initial shock at finding out that same-sex
public affection in her place of fieldwork has completely different meanings
from what it has in North America. The second box, which asks whether Western
countries are ethnocentric in their ideas about human rights, incorporates the
debate within anthropology about cultural relativism. The third box discusses an
applied anthropologist's view of why Bedouin are reluctant to settle down.
and Evidence in Cultural Anthropology chapter focuses first on those theoretical
orientations that remain popular in cultural anthropology. Then what it means
to explain and what kinds of evidence are needed to evaluate an explanation is
reviewed, concluding with a discussion of the major types of study in cultural
anthropology-ethnography, ethnohistory, within-culture comparisons, regional
comparisons, and worldwide cross-cultural comparisons. The authors have expanded
the discussion of fieldwork by showing how an ethnographer can select
knowledgeable informants to help understand a culture. The first box explores
the differences between scientific and humanistic understanding and points out
that the different approaches are not really incompatible. The second box uses a
research question about the Abelam of New Guinea to illustrate how different
theoretical orientations suggest different types of answers. In the third box,
two purposes are concerned. One is to give a feeling for the experience of
fieldwork; the second is to use the Mead-Freeman controversy to explore the
issue of how we can know that an ethnographer is accurate. The last box, which
is new, discusses how an ethnographer did historical research on the Miskito of
Cultural Variation: In most of the chapters that follow, the authors try to
convey the range of cultural variation with ethnographic examples from all over
the world. Wherever possible the authors discuss possible explanations of why
societies may be similar or different in regard to some aspect of culture. If
anthropologists have no explanation as yet for the variation, they say so. But
if there are some plausible ideas of the conditions that may be related to a
particular kind of variation, even if it is not known yet why they are related,
the authors discuss that too. So as to train students to go beyond what is now
known, it helps to tell them what we do not yet know, as well as what is well
known and even taken as the bedrock of anthropological lore.
Communication And Language chapter begins by discussing communication in humans
and other animals. After an updated discussion of human nonverbal communication
we describe the debate about the degree of difference between human and nonhuman
primate language abilities. The origins of language and how creoles and
children's language acquisition may help us understand the origins is discussed.
Then the basis of descriptive linguistics and the processes of linguistic
divergence is brought into view. After discussing the interrelationships between
language and other aspects of culture, the authors end with the ethnography of
speaking and the differences in speech by status, gender, and ethnicity. They
have expanded the discussion of interethnic or intercultural communication,
indicating how linguists can play a role in helping people improve their
cross-cultural communication. The first box, which is new, deals with Haitian
Creole. The second discusses the problem of language extinction and what some
anthropologists are doing about it. To stimulate thinking about the possible
impact of language on thought, we ask in the third box whether the English
language promotes sexist thinking.
Food Chapter discusses how societies vary in getting their food, how they have
changed over time, and how such variation seems to affect other kinds of
cultural variation-including variation in economic systems, social
stratification, and political life. The authors include a discussion of "market
foragers" to emphasize that most people in a modern market economy are not in
fact producers of food. The first box deals with the change from "Man the
Hunter" to "Woman the Gatherer," and the question is raiseed of whether either
view is accurate. Although it is commonly thought that industrialization is
mainly to blame for negative developments in the environment, our second box
deals with the negative effects in preindustrial times of irrigation, animal
grazing, and overhunting. Our third box, which is new, explores how the
agricultural Han Chinese adapted to moving into drier land more suited to
Systems chapter discusses how societies vary in the ways they allocate
resources (what is "property" and what ownership may mean), convert or transform
resources through labor into usable goods, and distribute and perhaps exchange
goods and services. The authors have expanded and updated the discussions of
land use amongst pastoralists, they discuss the effects of political systems
(including colonialism) on land ownership and use, and have expanded the
discussion of food sharing. There is a discussion of why children in some
foraging societies do more work than in others. The first box addresses the
controversy over whether communal ownership leads to economic disaster. The
second box, which is new, discusses the distribution of work among the Yanomamo.
After the discussion of commercialization, the third box illustrates the impact
of the world-system on local economies, with special reference to the
deforestation of the Amazon.
Stratification: Class, Ethnicity, And Racism chapter explores the variation in
degree of social stratification and how the various forms of social inequality
may develop. The authors discuss "race," racism, and ethnicity and how they
often relate to the inequitable distribution of resources. We have added new
material on how egalitarian societies work hard to prevent dominance, and on
the controversy about whether pastoral societies with individual ownership of
animals are egalitarian. We have extensively revised the boxes and text to
provide up-to-date information on the degree of inequality in the world as well
as in the United States. The first box, which is new, discusses social
stratification in a foraging society-the Tlingit of southern Alaska. The second
box discusses social stratification on the global level-how the gap between
rich and poor countries has been widening, and what may account for that trend.
The third box discusses possible reasons for disparities in death by disease
between African Americans and European Americans.
Gender, and Culture chapter discusses how and why sex and gender differences
vary cross-culturally; in the second part discusses variation in sexual
attitudes and practices. How the concepts of gender do not always involve just
two genders is explained while emphasizing all the ways women contribute to
work, and how conclusions about contributions by gender depend on how you
measure "work." The authors include new material on female hunting and what
impact it has on theories about division of labor. In the first box,
presents research on why women's political participation may be
increasing in some Coast Salish communities of western Washington State and
British Columbia, now that they have elected councils. A second box examines
cross-cultural research about why some societies allow women to participate in
combat. The new box discusses the Andean Mestizo belief that a long period of
breastfeeding is detrimental to girls.
discussing various theories about why marriage might be universal, Marriage and
The Family chapter moves on to discuss variation in how one marries,
restrictions on marriage, whom one should marry, and how many one should marry;
concluding with a discussion of variation in family form. The authors have added
new research on why bride price varies, the relationship between population
density and marriage distance, and have expanded coverage of polygyny from
women's perspectives. The new box on the Yapese of Micronesia conveys the
unimportance of marriage ceremonies in some societies. To introduce topics
regarding the husband-wife relationship that are only beginning to be
investigated, the second updated box discusses variation in love, intimacy, and
sexual jealousy. The third box, in the section on family organization, discusses
why one parent families are on the increase in countries like ours.
to explaining the variation that exists in marital residence, kinship
structure, and kinship terminology, Marital Residence and Kinship chapter
emphasizes how understanding residence is important for understanding social
life. One of the boxes discusses the possible relationship between neolocality
and adolescent rebellion. The new second box is on the importance of the
mother's brother among the Cherokee of the southeastern United States. The last
box is on how variation in residence and kinship affects the lives of women.
Associations and Interest Groups chapter covers the importance of associations
in many parts of the world, particularly the increasing importance of voluntary
associations. There is a section on rotating-credit associations. The authors
discuss how they work to provide lump sums of money to individuals, how they are
especially important to women, and how they become even more important when
people move to new places. The first box addresses the question of whether
separate women's associations increase women's status and power; the second box
discusses why street gangs develop and why they often become violent. The new
last box discusses the role ethnic associations play in Chinatowns in the United
Life: Social Order and Disorder looks at how societies have varied in their
levels of political organization, the various ways people become leaders, the
degree to which they participate in the political process, and the peaceful and
violent methods of resolving conflict. Also discussed is how colonialization
has transformed legal systems and ways of making decisions, how conflicts may
be resolved peacefully, and how crosscultural research casts doubt on the
notion that wars in the non-Western world are fought over women. The authors
have added new material on the causes of widespread political participation. The
new box discusses the Iroquois confederacy. The second box deals with how new
local courts among the Abelam of New Guinea are allowing women to address sexual
grievances. The third box deals with the cross-national and cross-cultural
relationship between economic development and democracy.
and Culture Chapter discusses some of the universals of psychological
development, some psychological differences between societies and what might
account for them, how people in different societies conceive of personality
differently (e.g., the concept of self), and how knowledge of psychological
processes may help us understand cultural variation. The authors have added two
new sections that identify some larger processes that may influence personality.
One is on the importance of the settings that children are placed in. The second
is on how native theories ("ethnotheories") about parenting vary by culture. The
first box, which is new, discusses whether adolescence is a meaningful concept
in Morocco. The second box discusses the idea that women have a different sense
of themselves than men have, and therefore a different sense of morality. The
third box, referring to a comparison of preschools in Japan, China, and the
United States, discusses how schools may consciously and unconsciously teach
discussing why religion may be culturally universal, Religion and Magic chapter
discusses variation in religious belief and practice with extensive examples.
Also revitalization movements are discussed and how humans tend to
anthropomorphize in the face of unpredictable events. The authors have added a
discussion of why women may predominate in possession trances. The first box
discusses research on New England fishermen that suggests how their taboos, or
"rituals of avoidance," may be anxiety reducing. The second box, which is new,
discusses shamanism among the Sierra Otomi of Mexico. The last box discusses
the emergence of new religions and points out that nearly all the major churches
or religions in the world began as minority sects or cults.
discussing how art might be defined, the Arts chapter discusses variation in
the visual arts, music, and folklore, and review how some of those variations
might be explained. In regard to how the arts change over time, the myth that
the art of "simpler" peoples is timeless and how arts have changed as a result
of European contact is presented. The authors address the role of ethnocentrism
in studies of art with a section on how Western museums and art critics look at
the visual art of less complex cultures. One box discusses how art varies with
different kinds of political systems. The second box, dealing with universal
symbolism in art, reviews recent research on the emotions displayed in masks.
The last box, which is new, portrays dance performance among the Nimpkish of
North America's northwest coast.
Change and Globalization chapter is considerably revised and has an entirely new
section on globalization. The authors have added new research on societies that
have increased innovation over time, on societies that have deliberately
introduced culture changes, on what may predict the acculturation of immigrant
groups in North America, and on what may predict ethnogenesis. After discussing
the ultimate sources of culture changediscovery and innovation—they discuss
some of what is known about the conditions under which people are likely to
accept innovations. Also the costs and benefits of innovations, external and
internal pressures for culture change, globalization, ethnogenesis, and the
likelihood of cultural diversity in the future is outlined. The first box, which
is new, describes how culture change has been selective among the North Alaskan
Eskimo. The second box examines culture change in Communist China-what has
changed because of government intervention and what has persisted nevertheless.
To convey that culture change often has biological consequences, the last box
discusses obesity, hypertension, and diabetes as health consequences of
Using Anthropology: Applied and Practicing Anthropology chapter discusses the
types of jobs outside of academia, the history and types of applied
anthropology in the United States, the ethical issues involved in trying to
improve people's lives, the difficulties in evaluating whether a program is
beneficial, and ways of implementing planned changes. We point out how applied
anthropologists are playing more of a role in planning, rather than as
peripheral advisers to change programs already in place. The authors have
expanded the forensic anthropology section to include how cultural
anthropologists can be involved. The first two boxes show how anthropologists
have been able to help in business and in reforestation. The last box, which is
new, discusses the ways that the Taos of New Mexico have resisted some kinds of
Anthropology chapter discusses cultural understandings of health and illness,
the treatment of illness (particularly from a biocultural rather than just a
biomedical point of view), political and economic influences on health, and the
contributions of medical anthropologists to the study of various health
conditions and diseases. Those conditions and diseases include AIDS, mental and
emotional disorders, the folk illness susto, depression, and undernutrition. The
first box, which is new, discusses the Saraguros' (of Ecuador) belief that
experience and emotion have an equal footing with infection and contagion as
risk factors for illness. The second box deals with why an applied medical
project didn't work; the third box deals with eating disorders and the cultural
construction of "beauty."
Global Social Problems chapter discusses the relationship between basic and
applied research, and how research may suggest possible solutions to various
global social problems, including natural disasters and famines, homelessness,
crime, family violence, and war. A new section discusses terrorism. The
sections on family violence and war have been updated. There are three boxes;
the last one is new. One is on global warming and our dependence on oil. The
second is on ethnic conflicts and whether or not they are inevitable. The last
one touches on how war has endangered the Abkhazian culture of the Northwest
Cultural Anthropology (6th Edition) by Marvin Harris, Orna Johnson (Allyn and Bacon) strives to provide a unified theoretical framework for explaining cultural systems. It is based on the premise that material constraints such as environment, technology, and population pressure are a primary force in the evolution of sociocultural systems. The book is dedicated to a science of anthropology that tries to formulate explanatory theories. It assumes that cultural strategies most closely related to how people make a living and satisfy basic human needs provide the causal center of explanations for sociocultural similarities and differences.
The universal pattern makes it possible to identify the causal infrastructural variables which most likely explain domestic and political organization and ideological, symbolic sectors of culture. Giving strategic priority to infrastructure (production and reproduction) in no way minimizes the importance of ideological and spiritual aspects of culture. Moral values, religious beliefs, and aesthetic standards are the most significant and most distinctly human of all our attributes. Changes and innovations in the structural or superstructural sectors (for example, new religions or belief systems) are likely to cause substantial changes in other sectors but it is unlikely that they will be retained over time if they are not compatible with material constraints (that is, if they substantially impede the ability to satisfy basic human needs and drives).
Chapter 1 has been expanded to explain what anthropologists do through fieldwork and participant observation. Also, differences between a humanistic versus a scientific approach to anthropology are defined.
Coverage of anthropological theory‑formerly in the appendix‑ is now in Chapter 2. It follows the discussion of cultural materialism to provide a more rounded coverage of the history of anthropological theory.
Chapter 3, "The Evolution of the Capacity for Culture," contains an expanded discussion of adaptation, more detailed coverage on the evolution of hominids, and a diagram of the time line of hominid occupation.
Chapter 4, "Language and Culture," includes an expanded discussion of language and gender and two new ethnographic examples on gender asymmetry during dinner conversations and cultural differences in the communication of respect among Korean immigrants and Blacks in Los Angeles.
Chapters 7 and 15 from the Fifth Edition, "Human Sexuality" and "Gender Hierarchies," respectively, have been combined into one chapter, "Sexuality and Gender Hierarchies" (now Chapter 14). A new section on mating strategies shows the evolutionary basis of gender differentiation and hierarchy.
Chapters 8 and 9, "Domestic Organization" and "Kinship," have been streamlined to provide simpler coverage of domestic groups and kinship. The discussion of the incest taboo is updated to include current research relevant to the Westermark hypothesis. Data from the 2000 census is presented to show changes in household composition and family structure in the United States.
Chapter 12, "Class and Caste," gives a more extensive view of obstacles to class mobility in the United States, and provides an expanded discussion of poverty in the U.S. and a profile describing the obstacles lower class youths face trying to make it out of poverty.
Chapter 15, "Psychological Anthropology," gives a more concise discussion of the Oedipal Conflict and how it has been used by anthropologists. New material has been added to the discussion of Japanese personality, the role of early childhood training, and spirit possession.
Chapter 13, "Ethnicity," has a more in‑depth discussion of ethnic chauvinism and class‑consciousness among minority ethnic groups. The impact of demographic change is discussed and there is a new profile on the conditions that led to Black/Korean tension and subsequent uprising in South Central Los Angeles.
Chapter 18, "Applied Anthropology," includes a newly expanded discussion of medical anthropology. It discusses native perceptions of health and illness, factors determining treatment choice, and people's perceptions of native healers verses western biomedical treatment.
A new Chapter 19, "Globalization," provides an overview of some of the social and economic changes that have taken place over the last 25 years. It describes colonial and post‑colonial efforts to generate exports from the less developed countries. The impact of commercialism and free market (neoliberalism) verses anti‑market forces is discussed, as well as the problems of introducing technological improvements into traditional economic settings. An example of resistance to globalization is shown in the case of the Zapatistas and the impact of the global economy on traditional cultures is presented through profiles of present day conditions among the !Kung, Machiguenga, and Yanomami.
The format of the book has been changed to include both key concepts and key terms that appear throughout the text. Key concepts are highlighted in bold blue type and, as in the Fifth Edition, provide a concise statement of the issue being discussed. We intend for students to use them as though they were highlighted in yellow to emphasize the most important ideas in each chapter.Key terms are highlighted in bold blue type next to a blue icon. These terms are defined within the chapter, instead of the glossary. They are intended to catch the student's eye as he or she reads and provide a clear definition of each term within the context of the discussion in the text.
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