Synopses & Reviews
"If you want to know what anthropology is
, look at what anthropologists do
," write the authors of Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction
. This engaging overview of the field combines an accessible account of some of the discipline's guiding principles and methodology with abundant examples and illustrations of anthropologists at work.
Peter Just and John Monaghan begin by discussing anthropology's most important contributions to modern thought: its investigation of culture as a distinctively human characteristic, its doctrine of cultural relativism, and its methodology of fieldwork and ethnography. Drawing on examples from their own fieldwork in Indonesia and Mesoamerica, they examine specific ways in which social and cultural anthropology have advanced our understanding of human society and culture. Including an assessment of anthropology's present position, and a look forward to its likely future, Social and Cultural Anthropology will make fascinating reading for anyone curious about this social science.
About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
This concise introduction to social and cultural anthropology has become a modern classic, introducing countless students to the field and the tools it offers for exploring some of the most complicated questions of human life and interaction. This fourth edition is fully updated, incorporating recent debates and controversies in the field, ranging from globalization and migration research to problems of cultural translation and the challenges of interdisciplinarity. Effortlessly bridging the gap between classic and contemporary anthropology, Small Places, Large Issues remains an essential text for undergraduates embarking on the study of this field.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 143-148) and index.
About the Author
has done extensive research among the Dou Donggo of Sumbawa Island in Indonesia. His research interests include dispute settlement and law, kinship and social organization, and religion ritual. He is the author of Dou Donggo Justice: Conflict and Morality in an Indonesian Society
, and is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Williams College.
Over the last twenty years John Monaghan has carried out a number of ethnographic research projects among the indigenous people of Mexico and Guatemala. His most recent book on the subject is The Covenants With Earth and Rain: Exchange, Sacrifice, and Revelation in Mixtec Sociality. He is currently a professor at Vanderbilt University.
Table of Contents
1. Fieldwork and Ethnography; 2. Culture; 3. Society; 4. Sex and blood; 5. Class and caste, village and city, home and the world; 6. Language and social life; 7. The culturally constructed self 8. The future of anthropology; Further reading; Index.