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All humans share certain components of tooth structure, but show variation in size and morphology around this shared pattern. This book presents a worldwide synthesis of the global variation in tooth morphology in recent populations. Research has advanced on many fronts since the publication of the first edition, which has become a seminal work on the subject. This revised and updated edition introduces new ideas in dental genetics and ontogeny and summarizes major historical problems addressed by dental morphology. The detailed descriptions of 29 dental variables are fully updated with current data and include details of a new web-based application for using crown and root morphology to evaluate ancestry in forensic cases. A new chapter describes what constitutes a modern human dentition in the context of the hominin fossil record.
In this second English-language edition of one of his most notable works, Miguel Leon-Portilla explores the Maya Indians' remarkable concepts of time. At the book's first appearance Evon Z. Vogt, Curator of Middle American Ethnology in Harvard University, predicted that it would become "a classic in anthropology," a prediction borne out by the continuing critical attention given to it by leading scholars.
Like no other people in history, the ancient Maya were obsessed by the study of time. Their sages framed its cycles with tireless exactitude. Yet their preoccupation with time was not limited to calendrics; it was a central trait in their evolving culture.
In this absorbing work Leon-Portilla probes the question, What did time really mean for the ancient Maya in terms of their mythology, religious thought, worldview, and everyday life? In his analysis of key Maya texts and computations, he reveals one of the most elaborate attempts of the human mind to penetrate the secrets of existence.
Introducing Anthropology is the first book of its kind. It offers a serious but accessible introduction to anthropology and is the perfect starting point for anyone new to the subject. Across a series of fourteen chapters, it addresses the different fields and approaches within anthropology, covers an extensive range of themes, and emphasizes the role of anthropology in the world today. Written by two authors with a passion for teaching and a commitment to communicating the excitement of anthropology, the book has been carefully designed to support and extend students' learning. Each chapter includes: clear explanations of classic and contemporary anthropological research help with connecting anthropological theories to real-life issues links to globalization interviews with key anthropologists about their work and the discipline as a whole a lively range of activities and discussion points ideas for personal investigations suggested ethnographic films and further reading a clear glossary a focus on developing examination and writing skills. Introducing Anthropology aims to inspire and enthuse a new generation of anthropologists. It is suitable for a range of different readers, from students studying the subject at school-level to university students looking for a clear and engaging entry point into anthropology.
A gripping account of the Russian visionaries who are pursuing human immortality As long as we have known death, we have dreamed of life without end. In The Future of Immortality, Anya Bernstein explores the contemporary Russian communities of visionaries and utopians who are pressing at the very limits of the human. The Future of Immortality profiles a diverse cast of characters, from the owners of a small cryonics outfit to scientists inaugurating the field of biogerontology, from grassroots neurotech enthusiasts to believers in the Cosmist ideas of the Russian Orthodox thinker Nikolai Fedorov. Bernstein puts their debates and polemics in the context of a long history of immortalist thought in Russia, with global implications that reach to Silicon Valley and beyond. If aging is a curable disease, do we have a moral obligation to end the suffering it causes? Could immortality be the foundation of a truly liberated utopian society extending beyond the confines of the earth "something that Russians, historically, have pondered more than most? If life without end requires radical genetic modification or separating consciousness from our biological selves, how does that affect what it means to be human? As vividly written as any novel, The Future of Immortality is a fascinating account of techno-scientific and religious futurism "and the ways in which it hopes to transform our very being.
Lemurs share a common distant ancestor with humans. Following their own evolutionary pathway, lemurs provide the ideal model to shed light on the behavioural traits of primates including conflict management, communication strategies and society building and how these aspects of social living relate to those found in the anthropoid primates. Adopting a comparative approach throughout, lemur behaviour is cross-examined with that of monkeys, apes and humans. This book reviews and expands upon the newest fields of research in lemur behavioural biology, including recent analytical approaches that have so far been limited to studies of haplorrhine primates. Different methodological approaches are harmonised in this volume to break conceptual walls between both primate taxa and different disciplines. Through a focus on the methodologies behind lemur behaviour and social interactions, future primate researchers will be encouraged to produce directly comparable results.
In "Life Beside Itself, "Lisa Stevenson takes us on a haunting ethnographic journey through two historical moments when life for the Canadian Inuit has hung in the balance: the tuberculosis epidemic (1940s to the early 1960s) and the subsequent suicide epidemic (1980s to the present). Along the way, Stevenson troubles our commonsense understanding of what life is and what it means to care for the life of another. Through close attention to the images in which we think and dream and through which we understand the world, Stevenson describes a world in which life is beside itself: the name-soul of a teenager who dies in a crash lives again in his friend's newborn baby, a young girl shares a last smoke with a dead friend in a dream, and the possessed hands of a clock spin uncontrollably over its face. In these contexts, humanitarian policies make little sense because they attempt to save lives by merely keeping a body alive. For the Inuit, and perhaps for all of us, life is "somewhere else," and the task is to articulate forms of care for others that are adequate to that truth.
In this spirited and irreverent critique of Darwin's long hold over our imagination, a distinguished philosopher of science makes the case that, in culture as well as nature, not only the fittest survive: the world is full of the "good enough" that persist too. Why is the genome of a salamander forty times larger than that of a human? Why does the avocado tree produce a million flowers and only a hundred fruits? Why, in short, is there so much waste in nature? In this lively and wide-ranging meditation on the curious accidents and unexpected detours on the path of life, Daniel Milo argues that we ask these questions because we've embraced a faulty conception of how evolution-and human society-really works. Good Enough offers a vigorous critique of the quasi-monopoly that Darwin's concept of natural selection has on our idea of the natural world. Darwinism excels in accounting for the evolution of traits, but it does not explain their excess in size and number. Many traits far exceed the optimal configuration to do the job, and yet the maintenance of this extra baggage does not prevent species from thriving for millions of years. Milo aims to give the messy side of nature its due-to stand up for the wasteful and inefficient organisms that nevertheless survive and multiply. But he does not stop at the border between evolutionary theory and its social consequences. He argues provocatively that the theory of evolution through natural selection has acquired the trappings of an ethical system. Optimization, competitiveness, and innovation have become the watchwords of Western societies, yet their role in human lives-as in the rest of nature-is dangerously overrated. Imperfection is not just good enough: it may at times be essential to survival.
This text expounds in a logical and scientific manner the idea that life did not originate on earth, but was added to it from the comets. When Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe first made this proposal in the 1970s, they had few takers - because the theory flew in the face of established beliefs. This text argues that in recent years, evidence to support this theory has accumulated from many different directions and grown to the point of being compelling. This work should be of value to readers interested in general science, the origin of man and the meaning of life.
It is common to think of the Arctic as remote, perched at the farthest reaches of the world--a simple and harmonious, isolated utopia. But the reality, as Janne Flora shows us, is anything but. In Wandering Spirits, Flora reveals how deeply connected the Arctic is to the rest of the world and how it has been affected by the social, political, economic, and environmental shifts that ushered in the modern age. In this innovative study, Flora focuses on Inuit communities in Greenland and addresses a central puzzle: their alarmingly high suicide rate. She explores the deep connections between loneliness and modernity in the Arctic, tracing the history of Greenland and analyzing the social dynamics that shaped it. Flora's thorough, sensitive engagement with the families that make up these communities uncovers the complex interplay between loneliness and a host of economic and environmental practices, including the widespread local tradition of hunting. Wandering Spirits offers a vivid portrait of a largely overlooked world, in all its fragility and nuance, while engaging with core anthropological concerns of kinship and the structure of social relations.
In How to be a Human, Ruby Wax tries to come up with some answers to that niggling question about who we are. With the input of a monk (an expert on our inner lives) and a neuroscientist (an expert on the brain), Ruby explores how to find happiness in the modern world - despite the constant bombardment of bad news, the need to choose between 5,000 different types of toothpaste, and the loneliness of having hundreds of friends who we've never met and don't know us. Filled with witty anecdotes from Ruby's own life, and backed up by scientific authority, How to be a Human is the only guide you need for building a healthy, happy relationship with yourself.
Sustainability strives to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future, but increasingly recognizes the tradeoffs among these many needs. Who benefits? Who bears the burden? How are these difficult decisions made? Are people aware of these hard choices? This timely volume brings the perspectives of ethnography and archaeology to bear on these questions by examining case studies from around the world. Written especially for this volume, the essays by an international team of scholars offer archaeological and ethnographic examples from the southwestern United States, the Maya region of Mexico, Africa, India, and the North Atlantic, among other regions. Collectively, they explore the benefits and consequences of growth and development, the social costs of ecological sustainability, and tensions between food and military security.
The history of anthropology is, to a large extent, the history of differing modes of interpretation.
As anthropologists have long known, examining, analyzing and recording cultures in the quest to understand humankind as a whole is a vastly complex task, in which nothing can be achieved without careful and incisive interpretative work. Edward Evans-Pritchard’s seminal 1937 Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic Among the Azande is a model contribution to anthropology’s grand interpretative project, and one whose success is based largely on its author’s thinking skills. A major issue in anthropology at the time was the common assumption that the faiths and customs of other cultures appeared irrational or illogical when compared to the “civilized” and scientific beliefs of the western world.
Evans-Pritchard sought to challenge such definitions by embedding himself within a tribal culture in Africa – that of the Azande – and attempting to understand their beliefs in their proper contexts. By doing so, Evans-Pritchard proved just how vital context is to interpretation. Seen within their context, he was able to show, the beliefs of the Azande were far from irrational – and magic actually formed a coherent system that helped mould a functional community and society for the tribe. Evans-Pritchard’s efforts to clarify meaning in this way have proved hugely influential, and have played a major part in guiding later generations of anthropologists from his day to ours.
A familiar cultural presence for people the world over, "the
whiteman" has come to personify the legacy of colonialism, the face
of Western modernity, and the force of globalization. Focusing on
the cultural meanings of whitemen in the Orokaiva society of Papua
New Guinea, this book provides a fresh approach to understanding
how race is symbolically constructed and why racial stereotypes
endure in the face of counterevidence.
The description for this book, A Symbolic Revolution: Egypt`s Arab Spring as Social Drama, will be forthcoming.
What motivates human behaviour? Drawing on literatures from anthropology to zoology, Oliver examines how we are motivated to give and take, rather than give or take. This book reviews the evolution of reciprocity as a motivator of behaviour, in terms of its observation in non-human species, in very young humans, and in societies that we can reasonably expect are similar to those in which our distant ancestors lived. The behavioural economic and social psychology literature that aims to discern when and in what circumstances reciprocity is likely to be observed and sustained is also reviewed, followed by a discussion on whether reciprocity is relevant to both the economic and the social domains. The dark sides of reciprocity are considered, before turning again to the light, and how the potentially beneficial effects of reciprocity might best be realised. This culminates in the presentation of a new political economy of behavioural public policy, with reciprocity playing a prominent role.
Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains--on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations. Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have propelled our species' genetic evolution and shaped our biology. Our early capacities for learning from others produced many cultural innovations, such as fire, cooking, water containers, plant knowledge, and projectile weapons, which in turn drove the expansion of our brains and altered our physiology, anatomy, and psychology in crucial ways. Later on, some collective brains generated and recombined powerful concepts, such as the lever, wheel, screw, and writing, while also creating the institutions that continue to alter our motivations and perceptions. Henrich shows how our genetics and biology are inextricably interwoven with cultural evolution, and how culture-gene interactions launched our species on an extraordinary evolutionary trajectory. Tracking clues from our ancient past to the present, The Secret of Our Success explores how the evolution of both our cultural and social natures produce a collective intelligence that explains both our species' immense success and the origins of human uniqueness.
Kings of Mississippi examines how a twentieth-century black middle-class family navigated life in rural Mississippi. The book introduces seven generations of a farming family and provides an organic examination of how the family experienced life and economic challenges as one of few middle-class black families living and working alongside the many struggling black and white sharecroppers and farmers in Gallman, Mississippi. Family narratives and census data across time and a socio-ecological lens help assess how race, religion, education, and key employment options influenced economic and non-economic outcomes. Family voices explain how intangible beliefs fueled socioeconomic outcomes despite racial, gender, and economic stratification. The book also examines the effects of stratification changes across time, including: post-migration; inter- and intra-racial conflicts and compromises; and, strategic decisions and outcomes. The book provides an unexpected glimpse at how a family's ethos can foster upward mobility into the middle-class.
How fast is evolution, and why does it matter? The rate of evolution, and whether it is gradual or punctuated, is a hotly debated topic among biologists and paleontologists. This book compiles and compares examples of evolution from laboratory, field, and fossil record studies, analyzing them to extract their underlying rates. It concludes that while change is slow when averaged over many generations, on a generation-to-generation time scale, evolution is rapid. Chapters cover the history of evolutionary studies, from Lamarck and Darwin in the nineteenth century to the present day. An overview of the statistics of variation, dynamics of random walks, processes of natural selection and random drift, and effects of scale and time averaging are also provided, along with methods for the analysis of evolutionary time series. Containing case studies and worked examples, this book is ideal for advanced students and researchers in paleontology, biology, and anthropology.
In 2002, after living ten years in Asia, American poet and
musician Scott Ezell used his advance from a local record company
to move to Dulan, on Taiwan's remote Pacific coast. He fell in with
the Open Circle Tribe, a loose confederation of aboriginal
woodcarvers, painters, and musicians who lived on the beach and
cultivated a living connection with their indigenous heritage. Most
members of the Open Circle Tribe belong to the Amis tribe, which is
descended from Austronesian peoples that migrated from China
thousands of years ago. As a "nonstate" people navigating the
fraught politics of contemporary Taiwan, the Amis of the Open
Circle Tribe exhibit, for Ezell, the best characteristics of life
at the margins, striving to create art and to live autonomous,
In Dulan, Ezell joined song circles and was invited on an
extended hunting expedition; he weathered typhoons, had love
affairs, and lost close friends. In "A Far Corner" Ezell draws on
these experiences to explore issues on a more global scale,
including the multiethnic nature of modern society, the
geopolitical relationship between the United States, Taiwan, and
China, and the impact of environmental degradation on indigenous
populations. The result is a beautifully crafted and personal
evocation of a sophisticated culture that is almost entirely
unknown to Western readers.
Neoliberalism has been the defining paradigm in global health for
the latter part of the twentieth century. What started as an
untested and unproven theory that the creation of unfettered
markets would give rise to political democracy led to policies in
global health that promoted the belief that private markets were
the optimal agents for the distribution of social goods, including
This book proposes a new two-step approach to the evolution of language, whereby syntax first evolved as an auto-organizational process for the human conceptual apparatus (as a Language of Thought), and this Language of Thought was then externalized for communication, owing to social selection pressures. Anne Reboul first argues that, despite the routine use of language in communication, current use is not a failsafe guide to adaptive history. She points out that human cognition is as unique in nature as is language as a communication system, suggesting deep links between human thought and language. If language is seen as a communication system, then the specificities of language, its hierarchical syntax, its creativity, and the ability to use it to talk about absent objects, are a mystery. This book shows that approaching language as a system for thought overcomes these problems, and provides a detailed account of both steps in the evolution of language: its evolution for thought and its externalization for communication.
Drawing on experiences from villagers in Bengal to scientists in Bangalore, this book explores the beauty, adaptability and personality of India's most iconic garment. Banerjee and Miller show why the sari has survived and indeed flourished as everyday dress when most of the world has adopted western clothing. Their book presents both an intimate portrait of the lives of women in India today and an alternative way for us all to think about our relationship to the clothes we wear. A new bride is unable to move from her husband's motorbike as her sari comes undone. A young man wonders how he will cope with the saris complicated folds in a romantic clinch. A villager's soft, worn sari is her main comfort during a fever. Throughout the book, these and other remarkable stories place the sari at the heart of relationships between mothers and infants, mistresses and maids, designers and soap opera stars. Illustrated and rich in personal testimony, The Sari expertly shows how one of the world's most simply constructed garments can reveal the intricate design of life in modern India.
From childcare to healthcare, provision for the elderly and tackling issues of homelessness, the Nordic countries are world leaders in organising society - no wonder Finland has been ranked among the happiest places in the world. But when Finnish journalist Anu Partanen moved to America, she quickly realised that navigating the basics of everyday life was overly complicated compared to how society was organised in her homeland. From the complications of buying a mobile, to the arduous task of filing taxes, she knew there was a better way and as she got to know her new neighbours she discovered that they too shared her deep apprehensions. The Nordic Theory of Everything details Partanen's mission to understand why America (and much of the Western world) suffers from so much inequality and struggling social services. Filled with fascinating insights, advice and practical solutions, she makes a convincing argument that we can rebuild society, rekindle optimism and become more autonomous people by following in the footsteps of our neighbours to the North.
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