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A watershed book that masterfully integrates insights from evolutionary biology, genetics, psychology, economics, and more to explore the development and workings of human societies
“There is no good reason why human societies should not be described and explained with the same precision and success as the rest of nature.” Thus argues evolutionary psychologist Pascal Boyer in this uniquely innovative book.
Integrating recent insights from evolutionary biology, genetics, psychology, economics, and other fields, Boyer offers precise models of why humans engage in social behaviors such as forming families, tribes, and nations, or creating gender roles. In fascinating, thought-provoking passages, he explores questions such as, Why is there conflict between groups? Why do people believe low-value information such as rumors? Why are there religions? What is social justice? What explains morality? Boyer provides a new picture of cultural transmission that draws on the pragmatics of human communication, the constructive nature of memory in human brains, and human motivation for group formation and cooperation.
'Ferociously smart. A rare combination of guilty pleasure and intellectual insight' VOGUE 'Perceptive. Refreshing. Tears away layers of false readings and conspiracy theories' NEW YORK TIMES Intricately researched. Churchwell's Marilyn is a complex, well-rounded creature in the best sense - the human sense' OBSERVER There are many Marilyns: sex goddess and innocent child, crafty manipulator and dumb blonde, screen legend and Hollywood victim. In this incisive and subtle book, Sarah Churchwell looks at how the stories we tell have trivialised a woman we supposedly adore, and at what they reveal about our attitudes towards sex symbols and icons, to women, death, biography and Marilyn herself.
What makes a speech community? How do they evolve? How are speech communities identified? Speech communities are central to our understanding of how language and interactions occur in societies around the world and in this book readers will find an overview of the main concepts and critical arguments surrounding how language and communication styles distinguish and identify groups. Speech communities are not organized around linguistic facts but around people who want to share their opinions and identities; the language we use constructs, represents and embodies meaningful participation in society. This book focuses on a range of speech communities, including those that have developed from an increasing technological world where migration and global interactions are common. Essential reading for graduate students and researchers in linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics and applied linguistics.
A cultural history of the face in Western art, ranging from portraiture in painting and photography to film, theater, and mass media This fascinating book presents the first cultural history and anthropology of the face across centuries, continents, and media. Ranging from funerary masks and masks in drama to the figural work of contemporary artists including Cindy Sherman and Nam June Paik, renowned art historian Hans Belting emphasizes that while the face plays a critical role in human communication, it defies attempts at visual representation. Belting divides his book into three parts: faces as masks of the self, portraiture as a constantly evolving mask in Western culture, and the fate of the face in the age of mass media. Referencing a vast array of sources, Belting's insights draw on art history, philosophy, theories of visual culture, and cognitive science. He demonstrates that Western efforts to portray the face have repeatedly failed, even with the developments of new media such as photography and film, which promise ever-greater degrees of verisimilitude. In spite of sitting at the heart of human expression, the face resists possession, and creative endeavors to capture it inevitably result in masks--hollow signifiers of the humanity they're meant to embody. From creations by Van Eyck and August Sander to works by Francis Bacon, Ingmar Bergman, and Chuck Close, Face and Mask takes a remarkable look at how, through the centuries, the physical visage has inspired and evaded artistic interpretation.
Nestled in the Himalayan foothills of Northeast India, Darjeeling
is synonymous with some of the finest and most expensive tea in the
world. It is also home to a violent movement for regional autonomy
that, like the tea industry, dates back to the days of colonial
How do today's teenagers talk? What are the distinguishing features of their style of language, and what do they tell us about the English language more generally? Drawing on a huge corpus of examples collected over a fifteen-year period, Sali A. Tagliamonte undertakes a detailed study of adolescents' language and argues that it acts as a 'bellwether' for the future of the English language. Teenagers are often accused of 'lowering the standards' of the English language by the way they talk and text. From spoken words - 'like', 'so', 'just', and 'stuff' - to abbreviated expressions used online, this fascinating book puts young people's language under the microscope, examining and demystifying the origins of new words, and tracking how they vary according to gender, geographical location, and social circumstances. Highly topical and full of new insights, the book is essential reading for anyone interested in how teenagers talk.
In many ways, divorce is a quintessentially personal decision--the choice to leave a marriage that causes harm or feels unfulfilling to the two people involved. But anyone who has gone through a divorce knows the additional public dimensions of breaking up, from intense shame and societal criticism to friends' and relatives' unsolicited advice. In Intimate Disconnections, Allison Alexy tells the fascinating story of the changing norms surrounding divorce in Japan in the early 2000s, when sudden demographic and social changes made it a newly visible and viable option. Not only will one of three Japanese marriages today end in divorce, but divorces are suddenly much more likely to be initiated by women who cite new standards for intimacy as their motivation. As people across Japan now consider divorcing their spouses, or work to avoid separation, they face complicated questions about the risks and possibilities marriage brings: How can couples be intimate without becoming suffocatingly close? How should they build loving relationships when older models are no longer feasible? What do you do, both legally and socially, when you just can't take it anymore? Relating the intensely personal stories from people experiencing different stages of divorce, Alexy provides a rich ethnography of Japan while also speaking more broadly to contemporary visions of love and marriage during an era in which neoliberal values are prompting wide-ranging transformations in homes across the globe.
A straight white girl can kiss a girl, like it, and still call herself straight-her boyfriend may even encourage her. But can straight white guys experience the same easy sexual fluidity, or would kissing a guy just mean that they are really gay? Not Gay thrusts deep into a world where straight guy-on-guy action is not a myth but a reality: there's fraternity and military hazing rituals, where new recruits are made to grab each other's penises and stick fingers up their fellow members' anuses; online personal ads, where straight men seek other straight men to masturbate with; and, last but not least, the long and clandestine history of straight men frequenting public restrooms for sexual encounters with other men. For Jane Ward, these sexual practices reveal a unique social space where straight white men can-and do-have sex with other straight white men; in fact, she argues, to do so reaffirms rather than challenges their gender and racial identity. Ward illustrates that sex between straight white men allows them to leverage whiteness and masculinity to authenticate their heterosexuality in the context of sex with men. By understanding their same-sex sexual practice as meaningless, accidental, or even necessary, straight white men can perform homosexual contact in heterosexual ways. These sex acts are not slippages into a queer way of being or expressions of a desired but unarticulated gay identity. Instead, Ward argues, they reveal the fluidity and complexity that characterizes all human sexual desire. In the end, Ward's analysis offers a new way to think about heterosexuality-not as the opposite or absence of homosexuality, but as its own unique mode of engaging in homosexual sex, a mode characterized by pretense, dis-identification and racial and heterosexual privilege. Daring, insightful, and brimming with wit, Not Gay is a fascinating new take on the complexities of heterosexuality in the modern era.
A Population History of India provides an account of the size and characteristics of India's population stretching from when hunter-gatherer homo sapiens first arrived in the country - very roughly seventy thousand years ago - until the modern day. It is a period during which the population grew from just a handful of people to reach almost 1.4 billion, and a time when the fact of death had a huge influence on the nature of life. This book considers the millennia that were characterized by hunting and gathering, the Indus valley civilization, the opening-up of the Ganges river basin, and the eras of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, British colonial rule, and India since independence. By observing India through a demographic lens, A Population History of India: From the First Modern People to the Present Day addresses mortality, fertility, the size of cities, patterns of migration, and the multitude of famines, epidemics, invasions, wars, and other events that affected the population. It draws together research from archaeology, cultural studies, economics, epidemiology, linguistics, history, and politics to understand the likely trajectory of India's population in comparison to the trends that applied to Europe and China, and to reveal a surprising and dramatic story.
Adam Ashforth, an Australian who has spent many years in Soweto, finds his longtime friend Madumo in dire circumstances: his family has accused him of using witchcraft to kill his mother and has thrown him out on the street. Convinced that his life is cursed, Madumo seeks help among Soweto's bewildering array of healers and prophets. An inyanga, or traditional healer, confirms that he has indeed been bewitched. Ashforth, skeptical yet supportive, remains by Madumo's side as he embarks upon a physically grueling treatment regimen that he follows religiously - almost to the point of death. Asforth's beautifully written account of Madumo's struggle shows that the problem of witchcraft is not simply superstition but a complex response to spiritual insecurity in a troubling time of political and economic upheaval. Through Madumo's story, Ashforth opens up a world that few have seen, a deeply unsettling place where the question, "Do you believe in witchcraft?" is not a simple one at all. The insights that emerge as Ashforth accompanies his friend on an odyssey through Soweto's supernatural perils have profound implications even for those of us who live in worlds without witches.
Returned follows transnational Mexicans as they experience the alienation and unpredictability of deportation, tracing the particular ways that U.S. immigration policies and state removals affect families. Deportation - an emergent global order of social injustice - reaches far beyond the individual deportee, as family members with diverse U.S. immigration statuses, including U.S. citizens, also return after deportation or migrate for the first time. The book includes accounts of displacement, struggle, suffering, and profound loss but also of resilience, flexibility, and imaginings of what may come. Returned tells the story of the chaos, and design, of deportation and its aftermath.
Mirrored Loss tells the story of Amat al-Latif al Wazir, only daughter of 'Abdullah al-Wazir, the leader of Yemen's constitutional movement of the mid-twentieth century for democratisation of the autocratic imamate. Her relationship with her adored father, who was accused of treason, takes centre stage in this biographical narrative. Amat al-Latif, enjoyed a privileged childhood in a high-ranking family at the heart of Yemeni politics; yet the failed revolt of 1948 was the family's downfall, leaving her and other close relatives exposed to social indignities and privation. She then spent many years in exile, where she suffered a personal calamity that compounded the earlier catastrophe. Through one family's story, Gabriele vom Bruck explores how violence translates into tragedy in the personal realm, and how individual lives and larger cultural and political worlds intersect in Yemen. Her narrative makes these tragic events compellingly tangible, especially at the level of gendered subjectivity--female Yemenis have been either unknown to or deemed insignificant by most male historians of this period. Mirrored Loss is a significant step in righting that omission.
Picture a familiar scene: long lines of shoppers waiting to check out at the grocery store, carts filled to the brim with the week's food. While many might wonder what is in each cart, Andrew Warnes implores us to consider the symbolism of the cart itself. In his inventive new book, Warnes examines how the everyday shopping cart is connected to a complex web of food production and consumption that has spread from the United States throughout the world. Today, shopping carts represent choice and autonomy for consumers, a recognizable American way of life that has become a global phenomenon. This succinct and and accessible book provides an excellent overview of consumerism and the globalization of American culture.
This book examines the economy of sharing in a variety of social and political contexts around the world, with consideration given to the role of sharing in relation to social order and social change, political power, group formation, individual networks and concepts of personhood. Widlok advocates a refreshingly broad comparative approach to our understanding of sharing, with a rich range of material from hunter-gatherer ethnography alongside debates and empirical illustrations from globalized society, helping students to avoid Western economic bias in their thinking. Anthropology and the Economy of Sharing also demonstrates that sharing is distinct from gift-giving, exchange and reciprocity, which have become dominant themes in economic anthropology, and suggests that a new focus on sharing will have significant repercussions for anthropological theory. Breaking new ground in this key topic, this volume provides students with a coherent and accessible overview of the economy of sharing from an anthropological perspective.
An indispensable resource for readers interested in Venezuelan history, this book analyzes Venezuela's economic crisis through the context of its political and social history. For decades, the economy of Venezuela has depended on petroleum. As a consequence of a reduction in the price of oil, Venezuela recently experienced an economic downturn resulting in rampant social spending, administrative corruption, and external economic forces that collectively led credit-rating agencies to declare in November 2017 that Venezuela was in default on its debt payments. How did this Latin American nation come to this point? The History of Venezuela explores Venezuela's history from its earliest times to the present day, demonstrating both the richness of Venezuela and its people and the complexity of its political, social, and economic problems. As with all titles in The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations series, this chronological narrative examines political, economic, cultural, philosophical, and religious continuities in Venezuela's long and rich history, providing readers with a concise yet up-to-date study of the nation. The volume highlights the country's wide variety of cultures, languages, political ideologies, and historical figures and landmarks through maps, photographs, biographies, a timeline, and a bibliographical essay with suggestions for further reading. Translates Spanish words upon first use and provides additional information about terms in a glossary to help readers to accurately interpret the text Includes a timeline of significant events, providing students with an at-a-glance overview of Venezuelan history Presents an appendix of Notable People in the History of Venezuela to give readers short biographies of those who have made important contributions to the country's history Provides photos and maps to support the text by adding context for readers Offers an annotated bibliography to give readers detailed information on resources for further research
The volume deals with the history of the concept of Arya and Aryans in East and West, with the linguistic, textual and archaeological evidence in South Asia and beyond. The terms Aryan and Non-Aryan, corresponding to Sanskrit arya and anarya, can readily be shown that among the literary traditions indigenous to South Asia have always evoked strong responses, both positive and negative, as they continue to do even today; but it can also be shown that while they designate a boundary that is in some sense an ethnic one in the Veda, in other literatures the distinction has a religious or moral character. There have been reconsiderations and reinterpretations of the terms within and outside of the academy. There is on the one hand the established view of a migration of Aryans into South Asia; on the other hand there are new voices calling the whole endeavour fanciful, motivated by colonialism, "Orientalism", nationalism, or something else. What is startling is that the criticism of the status quo comes from completely different directions.
There is a growing knowledge base in understanding the differences and similarities between women and men, as well as the diversities among women and sexualities. Although genetic and biological characteristics define human beings conventionally as women and men, their experiences are contextualized in multiple dimensions in terms of gender, sexuality, class, age, ethnicity, and other social dimensions. Beyond the biological and genetic basis of gender differences, gender intersects with culture and other social locations which affect the socialization and development of women across their life span. This handbook provides a comprehensive and up-to-date resource to understand the intersectionality of gender differences, to dispel myths, and to examine gender-relevant as well as culturally relevant implications and appropriate interventions. Featuring a truly international mix of contributors, and incorporating cross-cultural research and comparative perspectives, this handbook will inform mainstream psychology of the international literature on the psychology of women and gender.
The hard work required to make God real, how it changes the people who do it, and why it helps explain the enduring power of faith How do gods and spirits come to feel vividly real to people-as if they were standing right next to them? Humans tend to see supernatural agents everywhere, as the cognitive science of religion has shown. But it isn't easy to maintain a sense that there are invisible spirits who care about you. In How God Becomes Real, acclaimed anthropologist and scholar of religion T. M. Luhrmann argues that people must work incredibly hard to make gods real and that this effort-by changing the people who do it and giving them the benefits they seek from invisible others-helps to explain the enduring power of faith. Drawing on ethnographic studies of evangelical Christians, pagans, magicians, Zoroastrians, Black Catholics, Santeria initiates, and newly orthodox Jews, Luhrmann notes that none of these people behave as if gods and spirits are simply there. Rather, these worshippers make strenuous efforts to create a world in which invisible others matter and can become intensely present and real. The faithful accomplish this through detailed stories, absorption, the cultivation of inner senses, belief in a porous mind, strong sensory experiences, prayer, and other practices. Along the way, Luhrmann shows why faith is harder than belief, why prayer is a metacognitive activity like therapy, why becoming religious is like getting engrossed in a book, and much more. A fascinating account of why religious practices are more powerful than religious beliefs, How God Becomes Real suggests that faith is resilient not because it provides intuitions about gods and spirits-but because it changes the faithful in profound ways.
The pastoral image of Amish communities living simply and in touch with the land strikes a deep chord with many Americans. Environmentalists have lauded the Amish as iconic models for a way of life that is local, self-sufficient, and in harmony with nature. But the Amish themselves do not always embrace their ecological reputation, and critics have long questioned the portrayal of the Amish as models of environmental stewardship. In Nature and the Environment in Amish Life, David L. McConnell and Marilyn D. Loveless examine how this prevailing notion of the environmentally conscious Amish fits with the changing realities of their lives. Drawing on 150 interviews conducted over the course of 7 years, as well as a survey of household resource use among Amish and non-Amish people, they explore how the Amish understand nature in their daily lives and how their actions impact the natural world. Arguing that there is considerable diversity in Amish engagements with nature at home, at school, at work, and outdoors, McConnell and Loveless show how the Amish response to regional and global environmental issues, such as watershed pollution and climate change, reveals their deep skepticism of environmentalists. They also demonstrate that Amish households are not uniformly lower in resource use compared to their rural, non-Amish neighbors, though aspects of their home economy are relatively self-sufficient. The first comprehensive study of Amish understandings of the natural world, this compelling book complicates the image of the Amish and provides a more realistic understanding of the Amish relationship with the environment.
A consistent best-seller, the wide-ranging and authoritative
Dictionary of Sociology was first published in 1994 and contains
more than 2,500 entries on the terminology, methods, concepts, and
thinkers in the field, as well as from the related fields of
psychology, economics, anthropology, philosophy, and political
Skin diseases are highly prevalent among indigenous people, leading to low mortality but greatly impacting their quality of life. Such diseases can be observed in indigenous people; both those living in isolated communities and those who have since been urbanized to some degree share a common characteristic of presenting different clinical patterns than non-indigenous individuals. These specificities necessitate a special approach when diagnosing dermatologic diseases in indigenous people. However, these considerations are rarely discussed in standard dermatology books. This Atlas addresses that gap by providing specific materials for professionals involved in the health of indigenous people, especially with those who live either alone or in remote areas. It offers a comprehensive overview of the most common skin diseases in specific tribes, providing a full clinical guide on the dermatologic signs and symptoms in these individuals. Additionally, the book complements the clinical standpoint with an anthropologic perspective, examining the impact of dermatologic diseases in indigenous people and the different meaning of these diseases in their lives. Most of the material presented in this Atlas was collected in the Xingu Program, a project created in 1965 by the Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and devoted to providing medical care to indigenous people from the Upper Xingu region, in the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Thus, the content is primarily applicable to South American indigenous people. However, the common characteristics of the isolation and non-urbanization of these communities, as well as the anthropologic perspective adopted here, allow the content to be extrapolated to other indigenous peoples worldwide. This Atlas will be a novel and valuable resource for health professionals who work with indigenous peoples, especially in geographic areas where dermatologists are not always readily available.
An essential core textbook that leads the reader from Social Anthropology's foundational approaches and theories to the fundamental areas that characterise the field today. Taking a truly global and holistic view, it includes a wide range of case studies, touching on topics that both divide and connect us, such as family, marriage and religion. Fully updated and revised, the third edition of this popular textbook continues to introduce students to what Social Anthropology is, what anthropologists do, how and what they contribute, and how even a limited knowledge of Anthropology can help people flourish in today's world. This is an inviting, engaging and enjoyable text that has established itself as a comprehensive introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology. Written in an accessible style, and including a wide range of pedagogical features, it is ideally suited to new or prospective students seeking to better understand the discipline and its roots.
Philippe Bourgois's ethnographic study of social marginalization in inner-city America, won critical acclaim when it was first published in 1995. For the first time, an anthropologist had managed to gain the trust and long-term friendship of street-level drug dealers in one of the roughest ghetto neighborhoods--East Harlem. This new edition adds a prologue describing the major dynamics that have altered life on the streets of East Harlem in the seven years since the first edition. In a new epilogue Bourgois brings up to date the stories of the people--Primo, Caesat, Luis, Tony, Candy--who readers come to know in this remarkable window onto the world of the inner city drug trade. Philippe Bourgois is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, History and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He has conducted fieldwork in Central America on ethnicity and social unrest and is the author of Ethnicity at Work: Divided Labor on a Central American Banana Plantation (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989). He is writing a book on homeless heroin addicts in San Francisco. 1/e hb ISBN (1996) 0-521-43518-8 1/e pb ISBN (1996) 0-521-57460-9
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