The Anthropology: What Does it Mean to Be Human? 4th Edition is an eBook that takes a unique approach to introducing students to anthropology. Rather than providing an encyclopedic overview, the book focuses on answering questions and incorporates contemporary issues such as power, human rights, and inequality. With 16 chapters, the book is engaging and not overwhelming for students. The “In Their Own Words” sections within each chapter provide real-world connections that can be used in class discussions. Overall, it is a valuable textbook for students and instructors alike.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. What Is Anthropology?
What Is Anthropology?
What Is the Concept of Culture?
What Makes Anthropology a Cross-Disciplinary Discipline?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Anthropology as a Vocation: Listening to Voices
The Promise of Anthropology
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: What Can You Learn from an Anthropology Major?
MODULE 1: Anthropology, Science, and Storytelling
Scientific and Nonscientific Explanations
Some Key Scientific Concepts
Chapter 2. Why Is Evolution Important to Anthropologists?
What Is Evolutionary Theory?
What Material Evidence Is There for Evolution?
Pre-Darwinian Views of the Natural World
The Great Chain of Being
Catastrophism and Uniformitarianism
What Is Natural Selection?
Natural Selection in Action
How Did Biologists Learn about Genes?
The Emergence of Genetics
What Are the Basics of Contemporary Genetics?
Genes and Traits
ANTHROPOLOGY in Everyday Life: Investigating Human-Rights Violations and Identifying Remains
DNA and the Genome
Genotype, Phenotype, and the Norm of Reaction
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: How Living Organisms Construct Their Environments
What Does Evolution Mean?
Chapter 3. What Can the Study of Primates Tell Us about Human Beings?
What Are Primates?
How Do Biologists Classify Primates?
How Many Categories of Living Primates Are There?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Interbreeding
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Future of Primate Biodiversity
What Is Ethnoprimatology?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Gombe, Tanzania, in the Twenty-First Century
Are There Patterns in Primate Evolution?
How Do Paleoanthropologists Reconstruct Primate Evolutionary History?
Primates of the Paleocene
Primates of the Eocene
Primates of the Oligocene
Primates of the Miocene
MODULE 2: Dating Methods in Paleoanthropology and Archaeology
Relative Dating Methods
Numerical (or Absolute) Dating Methods
Modeling Prehistoric Climates
Chapter 4. What Can the Fossil Record Tell Us about Human Origins?
What Is Macroevolution?
What Is Hominin Evolution?
Who Were the First Hominins (6-3 mya)?
The Origin of Bipedalism
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Finding Fossils
Changes in Hominin Dentition
Who Were the Later Australopiths (3-1.5 mya)?
How Many Species of Australopith Were There?
How Can Anthropologists Explain the Human Transition?
What Do We Know about Early Homo (2.4-1.5 mya)?
Expansion of the Australopith Brain
How Many Species of Early Homo Were There?
Earliest Evidence of Culture: Stone Tools
Who Was Homo erectus (1.8-1.7 mya to 0.5-0.4 mya)?
Morphological Traits of H. erectus
The Culture of H. erectus
H. erectus the Hunter?
What Happened to H. erectus?
How Did Homo sapiens Evolve?
What Is the Fossil Evidence for the Transition to Modern H. sapiens?
Where Did Modern H. sapiens Come from?
Who Were the Neandertals (130,000-35,000 Years Ago)?
What Do We Know about Middle Paleolithic/Middle Stone Age Culture?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Bad Hair Days in the Paleolithic: Modern (Re)Constructions of the Cave Man
Did Neandertals Hunt?
What Do We Know about Anatomically Modern Humans (200,000 Years Ago to Present)?
What Can Genetics Tell Us about Modern Human Origins?
What Do We Know about the Upper Paleolithic/Late Stone Age (40,000?-12,000 Years Ago)?
What Happened to the Neandertals?
How Many Kinds of Upper Paleolithic/Late Stone Age Cultures Were There?
Where Did Modern H. sapiens Migrate in Late Pleistocene Times?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Women’s Art in the Upper Paleolithic?
Eastern Asia and Siberia
Two Million Years of Human Evolution
Chapter 5. How Does the Evolutionary Study of Human Variation Undermine Notions of Biological Race?
What Is Microevolution?
What Is A Species?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Have We Ever Been Individuals?
The Molecularization of Race?
The Four Evolutionary Processes
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: DNA Tests Find Branches but Few Roots
Microevolution and Patterns of Human Variation
Adaptation and Human Variation
The Molecularization of Race?
Phenotype, Environment, and Culture
Can We Predict the Future of Human Evolution?
Chapter 6. How Do We Know about the Human Past?
What Is Archaeology?
Archaeology and Digital Heritage
How Do Archaeologists Interpret the Past?
What Are Subsistence Strategies?
What Are Bands, Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States?
Whose Past Is It?
How Is the Past Being Plundered?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Rescue Archaeology in Europe
What Are the Critical Issues in Contemporary Archaeology?
Archaeology and Gender
Collaborative Approaches to Studying the Past
ANTHROPOLOGY in Everyday Life: Archaeology as a Tool of Civic Engagement
Chapter 7. Why Did Humans Settle Down, Build Cities, and Establish States?
How Is the Human Imagination Entangled with the Material World?
Is Plant Cultivation a Form of Niche Construction?
How Do Anthropologists Explain the Origins of Animal Domestication?
Was There Only One Motor of Domestication?
How Did Domestication, Cultivation, and Sedentism Begin in Southwest Asia?
Natufian Social Organization
ANTHROPOLOGY in Everyday Life: Çatalhöyük in the Twenty-First Century
Domestication Elsewhere in the World
What Were the Consequences of Domestication and Sedentism?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Food Revolution
How Do Anthropologists Define Social Complexity?
Why Is It Incorrect to Describe Foraging Societies as “Simple”?
What Is the Archaeological Evidence for Social Complexity?
Why Did Stratification Begin?
How Can Anthropologists Explain the Rise of Complex Societies?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Ecological Consequences of Social Complexity
Chapter 8. Why Is the Concept of Culture Important?
How Do Anthropologists Define Culture?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Paradox of Ethnocentrism
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Culture and Freedom
Culture, History, and Human Agency
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Human-Rights Law and the Demonization of Culture
Why Do Cultural Differences Matter?
What Is Ethnocentrism?
Is It Possible to Avoid Ethnocentric Bias?
What Is Cultural Relativism?
How Can Cultural Relativity Improve Our Understanding of Controversial Cultural Practices?
Genital Cutting, Gender, and Human Rights
Genital Cutting as a Valued Ritual
Culture and Moral Reasoning
Did Their Culture Make Them Do It?
Does Culture Explain Everything?
Cultural Change and Cultural Authenticity
The Promise of the Anthropological Perspective
MODULE 3: On Ethnographic Methods
A Meeting of Cultural Traditions
Classic Single-Sited Fieldwork
How Do Anthropologists Think about the Ethics of Their Work?
What Is Participant Observation?
Collecting and Interpreting Data
The Dialectic of Fieldwork: Interpretation and Translation
Interpreting Actions and Ideas
The Dialectic of Fieldwork: An Example
The Effects of Fieldwork
The Production of Anthropological Knowledge
Anthropological Knowledge as Open-Ended
Chapter 9. Why Is Understanding Human Language Important?
What Makes Language Distinctively Human?
How Are Language and Culture Related?
How Do People Talk about Experience?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Cultural Translation
What Does It Mean to “Learn” a Language?
How Does Context Affect Language?
How Does Language Affect How We See the World?
Pragmatics: How Do We Study Language in Contexts of Use?
What Happens When Languages Come into Contact?
What Is the Difference between a Pidgin and a Creole?
How Is Meaning Negotiated?
What Does Linguistic Inequality Look Like?
What Is Language Ideology?
How Have Language Ideologies Been at Work in Studies of African American Speech?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Varieties of African American English
What Is Raciolinguistics?What Is Lost If a Language Dies?
ANTHROPOLOGY in Everyday Life: Language Revitalization
How Are Language and Truth Connected?
MODULE 4: Components of Language
Morphology: Word Structure
Syntax: Sentence Structure
Chapter 10. How Do We Make Meaning?
What Is Play?
How Does Play Encourage Reflexivity?
What Are Some Effects of Play?
What Is Art?
Is There a Definition of Art?
“But Is It Art?”
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Tango
“She’s Fake”: Art and Authenticity
How Does Hip-Hop Become Japanese?
What Is Myth?
How Does Myth Reflect-and Shape-Society?
Do Myths Help Us Think?
What Is Ritual?
How Can Ritual Be Defined?
How Is Ritual Expressed in Action?
What Are Rites of Passage?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Video in the Villages
How Are Play and Ritual Complementary?
How Are Symbolic Practices And Society Related?
What Are Symbols?
What Is Religion?
How Do Anthropologists Understand the Relations between Religion and Secularism?
How Do People Communicate in Religion?
Two Case Studies
Coping with Misfortune: Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic among the Azande
Are There Patterns of Witchcraft Accusation?
Coping with Misfortune: Listening for God among Contemporary Evangelicals in the United States
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: For All Those Who Were Indian in a Former Life
How Do People Cope with Change?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Custom and Confrontation
How Are Symbolic Practices Used as Instruments of Power?
Chapter 11. Why Do Anthropologists Study Economic Relations?
How Do Anthropologists Study Economic Relations?
What Are the Connections between Culture and Livelihood?
Self-Interest, Institutions, and Morals
How Do Anthropologists Study Production, Distribution, and Consumption?
How Are Goods Distributed and Exchanged?
Capitalism and Neoclassical Economics
What Are Modes of Exchange?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “So Much Work, So Much Tragedy . . . and for What?”
The Maisin and Reciprocity
Does Production Drive Economic Activities?
Modes of Production
ANTHROPOLOGY in Everyday Life: Producing Sorghum and Millet in Honduras and the Sudan
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Solidarity Forever
What Is the Role of Conflict in Material Life?
Why Do People Consume What They Do?
The Internal Explanation: Malinowski and Basic Human Needs
The External Explanation: Cultural Ecology
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Questioning Collapse
How Is Consumption Culturally Patterned?
How Is Consumption Being Studied Today?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Fake Masks and Faux Modernity
The Anthropology of Food and Nutrition
Chapter 12. How Do Anthropologists Study Political Relations?
How Are Culture and Politics Related?
How Do Anthropologists Study Politics?
Is Political Power Nothing More Than Coercion?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Protesters Gird for Long Fight over Opening Peru’s Amazon
What Are Domination and Hegemony?
What Are Biopower and Governmentality?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Reforming the Crow Constitution
ANTHROPOLOGY in Everyday Life: Anthropology and Advertising
How Do Anthropologists Study Politics of the Nation-State?
Nation Building in a Postcolonial World: The Example of Fiji
How Does Globalization Affect the Nation-State?
Migration, Trans-Border Identities, and Long-Distance Nationalism
Anthropology and Multicultural Politics in the New Europe
What Happens to Citizenship in a Globalized World?
How Can Citizenship Be Flexible?
What Is Territorial Citizenship?
What Is Vernacular Statecraft?
Global Politics in the Twenty-First Century
Chapter 13. What Can Anthropology Teach Us about Sex, Gender, and Sexuality?
How Did Twentieth-Century Feminism Shape the Anthropological Study of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality?
How Do Anthropologists Organize the Study of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Consequences of Being a Woman
How Are Sex and Gender Affected by Other Forms of Identity?
How Do Ethnographers Study Gender Performativity?
How Do Anthropologists Study Connections Among Sex, Gender, Sexuality, and the Body?
How Do Anthropologists Study Connections between Bodies and Technologies?
How Do Anthropologists Study Relations between Sex, Gender, and Sexuality?
How Does Ethnography Document Variable Culture Understandings Concerning Sex, Gender, and Sexuality?
Female Sexual Practices in Mombasa
Male and Female Sexual Practices in Nicaragua
Transsexuality and Same-Sex Desire in Iran
Chapter 14. Where Do Our Relatives Come from and Why Do They Matter?
How Do Human Beings Organize Interdependence?
What Is Friendship?
What Is Kinship?
What Is the Role of Descent in Kinship?
What Role Do Lineages Play in Descent?
The Logic of Lineage Relationships
What Are Patrilineages?
What Are Matrilineages?
What Are Kinship Terminologies?
What Criteria Are Used for Making Kinship Distinctions?
What Is Adoption?
Adoption in Highland Ecuador
What Is the Relation between Adoption and Child Circulation in the Andes?
How Flexible Can Relatedness Be?
Negotiation of Kin Ties among the Ju/’hoansi
European American Kinship and New Reproductive Technologies
Assisted Reproduction in Israel
Compadrazgo in Latin America
Organ Transplantation and the Creation of New Relatives
What Is Marriage?
Toward a Definition of Marriage
Woman Marriage and Ghost Marriage among the Nuer
Why Is Marriage a Social Process?
Patterns of Residence after Marriage
Single and Plural Spouses
What Is the Connection between Marriage and Economic Exchange?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Outside Work, Women, and Bridewealth
What Is a Family?
What Is the Nuclear Family?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Dowry Too High. Lose Bride and Go to Jail
What Is the Polygynous Family?
Extended and Joint Families
How Are Families Transformed over Time?
Divorce and Remarriage
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Law, Custom, and Crimes against Women
How Does International Migration Affect the Family?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Survival and a Surrogate Family
Anthropology in Everyday Life: Caring for Infibulated Women Giving Birth in Norway
Families by Choice
The Flexibility of Marriage
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Why Migrant Women Feed Their Husbands Tamales
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Two Cheers for Gay Marriage
Love, Marriage, and HIV/AIDS in Nigeria
Chapter 15. What Can Anthropology Tell Us about Social Inequality?
Class and Gender in Indonesia
Class and Caste in the United States?
Caste in India
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Burakumin: Overcoming Hidden Discrimination in Japan
How Do Caste and Class Intersect in Contemporary India?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: As Economic Turmoil Mounts, So Do Attacks on Hungary’s Gypsies
Colorism in Nicaragua
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: On the Butt Size of Barbie and Shani: Dolls and Race in the United States
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Politics of Ethnicity
How Do Anthropologists Study Human Rights?
Are Human Rights Universal?
ANTHROPOLOGY in Everyday Life: Anthropology and Indigenous Rights
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: How Sushi Went Global
Chapter 16. What is Applied Anthropology?
What Is Medical Anthropology?
What Makes Medical Anthropology “Biocultural”?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: American Premenstrual Syndrome
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Madness of Hunger
How Do People with Different Cultures Understand the Causes of Sickness and Health?
Kinds of Selves
Decentered Selves on the Internet
ANTHROPOLOGY in Everyday Life: Lead Poisoning among Mexican American Children
Self and Subjectivity
Subjectivity, Trauma, and Structural Violence
How Are Human Sickness and Health Shaped by the Global Capitalist Economy?
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: Ethical Dilemmas and Decisions
Health, Human Reproduction, and Global Capitalism
Medical Anthropology and HIV/AIDS
The Future of Medical Anthropology