Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction

Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction

Language: English

Pages: 168

ISBN: 0192853465

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


"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.

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to t sec ure the husband' s kin' S rights over the children of that marriage. In • the case Peter observed, the staw s 01 th e children was not changed by their fath er's death . Hi s kin mig ht not want his children - their kinsfolk to come under the a utho rity of another man if the mother remarried. and so they have the right to ass ume custody in the event she does. Usually this right Is waived, but In thiS case they chose to exercise it . In practical terms. we might add, thiS would mean

litde: if the children did not continue to live with their mother, they would live right neJet door. But the point to be made here is that a marriage is dten not merely the union of two Individua ls who form a new and independent social un it . as it Is In our socie ty. In many, perhaps most, of the world's societies a marrl.lge is an alliance bet ween two groups of people and is therefore too Important to be dedded by a pair o f flighty teenagers, Moreover, a mother Of l-a ther may not always

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