We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more

Cover

Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction

John Monaghan and Peter Just

Publication Date - June 2000

ISBN: 9780192853462

168 pages
Paperback

Retail Price to Students: $11.95

An engaging overview of the field of anthropology, combining an accessible account of some of the discipline's guiding principles and methodology with abundant examples and illustrations of anthropologists at work.

Description

"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.

Features

  • Offers an engaging overview of the field, combining an accessible account of some of the discipline's guiding principles and methodology with abundant examples and illustrations
  • Authors draw on their own experience of anthropology, including fieldwork in Mexico and Indonesia
  • Accessible and stimulating

About the Author(s)

Peter Just 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.

Reviews

"I cannot imagine a better short introduction to anthropology... it is firmly anchored in the traditional concerns of fieldwork and participant observation."--Kent V. Flannery, University of Michigan

"The most original introduction to anthropological thinking I have seen... The reader is made to experience anthropology as it is practiced, as a process that begins in the field of observations and continues on as an explanatory, interpretive, theoretical, and finally disciplinary activity-- anthropology as it is done rather than talked about. The writing is notably lucid, simple, and unpretentious. The book gives the reader a sense of unique achievements of anthroplogy amopng the social disciplines, and of its position as evolving and never finished business."--Igor Kopytoff, University of Pennsylvania

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.