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Published: 15 October 2020

616 Pages

8 1/2 x 11 inches

ISBN: 9780197534434

Also Available As:


Bookseller Code (04)


What Does it Mean to Be Human?

Fifth Edition

Author Robert H. Lavenda and Emily A. Schultz

A unique alternative to more traditional, encyclopedic introductory texts, Anthropology: What Does It Mean to Be Human?, Fifth Edition, takes a question-oriented approach that incorporates cutting-edge theory and new ways of looking at important contemporary issues such as power, human rights, and inequality. With a total of sixteen chapters, this engaging, full-color text is an ideal one-semester overview that delves deep into anthropology without overwhelming students.

New to this Edition:

  • A discussion of the roots of anthropological scholarship around the world; of recent efforts to incorporate processes of biological development into discussions of biological evolution; new forms of ethnography; how contributions from science studies and cyborg anthropology suggest new ways to bring the fields of anthropology together (Chapter 1)
  • Includes discussion of theoretical pluralism in contemporary evolutionary theory, and addresses contemporary concerns about the Anthropocene (Chapter 2)
  • Expanded discussion of ancient DNA research and evidence of interspecies hybridization, as well as discussion of multispecies ethnographies (Chapter 3)
  • Updated discussion of fossil record for human evolution that incorporates evidence for multilevel selection and niche construction in the hominin lineage, as well as new evidence of varied early populations that migrated and interbred (Chapter 4)
  • Explicit focus on how the evolutionary study of human microevolution undermines notions of biological race; how niche construction contributes to developmental processes experienced by organisms; and how race becomes biology as the consequences of inequality become embodied over the life course (Chapter 5)
  • Expanded and revised discussion of subsistence strategies in relation to particular forms of human society; of domestication, niche construction and the Anthropocene; of fresh archaeological approaches to relationships linking humans, things, and other species. (Chapters 6 and 7)
  • Explores the central role of culture in biosocial becoming and how culture is something we "do"; discussion of how attention to developmental processes revises our understanding of socialization and enculturation; addresses issues of cultural borrowing and cultural authenticity (Chapter 8)
  • More on anthropological approaches to secularism; discussion of the anthropology of ontology (Chapter 10)
  • Chapter 16 ("What is Applied Anthropology?") now addresses applied anthropology in general, with emphases on medical anthropology and development anthropology

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Social Sciences > Anthropology