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Anthropology Unbound

A Field Guide to the 21st Century

Third Edition

E. Paul Durrenberger and Suzan Erem

Publication Date - 30 October 2015

ISBN: 9780190269029

320 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A brief, critical introduction to anthropology that applies anthropological research to America's current public issues and concerns


Anthropology Unbound: A Field Guide to the 21st Century, Third Edition, demonstrates how viewing the world through an anthropological lens enhances our understanding of current topics like globalization, the new economy, jobs and careers, world trade, the condition of inner cities, and racial and ethnic relations. It makes anthropology accessible and even fun, with examples from "driving the porcelain bus" as an illustration of negative utility to reading the tags on a classmate's shirt as a way to discuss why it was made in another country.

Brief, accessible, and affordable, this updated edition offers a new user-friendly layout that includes fresh photos and multiple sidebars introducing new voices from anthropologists in the corporate world, the military, and more. It concludes with multifaceted opportunities for students to put anthropology to work both inside and outside of academia.

New to This Edition

* New sidebars contributed by various scholars
* A new chapter on applied anthropology
* New material on current issues throughout

About the Author(s)

E. Paul Durrenberger is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Penn State and the University of Iowa. He was awarded the Malinowski Award by the Society for Applied Anthropology in 2014.

Suzan Erem has worked as a reporter, editor, and communications specialist for more than twenty-five years. She is the author or coauthor of seven books.

Durrenberger and Erem are coeditors of Paradigms for Anthropology: An Ethnographic Reader (OUP, 2010).

Previous Publication Date(s)

January 2010
January 2007


"Anthropology Unbound is excellent and unique. The book's strength is its particular approach with an emphasis on matters of economics, social classes, and inequalities. I would recommend this text for its focus on getting us all to think more about these vital issues, and the ways that their discussions are backed up with evidence and examples."--Beverly Bennett, Wright College

"The book's approach is one based upon very laudable ideals, seeking to empower students with a more critical view of our species and the role that anthropology can play in dealing with contemporary social, economic, and political challenges at both the global and local level."--Bruce D. Roberts, Minnesota State University-Moorhead

"The text is an incisive and coherent argument for the usefulness of thinking about culture change in terms of comparative systemic relationships engaging economic and ecological processes. The approach is powerful and coherent. I'd recommend it for its incisive focus on social class and making ethnography speak to conditions shaped by global processes."--William H. Fisher, College of William and Mary

Table of Contents

    Preface for Instructors

    Introduction, or How to Read This Book

    Chapter 1: Science Basics
    Seek and ye shall find

    Chapter 2: Human Variation: Race and Gender
    Skin color: A function of the sun
    Marriage as partnership
    Statement on marriage and the family

    Chapter 3: From Inside and Out

    Chapter 4: Ecological Systems
    To each his own

    Chapter 5: An Anthropological Approach to Economics
    That's what you get

    Chapter 6: Political Systems
    The Burmese border
    Love it or leave it

    Chapter 7: Stratification without a State: Medieval Iceland

    Chapter 8: How States Work
    Are all men created equal?
    Is that a gun in your pocket or...?
    Keeping a lid on it

    Chapter 9: The Anthropology of Religion
    Islam reviatlized
    A test of faith

    Chapter 10: Political Economy
    "Independent" shrimpers

    Chapter 11: Class
    Witnessing class war
    Preamble to the IWW Constitution (1908)
    The Year of the Great Redistribution

    Chapter 12: Back to the Land
    The cow war
    Rigging food systems
    Worker Coops

    Chapter 13: Global Processes, Local Systems
    The magical worldview of capitalists
    Evo Morales and the new Bolivia
    Wall Street
    Globalization close up
    This is what democracy looks like

    Chapter 14: Connecting the People to the System
    The Move to Mexico
    Chinese factory girls

    Chapter 15: Anthropology Goes to Work
    Anthropologist heal thyself
    Medical anthropology
    Elizabeth K. Briody
    Fishy anthropology
    Gathering intel
    Getting busy
    Real anthropology
    Anthropology at war
    Action anthropology and community gardens

    Chapter 16: The End Is Near
    What does anthropology have to say about social media and activism?

    About the Authors

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