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Paradigms for Anthropology

An Ethnographic Reader

Edited by E. Paul Durrenberger and Suzan Erem

Publication Date - January 2010

ISBN: 9780199945894

352 pages

In Stock

From exotic to familiar settings, this anthology presents students with an overview of how anthropologists approach a variety of topics


This anthology offers ethnographies from classical anthropology and the more familiar settings of the agrarian Midwest, the Mexican border, the Rust Belt, and the frontiers of the recent economic meltdown. Editors E. Paul Durrenberger and Suzan Erem have compiled readings from classic works by Bronislaw Malinowski, Eric R. Wolf, Ward Goodenough, Marvin Harris, and Marshall Sahlins alongside new writings by contemporaries like Alan Sandstrom, Lisa Gezon, Josiah Heyman, and Dimitra Doukas in order to provide a clear and riveting introduction to the anthropology of contemporary societies.

These carefully selected articles illustrate how a variety of anthropologists approach such topics as religion, family, commerce, history, power, and wealth. An introduction to each essay helps students relate their own lives to the ethnographies and assists instructors in opening students' minds to replace prejudice with understanding, ethnocentrism with cultural relativism, and indifference with enthusiasm.

Table of Contents


    Part I: Field Work

    Chapter 1: The Early Paradigm on a Pacific Island: Excerpt from Argonauts of the Western Pacific, Bronislaw Malinowski
    Chapter 2: How It Works in the Global World: "Anthropologist: the Myth Teller," Miles Richardson

    Part II: Cultural Codes

    Chapter 3: Where Pacific Islanders Live: "Residency Rules," Ward H. Goodenough
    Chapter 4: Nahua Religion in Mexico: "Anthropology Gets Religion: Cultural Ecology, Pantheism, and Paper Dolls among the Nahua People of Mexico," Alan R. Sandstrom

    Part III: Explaining Cultures

    Chapter 5: Sacred Cows in India: "The Myth of the Sacred Cow," Marvin Harris
    Chapter 6: New Guinea Rituals: "Ritual Regulation of Environmental Relations among a New Guinea People," Roy A. Rappaport

    Part IV: The Importance of History

    Chapter 7: The Origin of Islam: "The Social Organization of Mecca and the Origins of Islam," Eric R. Wolf
    Chapter 8: Community in Mexico and Indonesia: "Closed Corporate Peasant Communities in Mesoamerica and Central Java," Eric R. Wolf
    Chapter 9: Household to Firm in Iceland: "Peasants, Entrepreneurs and Companies: The Evolution of Icelandic Fishing," E. Paul Durrenberger and Gísli Pálsson
    Chapter 10: The Development of Underdevelopment: "The Development of Underdevelopment," Andre Gunder-Frank

    Part V: Power and Culture

    Chapter 11: Why Khat Is Illegal in Madagascar: "Leaf of Paradise or Aid to Terrorism? Cultural Construction of a Drug Called Khat," Lisa L. Gezon
    Chapter 12: Merging U.S. and Mexican Culture: "Bordering Culture: The U.S.-Mexico Case," Josiah Heyman and Howard Campbell
    Chapter 13: Shaping American Culture: "Wealth Unbound: Corporate Capitalism and the Transformation of U.S. Culture," Dimitra Doukas

    Part VI: Global Processes and Local Systems

    Chapter 14: Gender and Households in Turkey: "Households and Gender Relations in Economic Development: A Central Anatolian Village," Emine Onaran Incirlioglu
    Chapter 15: Informal Economy in California: "Economists' Blind Spot: Field Stories of the Informal Economy among Mexican Immigrants in Silicon Valley," Christian Zlolniski
    Chapter 16: Water and Health in Bangladesh: "Water: The Other Name of Life: South Asian Perspectives," Azizur R. Molla
    Chapter 17: Industrial Swine Production in Iowa: "This Little Piggy Went to Market, This Little Piggy Stayed Home; This Little Piggy Got Roast Beef, This Little Piggy Got None: The Social, Cultural, and Economic Effects of Changing Systems of Swine Production in Iowa," Barbara J. Dilly
    Chapter 18: Cooperatives in Japan: "Japan's Worker Co-operative Movement into the Twenty-First Century," Bob Marshall

    Part VII: Where Do Individuals Fit?

    Chapter 19: Responses to Tourism in Indonesia: "Ethnic Tourism and the Renegotiation of Tradition in Tana Toraja," Kathleen M. Adams
    Chapter 20: Individuals in Systems: "The Sims Meet Anthropology: The Use of Computer Simulation to Harness Social Complexity," Lawrence A. Kuznar

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