One of America's leading anthropolgists offers solutions to the perplexing question of why people behave the way they do. Why do Hindus worship cows? Why do Jews and Moslems refuse to eat pork? Why did so many people in post-medieval Europe believe in witches? Marvin Harris answers these and other perplexing questions about human behavior, showing that no matter how bizarre a people's behavior may seem, it always stems from identifiable and intelligble sources.
Why are human food habits so diverse? Why do Americans recoil at the thought of dog meat? Jews and Moslems, pork? Hindus, beef? Why do Asians abhor milk? In Good to Eat, best-selling author Marvin Harris leads readers on an informative detective adventure to solve the worlds major food puzzles. He explains the diversity of the worlds gastronomic customs, demonstrating that what appear at first glance to be irrational food tastes turn out really to have been shaped by practical, economic, or political necessity. In addition, his smart and spirited treatment sheds wisdom on such topics as why there has been an explosion in fast food, why history indicates that its bad to eat people but good to kill them, and why children universally reject spinach. Good to Eat is more than an intellectual adventure in food for thought. It is a highly readable, scientifically accurate, and fascinating work that demystifies the causes of myriad human cultural differences.
In this brilliant and profound study the distinguished American anthropologist Marvin Harris shows how the endless varieties of cultural behavior -- often so puzzling at first glance -- can be explained as adaptations to particular ecological conditions. His aim is to account for the evolution of cultural forms as Darwin accounted for the evolution of biological forms: to show how cultures adopt their characteristic forms in response to changing ecological modes. "[A] magisterial interpretation of the rise and fall of human cultures and societies." -- Robert Lekachman, Washington Post Book World "Its persuasive arguments asserting the primacy of cultural rather than genetic or psychological factors in human life deserve the widest possible audience." -- Gloria Levitas The New Leader "[An] original and...urgent theory about the nature of man and at the reason that human cultures take so many diverse shapes." -- The New Yorker "Lively and controversial." -- I. Bernard Cohen, front page, The New York Times Book Review
Professor Harris – the leading theorist in cultural materialism – bases this comprehensive work on the perspective of thematic and theoretical coherence, giving the book depth and continuity. Speaking directly to students, helpful chapter introductions and end-of-chapter summaries focus on key points before and after reading each chapter. This seventh edition includes meticulous updating of research and scholarship, especially in the very active field of physical anthropology and archaeology. A new feature – “America Now Updates” – turns an anthropological eye on the contemporary U.S., emphasizing the comparative aspects of anthropology and making the discipline relevant to students.
Author: Jeremy Seabrook
Publisher: New Internationalist
Release Date: 2004
A new angle on the globalisation debate, which celebrates successful resistance as well as exploring the dangers. As languages and local cultures are swept away by the market-driven monoculture, Jeremy Seabrook looks at the threat to cultural diversity and integrity all around the globe, including in western societies. Amongst the disappearing cultures, Seabrook finds that resistance is breaking out as people rediscover the imprtance of the local and the value of community.
The best known, most often cited history of anthropological theory is finally available in paperback! First published in 1968, Harris's book has been cited in over 1,000 works and is one of the key documents explaining cultural materialism, the theory associated with Harris's work. This updated edition included the complete 1968 text plus a new introduction by Maxine Margolis, which discusses the impact of the book and highlights some of the major trends in anthropological theory since its original publication. RAT, as it is affectionately known to three decades of graduate students, comprehensively traces the history of anthropology and anthropological theory, culminating in a strong argument for the use of a scientific, behaviorally-based, etic approach to the understanding of human culture known as cultural materialism. Despite its popularity and influence on anthropological thinking, RAT has never been available in paperback_until now. It is an essential volume for the library of all anthropologists, their graduate students, and other theorists in the social sciences.
Author: Catherine M. Tucker
Release Date: 2017-01-20
Genre: Social Science
Coffee Culture: Local experiences, Global Connections explores coffee as (1) a major commodity that shapes the lives of millions of people; (2) a product with a dramatic history; (3) a beverage with multiple meanings and uses (energizer, comfort food, addiction, flavouring, and confection); (4) an inspiration for humor and cultural critique; (5) a crop that can help protect biodiversity yet also threaten the environment; (6) a health risk and a health food; and (7) a focus of alternative trade efforts. This book presents coffee as a commodity that ties the world together, from the coffee producers and pickers who tend the plantations in tropical nations, to the middlemen and processors, to the consumers who drink coffee without ever having to think about how the drink reached their hands.
Author: Mark Q. Sutton
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Release Date: 2013-12-12
Genre: Social Science
Introduction to Cultural Ecology, Third Edition, familiarizes students with the foundations of the field and provides a framework for exploring what other cultures can teach us about human/environment relationships.
Introducing Cultural Anthropology, a short yet comprehensive anchor text, is an approachable, full-color introduction to cultural anthropology. This edition continues to provide students with the opportunity to explore anthropology's relevance to their own lives. Unique opening vignettes draw students into each chapter while the rich visual program allows professors to use a brief text without sacrificing visual appeal. ""Try This"" exercises encourage students to think critically and apply anthropological concepts, perspectives and methods, and the ""Anthropology Around Us"" boxes focus on th.
Author: Felicitas D. Goodman
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 1988-05-22
Genre: Social Science
"Quite an interesting book... " —Religious Studies Review "It is by far superior to anything else on demons we have seen in the past few years." —The American Rationalist "... Goodman is to be commended for a stimulating and wide-reaching treatment of a compelling and much-debated subject." —Journal of Folklore Research Rich in detail derived from the author's fieldwork and the anthropological literature, this work paints a picture of possession as one of the usually positive and most widespread of human religious experiences. It also details the ritual of exorcism, which is applied when things go wrong.