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Readings in Anthropology

Textbooks and Other Resources

Oxford Bibliographies Online - Anthropology

Birx, H. James. (2010). 21st century anthropology: a reference handbook: Sage Publications. ISBN: 9781412957380.

Carrier, James G. Gewertz Deborah B. (2013). The handbook of sociocultural anthropology. London: New York. ISBN: 9781847883841.

Durrenberger, E. Paul, & Erem, Suzan. (2010). Paradigms for anthropology: an ethnographic reader. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers. ISBN: 9781594517808.

Erickson, Paul A. Murphy Liam D. (2010). Readings for A history of anthropological theory (3rd ed.). Toronto: New York. ISBN: 9781442600690.

Abstract: "This comprehensive anthology presents 40 readings that are critical to an understanding of anthropological theory and the development of anthropology as an academic discipline. The readings have broad anthropological appeal, emphasizing social and cultural anthropology. The third edition has been completely revised throughout and organized to work more closely alongside the companion overview text, A History of Anthropological Theory. It includes six new readings as well as two original essays written by contemporary anthropologists on "Why Theory Matters." These new essays help ground the more abstract readings in the collection. The glossary has been significantly expanded and the discussion questions have been revised. The result is a volume that offers not only a strong foundation in the history of the discipline but also a good overview of developments in twentieth- and twenty-first-century anthropological theory, including feminist anthropology, postmodernity, medical anthropology, globalization, postcolonialism, and public anthropology. --BOOK JACKET.

Moore, Henrietta L. (1999). Anthropological theory today. Cambridge [England]: Malden, MA. ISBN: 0745620221.

Abstract: This book makes a bold statement about the nature and value of anthropological theory at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It repositions anthropology within current social theory and outlines the changing context in which anthropological enquiry takes place. Anthropology is no longer confined to academic debate and is increasingly part of the practice and theory of development agencies, voluntary organizations, political pressure groups international organizations and governments. Anthropological theory has become less and less isolated from the communities studied. Communities are increasingly culturally diverse, and 'other cultures' are no longer in 'other parts' of the world. The essays in this volume develop new ways of theorizing appropriate to these changed circumstances. --BOOK JACKET.

Moore, Henrietta L. Sanders Todd. (2006). Anthropology in theory: issues in epistemology: Blackwell Pub. ISBN: 9780631229148.

Abstract: The 57 articles collected in Anthropology in Theory: Issues in Epistemology, together with the editors' introduction, provide the most comprehensive selection of readings and incisive overview available of anthropological theory and epistemology over the past century. Anthropology in Theory identifies crucial conceptual signposts for the continued resurgence of the discipline and new theoretical directions. Moreover, it demonstrates both the vitality and value of anthropological theorizing within the discipline, as well as how such anthropological projects are fundamentally reconfiguring broader debates in the social sciences: debates about society and culture; structure and agency; identities and technologies; subjectivities and translocality; meta-theory, ontology and epistemology; language and meaning; subjectivity and objectivity; and localities and globalities. --Jacket.

Moore, Jerry D. (2012). Visions of culture : an introduction to anthropological theories and theorists (4th ed.). Lanham, Md.: AltaMira Press. ISBN: 9780759122178.

Abstract: This new edition of Jerry D. Moore's Visions of Culture presents anthropology students with a brief, readable, and balanced treatment of theoretical developments in the field. The key ideas of major theorists, with Marshall Sahlins as a new addition, are briefly described and-unique to this textbook-linked to the biographical and fieldwork experiences that helped shape their theories. The impact of each scholar on contemporary anthropology is presented, along with numerous examples, quotes from the theorists' writings, and a description of the broader intellectual setting in which these anthropologists worked.

The Early Years - 19th Century Evolutionism and Early Sociological Thought

Darwin, Charles. (1936). The origin of species by means of natural selection: or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life and The descent of man and selection in relation to sex: Modern library.

Durkheim, EĢmile. (1965). Rules for the explanation of social facts The rules of sociological method (8th ed., pp. 119-). New York: Free Press.

Freud, Sigmund. (1962). Civilization and its discontents ([1st American ]. ed.). New York: W.W. Norton.

Abstract: Originally published in 1930, this book seeks to answer ultimate questions. What influences led to the creation of civilization? How did it come to be? What determines its course? In this classic work, Freud addresses the contest between aggression and eros, and speaks to issues of human creativity and fulfillment, the place of beauty in culture, and the effects of repression.

Marx, Karl. (1909). The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret thereof Capital: a critique of political economy (pp. Section-4). Chicago: CHKerr & co.

Marx, Karl (1977). Bourgeois and Proletarians Selected writings (pp. ix, 625 p.). Oxford Oxford University Press. ISBN: 019876037X.

Mauss, Marcel. (1967). The gift: forms and functions of exchange in archaic societies. New York: Norton. ISBN: 0393003787.

Morgan, Lewis Henry. (1875). Ethnical periods. Boston: American Association for the Advancement of Science (?).

Morgan, Lewis Henry. (1964). Ancient society. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Spencer, Herbert. (1891). The Social Organism Essays: Scientific, Political, and Speculative. Library Edition, containing Seven Essays not before republished, and various other Additions. Vol. 1 (Vol. 1). London: Williams and Norgate.

Tylor, Edward Burnett. (1873). The science of culture. In Morton H. Fried (Ed.), Readings in anthropology (Vol. 3, pp. 3-30). New York: Crowell.

Weber, Max. (1958). The Protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism (original 1904 to 1905). New York: Scribner. ISBN: 0024248606.

Weber, Max , Gerth, Hans Heinrich, & Mills, C. Wright. (1958). The sociology of charismatic authority From Max Weber : essays in sociology (translation) (pp. 245-252). New York: Oxford University Press, Galaxy. ISBN: 0195004620.

Early to Mid 20th Century - Historical Particularism, Functionalism, Structuralism, Cognitive Anthropology

Benedict, Ruth. (1934). Patterns of culture. Boston: New York, Houghton Mifflin Co.

Abstract: A study of the civilizations of the Zuni Indians, the natives of Dobu, and the Kwakiutl Indians.

Boas, Franz. (1920). The Methods of Ethnology. American Anthropologist, 22(4), 311-321. doi:10.1525/aa.1920.22.4.02a00020.

Evans-Pritchard, Edward E. (1965). Theories of primitive religion. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Gluckman, Max. (1963). Order and rebellion in tribal Africa: collected essays, with an autobiographical introduction. New York: Free Press of Glencoe.

Gluckman, Max. (1972). The allocation of responsibility. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN: 0719004918.

Kroeber, A. L. (1917). The superorganic. American Anthropologist, 19(2), 163-213. doi:10.1525/aa.1917.19.2.02a00010.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. (1963). Structural anthropology. New York: Basic Books. ISBN: 0465082300.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude. (1973). Structuralism and ecology. Social Science Information, 12, 7-23. doi:10.1177/053901847301200101.

Malinowski, Bronislaw. (1926). Myth in primitive psychology. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Mead, Margaret. (1928). Coming of age in Samoa: a psychological study of primitive youth for western civilisation. New York: W. Morrow & Co.

Sahlins, Marshall David. (2000). Individual Experience and Cultural Order (1982) Culture in practice: selected essays. New York: Zone Books. ISBN: 094229937X.

Sapir, Edward (1949). Culture, genuine and spurious. In David Goodman Mandelbaum (Ed.), Selected writings in language, culture and personality (pp. 308-331). Berkeley: University of California Press.

Turner, Victor W. (1967). The forest of symbols: aspects of Ndembu ritual. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. ISBN: 9780801491016.

White, Leslie A. (1949). The science of culture: a study of man and civilization (pp. xx, 444 p.). New York: Farrar, Straus.

Whorf, Benjamin Lee, & Caroll, John B. (1956). The relation of habitual thought and behavior to language Language, Thought, and Reality: Selected Writings: MIT Press. ISBN: 9780262730068.

Since the 1970s - Behavioral Ecology, Gender, Symbolic Anthro, Postmodernism, Globalization, Power, Agency

Bourdieu, Pierre. (1977). Outline of a theory of practice: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9780521211789.

Douglas, Mary. (1986). How institutions think (1st ed.). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. ISBN: 0815623690.

Douglas, Mary. (2007). Thinking in circles an essay on ring composition. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN: 9780300134957.

Abstract: Many famous antique texts are misunderstood and many others have been completely dismissed, all because the literary style in which they were written is unfamiliar today. So argues Mary Douglas in this controversial study of ring composition, a technique which places the meaning of a text in the middle, framed by a beginning and ending in parallel. To read a ring composition in the modern linear fashion is to misinterpret it, Douglas contends, and today's scholars must reevaluate important antique texts from around the world. Found in the Bible and in writings from as far a field as Egypt, China, Indonesia, Greece, and Russia, ring composition is too widespread to have come from a single source. Does it perhaps derive from the way the brain works? What is its function in social contexts? The author examines ring composition, its principles and functions, in a cross-cultural way. She focuses on ring composition in Homer's "Iliad", the Bible's book of "Numbers", and, for a challenging modern example, Laurence Sterne's "Tristram Shandy", developing a persuasive argument for reconstruing famous books and rereading neglected ones.

Douglas, Mary Tew. (1978). Purity and danger: an analysis of concepts of pollution and taboo. London: Routledge. ISBN: 0710088272.

Douglas, Mary, & Wildavsky, Aaron B. (1982). Risk and culture: an essay on the selection of technical and environmental dangers. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN: 0520044916.

Geertz, Clifford. (1973). Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture The Interpretation of Cultures Selected Essays (pp. 3-30). ISBN: 046503425X

Harris, Marvin. (1979). Cultural materialism: the struggle for a science of culture (1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN: 0394412400.

Latour, Bruno. (1993). We have never been modern. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN: 0674948386.

Latour, Bruno. (2005). Reassembling the social an introduction to actor-network-theory. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780191531262.

Abstract: Reassembling the Social is a fundamental challenge from one of the world's leading social theorists to how we understand society and the 'social'. Bruno Latour's contention is that the word 'social' as used by Social Scientists has become laden with assumptions to the point where it has become a misnomer. When the adjective is applied to a phenomenon, it is used to indicate a stabilized state of affairs, a bundle of ties that in due course may be used to account for another phenomenon. Latour also finds the word used as if it described a type of material, in a comparable way to an adjective such as 'wooden' or 'steely'. Rather than simply indicating what is already assembled together, it is now used in a way that makes assumptions about the nature of what is assembled. It has become a word that designates two distinct things: a process of assembling: and a type of material, distinct from others. Latour shows why 'the social' cannot be thought of as a kind of material or domain, and disputes attempts to provide a 'social explanation' of other states of affairs. While these attempts have been productive (and probably necessary) in the past, the very success of the social sciences mean that they are largely no longer so. At the present stage it is no longer possible to inspect the precise constituents entering the social domain. Latour returns to the original meaning of 'the social' to redefine the notion and allow it to trace connections again. It will then be possible to resume the traditional goal of the social sciences, but using more refined tools. Drawing on his extensive work examining the 'assemblages' of nature, Latour finds it necessary to scrutinize thoroughly the exact content of what is assembled under the umbrella of Society. This approach, a 'sociology of associations' has become known as Actor-Network-Theory, and this book is an essential introduction both for those seeking to understand Actor-Network-Theory, or the ideas of one of its most influential proponents.

Latour, Bruno. (2010). On the modern cult of the factish gods. Durham [NC]: London. ISBN: 9780822348160.

Moore, Henrietta L. (1988). Feminism and anthropology. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. ISBN: 0816617481.

Moore, Henrietta L. (2004). Global Anxieties: Concept-Metaphors and Pre-Theoretical Commitments in Anthropology. Anthropological Theory, 4(1), 71-88. doi:10.1177/1463499604040848.

Abstract: This article begins by interrogating the problem of the global and the local in anthropology, and asks how their interconnections might be theorized. When anthropologists call for an examination of the global in concrete terms, they often fail to appreciate the place of ‘concept-metaphors’ whose purpose is to maintain ambiguity and a productive tension between universal claims and specific historical contexts. ‘The global’ is just such a concept-metaphor, a space of theoretical abstraction and processes, experiences and connections in the world, important not only to social scientists but now part of most people’s imagined and experienced worlds. In this article, I examine pre-theoretical commitments common in anthropology that emphasize ‘the local’ via participant-observation, which becomes elided with ethnography. I suggest that anthropology begin to ‘methodologize’ the relation between the global and the local by reviewing several approaches to these problems.

Moore, Henrietta L. (2007). The subject of anthropology : gender, symbolism and psychoanalysis. ISBN: 9780745608082.

Abstract: In this new book, Henrietta Moore draws on anthropology, feminism and psychoanalysis to develop an original theory of gender and of how we become sexed beings. --BOOK JACKET.

Moore, Henrietta L. Vaughan Megan. (1994). Cutting down trees: gender, nutrition, and agricultural change in the Northern Province of Zambia, 1890-1990. Portsmouth, NH : Heinemann: London. ISBN: 0435080903.

Abstract: What are the problems of rural food supply in southern Africa today, and how have they arisen historically? This major study of household production, gender, and nutrition traces detailed changes in the agricultural system of Zambia's Northern Province over a period of one hundred years. The authors combine historical, anthropological, and developmental approaches to the study of a rural society undergoing rapid change, and provide a critical reassessment of Audrey Richards' classic work, Land, Labour and Diet: An Economic Study of the Bemba Tribe. The authors assess the ecological, social, and political changes affecting the region, and provide one of the first studies to integrate contemporary development initiatives with long-run interventions. Drawing on their extensive research experience in Africa, Henrietta L. Moore and Megan Vaughan have produced a detailed examination of the changing nature of gender relations and household production. They also draw on recent theoretical developments in anthropology and cultural history to explore the construction of colonial and postcolonial identities in the region. Cutting Down Trees is about local responses to global processes of change. It will be of special interest to anthropologists, historians, and social scientists, as well as those in the fields of development studies, economics, and environmental management.

Ortner, Sherry B. (1984). Theory in Anthropology since the Sixties. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 26(1), 126-166. doi:10.2307/178524.

Ortner, Sherry B. (2001). Commentary: Practice, power and the past. Journal of Social Archaeology, 1(2), 271-278. doi:10.1177/146960530100100207.

Serres, Michel, & Latour, Bruno. (1995). Conversations on science, culture, and time. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. ISBN: 047209548X.

Wolf, Eric R. (1982). Europe and the people without history: University of California Press. ISBN: 0520044592.