CULTURAL anthropology is the facet of anthropology
("man-study") which describes and seeks general understandings about
human "customs" or "cultural behavior." Physical anthropology, the other
facet of the science, deals with the biological or organic characteristics of
The cultural anthropologist examines, in sharpened scientific fashion,
a series of questions which have challenged human curiosity from paleolithic
cave to urban skyscraper. Why do humans behave the way they do? How
did the customs of my own group develop? What makes us different from
peoples around us whose customs represent in each case another "view of
the world"? How much is common to "human nature"? Is life wholly capricious,
a stream of events outside man's control, or can he influence the
directions of his destiny? Phrased in more scientific terms, these questions
take such shape as these: How did human culture develop and differentiate?
What universals or constants exist amid diversity in behavior? What is the
nature of a cultural system? Are cultural processes subject to prediction
What happens when anthropologists lose themselves during fieldwork while attempting to understand divergent cultures? When they stray from rigorous agendas and are forced to confront radically unexpected or unexplained experiences? In Extraordinary Anthropology leading ethnographers from across the globe discuss the importance of the deeply personal and emotionally volatile “ecstatic” side of fieldwork.
Anthropologists who have worked in communities in Central America, North America, Australia, Africa, and Asia share their intimate experiences of tranformations in the field through details of significant dreams, haunting visions, and their own conflicting emotional tensions. Their experiences demonstrate the necessary fluidity of research agendas, the value of going beyond an accepted (and safe) cultural and academic vantage point, and the inevitability of wrestling with tension and unhappiness when faced with irreconcilable cultural and psychological dichotomies. The contributors explore ways in which conventional research methods can be adapted to creatively engage the intellectual, ethical, and practical dimensions of these dislocations and capitalize on them. Unsettling and revealing, Extraordinary Anthropology will spark debate and reflection among anthropologists for years to come.
This is the only encyclopedia of social and cultural anthropology to cover fully the many important areas of overlap between anthropology and related disciplines. This work also covers key terms, ideas and people, thus eliminating the need to refer to other books for specific definitions or biographies.
Special features include:
* over 230 substantial entries on every major idea, individual and sub-discipline of social and cultural anthropology
* over 100 international contributors
* a glossary of more than 600 key terms and ideas.
Addresses the recent societal changes occurring in the areas of race, poverty, violence, economics, pregnancy, the Internet, privacy, and epidemiology.In his preface, editor-in-chief Borgatta also editor-in-chief of the first edition (LJ 7/92), a Dartmouth Medal winner offers two reasons for this revision: public interest and changes in some areas of sociology leading to the realization that "a substantial and thoughtful addition of titles would add breadth and depth to the Encyclopedia." The new encyclopedia presents essays written by scholars about a large number of topics within the broad field of sociology. It continues to be useful both for scholars and professionals investigating new areas of study and for students needing introductory overviews. Where the first edition contains 370 essays in four volumes, the second edition has expanded to five volumes with 60 new essays. New articles include "Censorship and the Regulation of Expression," "Futures Studies as Human and Social Activity," and "Internet." The new edition also revises and updates many of the original essays. For instance, "Feminist Theory" now discusses the 1990s, and its secondary bibliography includes texts published in 1995 and 1999. The second edition also reflects changes in our society and academics by incorporating some topics into different essays or changing the titles of certain articles. As with the first edition, the arrangement is alphabetical by topic. The signed essays provide a thorough and detailed overview of the subject. Secondary bibliographies and See also references occur at the end of each essay. This excellent new edition of an already highly regarded encyclopedia is highly recommended for all academic and larger public libraries. Cynthia A. Johnson, Barnard Coll. Lib., New York
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