The Seventh Edition of Cultural Anthropology uses a cultural materialist approach. It provides students with a framework for explaining how the parts of sociocultural systems are interrelated and how they change over time.
“Marvin Harris' lifelong commitment to a scientific anthropology shines through in this comprehensive and well-written textbook,” praises John R. Stepp, University of Georgia - Athens.
Described as accessible, engaging, well-illustrated, and comprehensive, this text covers a wide range of Western and non-Western cultures for analysis and comparison.
“[Cultural Anthropology] excels in making anthropology accessible and relevant to today's students. The authors succeed in showing not only what the current status of anthropology is but also the potential of anthropology to explain human culture in all of its diversity and magnificence,” writes long-time user Tracy Little, Columbus State Community College.
The Five Fields of Anthropology.
What Is Distinctive about Cultural Anthropology?
Why Study Anthropology?
2. The Nature of Culture.
Definitions of Culture.
Society, Subculture, and Sociocultural System.
Science and the Relativity of Truth.
Fieldwork and the Mental and Behavioral Aspects of Culture.
The Universal Pattern.
The Diversity of Anthropological Theories.
3. The Evolution of the Capacity for Culture.
Genes and Natural Selection.
The Evolution of the Hominids.
Apes and Language.
Aggressive versus Cooperative Behavior among Apes.
4. Language and Culture.
Universal Features of Language.
Structural Linguistics: Elements of Language Analysis.
Biological and Cultural Aspects of Language.
Language Issues and Theories.
Evolution of Energy Production.
The Influence of the Environment and Ecology.
Carrying Capacity and the Law of Diminishing Returns.
Hunting and Gathering.
Energy and the Evolution of Culture.
Industrial Food Energy Systems.
The Relation between Production and Reproduction.
Population Pressure versus Population Growth.
Preindustrial Reproductive Practices.
The Costs and Benefits of Rearing Children.
The Contraception, Abortion, and Infanticide Debate.
Industrial Modes of Reproduction.
Women's Status, Education, and Fertility.
7. Economic Organization.
Definition of Economy.
Reciprocity versus Redistribution.
The Infrastructural Basis of Redistribution and Reciprocity.
Price Market Exchange: Buying and Selling.
Patterns of Work.
8. Domestic Life.
The Household and the Domestic Sphere of Culture.
Family Groups and the Mode of Production and Reproduction.
What Is Marriage?
Economic Aspects of Marriage.
Domestic Groups and the Avoidance of Incest.
9. Descent, Locality, and Kinship.
Descent Rules: Cognatic and Unilineal Descent.
Postmarital Locality Patterns.
Kin Terms Are Negotiated, Not Written in Stone.
10. Law, Order, and War in Nonstate Societies.
Law and Order in Band and Village Societies.
The Leopard Skin Chief.
Nonkin Associations: Sodalities.
Warfare among Hunters and Gatherers.
Warfare among Sedentary Village Societies.
Warfare, the Politics of Prestige, and the Big Man System.
11. Origins of Chiefdoms and the State.
The Evolution of Big Man Systems into Chiefdoms.
Infrastructural and Structural Aspects of Political Control.
The Origins of States.
Ideology as a Source of Power.
The State and Physical Coercion.
12. Class and Caste.
Class and Power.
The Image of Limited Good.
Castes in India.
13. Ethnicity, Race, and Racism.
Biological Races versus Social Races versus Ethnic Groups.
The Competitive Dynamics of Ethnic and Racial Groups.
14. Sex and Gender Hierarchies.
Sex versus Gender.
Restrictive versus Permissive Cultures.
The Relativity of Gender Ideologies.
Are Women Equally Represented in Ethnographies.
Variations in Gender Hierarchies.
Causes of Variation in Gender Hierarchies.
Hoes, Plows, and Gender Hierarchies.
Gender and Exploitation.
Gender and Hyperindustrialism.
15. Psychological Anthropology.
Culture and Personality.
Cultural Constructs Personality.
Mode of Production and Socialization Practices.
Early Childhood Training.
Subsistence and Adult Personality.
Schemas and Cognition.
Culture and Mental Illness.
Animatism and Mana.
Natural and Supernatural.
Magic and Religion.
The Organization of Religious Beliefs and Practices.
Religion and Political Economy: High Gods.
Religion and Social Action.
What Is Art?
Art as a Cultural Category.
The Evolution of Music and Dance.
18. Applied Anthropology.
What Is Applied Anthropology?
Research, Theory, and Action.
What Do Applied Anthropologists Have to Offer?
Applied Anthropology and Development.
Demographics: The U.S. Census Undercount.
Business and Anthropology.
Poverty and Health.
What is globalization?
Socio-cultural Evolution and Development
The Green Revolution
Free Market vs. Anti-Market Forces
The Effect of Globalization on Indigenous People
Resistance to Oppression
Preserving Indigenous Cultures