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Anthropological Theory

An Introductory History, Sixth Edition

Edited by R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms

Hardback
Paperback
The sixth edition of this market-leading introduction to anthropological theory offers 43 seminal essays from 1860 through the present day, including six new essays from Kroeber, Benedict, Spradley, Wardlow, Ortner, and Gomberg-Munoz. Accessible introductions and commentary provide necessary background information and historical context of each article. This edition also features a new timeline and recommended additional readings.

Presenting a selection of critical essays in anthropology from 1860 to the current day, this sixth edition of Anthropological Theory includes classic authors such as Tylor, Marx, Boas, Malinowski, Foucault, Turner, and Geertz as well as contemporary thinkers such as Appadurai, Abu-Lughod, and Bourgois. Most essays are reprinted without abridgement. Those that are shortened include notes explaining how much and what was removed.

What sets McGee and Warms’ text apart from other readers are its introductions, footnotes, and index. Detailed introductions examine critical developments in theory, introduce key people and discuss historical and personal influences on theorists. In extensive footnotes the editors provide commentary that puts the writing in historical and cultural context, defines unusual terms, translates non-English phrases, identifies references to other scholars and their works, and offers paraphrases and summaries of complex passages. The notes identify and provide background information on hundreds of scholars and concepts important in the development of anthropology. This makes the essays more accessible to both students and current day scholars. An extensive index makes this book an invaluable reference tool.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 784Size: 7 1/2 x 10 1/4
978-1-4422-5701-6 • Hardback • July 2016 • $190.00 • (£130.00)
978-1-4422-5702-3 • Paperback • July 2016 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
R. Jon McGee is professor of anthropology at Texas State University. He is author or editor of numerous books, including Watching Lacandan Maya Lives, Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology: An Encyclopedia (edited with Richard L. Warms), and Sacred Realms: Readings in the Anthropology of Religion (co-edited with Warms and James Garber), now in its second edition.

Richard L. Warms is professor of anthropology at Texas State University. In addition to his books with McGee, he has co-authored (with Serena Nanda) the best-selling textbooks Cultural Anthropology, now in its eleventh edition, and Culture Counts, now in its third edition.
* indicates new to the sixth edition

Part I: Historical Foundations of Anthropological Theory
Nineteenth-Century Evolutionism
1
. Herbert Spencer: The Social Organism (1860)
2
. Sir Edward Burnett Tylor: The Science of Culture (1871)
3.
Lewis Henry Morgan: Ethnical Periods (1877)
4.
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Feuerbach: Opposition of the Materialist and Idealist Outlook (1846)
The Foundations of Sociological Thought
5
. Émile Durkheim: What Is a Social Fact? (1895)
6
. Marcel Mauss: Excerpts from The Gift (1925)
7
. Max Weber: Class, Status, Party (1922)

Part II: Culture Theory in the Early Twentieth Century
The Boasians
8. Franz Boas:
The Methods of Ethnology (1920)
*9. A. L. Kroeber:
On the Principle of Order in Civilization as Exemplified by Changes of Fashion
(1919)
*10. Ruth Benedict:
The Science Of Custom: The Bearing of Anthropology on Contemporary Thought (1929)
11. Margaret Mead:
Introduction to Coming of Age in Samoa (1928)
12. Benjamin L. Whorf:
The Relation of Habitual Thought and Behavior to Language (1941)
Functionalism
13.
Bronislaw Malinowski: The Essentials of the Kula (1922)
14.
A.R. Radcliffe-Brown: On Joking Relationships (1940)
15.
Max Gluckman: The Licence in Ritual (1956)

Part III: Theory At Mid-Century
The Reemergence of Evolutionary Thought
16. Leslie White:
Energy and the Evolution of Culture (1943)
17. Julian Steward:
The Patrilineal Band (1955)
18. Morton H. Fried:
On the Evolution of Social Stratification and the State (1960)
Neomaterialism
19. Marvin Harris:
The Cultural Ecology of India's Sacred Cattle (1966)
20. Eric Wolf:
Peasantry and Its Problems (1966)
Structure, Language, and Cognition
21. Claude Lévi-Strauss:
Four Winnebago Myths: A Structural Sketch (1960)
22. Harold C. Conklin:
Hanunóo Color Categories (1955)
*23. Eugene Hunn:
The Tenejapa Tzeltal Version of the Animal Kingdom (1975)

Part IV: Late Twentieth Century Developments
Sociobiology and Behavioral Ecology
24. Edward O. Wilson:
The Morality of the Gene (1975)
25. Rebecca Bliege Bird, Eric Alden Smith, and Douglas W. Bird:
The Hunting Handicap: Costly Signaling in Human Foraging Strategies (2001)
Feminist Anthropology
26. Sally Slocum:
Woman the Gatherer: Male Bias in Anthropology (1975)
27. Eleanor Leacock:
Interpreting the Origins of Gender Inequality: Conceptual and Historical Problems (1983)
Symbolic and Interpretive Anthropology
28. Mary Douglas:
External Boundaries (1966)
29. Victor Turner:
Symbols in Ndembu Ritual (1967)
30. Clifford Geertz:
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight (1972)
Background to Postmodernism
31. Pierre Bourdieu:
Structures, Habitus, Practices (1980)
32. Michel Foucault:
The Incitement to Discourse (1976)
Postmodernism
33. Renato Rosaldo:
Grief and a Headhunters Rage (1989)
34. Allan Hanson:
The Making of the Maori: Cultural Invention and Its Logic (1989)

Part V: Trends in Contemporary Anthropology
Gender
35. Lila Abu-Lughod:
A Tale of Two Pregnancies (1995)
36. David Valentine: ‘
I Went to Bed with My Own Kind Once’: The Erasure of Desire in the Name of Identity (2003)
*37. HollyWardlow:
Anger, Economy, and Female Agency: Problematizing "Prostitution" and "Sex Work" among the Huli of Papua New Guinea (2004)
Globalization
38. Arjun Appadurai:
Disjuncture and the Difference in the Global Cultural Economy (1990)
39. Theodore Bestor:
Kaiten-Zushi and Konbini: Japanese Food Culture in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (2006)
*40. Jonathan Friedman and Kajsa Ekholm Friedman:
Globalization as a Discourse of Hegemonic Crisis: A Global Systemic Analysis (2013)
Agency and Structure
41. Philippe Bourgois:
From Jíbaro to Crack Dealer: Confronting the Restructuring of Capitalism in El Barrio (1995)
*42. Sherry Ortner:
Power and Projects: Reflections on Agency (2006)
*43. Ruth Gomberg Muñoz:
Willing to Work: Agency and Vulnerability in an Undocumented Immigrant Network (2010)
Anthropological Theory is an impressive work dealing, as promised, with both the theory and the history behind the development of anthropological ideas. The sixth edition contains both a wide-ranging collection of important articles and well-researched and significant introductions and annotations. I don’t know of any better introduction to the history of anthropology.
Herbert S. Lewis, University of Wisconsin-Madison


McGee and Warms have definitively established themselves as the benchmark for readers in the history of anthropological theory. Their selection of readings is intelligent and comprehensive, and they carefully maintain a balance between classic sources and contemporary writers. They deserve the highest praise for demonstrating to students that primary sources are interesting, indeed inspiring, and for carefully placing them in historical context.
Robert Launay, Northwestern University


This is an excellent introduction: one that gives essential historical depth to crucial theoretical debates.
David Shankland, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland


Unique Format. Essays are presented unabridged, or if shortened, include notes that condense the material removed. Introductions and explanatory footnotes by the editors offer definitions of difficult words, translations of foreign words and phrases, explanations of allusions, and a description of the contextual background of each piece.

Clear, Concise Introductions to the various theoretical schools, with editorial commentary pointing at underlying concepts and interrelationships between theoretical perspectives.

Broad Range of Works, from 19th century evolutionism to emerging trends in contemporary anthropological thought.

Detailed Indexing. Extremely comprehensive indexing makes this an invaluable reference tool.

Essays Chosen with an Emphasis on Anthropological Praxis. The essays exemplify concrete applications of theory in anthropological analysis rather than abstract statements.

New features
New essays from Kroeber, Benedict, Hunn, Wardlow, Friedman and Friedman, Ortner, and Gomberg-Muñoz

New Part V focuses on trends in contemporary anthropology

The book’s largely chronological organization has been streamlined and includes new sections:
“Boas and His Students” combines material previously found in “Historical Particularism” and “Culture and Personality”
“Cognition, Language, and Structure” combines material previously found in “Structuralism” and in “Ethnoscience and Cognitive Anthropology”
“Feminist Anthropology” focuses on the emergence of anthropological concern for women’s roles and issues in the 1960s and 1970s
“Gender” explores feminist and gender studies-related developments in the 1990s and 2000s

Part and section introductions have been substantially rewritten and highlight the contributions of hundreds of people beyond those whose essays are reprinted here—including influential women who have often been left out of general textbooks

Part introductions, for the first time, include annotated lists of additional suggested readings in each subject area

The notes for every essay have been carefully revised and updated; the system of note placement has been standardized

New timeline positions anthropological theory alongside key events in world history

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