Born within and against the violence of European colonial conquest, anthropology has aspired to understand the diversity of human experience in ethical and transformative ways. The New Invitation to Anthropology is a fresh and accessible text that takes students to the heart of the discipline and reveals the ongoing relevance of anthropology today.
The New Invitation to Anthropology, Fifth Edition has an intimate touch that invites students in and helps them understand the historical roots of anthropology and its connection to recent social and political issues. Part I covers the history of the discipline, the emergence of the concept of culture, and ethnographic field methods in relation to European imperialism and discourses on race. Part II illustrates how the concept of culture shaped specific domains of anthropological study, including ecological adaptation, social class, gender, family, marriage, religion, and medicine. As a timely and engaging “non-textbook,” The New Invitation to Anthropology explores anthropological perspectives on real-world problems, helping students think like anthropologists and become better citizens of the world.
New To This Edition
Luke Eric Lassiter is professor of humanities and anthropology and director of the Graduate Humanities Program at Marshall University, where he is also a Distinguished John Deaver Drinko Academy Fellow. His books include The Other Side of Middletown, The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography, Doing Ethnography Today, and I’m Afraid of that Water: A Collaborative Ethnography of a West Virginia Water Crisis.
Eric I. Karchmer is a visiting assistant professor at China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan. He is also a trained practitioner of Chinese medicine, with more than 20 years of clinical experience. He is the author of Prescriptions for Virtuosity: The Postcolonial Struggle of Chinese Medicine.
Dana E. Powell is associate professor in the Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine, at Taipei Medical University (Taiwan). She is the author of Landscapes of Power: Politics of Energy in the Navajo Nation and has been a recipient of anthropological fellowships from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Cornell Univ. Society for the Humanities, and the Taiwanese Ministry of Science and Technology.
PART I: ANTHROPOLOGY, CULTURE, AND ETHNOGRAPHY
The Setting: European Conquest of the Americas and the World
Stasis and Change in European Thought
Darwin and the Question of Change
Natural Selection: The Story of the Peppered Moths
Social Evolution and the Interpretation of “Race”
Social Evolutionism and Social Darwinism
The Story of Franz Boas and the Emergence of the Concept of Culture
The Story’s Lesson: A Call for Critical Engagement
The Subfields of Anthropology
Implications of the Concept of Culture
Studying Culture – Holism and Comparativism
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativity
Summing Up: Anthropological Perspectives on Culture
Ethnography Across the Atlantic: British Social Anthropology and Bronislaw Malinowski
Ethnography as Field Method: On Participant Observation
Ethnography as a Genre of Literature Today: On the Written Ethnography
Ethnography’s Lesson: What’s It Good For?
PART II: KEY THEMES IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
In the Beginning: Adaptation, Culture, and Human Subsistence
Gathering, Hunting, and Moving: On Foraging
The Domestication of Plants and Animals
Agriculture and the Emergence of the State
Agricultural Trends and the Emergence of Social Class
Agriculture and World System Theory
Lessons for the Anthropocene
Sex and Gender: Beyond the Binary
Gender, Inequality, and Power
Lessons From the Anthropology of Gender
Introducing Family: On Kinship
The Incest Taboo, Exogamy, and Endogamy
Defining Marriage Cross-Culturally
What Marriage Creates and Maintains: More on Marriage as a Social Union
Marriage, Family, and Kinship: Lessons for Contemporary Families
Knowledge and Belief
New Horizons in the Study of Illness
Towards an Anthropology of Knowledge
Every revised edition of Invitation to Anthropology recasts an excellent textbook into an even better resource. This new edition preserves the readable style of the past four versions while adding updated content, provocative discussion questions, and excellent teaching resources. Many of the text boxes, graphics, and other additions could easily serve as the basis for entire class periods of instruction to enhance students’ understanding of each chapter.
Keeping its clear and accessible writing style, The New Invitation to Anthropology continues to be the most pedagogically useful introductory text I have ever found. I cannot overemphasize how effective it is to teach its deep concepts, relying on the story-driven approach of this remarkable book.