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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $116.99

336 pp.
21 maps; 15 photos; 1 table, 7" x 9"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

Reading Cultural Anthropology

An Ethnographic Introduction

Pamela Stern

This collection of contemporary ethnographic articles illustrates how anthropologists employ a variety of theories and data collection methods to address why people think, act, form social groups, and engage in the cultural practices they do.

Readership : Reading Cultural Anthropology: An Ethnographic Introduction is a reader intended for introductory cultural anthropology courses offered at the first- and second-year levels at universities and colleges.


  • "This is a marvellous compilation of Canadian and global content. . . . The editor has done a fabulous job putting sources together and contextualizing them for the reader."
    --Terry Webb, Western University

  • "[This text] represents the fascinating range of topics that contemporary anthropologists are currently researching and writing about."
    --Vinay Kamat, University of British Columbia

Roberta Robin Dods: Foreword
Part One: Anthropological Traditions / Contemporary Practice
1. Renée Sylvain: Loyalty and Treachery in the Kalahari
2. Aaron Glass: The Thin Edge of the Wedge: Dancing Around the Potlatch Ban, 1921-1951
3. Monica Heller: Brewing Trouble: Language, the State, and Modernity in Industrial Beer Production (Montreal, 1978-1980)
4. Anne Meneley: Time in a Bottle: The Uneasy Circulation of Palestinian Olive Oil
5. Alexander M. Ervin: A Green Coalition Versus Big Uranium: Rhizomal Networks of Advocacy and Environmental Action
Part Two: Gender/Embodiment
6. Evelyn Blackwood: Tombois in West Sumatra: Constructing Masculinity and Erotic Desire
7. Anne Irwin: "There Will be a Lot of Old Young Men Going Home": Combat and Becoming a Man in Afghanistan"
8. Richard A. O'Connor and Penny Van Esterik: De-medicalizing Anorexia: A New Cultural Brokering
9. Lalaie Ameeriar: The Sanitized Sensorium
Part Three: Kinship/Marriage/Family
10. Harriet Phinney: Asking for a Child: Refashioning Reproductive Space in Post-War Northern Vietnam
11. Sonja Luehrmann: Mediated Marriage: Internet Matchmaking in Provincial Russia
12. Chantal Collard and Shireen Kashmeri: Embryo Adoption
13. Pamela Stern: The Nucleation of Inuit Households
Part Four: Rituals/Environment/Economy
14. Peter S. Cahn: Building Down and Dreaming Up
15. Anna J. Willow: Re(con)figuring Alliances: Place Membership, Environmental Justice, and the Remaking of Indigenous-Environmentalist Relationships in Canada's Boreal Forest
16. Fabiana Li: Negotiating Livelihoods: Women, Mining, and Water Resources in Peru
17. Andrew Walsh: After the Rush: Living with Uncertainty in a Malagasy Mining Town
Part Five: Global Lives/Local Identities
18. Vered Amit: "Before I Settle Down": Youth Travel and Enduring Life Course Paradigms
19. John Osburg: Meeting the "Godfather": Fieldwork and Ethnographic Seduction in a Chinese Nightclub
20. Nelson H.H. Graburn: Work and Play in the Japanese Countryside
21. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier: Positioning the New Reggaetón Stars in Cuba
Online Chapter:
22. Belinda Leach: A Clash of Histories: Encounters of Migrant and Non-migrant Laborers in the Canadian Automobile Parts Industry

Online Chapter:
A Clash of Histories: Encounters of Migrant and Non-migrant Laborers in the Canadian Automobile Parts Industry - Belinda Leach
Instructor's Manual:
For each chapter:
3-5 short-answer questions with answer key
1 essay question
2-3 annotated online digital resources
E-Book (ISBN 9780199013135):
Available through CourseSmart.com

Pamela Stern is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Simon Fraser University. She has taught the introduction to cultural anthropology course there and at the University of Waterloo, as well as a variety of more advanced course offerings including research methods courses. Her research focusses on how Canadian individuals and communities respond to and shape the conditions of modern life and in doing so participate in making public policy.

Cultural Anthropology - Emily A. Schultz, Robert H. Lavenda and Roberta Robin Dods
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese

Special Features

  • Contemporary perspectives acquaint students with the theoretical approaches and research methods ethnographers rely on when working in the field.
  • A balance of Canadian and international readings provide students with insight into the lives, practices, and concerns of a diverse array of peoples.
  • Written with the undergraduate in mind, this collection of ethnographic readings complements cultural anthropology textbooks and longer ethnographies, providing flexibility for instructors.
  • A range of pedagogical tools help students easily grasp concepts under discussion:
  • Accessible chapter introductions
  • Suggestions for further reading
  • Glossary of key terms
  • Questions for critical thought
  • Key points to consider