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Paperback 352 pp.
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Paradigms for Anthropology

An Ethnographic Reader

E. Paul Durrenberger and Suzan Erem

This new anthology offers ethnographic examples from exotic settings of classical anthropology as well as the more familiar settings of the agrarian Midwest, the Mexican border, the Rust Belt, and the frontiers of the recent economic meltdown. The authors compiled this collection of readings from classics like Bronislaw Malinowski, Eric R. Wolf, Ward Goodenough, Marvin Harris, and Marshall Sahlins with new writings by contemporaries such as Alan Sandstrom, Lisa Gezon, Josiah Heyman, and Dimitra Doukas to provide a clear and riveting introduction to the anthropology of contemporary societies.

These carefully selected articles illustrate how a variety of anthropologists approach topics such as religion, family, commerce, history, power, and wealth. An introduction to each essay helps students relate their own lives to the ethnographies and helps instructors open students' minds to replacing prejudice with understanding, ethnocentrism with cultural relativism, and indifference with enthusiasm.

Part I: Field Work
1. Bronislaw Malinowski: The Early Paradigm on a Pacific Island: Excerpt from Argonauts of the Western Pacific
2. Miles Richardson: How It Works in the Global World: "Anthropologist - the Myth Teller"
Part II: Cultural Codes
3. Ward H. Goodenough: Where Pacific Islanders Live: "Residency Rules"
4. Alan R. Sandstrom: Nahua Religion in Mexico: "Anthropology Gets Religion: Cultural Ecology, Pantheism, and Paper Dolls among the Nahua People of Mexico"
Part III: Explaining Cultures
5. Marvin Harris: Sacred Cows in India: "The Myth of the Sacred Cow"
6. Roy A. Rappaport: New Guinea Rituals: "Ritual Regulation of Environmental Relations among a New Guinea People"
Part IV: The Importance of History
7. Eric R. Wolf: The Origin of Islam: "The Social Organization of Mecca and the Origins of Islam"
8. Eric R. Wolf: Community in Mexico and Indonesia: "Closed Corporate Peasant Communities in Mesoamerica and Central Java"
9. E. Paul Durrenberger and Gísli Pálsson: Household to Firm in Iceland: "Peasants, Entrepreneurs and Companies: The Evolution of Icelandic Fishing"
10. Andre Gunder-Frank: The Development of Underdevelopment: "The Development of Underdevelopment"
Part V: Power and Culture
11. Lisa L. Gezon: Why Khat Is Illegal in Madagascar: "Leaf of Paradise or Aid to Terrorism? Cultural Construction of a Drug Called Khat"
12. Josiah Heyman and Howard Campbell: Merging U.S. and Mexican Culture: "Bordering Culture: The U.S.-Mexico Case"
13. Dimitra Doukas: Shaping American Culture: "Wealth Unbound: Corporate Capitalism and the Transformation of U.S. Culture"
Part VI: Global Processes and Local Systems
14. Emine Onaran Incirlioglu: Gender and Households in Turkey: "Households and Gender Relations in Economic Development: A Central Anatolian Village"
15. Christian Zlolniski: Informal Economy in California: "Economists' Blind Spot: Field Stories of the Informal Economy among Mexican Immigrants in Silicon Valley"
16. Azizur R. Molla: Water and Health in Bangladesh: "Water: The Other Name of Life - South Asian Perspectives"
17. Barbara J. Dilly: Industrial Swine Production in Iowa: "This Little Piggy Went to Market, This Little Piggy Stayed Home; This Little Piggy Got Roast Beef, This Little Piggy Got None: The Social, Cultural, and Economic Effects of Changing Systems of Swine Production in Iowa"
18. Bob Marshall: Cooperatives in Japan: "Japan's Worker Co-operative Movement into the Twenty-First Century"
Part VII: Where Do Individuals Fit?
19. Kathleen M. Adams: Responses to Tourism in Indonesia: "Ethnic Tourism and the Renegotiation of Tradition in Tana Toraja"
20. Lawrence A. Kuznar: Individuals in Systems: "The Sims Meet Anthropology: The Use of Computer Simulation to Harness Social Complexity"

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

E. Paul Durrenberger was Professor of Anthropology for twenty-five years at the University of Iowa before moving to Pennsylvania State University where he is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology. He has published many influential articles and books. Suzan Erem is a freelance writer for unions and the author of Labor Pains: Inside America's New Union Movement (Monthly Review Press, 2001). They are coauthors of Class Acts: An Anthropology of Service Workers and Their Union (Paradigm 2005).

Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese

Special Features

  • Includes classic and contemporary examples of anthropology to illustrate what anthropological fieldwork is and where it fits, how we can understand different cultures and explain their differences, the importance of history and power, relationships of the global and the local, and where individuals fit.
  • Can be used as a series of ethnographic examples for instructors who use no main text, as a supplement for any of the common introductory textbooks, and as a complement to the author's main text, Anthropology Unbound: A Field Guide to the 21st Century.
  • All selections are based on ethnographic fieldwork and most are based on long-term field work.
  • Each selection can be used as an example of any number of difference concepts.