The third edition of Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology, the highly praised innovative approach to introducing aspects of cultural anthropology to students, features a series of revisions, updates, and new material.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments xi 1 Disorientation and Orientation 1 Introduction; how culture provides orientation in the world; what is culture and how do anthropologists investigate it? Learning to think anthropologically. Exercises 24 Reading: Laura Bohannan, Shakespeare in the Bush 27 2 Spatial Locations 33 How do we situate or locate ourselves in space? Are notions of space universal or are they shaped by culture? This chapter explores these questions from macro to micro contexts, including discussion of maps, nations, segregation, public spaces, invisible spaces, and that space that is no place: cyberspace. Exercises 65 Reading: Sue Bridwell Beckham, The American Front Porch: Women s Liminal Space 67 3 All We Have Is Time 79 Time is another major way we orient ourselves. What does it mean to be on time, out of time, or in time? This chapter discusses different cultural notions of time, the development of measuring time and clocks, the construction of the Western calendar and its rootedness in a sacred worldview, and birthdays and other markers of time. Exercises 109 Reading: Ellen Goodman, Time Is for Savoring 111 4 Language: We Are What We Speak 113 Is language quintessentially human or do some other animals possess it? Communication versus language. Writing. The symbolic function and metaphor: Different languages, different worlds? The social function: What information do you obtain from a person s speech? How are race, class, and gender inflected in language? Exercises 145 Reading: Ursula LeGuin, She Unnames Them 148 Reading: Alan Dundes, Seeing Is Believing 149 5 Relatives and Relations 155 Notions of kinship and kinship theory: To whom are we related and how? Is there any truth to the idea that blood is thicker than water ? What constitutes a family? This chapter also discusses different meanings of friendship, romantic relationships, and parent child relationships. Exercises 185 Reading: A. M. Hocart, Kinship Systems 188 6 Our Bodies, Our Selves 193 Are we our bodies or do we have bodies? Different concepts of the body, the gendered body, the physical body, the social body. Techniques and modifications of the body. Tattoos. Body parts and organ transplants. Traffic in body parts. Body image, advertisements, and eating disorders. Bodies before and after death. Exercises 227 Reading: Horace Miner, Body Ritual among the Nacirema 230 Reading: Deborah Kaspin, Women Who Breed Like Rabbits and Other Mythical Beasts: The Cultural Context of Family Planning in Malawi 233 7 Food for Thought 239 What constitutes food? What makes a meal? What does it mean to say that food is love ? Relation of food to the environment. Fast food, slow food, genetically modified food ( Frankenfood ). Food and sex. Food and civility. Food and religion. Cooking. Exercises 277 Reading: Jill Dubisch, You Are What You Eat: Religious Aspects of the Health Food Movement 279 8 Clothing Matters 289 Clothing does more than cover the body; it is also a cultural index of age, gender, occupation, and class. Is it then true that clothes make the man ? Haute couture, sweat shops, clothing, and the economy. Exercises 330 Reading: Julio Ramon Ribeyro, Alienation (An Instructive Story with a Footnote) 333 9 VIPs: Very Important People, Places, and Performances 341 Certain people, places, events, and cultural practices become iconic; they embody cultural myths or epitomize cultural values. Why are certain people described as larger than life ? Why are certain places sites of pilgrimage or reverence? The global circulation of such icons. Exercises 382 Reading: Clifford Geertz, The Impact of the Concept of Culture on the Concept of Man 385 Index 397