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9780130979551

Anthropology A Brief Introduction
Anthropology A Brief Introduction
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  • ISBN-13: 9780130979551
  • ISBN: 0130979554
  • Edition: 5
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall PTR

AUTHOR

Ember, Carol R., Ember, Melvin

SUMMARY

This edition is new in several ways. We have expanded the coverage of biological (physical) anthropology and archaeology. There is now a chapter on how archaeologists and paleoanthropologists discover and explain the past and present, and a separate chapter devoted to the australopithecines. We have added 5 new boxes, 3 in the physical anthropology and archaeology sections. We have expanded our coverage of applied and practicing anthropology, reflecting the fact that one out of two anthropologists is now employed outside the academic world, working on practical problems. We now have three chapters grouped under the heading of "Using Anthropology." The first introduces applied and practicing anthropology and includes new sections on cultural resource management and forensic anthropology. Then there is an entirely new chapter on medical anthropology. Finally, there is a chapter on global social problems and how they might be solved on the basis of anthropological and other social science research. We have added new materials on ethnicity and racism, including new sections on ethnicity and inequality, racism and inequality, and new boxes on ethnic conflict and African American/European American disparities in death. This book is an abridged version of the latest edition of ourAnthropology.(Peter N. Peregrine was coauthor.) In updating this book, we try to go beyond descriptions, as always. We are interested not only in what humans are and were like, but we are also interested in why they got to be that way, in all their variety. When there are alternative explanations, we try to communicate the necessity to evaluate them both logically and on the basis of the available evidence. Throughout the book, we try to communicate that no idea, including ideas put forward in textbooks, should be accepted even tentatively without supporting tests that could have gone the other way. PART I: INTRODUCTION Chapter 1: What Is Anthropology? Chapter 1 introduces the student to anthropology. We discuss what we think is special and distinctive about anthropology in general, and about each of its subfields in particular. We outline how each of the subfields is related to other disciplines such as biology, psychology, and sociology. We direct attention to the increasing importance of applied anthropology. Chapter 2: Discovering and Explaining the Past , and Present Chapter 2 gives an overview of archaeological and paleoanthropological research. We discuss the types of evidence archaeologists and paleoanthropologists use to reconstruct the past, the methods they use to collect the evidence, and how they go about analyzing and interpreting that evidence. We also describe the many techniques used by archaeologists and paleoanthropologists to determine the age of archaeological materials and fossils. We discuss what it means to explain and what kinds of evidence are needed to evaluate an explanation. We discuss the major types of study in cultural anthropology--ethnography, ethnohistory, within-culture comparisons, and worldwide cross-cultural comparisons. The box explores the differences between scientific and humanistic understanding and points out that the different approaches are not really incompatible. PART II: HUMAN EVOLUTION: BIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL Chapter 3: Genetics and Evolution Chapter 3 discusses evolutionary theory as it applies to all forms of life, including humans. Following an extensive review of genetics and the processes of evolution, including natural selection and what it means, we discuss how natural selection may operate on behavioral traits and how cultural evolution differs from biological evolution. We consider ethical issues posed by the possibility of genetic engineering. The box examines the evidence suggesting that evolution proceeds abruptly rather than slowly and steadily. Chapter 4: Primate Evolution: From Early Primates to HominoidsEmber, Carol R. is the author of 'Anthropology A Brief Introduction', published 2002 under ISBN 9780130979551 and ISBN 0130979554.

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