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Introducing Anthropology: What Makes Us Human?

ISBN: 978-0-7456-9978-3
342 pages
September 2015, Polity
Introducing Anthropology: What Makes Us Human? (0745699782) cover image


Introducing Anthropology is the first book of its kind. It offers a serious but accessible introduction to anthropology and is the perfect starting point for anyone new to the subject. Across a series of fourteen chapters, it addresses the different fields and approaches within anthropology, covers an extensive range of themes, and emphasizes the role of anthropology in the world today.
Written by two authors with a passion for teaching and a commitment to communicating the excitement of anthropology, the book has been carefully designed to support and extend students’ learning. Each chapter includes:

  • clear explanations of classic and contemporary anthropological research
  • help with connecting anthropological theories to real-life issues
  • links to globalization
  • interviews with key anthropologists about their work and the discipline as a whole
  • a lively range of activities and discussion points
  • ideas for personal investigations
  • suggested ethnographic films and further reading
  • a clear glossary
  • a focus on developing examination and writing skills.

Introducing Anthropology aims to inspire and enthuse a new generation of anthropologists. It is suitable for a range of different readers, from students studying the subject at school-level to university students looking for a clear and engaging entry point into anthropology.
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Table of Contents

Introduction to the Book

Chapter 1: What Makes Us Human?                      
Chapter 2: The Body                                           
Chapter 3: Ways of Thinking and Communicating
Chapter 4: Organizing Social Relations       
Chapter 5: Engaging with Nature              
Chapter 6: Personhood                             
Chapter 7: Identity                         
Chapter 8: Ritual                                     
Chapter 9: Gender                                   
Chapter 10: Boundaries                            
Chapter 11: Globalization                          
Chapter 12: The Role of Material Culture               
Chapter 13: Research Methods                              
Chapter 14: Applied Anthropology                

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Author Information

Laura Pountney is an Anthropology Senior Examiner and teaches at Colchester Sixth Form College
Tomislav Maric teaches anthropology at Heston Community School
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"A lively and comprehensive introduction to a broad range of anthropological themes, peppered with ethnographic examples showcasing the diversity of human lives and societies, this book fills a gap and not only reveals the knowledge contributions of anthropology but also gives a hint of its magic."
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, University of Oslo

"A thorough introduction to anthropology which is as engaging as it is informative. A must-read for all students starting in the subject, as well as an excellent book for those who simply want to know more about the subject matter and methods of anthropology."
Dave Latham, Birmingham Metropolitan College

"A classroom text written by teachers for teachers. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
David Shankland, Director, Royal Anthropological Institute
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