Sociology Index

CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Books on Cultural Anthropology, Human Ecology, Physical Anthropology

Cultural anthropology or Social anthropology is the science of human social and cultural behavior and its development. Cultural anthropology is conceptually and theoretically similar to sociology.

Anthropology originally developed as the study of non-western cultures but many anthropologists now study western societies and the disciplines of sociology and anthropology have been tending to converge giving scope to the field of cultural anthropology or social anthropology.

A Cognitivist's View of the Units Debate in Cultural Anthropology 
Roy D'Andrade, University of California, San Diego - This article explores some of the implications of the current ideational definition of culture. If culture consists of shared ideas, then the findings of cognitive psychology concerning the limits of short-term memory necessarily constrain the size and complexity of cultural units. Wierzbicka's universal linguistic primes or primitives would then be the atomic units of culture.

Pushing Anthropology Past the Posts 
Critical notes on cultural anthropology and cultural studies as influenced by postmodernism and existentialism - Bruce M. Knauft, Emory University, Atlanta 
This article suggests that a critical analysis of postmodem and existentialist underpinnings reveals common political and ethical problems. These problems have an unsettling legacy in contemporary cultural anthro pology and cultural studies, especially for many of those who see themselves at the cutting edge of critically reflexive representations. Against this back ground, perspectives grounded in critical humanism are better at exposing and grappling with these problems.

Cultural Preservation Reconsidered: The case of Canadian aboriginal art 
B.R. Sharma, Singapore Polytechnic College, Singapore 
Hybrid art forms are emerging more than ever now that advances in global communication link the world's societies. James Clifford, Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Valerie Dominguez and other eminent scholars champion such hybrid culture. They argue that it leads to greater acceptance of others and otherness, and destroys notions of 'others' as aesthetically unsophisticated. While there is merit in such claims, this article sheds a different light on the nature of hybrid culture. It argues that in some instances, such culture is the by-product of cultural imperialism - first-world socio-economic and cultural policies imposed on 'Second' and 'Third World' communities.

Introduction to Special Issue on The Missing Psychology in Cultural Anthropology's Key Words 
Naomi Quinn, Duke University, USA, Claudia Strauss, Pitzer College, USA 
It is common practice in anthropology to use terms with implicit psychological content (such as embodiment). This is consistent with contemporary developments in anthropological theory and practice that lead to a focus on individuals' voices and practices. Nevertheless, many cultural anthropologists are critical of psychology. This introduction considers and responds to some of the usual criticisms. As this introduction describes, the articles that follow each take one term that is widely used by anthropologists (agency, resistance, subjectivity, the imaginary, and the self) and show how the concept could be better illuminated.