CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY: A PROBLEM-BASED APPROACH provides a fresh look at cultural anthropology while challenging students to engage in active learning and critical thinking. With an engaging narrative, author Richard Robbins teaches students to recognize their own cultures as a basis for understanding the cultures of others. This briefer book is organized around problems rather than topics, creating a natural and integrated discussion of such traditional concerns as kinship, caste, gender roles, and religion. These subjects are explored within the context of meaningful questions, such as: How can people begin to understand beliefs and behaviors that are different from their own?, How do societies give meaning to and justify collective violence?, Why are some societies more industrially advanced than others? What can anthropology tell us about attempts to link intelligence and class?, and more.
Richard H. Robbins is SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of anthropology at the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. His teaching interests include courses on global problems, utopian societies, comparative religion, and activist anthropology. He has conducted research among indigenous peoples of Canada and fishing communities in Northeastern New Brunswick. His recent books include GLOBAL PROBLEMS AND THE CULTURE OF CAPITALISM (4th edition), DARWIN AND THE BIBLE: THE CULTURAL CONFRONTATION (with Mark Cohen), and GLOBALIZATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT (with Gary Kroll). Professor Robbins is the recipient of the 2005 American Anthropological Association/McGraw Hill award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Preface. Acknowledgments. 1. Culture and Meaning. 2. The Meaning of Progress. 3. The Construction of the Nation-State. 4. The Social and Cultural Construction of Reality. 5. Patterns of Family Relations. 6. The Cultural Construction of Identity. 7. The Cultural Construction of Social Hierarchy. 8. The Cultural Construction of Violent Conflict. Glossary. Bibliography. Index.