Cultural Anthropology: A Global Perspective / Edition 7

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This book serves as a useful introduction of cultural anthropology by integrating ethnographic material from around the world. By drawing upon classic and recent research in the field, it reflects current state-of-the-art understandings of social and cultural changes based on the interrelationships among different societies. The book demonstrates the diversity of different societies and cultural patterns, yet at the same time reveals similarities in humans everywhere. A six-part organization covers: basic concepts in anthropology, basic concepts of culture and society, prestate societies, state societies, consequences of globalization, and anthropology and the global future. For individuals interested in assessing anthropological explanations to better understand humanity.
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Editorial Reviews

This undergraduate textbook explains the holistic and global perspectives of the anthropological approach that focuses on four basic subfields: physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistics, and ethnology. Author Scupin (anthropology, Lindenwood U. ) discusses the growing interconnectedness of people throughout the world, and the positive and negative consequences of this phenomenon. Other topics include the concept of culture, modernization theory, and findings related to prestate, agricultural, and industrial state societies. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132301749
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 9/6/2007
  • Series: Pearson Custom Anthropology Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 7.92 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

In This Section:

I. Author Bio

II. Author Letter

I. Author Bio

Raymond Scupin is Professor of Anthropology and International Studies in Lindenwood University. He received his B.A. degree in history and Asian studies, with a minor in anthropology, from the University of California- Angeles. He completed his M.A. and Ph. D degrees in anthropology at the University of California-Santa Barbara. Dr.Scupin is truly a four-field anthropologist. During graduate school, Dr. Scupin did archaeological and ethnohistorical research on Native Americans in the Santa Barbara region. He did extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Thailand with a focus on understanding the ethnic and religious movements among the Muslin minority. In addition, he taught linguistics and conducted linguistic research while based at a Thai University.

Dr.Scupin has been teaching undergraduate courses in anthropology for more than 30 years at a variety of academic institutions, including community colleges, research universities, and a four-year liberal arts university. Thus, he has taught a very broad spectrum of undergraduate students. Through his teaching experience, Dr.Scupin was prompted to write this textbook, which would allow a wide range of undergraduate students to understand the holistic and global perspectives of the four-field approach in anthropology. In 1999, Dr.Scupin received the Missouri Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

Dr.Scupin has published many studies on his ethnographic research in Thailand. He recently returned to Thailand and other countries of Southeast Asia to update his ethnographic data on Islamic trends in that area, an increasingly important topic in the post 9/11 world. He is a member of many professional associations, including the American Anthropological Association, the Asian Studies Association, and the Council of Thai Studies. Dr, Scupin has recently authored Religion and culture: An Anthropological Focus and Race and Ethnicity: An Anthropological Focus on the U.S. and the World, and Peoples and Cultures of Asia, all published by Prentice Hall Press.

II. Author Letter

Dear colleague

I would like to introduce some of the new features in the eighth edition of Cultural anthropology: a global perspective. This textbook was inspired by one of the first anthropology textbooks published by prentice hall press authored by the late Eric wolf who emphasized that anthropology has always been scientific and humanistic. Wolf said that "anthropology is both the most scientific of the humanities and the most humanistic of the sciences." (1964:88). We think that this perspective is as relevant today as ever. Eric was kind enough to offer suggestions in developing the first edition of this textbook and we have continued to emphasize his holistic and global focus throughout the different editions. We emphasize what we call the "synthetic-complementary approach" that views the scientific method and the methods within the humanities as complementary and suggest that both perspectives are needed to help explain and understand human behavior and cultures.

To achieve our holistic and global focus with coverage of both the classic and the most current research in anthropology, we have had the assistance of many anthropologists who have used and reviewed our textbook for this eighth edition. We have updated and refined all of our chapters in the textbook drawing on the most current research by anthropologists doing research throughout the world.

I invite you to consider this new edition of cultural anthropology: a Global Perspective 8th edition to introduce your students to the most current, interesting, and exciting research in our field. You will be able to demonstrate how important anthropological research is to understanding the human condition.

Sincerely yours,

Raymond Scupin

Lindenwood University

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction to Anthropology 1
2 Human Evolution 19
3 Culture 35
4 Psychological Anthropology 52
5 Language 78
6 Anthropological Explanations 104
7 Analyzing Sociocultural Systems 119
8 Band Societies 147
9 Tribes 170
10 Chiefdoms 198
11 Agricultural States 218
12 Industrial States 239
13 Global Industrialism and Native Peoples 266
14 Global Industrialism and Non-Western Countries 288
15 Contemporary Global Trends 323
16 Applied Anthropology 349
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We all recognize that the world is getting smaller. Instantaneous global communications, trade among far-flung nations, geopolitical events affecting countries and hemispheres, and the ease of international travel are bringing people and cultures into more intimate contact with one another than ever before, forcing this generation of students to become more knowledgeable about societies other than their own. With that in mind, this textbook is grounded in the belief that an enhanced global awareness is essential for people preparing to take their place in the fast-paced, increasingly interconnected world of the twenty-first century. We know that anthropology is ideally suited to introduce students to a global perspective. All the subfields in anthropology have a broad focus on humanity, which helps liberate students from a narrow, parochial view and enables them to see and understand the full sweep of the human condition.

The anthropological perspective, which stresses critical thinking processes, the evaluation of competing hypotheses, and the skills to generalize from specific data and assumptions, contributes significantly to a well-rounded education. This text engages readers in the varied intellectual activities underlying the anthropological approach by delving into both classic and recent research in the fields that make up anthropology.

Its emphasis on cultural anthropology notwithstanding, this text reflects a strong commitment to anthropology's traditional holistic and integrative approach. It spells out how the four basic subfields of anthropology—physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistics,and ethnology—together yield a comprehensive understanding of humanity. Because the subfields tend to overlap, insights from all of these subfields are woven together to reveal the holistic fabric of a particular society or the threads uniting all of humanity.

An interdisciplinary outlook also resonates throughout this book. All contemporary anthropologists draw on the findings of biologists, paleontologists, geologists, economists, historians, psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, religious studies specialists, philosophers, and researchers in other fields whose work sheds light on anthropological inquiry. In probing various anthropological topics, this text often refers to research conducted in these other fields. In addition to enlarging the scope and reach of the text, exploring interactions between anthropology and other fields sparks the critical imagination that brings the learning process to life.

The comparative approach, another traditional cornerstone of the anthropological perspective, is spotlighted in this text as well. When anthropologists assess fossil evidence, artifacts, languages, or cultural beliefs and values, they weigh comparative evidence, while acknowledging the unique elements of each society and culture. This text casts an inquiring eye on materials from numerous geographical regions and historical eras to enrich student understanding.

A diachronic approach also characterizes this book. In evaluating human evolution, prehistoric events, language divergence, or developments in social structure, anthropologists must rely on models that reflect changes through time, so this diachronic orientation suffuses the text.


In prior editions of this textbook, we emphasized two unifying themes that structured the material within the text. We wanted to introduce students to the diversity of human societies and cultural patterns the world over and to the similarities that make all humans fundamentally alike. To achieve these two parallel goals, we paid as much attention to universal human characteristics as we did to particular cultural characteristics of local regions. We continue with this approach with the fifth edition of this textbook.

However, we also want to make a third theme more prominent in this edition. This third theme focuses on the fundamental bridge between the sciences and humanities within anthropology. We call this the synthetic-complementary approach, which views the scientific method and the methods in the humanities as complementary and suggests that one is incomplete without the other. This theme had been mentioned in previous editions of this textbook, but we want to make it much more explicit in this fifth edition.

In another, earlier anthropology textbook published by Prentice Hall (1964), the late Eric Wolf emphasized that anthropology has always had one foot in the sciences and one foot in the humanities. Wolf said, "Anthropology is both the most scientific of the humanities and the most humanistic of the sciences (1964: 88). However, many textbooks in anthropology offer either a complete scientific orientation or a total humanistic approach. We would like to carry on the tradition that Eric Wolf accentuated in his book. One of the important goals in the revision of this textbook is to highlight the fundamental importance of the synthetic-complementary approach to science and the humanities within anthropology.

Some anthropologists have concluded, that the scientific approach is not suitable for assessing and interpreting human behavior and culture, whereas others believe that the humanistic approach is not appropriate for developing general cross-cultural and causal explanations about human behavior and culture. This has led to textbooks that focus either on one or the other approach. In this textbook we highlight how the interpretive-humanistic perspective is complementary to the scientific method, which seeks general cross-cultural and causal explanations for human behavior and culture. This third important theme will dovetail with the two other themes, demonstrating how human behavior is both culturally unique and particular to a specific culture, and how it is also universal. The interpretive-humanistic perspective provides insight into the specifics of human behavior within different cultures, whereas the scientific approach offers a method to test causal explanations that allow for insight into universal aspects of human behavior.


In this fifth edition, the arrangement and treatment of topics differ from that of other texts. In Part I, we introduce the basic concepts of the four fields of anthropology. Chapter 1 introduces the field of anthropology and explains how it relates to the sciences and humanities. This introductory chapter also examines how anthropologists use the scientific method. Chapter 2 presents basic evolutionary concepts, focusing on the most recent findings in paleoanthropology and archaeology with regard to human evolution.

In Part II, Chapters 3, 4, 5, and 6 reinforce one another. Chapter 3 examines the concept of culture as it is understood in anthropology. Beginning with the notions of material and nonmaterial culture, this chapter goes on to cite examples of cultural diversity found throughout the world. Here we also stress cultural universals and similarities that unify all of humanity and also integrate the discussion of the concept of culture with the process of enculturation in order to bridge Chapter 3 on culture with Chapter 4 on the enculturation process. To refine our discussion of culture and enculturation, we present some new materials on recent research in cognitive anthropology.

In Chapter 4, we question how anthropologists bridge the gap between biology and culture as they gain a greater understanding of enculturation and personality development in unfamiliar societies. To answer this question, we turn to the classic studies conducted by Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, as well as the most recent research in psychoanalytic anthropology, childhood training in societies around the world, incest, sexuality, cognition, emotions, and the cross-cultural research on personality disorders. In addition, Chapter 4 discusses the convergence of cognitive anthropology and the field of evolutionary psychology. Many psychological anthropologists have been attempting to incorporate the findings from this new field into their hypotheses.

Chapter 5, on language, dovetails with the previous chapter in several key ways. We have refined our discussion of the differences between ape communication and human language. New conclusions have been reached recently in laboratory research and primatological fieldwork on ape communication as compared with human languages. Following up on these studies, we have revised our section on Chomsky's transformational model and other related anthropological findings that suggest interactive relationships between biology and culture. We have expanded our discussion of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Other research findings in linguistic anthropology, including historical linguistics, complement material in the emerging field of sociolinguistics, introducing students to the most recent developments in the field.

Theory—classic and contemporary—frames Chapter 6, which offers a critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of each theoretical paradigm. This chapter also amplifies the earlier treatment of the material-nonmaterial aspects of culture by comparing theories highlighting material culture with those placing greater emphasis on nonmaterial, symbolic culture. We reinforce the synthetic-complementary approaches between science and the humanities in this chapter.

In Part III, beginning with Chapter 7, this text presents a much different organizational scheme compared with that of other texts. Instead of structuring the book according to specific topics in anthropology such as subsistence, economy, family, kinship, political organization, .and religion, this text organizes the material based on levels of societal organization and regional topics.

In this fifth edition of Cultural Anthropology: A Global Perspective, Chapter 7 walks students through the methods, research strategies, and ethical dilemmas that confront cultural anthropologists. Then readers learn about the major variables cultural anthropologists analyze to gain insight into different types of societies: environment and subsistence, demography, technology, economy, social structure, family, kinship, gender, age, political systems, law, and religion. With this background, students are ready to understand subsequent chapters.

Chapter 7 also presents the multidimensional approach, which most contemporary anthropologists use to analyze the elements of society and culture. Rather than grounding an understanding of society and culture in a single factor, this orientation taps into both material and nonmaterial aspects of culture to view the full spectrum of society holistically and to produce a balanced treatment of key issues that are aspects of anthropological analysis. Again, we integrate the scientific and humanistic approaches in this chapter.

In Chapters 8, 9, and 10, the text reports the major anthropological findings related to prestate societies (bands, tribes, and chiefdoms). Because these classifications have been open to interpretation among anthropologists, these labels are used with extreme caution. Even though many anthropologists either shun these terms or seriously question their utility in describing complex, changing societies, we believe that these classifications give students who are first exposed to the discipline a good grasp of the fundamentals of prestate societies.

In Part IV, Chapters 11 and 12 move on to agricultural and industrial state societies, whose key characteristics emerge in the interconnections among variables such as political economy and social stratification. Chapter 11 features the basic elements of agricultural societies as revealed by archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists. Chapter 12 opens with a new look at the industrial Revolution and the process of modernization, segueing into comparative research conducted in England, Western Europe, the United States, the former Soviet Union, and Japan to illustrate the dynamics of industrial states.

Sound pedagogical logic underlies this approach. Instead of presenting important anthropological research on demography, gender, economy, kinship, ethnicity, political systems, and religion as single chapters (usually corresponding to single lectures), this organizational scheme spotlights how these variables permeate the entire spectrum of human experience in different types of societies. While the single-chapter format tends to marginalize these topics, this text's approach—based on different levels of societal organization—allows students to focus on the interconnections between the political economy and gender, age, family, kinship, religion, demography, technology, environment, and other variables. As a result, students gain a holistic understanding of human societies.

Organizing material according to levels of societal organization in no way implies or endorses a simplistic, unilineal view of sociocultural evolution. In fact, the ladderlike evolutionary perspective on society comes in for criticism throughout the text. While recognizing the inherent weaknesses of using such classifications as "tribes" arid "chiefdoms"—including the parallel tendencies to lump diverse societies into narrow categories and create artificial boundaries among societies—we believe that these groupings nonetheless serve the valuable purpose of introducing beginning students to the sweeping concepts that make anthropology distinctive. Generalizations about tribes and chiefdoms help students unfamiliar with anthropology's underpinnings to absorb basic concepts and data; the complexities and theoretical controversies within the discipline can always be addressed in more specialized advanced courses.

In Part V, we include a discussion in Chapter 13 of modernization theory with a critique of the terminology of First, Second, Third, and Fourth Worlds as being too simplistic to apply to what anthropological data demonstrate. This Cold War terminology is outdated from today's standpoint, especially based on ethnographic data regarding the complex levels of development and diversity found in the so-called Third World-and the formerly industrial socialist societies of the Second World that have mostly dissipated.

In Chapter 13, we delve into the theoretical paradigms that anthropologists have modified to understand the interrelationships among various societies of the world. Modernization, dependency, and world-systems theories (and criticisms of them) are introduced to develop the global perspective. We emphasize that societies cannot be understood as independent, isolated units. This global perspective informs all the subsequent chapters, reinforcing a sense of global awareness among students. Chapter 13 also considers the problems generated by contact between the industrial states and prestate aboriginal societies. It goes on to address a number of salient questions raised by these contacts: How are these prestate societies becoming absorbed into global economic and political networks? How are prestate peoples responding to this situation? And what are anthropologists doing to enhance the coping strategies of these native peoples?

Another significant change that we adopted from the fourth edition is the development of two new chapters that focus on Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean (Chapter 14) and the Middle East and Asia (Chapter 15). These two chapters emphasize the globalization process in all these regions and reveal what anthropologists are finding in their local studies related to the overall trend of globalization. We emphasize how all of these cultural regions are becoming more interconnected. These two chapters document the evolving interrelationships between Western countries and non-Western regions by drawing on historical research. In addition to probing classic ethnographic research, contemporary issues in each region are placed within a broad historical context, offering readers finely honed diachronic insights into social and political developments in each of these non-Western areas.

In Part VI, we develop a new chapter on race and ethnicity (Chapter 16). This chapter reviews the extensive research that anthropologists have been doing since the beginning of the twentieth century. We cover the material related to the development of racism in Western society, with an anthropological critique of racism based on scientific evidence. We also provide perspectives on ethnicity that anthropologists have developed for understanding race and ethnic relations. Illustrations of this research are provided by a review of race and ethnic relations in U.S. society from an anthropological perspective.

Chapter 17 concludes this section by highlighting contemporary global trends that are changing our world. Anthropological research is brought to bear on environmental, demographic, economic, political, ethnic, and religious trends shaking the foundations of many societies. Among the topics addressed in this context are global warming, the Green Revolution, the increasing consumption of nonrenewable energy by industrial societies, the impact of multinational corporations, the demise of socialist regimes, and the rise of new ethnic and religious movements.

Chapter 18 sheds light on the fifth subfield of anthropology: applied anthropology. Here we consider key issues in applied anthropology, including social impact assessment research, medical anthropology, cultural resource management, and recent research aimed at solving practical problems in societies the world over. We have revised the section on anthropology, human rights, and ethics to make it more accessible for students. One of the goals of this chapter is to introduce students to new career possibilities in the field of anthropology.



In Critical Perspectives boxes, designed to stimulate independent reasoning and judgment, students take the role of the anthropologist by engaging in active, critical analysis of specific problems and issues that arise in anthropological research. A successful holdover from the first edition, these Critical Perspectives boxes encourage students to use rigorous standards of evidence when evaluating assumptions and hypotheses regarding scientific and philosophical issues that have no easy answers. By probing beneath the surface of various assumptions and hypotheses in these exercises, students discover the excitement and challenge of anthropological investigation.

Anthropologists at Work boxes, profiling prominent anthropologists, humanize many of the issues covered in the chapters. These boxes—another carryover from the first edition—go behind the scenes to trace the personal and professional development of some of today's leading anthropologists.

Finally, Applying Anthropology boxes—a carryover from the fourth edition—show students how research in anthropology can help solve practical problems confronting contemporary societies. Students often ask: What relevance does anthropology have to the problems we face in our generation? These Applying Anthropology boxes answer the relevance question head on. For example, one box notes that anthropologists unearth research data to help ease tensions in multicultural relations in U.S. society. Another box describes how linguistic anthropologists work with indigenous peoples to preserve their languages as these indigenous peoples adjust to the modern world. Chapter 18 ties together many of these Applying Anthropology boxes by placing in perspective the full panoply of issues addressed in applied anthropology.


For sound pedagogical reasons, we have retained some features in this fifth edition of Cultural Anthropology: A Global Perspective. Each chapter opens with profound questions that will guide students to the most important issues addressed in the chapter. And each chapter ends with Questions to Think About that address issues covered in the chapter that students can use to help comprehend the material in the chapter.

In addition, each chapter ends with a list of Key Terms that will help students focus on important concepts introduced in the chapter. Finally, the fifth edition includes Internet Exercises, which are designed to help students use the World Wide Web to explore various topics and issues addressed in the chapters.


This carefully prepared supplements package is intended to give the instructor the resources needed to teach the course and give the student the tools needed to successfully complete the course.

Instructor's Resource and Testing Manual. This essential instructor's tool includes chapter overviews; chapter objectives; lecture and discussion topics; classroom activities; research and writing topics; print and non-print resources; and over 1,600 questions in multiple-choice, true/false, and essay formats. All test questions are page-referenced to the text.

WIN/MAC PH Test Manager. This computerized software allows instructors to create their own personalized exams, to edit any or all test questions, and to add new questions. Other special features of this program, which is available for Windows and Macintosh, include random generation of an item set, creation of alternate versions of the same test, scrambling question sequence, and test preview before printing.

Video. Prentice Hall is pleased to offer two video series: The Changing American Indian in a Changing America: Videocases of American Indian Peoples, and Rites of Passage: Videocases of Traditional African Peoples. In addition, a selection of high quality, award-winning videos from the Filmmakers Library collection is available upon adoption. Please see your Prentice Hall sales representative for more information.

Transparency Acetates. Taken from graphs, diagrams, and tables in this text and other sources, over 50 full-color transparencies offer an effective means of amplifying lecture topics.

Study Guide. Designed to reinforce information in the text, the Study Guide includes chapter outlines and summaries, key concepts, critical thinking questions, student self-tests, and suggested readings.

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