Culture: The Anthropologists' Account / Edition 1

Culture: The Anthropologists' Account / Edition 1

by Adam Kuper
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674004175

ISBN-13: 9780674004177

Pub. Date: 11/28/2000

Publisher: Harvard

Suddenly culture seems to explain everything, from civil wars to financial crises and divorce rates. But when we speak of culture, what, precisely, do we mean?

Adam Kuper pursues the concept of culture from the early twentieth century debates to its adoption by American social science under the tutelage of Talcott Parsons. What follows is the story of how the

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Overview

Suddenly culture seems to explain everything, from civil wars to financial crises and divorce rates. But when we speak of culture, what, precisely, do we mean?

Adam Kuper pursues the concept of culture from the early twentieth century debates to its adoption by American social science under the tutelage of Talcott Parsons. What follows is the story of how the idea fared within American anthropology, the discipline that took on culture as its special subject. Here we see the influence of such prominent thinkers as Clifford Geertz, David Schneider, Marshall Sahlins, and their successors, who represent the mainstream of American cultural anthropology in the second half of the twentieth century--the leading tradition in world anthropology in our day. These anthropologists put the idea of culture to the ultimate test--in detailed, empirical ethnographic studies--and Kuper's account shows how the results raise more questions than they answer about the possibilities and validity of cultural analysis.

Written with passion and wit, Culture clarifies a crucial chapter in recent intellectual history. Adam Kuper makes the case against cultural determinism and argues that political and economic forces, social institutions, and biological processes must take their place in any complete explanation of why people think and behave as they do.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674004177
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
11/28/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
1,383,185
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Culture Wars1
Pt. 1Genealogies
1Culture and Civilization: French, German, and English Intellectuals, 1930-195823
2The Social Science Account: Talcott Parsons and the American Anthropologists47
Pt. 2Experiments
3Clifford Geertz: Culture as Religion and as Grand Opera75
4David Schneider: Biology as Culture122
5Marshall Sahlins: History as Culture159
6Brave New World201
7Culture, Difference, Identity226
Notes249
Acknowledgments289
Index291

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