Stories of Culture and Place: An Introduction to Anthropology

Stories of Culture and Place: An Introduction to Anthropology

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By Michael G. Kenny and Kirsten Smillie
University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division © 2014
World Rights
288 Pages
ISBN 9781442607941
Published Nov 2014
ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442607972
Published Nov 2014
Full purchase $35.95

This original introduction to cultural anthropology is a textbook like no other. Structured as a narrative rather than a compendium of facts about cultures and concepts, it invites students to think of anthropology as a series of stories that emerge from cultural encounters in particular times and places. These moments of encounter are illustrated with reference to both classic and contemporary ethnographic examples—from Coming of Age in Samoa to Coming of Age in Second Life—allowing readers to grasp anthropology's sometimes problematic past, while still capturing the excitement and potential of the discipline.

Michael G. Kenny is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Simon Fraser University.

Kirsten Smillie is a health services researcher and instructional designer.
List of Illustrations

Introduction: First Contact
The New World
A Mission from God
Captain Cook in the Islands of Paradise
Simon Fraser's Quest

PART I: Theory, Methods, and Concepts

1. Culture Shock
What Do Anthropologists Do?
Experiencing the Field
Collecting, Organizing, and Analyzing: Research Methods for Understanding the Social World
Ethical Considerations in Anthropological Research
Unity and Diversity

2. Life in the Field
Setting the Stage
Contemporary Anthropology
Applied Anthropology

PART II: Classic Questions in Anthropology

3. Historical Beginnings
Charles Darwin: An Anthropologist?
The Myth of "The Savage"
Lewis Henry Morgan

4. Kinship
What Is "The Family"?
The Power of Myth
The Nature of Kinship Systems
Defining Kin: Legal Implications

5. Symbol, Myth, and Meaning
Reconsidering the Culture Concept
Comprehending Others
Techniques of the Body
Culture Goes Public
Meaning in Context
The Dying and Reborn God

PART III: Contemporary Anthropological Issues

6. The Politics of Culture
The Concept of Ownership
Traditional Practices, Contemporary Times
Culture, Law, and the Role of the Anthropologist

7. Understanding Gender
We "Do" Gender
Gender and Social Organization: The Family and the Economy
Rejecting the Gender/Sex Dichotomy: Third Genders and Cross-Cultural Analysis
Theory Steering Perception

8. Race, Science, and Human Diversity
Understanding Diversity
The Rise of Genetics
Red, White, and Black
African Racism
Genetic Identities

9. Anthropology, Cultural Change, and Globalization
The Language We Use: Important Terms and Concepts
Understanding Processes of Change: An Anthropological Perspective
The Globalization of Anthropology: Multi-Site Ethnographies and Virtual Worlds

Stories of Culture and Place offers a lively introduction to cultural anthropology, at every step using stories to engage, disturb, instruct, and thoughtfully connect anthropological concepts to pressing issues today.

Kirin Narayan, author of Alive in the Writing: Crafting Ethnography in the Company of Chekhov

By combining classic and recent ethnographic case studies with compelling stories of the anthropological perspective in action, Kenny and Smillie have crafted an outstanding introduction to anthropology's historical development and current relevance. While students will appreciate the book's clarity, flow, and engaging style, instructors can feel confident in assigning a text that is far more than just 'accessible.'

Andrew Walsh, Western University

I don't like textbooks, especially anthropology textbooks. Too often they drain the life out of the discipline. This book is different. Fully and deeply historical, the text unravels the central stories from anthropology to show the past in the present, all the while illustrating anthropology's contemporary relevance.

Jan Newberry, University of Lethbridge

This is the best new textbook I have seen in a long time. It avoids some of the major bugaboos that are de rigueur in most other textbooks, while using fresh examples, many anchored in the North American experience. Kenny and Smillie manage to do this while challenging assumptions in a gentle, yet insistent, way.

Les Field, University of New Mexico