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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $61.00
  • August 2015
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-26501-9
  • 504 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.


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      Essentials of Cultural Anthropology

      A Toolkit for a Global Age


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      Kenneth J. Guest (Author, Baruch College - City University of New York)


      The most successful new textbook for living in a multicultural and global age, now in a concise Essentials Edition.

      Covering the essential concepts that drive cultural anthropology today in a newly streamlined format, Ken Guest’s Essentials of Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age shows students that now, more than ever, global forces affect local culture, and that the tools of cultural anthropology are vital to participating in a global society. A “toolkit” approach emphasizes the discipline’s big questions and reinforces key concepts to show that these tools are useful beyond the classroom—in relationships, campus life, workplaces, religious communities, and our globalizing world.


      Explores how cultural anthropology is relevant today

      An analytical, anthropological approach to accessible, real-world examples challenges students to examine aspects of everyday life they might otherwise overlook. An “Ethnicity and Nationalism” chapter opens with a story of two brothers—soccer players on the German and Ghanaian national teams, respectively—and looks at the complexities of ethnicity through the relatable lens of a sporting event. “The Global Economy” follows cocoa as it travels from war torn Côte d’Ivoire to supermarket shelves worldwide, highlighting the fascinating global connections of everyday items. A rich media package furthers this approach with documentary and ethnographic film clips curated by an anthropologist who works as a filmmaker and screenwriter. These clips—available via DVD and in the Coursepack, where they are accompanied by quizzes, exercises, and activities—are ideal for initiating classroom discussion and showing students how anthropology applies to their lives.  

      Engaging contemporary research with an emphasis on globalization

      Essentials of Cultural Anthropology includes current, complete chapters on “Race and Racism,” “Ethnicity and Nationalism,” “Sexuality,” and “Class and Inequality,” each demonstrating how globalization is a key force in today’s increasingly interconnected world. In addition to highlighting compelling research, this brief edition explores how contemporary anthropologists are tackling the field’s big questions and provides extensive coverage of more than 25 ethnographies, illustrating the impact of fieldwork in all areas of anthropology.  

      A “toolkit” approach explores the big questions, reinforces key concepts, and shows why it all matters

      Anthropology is presented as a set of tools—including research strategies, practical ideas, and analytical perspectives—that helps us better understand and engage the world around us. This “toolkit” approach frames every chapter:

    • Each chapter opens with an engaging story about a familiar contemporary event—Coca-Cola and the environment in India, a kiss, Hurricane Katrina, the World Cup, and more—that encourages students to carefully consider, and recognize the relevance of, daily events they may otherwise take for granted.

    • “Big questions” serve as chapter section titles, stimulate interest in practical applications, and are reinforced in end-of-chapter reviews.

    • The companion Fieldwork Journal challenges students to apply cultural anthropology to their own lives with guiding questions and hands-on activities.

    • “Thinking Like an Anthropologist” end-of-chapter discussions ask students to apply what they've learned to the real world.

      A tremendous value

      Essentials of Cultural Anthropology offers the necessary tools for living in this global age at one of the best values in the market. Instructors can also enliven their course by packaging the Cultural Anthropology Fieldwork Journal at no additional charge. 

        Part 1: Anthropology for the 21st Century
        1. Anthropology in a Global Age
        2. Culture
        3. Fieldwork and Ethnography
        4. Language

        Part 2: Unmasking the Structures of Power

        5. Race and Racism
        6. Ethnicity and Nationalism
        7. Gender
        8. Sexuality
        9. Kinship, Family, and Marriage
        10. Class and Inequality

        Part 3: Change in the Modern World

        11. The Global Economy
        12. Politics and Power
        13. Religion
        14. Health and Illness