Cultural Anthropology

Anthropology is the holistic and scientific study of humanity. Cultural Anthropology focuses on contemporary human cultures, their beliefs, myths, values, practices, technologies, economies and other domains of social and cognitive organization. The detailed descriptions of culture, or ethnography, are based upon a methodology of primary data collection through participant observation with living human populations.

This textbook aims to provide an introduction to the field of cultural anthropology. The initial chapters introduce the concept of culture and review the historical, theoretical, and methodological influences on the field. Chapters four through twelve discuss the major domains of the study of culture; symbolism, communication, ritual, production, healing, rights, reproduction, kinship, conflict, and globalization. These chapters provide ethnographic examples (both etic and emic perspectives) and case studies to support the central concepts in each chapter. Additional case studies are available via the Anthrobase website and others can be developed in wikibook format and integrated through links in this book.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Anthropology and Culture  
  2. History of Anthropological Theory  
  3. Anthropological Methods  
  4. Communication and Language  
  5. Play, Sport, and Arts  
  6. Ritual and Religion  
  7. Production, Inequality and Development  
  8. Health and Healing  
  9. Human Rights  
  10. Marriage, Reproduction and Kinship  
  11. Social Stratification, Power and Conflict  
  12. Globalization and Migration  
  • Ethnographic Case Studies
    • Anthrobase is an online searchable, open source database of full text ethnographies. Nearly 100 of them are in English [1]

To Do

General Tasks

  1. Repair and reformat references using <ref>Citation</ref> intext citation format and insert =References= {{reflist}} at bottom of each chapter
  2. Dewikify Chapters moving key terms to /Glossary
  1. Please add key terms from all chapters to this page alphabetically under the appropriate Letter A-Z.
  2. Use the definition given in the wikibook.
  3. Please bold and link key terms in text to this page rather than the wikipedia article.
  4. When removing the wikilinks from the text feel free to maintain links to wikipedia within the glossary as a source of more information.
  1. Edit and improve quality of chapter content.
  2. Create PDF

Chapter specific tasks, revisions and needed additional content

Ritual & Religion Chapter

  1. Consider what 'world religions' descriptions should be maintained or deleted - or if all should be moved to new chapter.
  2. Re-write priest & priestess section
  3. possible deletion of "Vaschnavism"
  4. Re-write lengthy Judaism and Christianity sections
  5. Clarify "Cargo Cult"
  6. Clarify "African Religions"
  7. Possible shortening/restoration of "Pastafarian" section
  8. Move "Additional-Information-Taiwanese People and Culture" to more appropriate place

Social groups chapter

  1. Black and White Relations- I want to see how other races in other countries deal with each other.
  2. Integrate content or links to An introduction to antiracist activism for teachers and students

Health, Healing & Human Rights Chapter

  1. Move "Cultural imperialism" chapter to globalization chapter

Globalization & Migration Chapter

  1. Clarify on "How Globalization Affects the Five Modes of Production" -more critical thought needed
  2. Clarify on section "Globalization of Hip-Hop"