Cultural Anthropology: Tribes, States, and the Global System by John H. Bodley

By John H. Bodley

This introductory textual content introduces simple options in cultural anthropology by way of evaluating cultures of accelerating scale and targeting particular common matters all through human historical past. Cultural fabrics are provided in built-in ethnographic case reports geared up by way of cultural and geographic parts to teach how ideological, social association, and fabric positive factors healthy jointly in particular sociocultural structures. Bodley explicitly seeks a stability among ecological-materialist and cultural-ideological reasons of sociocultural platforms, whereas stressing the significance of person power-seeking and human supplier. half One examines domestic-scale, self sufficient tribal cultures. half provides politically prepared, class-based civilizations and old empires within the imperial global. half 3 surveys worldwide, business, market-based civilizations within the modern advertisement international. Cultural Anthropology uniquely demanding situations scholars to contemplate the massive questions about the character of cultural systems.

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Additional resources for Cultural Anthropology: Tribes, States, and the Global System

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Moral philosophers debate whether the “right” is a transcendent value or simply a culturally relative social construction. The problem is that morality defined as a shared understanding of what is “right” might conflict with individual freedom. Social norms might also violate universal summum bonum values, sometimes making cultural relativity difficult to either defend or challenge. From this perspective, there are bad and even pathological cultures, just as there are bad individuals. This book assumes that a just society would promote the universal good life, but this might not be the 20 CHAPTER 1 “good life” recognized by the culture of a particular community.

Benefit, but the conscious choices that we make are aimed at immediate outcomes, which may be poorly related to the long-term goal of the survival of human beings as a species. Personal survival, high social status, and access to resources are short-term goals of self-interested individuals that might not also benefit humanity. Social Power: How People Get What They Want This book emphasizes one of the most important and interesting functions of culture: the way people use culture to produce social power to achieve their goals in relation to other people and the natural environment.

There is considerable uncertainty over how many indigenous people were living in the tropical lowlands of South America in 1500. Estimates range from about 2 to 8 million, but the European invasion caused a massive dying off from exotic disease and violence. In 2005 fewer than a million indigenous people remained, but they were swamped by some 240 million nonnative colonists, the modern descendants of relative newcomers who can now only be supported by global trade systems and imported fossil fuels, food, and materials.

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