PRAISE FOR THE SECOND EDITION
"Using an innovative and novel framework, Delaney′s Investigating Culture moves students through a series of anthropological concepts and demonstrates the ways in which universal human concepts time, space, family, status, and gender are reformulated across the breadth of human cultural diversity. This book draws from classical and contemporary ethnographic texts providing students a week–by–week journey through the study of human culture. Pedagogically brilliant, easy to teach, and well structured, this work provides students with engaging assignments, topics for discussion, and advanced questions for those interested in more advanced research. I use it every year..."
Michael Wilcox, Stanford University
In this fully updated and revised third edition of Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology, Delaney and Kaspin build on the foundations of their popular and student–friendly textbook, exploring key anthropological concepts of human culture including: language, the body, food, and time, alongside a wealth of new research material, case studies, and examples. The new edition includes an increased emphasis on the intersections of culture and power (especially with regards to race, class, and governance) along with all–new material on Kaspin′s research in Malawi and New England, and on Delaney′s recent pilgrimage along El Camino de Santiago in north–western Spain.
Chapters incorporate the latest information relating to such topical concerns as nuclear waste, sports injuries, the World Trade Center memorial, the food pyramid, fashion trends, electronic media, and many more.
As in previous editions, Investigating Culture continues to challenge students to think in new ways and apply their insights to their own lives. With carefully chosen readings, exercises, and more, Delaney and Kaspin′s essential student textbook retains its reputation as an innovative and invaluable introduction to the field of anthropology that shows students how to gain an understanding of other cultures as well as their own.
1 Disorientation and Orientation 1
Introduction; how culture provides orientation in the world; what is culture and how do anthropologists investigate it? Learning to think anthropologically.
Reading: Laura Bohannan, Shakespeare in the Bush 27
2 Spatial Locations 33
How do we situate or locate ourselves in space? Are notions of space universal or are they shaped by culture? This chapter explores these questions from macro to micro contexts, including discussion of maps, nations, segregation, public spaces, invisible spaces, and that space that is no place: cyberspace.
Reading: Sue Bridwell Beckham, The American Front Porch: Women s Liminal Space 67
3 All We Have Is Time 79
Time is another major way we orient ourselves. What does it mean to be on time, out of time, or in time? This chapter discusses different cultural notions of time, the development of measuring time and clocks, the construction of the Western calendar and its rootedness in a sacred worldview, and birthdays and other markers of time.
Reading: Ellen Goodman, Time Is for Savoring 111
4 Language: We Are What We Speak 113
Is language quintessentially human or do some other animals possess it? Communication versus language. Writing. The symbolic function and metaphor: Different languages, different worlds? The social function: What information do you obtain from a person s speech? How are race, class, and gender inflected in language?
Reading: Ursula LeGuin, She Unnames Them 148
Reading: Alan Dundes, Seeing Is Believing 149
5 Relatives and Relations 155
Notions of kinship and kinship theory: To whom are we related and how? Is there any truth to the idea that blood is thicker than water ? What constitutes a family? This chapter also discusses different meanings of friendship, romantic relationships, and parent child relationships.
Reading: A. M. Hocart, Kinship Systems 188
6 Our Bodies, Our Selves 193
Are we our bodies or do we have bodies? Different concepts of the body, the gendered body, the physical body, the social body. Techniques and modifications of the body. Tattoos. Body parts and organ transplants. Traffic in body parts. Body image, advertisements, and eating disorders. Bodies before and after death.
Reading: Horace Miner, Body Ritual among the Nacirema 230
Reading: Deborah Kaspin, Women Who Breed Like Rabbits and Other Mythical Beasts: The Cultural Context of Family Planning in Malawi 233
7 Food for Thought 239
What constitutes food? What makes a meal? What does it mean to say that food is love ? Relation of food to the environment. Fast food, slow food, genetically modified food ( Frankenfood ). Food and sex. Food and civility.
Food and religion. Cooking.
Reading: Jill Dubisch, You Are What You Eat: Religious Aspects of the Health Food Movement 279
8 Clothing Matters 289
Clothing does more than cover the body; it is also a cultural index of age, gender, occupation, and class. Is it then true that clothes make the man ? Haute couture, sweat shops, clothing, and the economy.
Reading: Julio Ramón Ribeyro, Alienation (An Instructive Story with a Footnote) 333
9 VIPs: Very Important People, Places, and Performances 341
Certain people, places, events, and cultural practices become iconic; they embody cultural myths or epitomize cultural values. Why are certain people described as larger than life ? Why are certain places sites of pilgrimage or reverence? The global circulation of such icons.
Reading: Clifford Geertz, The Impact of the Concept of Culture on the Concept of Man 385
Carol Delaney is Associate Professor Emerita of Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford University. She is author of The Seed and the Soil: Gender and Cosmology in Turkish Village Society (1991), Abraham on Trial: The Social Legacy of Biblical Myth (1998), and Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem (2011).
Deborah Kaspin is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Rhode Island College and has also taught at Yale University, the University of Virginia, and Wheaton College. She is editor of Images and Empires: Visuality in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa (2002) with Paul Landau.