studying societies and cultures marvin harris s cultural materialism and its legacy studies in comparative social science

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Studying Societies And Cultures

Author : Lawrence A. Kuznar
ISBN : 9781317251248
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 34. 85 MB
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"A thought-provoking, stimulating volume on the past, present and future of cultural materialism that is both laudatory of Harris' research strategy and critical of it." Paul Shankman, University of Colorado One of the most important anthropologists of all time, Marvin Harris was influential worldwide as the founder of cultural materialism. This book accessibly analyzes Harris's theories and their important legacies today. The chapters explore cultural materialism's epistemology and its relation to rational choice theory, Darwinian social science, and population pressures. The authors assess recent attempts to extend and reformulate cultural materialism and highlight cross-cultural, archaeological, and ethnographic applications of cultural materialism today.

Rethinking The Aztec Economy

Author : Deborah L. Nichols
ISBN : 9780816536337
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 43. 84 MB
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With its rich archaeological and historical record, the Aztec empire provides an intriguing opportunity to understand the dynamics and structure of early states and empires. Rethinking the Aztec Economy brings together leading scholars from multiple disciplines to thoroughly synthesize and examine the nature of goods and their movements across rural and urban landscapes in Mesoamerica. In so doing, they provide a new way of understanding society and economy in the Aztec empire. The volume is divided into three parts. Part 1 synthesizes our current understanding of the Aztec economy and singles out the topics of urbanism and provincial merchant activity for more detailed analysis. Part 2 brings new data and a new conceptual approach that applies insights from behavioral economics to Nahua and Aztec rituals and social objects. Contributors also discuss how high-value luxury goods, such as feather art, provide insights about both economic and sacred concepts of value in Aztec society. Part 3 reexamines the economy at the Aztec periphery. The volume concludes with a synthesis on the scale, integration, and nature of change in the Aztec imperial economy. Rethinking the Aztec Economy illustrates how superficially different kinds of social contexts were in fact integrated into a single society through the processes of a single economy. Using the world of goods as a crucial entry point, this volume advances scholarly understanding of life in the Aztec world. Contributors: Frances F. Berdan Laura Filloy Nadal Janine Gasco Colin Hirth Kenneth G. Hirth Sarah Imfeld María Olvido Moreno Guzmán Deborah L. Nichols Alan R. Sandstrom Pamela Effrein Sandstrom Michael E. Smith Barbara L. Stark Emily Umberger

New Evolutionary Social Science

Author : Heinz-Jurgen Niedenzu
ISBN : 9781317255482
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 67. 50 MB
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Social scientists have long declared their autonomy from the natural sciences, and in doing so have tended to neglect important biological constraints on human nature. Many sociological theories have suggested a nearly complete malleability of patterns of social life. The New Evolutionary Social Science challenges this view by building on Stephen K. Sanderson's 'Darwinian conflict theory' which sets out to synthesise sociological theories with key findings from biology into an overarching scientific paradigm. Configuring and expanding this groundbreaking theory, the contributors to this volume are well-known European and American experts in evolutionary science. The New Evolutionary Social Science develops a new basis for understanding social change and the world's future through a better integration of the natural and social sciences.

Science Materialism And The Study Of Culture

Author : Martin F. Murphy
ISBN : 081301414X
Genre : Science
File Size : 87. 33 MB
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"Well-argued, clearly written essays by anthropologists committed to understanding culture through theoretically grounded analysis of its material underpinnings. The authors' impassioned call for an anthropology that addresses pressing social problems--exploitation, inequality, violence, hunger, and underdevelopment--is a welcome counterweight to studies that view power primarily as discourse or poetics."--Marc Edelman, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY "A major contribution to anthropology in both theory and application."--Barbara Miller, George Washington University The social sciences, especially cultural anthropology, are mired in contentious arguments about the desirability--even the applicability--of scientific and causal principles in the study of culture and society. The authors of these essays come down clearly on the side of the significance of these principles, claiming that a cultural materialist approach is the most productive way of explaining cultural differences and similarities and of understanding many "unexplainable" aspects of culture. The authors analyze both theoretical and practical issues, and they critique currents in social science that claim that human behaviors and organizations are undecipherable. They also demonstrate an important but often overlooked contribution of cultural materialism--its firm commitment to understanding the injustices and inequities in societies around the world. Contents An Introduction to Cultural Materialism, by Martin F. Murphy and Maxine L. Margolis Part I. Theoretical Perspectives Explanation and Ground Truth: The Place of Cultural Materialism in Scientific Anthropology, by Allen Johnson Infrastructural Determinism, by R. Brian Ferguson Politics, Theory, and the Nature of Cultural Things, by Roger Sanjek Anthropology and Postmodernism, by Marvin Harris Part II. Applications Hunting Patterns and Village Fissioning among the Yanomani: A Cultural Materialist Perspective, by Kenneth Good Water Theft in Egypt's Fayoum Oasis: Emics, Etics, and the Illegal, by David H. Price A Cultural Materialist Approach to the Causes of Hunger and Homelessness in New York City, by Anna Lou Dehavenon "We Are All Chickens for the Colonel": A Cultural Materialist View of Prisons, by Jagna Wojcicka Sharff Peasants, Projects, and Anthropological Models: Fragile Causal Chains and Crooked Causal Arrows, by Gerald F. Murray Martin F. Murphy is associate professor and chair of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author or coauthor of four books, including Dominican Sugar Plantations: Production and Foreign Labor Integration and The 1982 Elections in the Dominican Republic: A Sociological and Historical Interpretation. Maxine L. Margolis is professor of anthropology at the University of Florida. She is the author of Little Brazil: An Ethnography of Brazilian Immigrants in New York City, Mothers and Such: Views of American Women and Why They Changed, and The Moving Frontier: Social and Economic Change in a Southern Brazilian Community; and coeditor of Brazil: Anthropological Perspectives.

Revolutions

Author : Stephen K. Sanderson
ISBN : STANFORD:36105215466454
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 34 MB
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This expanded, updated edition offers a new chapter on terrorism, including jihadism. Revolutions and state breakdowns are the primary focus as Sanderson presents prominent theories and describes the process of revolutions. The book covers famous revolutions from history (France, Russia, China) and several social and political revolutions in the third world (Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran, and the Philippines). Given the frequency of revolutionary movements, a key question addressed by the book is SWhy are actual revolutions so rare? Sanderson also assesses the state breakdowns in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union after 1989, the typical outcomes of revolutions, and the future of revolutions. An appendix presents biographical and autobiographical sketches of several of the most prominent scholars of revolutions. Features of this text and to the new Second Edition:

Cultural Materialism

Author : Marvin Harris, University of Florida
ISBN : 9780759116962
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 77. 4 MB
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Cultural Materialism, published in 1979, was Marvin Harris's first full-length explication of the theory with which his work has been associated. While Harris has developed and modified some of his ideas over the past two decades, generations of professors have looked to this volume as the essential starting point for explaining the science of culture to students. Now available again after a hiatus, this edition of Cultural Materialism contains the complete text of the original book plus a new introduction by Orna and Allen Johnson that updates his ideas and examines the impact that the book and theory have had on anthropological theorizing.

Conflict Sociology

Author : Randall Collins
ISBN : 1594516006
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 46. 59 MB
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This new edition is a substantial abridgment and update of Randall Collins’s 1975 classic, Conflict Sociology. The first edition represented the most powerful and comprehensive statement of conflict theory in its time. Here, Sanderson has retained the core chapters and added discussions on Collins’s and others’ work in recent years. An afterword summarizes Collins’s latest forays into microsociological theorizing and attempts to demonstrate how his newer microsociology and older macrosociology are connected.

Re Imagining Cultural Studies

Author : Andrew Milner
ISBN : 0761961143
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 57. 41 MB
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'Re-imagining Cultural Studies' restores Williams to a central position in relation to the formation and development of cultural studies. This book is a reappraisal of the Williams approach.

The World Until Yesterday

Author : Jared Diamond
ISBN : 9781846148156
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 59. 91 MB
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From the author of No.1 international bestseller Collapse, a mesmerizing portrait of the human past that offers profound lessons for how we can live today Visionary, prize-winning author Jared Diamond changed the way we think about the rise and fall of human civilizations with his previous international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse. Now he returns with another epic - and groundbreaking - journey into our rapidly receding past. In The World Until Yesterday, Diamond reveals how traditional societies around the world offer an extraordinary window onto how our ancestors lived for the majority of human history - until virtually yesterday, in evolutionary terms - and provide unique, often overlooked insights into human nature. Drawing extensively on his decades working in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, Diamond explores how tribal societies approach essential human problems, from childrearing to conflict resolution to health, and discovers we have much to learn from traditional ways of life. He unearths remarkable findings - from the reason why modern afflictions like diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's are virtually non-existent in tribal societies to the surprising benefits of multilingualism. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly original, The World Until Yesterday provides an enthralling first-hand picture of the human past that also suggests profound lessons for how to live well today. Jared Diamond is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the seminal million-copy-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, which was named one of TIME's best non-fiction books of all time, and Collapse, a #1 international bestseller. A professor of geography at UCLA and noted polymath, Diamond's work has been influential in the fields of anthropology, biology, ornithology, ecology and history, among others.

Warlike And Peaceful Societies

Author : Agner Fog
ISBN : 9781783744060
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 50. 59 MB
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Are humans violent or peaceful by nature? We are both. In this ambitious and wide-ranging book, Agner Fog presents a ground-breaking new argument that explains the existence of differently organised societies using evolutionary theory. It combines natural sciences and social sciences in a way that is rarely seen. According to a concept called regality theory, people show a preference for authoritarianism and strong leadership in times of war or collective danger, but desire egalitarian political systems in times of peace and safety. These individual impulses shape the way societies develop and organise themselves, and in this book Agner argues that there is an evolutionary mechanism behind this flexible psychology. Incorporating a wide range of ideas including evolutionary theory, game theory, and ecological theory, Agner analyses the conditions that make us either strident or docile. He tests this theory on data from contemporary and ancient societies, and provides a detailed explanation of the applications of regality theory to issues of war and peace, the rise and fall of empires, the mass media, economic instability, ecological crisis, and much more. Warlike and Peaceful Societies: The Interaction of Genes and Culture draws on many different fields of both the social sciences and the natural sciences. It will be of interest to academics and students in these fields, including anthropology, political science, history, conflict and peace research, social psychology, and more, as well as the natural sciences, including human biology, human evolution, and ecology.

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