Introduction to Anthropology

Anthropology studies human life, at the intersection of the sciences and the humanities. An introduction to anthropology encompasses human biology and evolution, archaeology, culture, and language. See also What is Anthropology and for my current book selection and comments see 2015 Introduction to Anthropology.

The Introduction to Anthropology sections of Living Anthropologically use anthropological studies to comment on contemporary issues and ideas. The chapters cross-reference current blog posts and other resources. They are best used as a complement to traditional four-field introduction to anthropology textbooks. My preferred four-field textbook is Anthropology: What Does It Mean to be Human?

Part 1: Biological Anthropology: Human Nature, Race, Evolution

Explores biological anthropology, emphasizing biology and evolution as dynamic processes and anthropological documentation of human possibility. These sections are also available on Amazon as a Kindle eBook, Anthropology I: Human Nature, Race, Evolution in Biological Anthropology.

Part 2: Archaeology: Domesticaton, Agriculture, and Civilization

Archaeology, emphasizing how to understand the domestication of plants and animals, agriculture, and ideas of social complexity and civilization.

Part 3: Cultural Anthropology: Culture, Cultures, and Cultural Relativism

Explores the anthropological idea of culture and how it turned to plural cultures. We must bid “Adieu Culture” (Trouillot, Global Transformations: Anthropology and the Modern World).

For a preview see Ruth Benedict, Franz Boas, and the Anthropological Concept of Culture.

Part 4: Sex, Gender, Family
For a preview see Anthropology on Sex, Gender, Sexuality – as Social Constructions

Part 5: Moral Optimism

For a preview see: