Cult Texts compiled

janis silva (jsilva@SPARC1.CASTLES.COM)
Fri, 13 Jan 1995 00:53:38 -0800

Cultural Anthropology Colleagues,

The following is the compilation of Cultural Anthropology Textbooks
submitted to the Bulletin board during the past 10 days. The number
preceding the author signifies how many instructors are, or were, using the
book. This textbook list is followed by a reader's list in the same
format. The last portion of this message will include comments concerning
the texts. If you are not interested in Cultural Anthropology-- now is the
time to delete this message. Janis

1 Barnow, Victor Introduction to Ethnology
2 Bodley, John H. Cultural Anthropology
2 Bohannan, Paul We, The Alien
3 Ember and Ember Anthropology
4 Ferraro, Gary Cultural Anthropology: An Applied
1 Harris, Marvin Cultural Anthropology
2 Haviland, William Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
1 Hicks & Gwynne
1 Howard, Michael C. Contemporary Cultural Anthropology
4 Kottak, Conrad Phillip Anthropology: The Exploration of Human
4 Peoples, J.& G. Bailey Humanity
1 Robbins
1 Schultz, E.& R. Lavenda
1990 Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on
the Human Condition

The Readers:

1 The Cocktail Waitress
1 Recreating Utopia in the Desert
1 Rapanui
1 Haruko's World
1 Don't Be Afraid Gringo
1 Waterlily
1 The Ohlone Way
1 A Different Drummer
3 The Forest People
1 Return to Laughter
1 Shaker Communities, Shaker Lives
1 Allen, Catherine The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural
Identity in A Peruvian Village
2 Chagnon, Napoleon Yanamano
1 DeVita, Philip The Humbled Anthropologist
3 Dushkin Annual Editions
1 Ember & Ember Research Frontiers in Anthropology
1 Ember & Ember Portraits of Culture
1 Frenea, Elizabeth Guest of the Scheik
1 Johnston, B. Rose Who pays the Price
1 Lee, Richard Dobe! Kung
2 O'Meara, Tim Samoan Planters: Tradition and Economic
Development in
1 Peters-Golden, Holly Culture Sketches
2 Podelefsky & Brown Applying Cultural Anthropology
1 Quinn, Daniel Ishmael
2 Spradley & McCurdy Conformity and Conflict
1 Stewart, George Earth Abides
1 Tedlock, Barbara The Beautiful and the Dangerous
Some of the comments follow:

I teach the Quebec designated Intro to Cultural Anthropology course (The
"official" title is "Peoples of the World".) and have done so for a number
of years. I used to teach the equivalent course at McGill and, for one
year, at Texas Tech. And I have never used a textbook. I've always found
textbooks unappealing and far too oriented towards "mastering" (usually via
memorization) of terminology and often terminology chosen as much for its
testing ease (I would put cross-cousin kin terminologies here.) as for its
real usefulness to beginning students who, in many cases, never take a
further anthropology course.

I've used various alternates. For years I assigned a number of case studies
(_The Forest People_, _The Yanomamo_, others from the Holt Rinehart series
or similar items) and, besides tests (mostly short essay types) assigned my
students a fieldwork project. Recently, I have moved more toward
"learning-by-doing" and have reduced the assigned reading to one or two case
studies (I still use _The Forest People_ because the students consistently
rate it highly.), the fieldwork project (much improved as an exercise now
that many of my students have completed a required Introduction to Social
Science Methodology course -- part of the required curriculum), a computer
simulation, prepared under the auspices of the Quebec government, that
requires students to keep a band alive for a year while coping with a
lifeway not unlike that of the pre-European contact northern Quebeckers, and
a cross-cultural project that uses computer databases and library resources.
Class work involves lectures and handouts covering basic concepts/theory,
films to expand the ethnographic base, group work to tie concepts/theory and
ethnography together. This seems to work quite well for me and the students
also seem to like it.

So, I can't help you with textbook suggestions, but I would encourage you to
think about alternates.

j> I use Ferraro. The students find the book straight forward. I have found
> Ferraro to be a success.

In my Introduction to Cultural Anthropology class, I use Haviland,
Cultural Anthropology,
Seventh Edition. I inherited this book and will be reviewing new books
ofr the upcoming two years. In addition I have used three books as
supplemental readers: Guest of the Sheik by Elizabeth Frenea, The
Beautiful and the Dangerous by Barbara Tedlock, and The Forest People by
Colin Turnball. My students are required to write a book review from one
of these selections. If they do not like their choices they may choose
thier own book with my prior approval.

Currently I use Ferraro Cultural Anthropology An Applied Perspective and Annual
Editions Anthropology 94/95.

in response to your inquiry about an intro anthro text, there are 2
routes that one may take. These depend on the 2 major paradigms which
guide cultural anthro researcy- structuralism (or variants of structural-
functionalism or cultural materialism. I am only familiar with the latter
and have used the book Cultural Anthropology by Marvin Harris for the las
last few years. Have had great success with it as far as students are
concerned. It also fits the paradigm I use in my classes- namely
CM which Harris coincidentally is the arthitect of. Have used Basrnous
Have used Victor Barnouw- Introduction to Ethnology and really liked it and
also Haviland's Introduction to Cultural Anthropology.

I just got the most recent edition of Ferrero and am hoping to icorporate
some of his ideas in my lectures. Have used some of the annual editions
readings but also like to use case studies- this semester we are using the
Dobe !Kung by Richard Lee and at the same time are exploring the debate
that has raged in Current Ant;hropology as regards the nature of
!Kung San society. Once again this approach is keeping with my overall goal
of making students aware of the the dynamism of anthropology.\

Basic Texts:
_Cultural Anthropology_ by John H. Bodley (Mayfield Pub.)
_Humanity_ by James Peoples and Garrick Bailey_

_The Humbled Anthropologist_ by Philip R. DeVita
_Who Pays tge Price?_ edited by Barbara Rose Johnston

Book Reviews:
Two books taken from a broad selection of introductory-level
works published by Holt, Rinehart, Winston and Waveland
Press. Also, titles such as _Retuen to Laughter_, Shaker
Communities, Shaker Lives_, _Recreating Utopia in the
Desert_, _Rapanui_, _The Ohlone Way_, _The Cocktail
Waitress_, _Waterlily_, Haruko's World_, _Don't Be Afraid
Gringo_, and, _The Forest People_. I have found that
novels written by competent anthropologists (such as
_Return to Laughter_) can be very popular with the students and offer a
relatively jargon-free introduction to the

I teach to a student body which is 45% non-USA citizens. In
one brief walk to class, I can hear Samoan, Korean, Fijian,
Spanish, Japanese, Tagalog#as well as Hawaiian Creole
English#being spoken by the students. I try to provide a
wide variety of reading rersources to interest and enrich the
student who will probably never again take an anthropology
class at our school. (We do not have an anthropology major
or minor. Anthropology is a GE group-filler and an adjunct
to our Pacific Studies major.)
M) by

CULTURAL aNTHROPOLOGY by Ferrara(West Publishing) This book has an
emphasis on applied anthropology.

Schultz, Emily A. and Robert H. Lavenda
Publishing Company: New York

Last term I used _Humanity: an introduction to cultural
anthropology_ by J. Peoples and G. Bailey. (West Publishing,
1994). Worked out pretty well.

I used to use Ember and Ember plus the Dushkin reader (comes out each
year) ANTHROPOLOGY 94/95. This year I switched to a new text by Hicks and
Gwynne. I rather like it but my colleague who teaches intro this semester
has stuck with Ember and Ember. I just reviewed material for HarperCollins
for the new edition of Michael Howard's text, "Contemporary Cultural
Anthropology". I found it rather good although there were some problems
with organization and inclusion. But it has nice vignettes in it __Focus
on Anthropologist" and some very updated material--excellent discussion on
Aids inThailand and very good final chapter on globalization.

This semester there are 3 written assignments which deal with the readings,
other than the textbook. Two are inclass essays written after reading
2 articles from the 94/95 anthropology readings book. Both have a problem
orientation. As far as the Dobe case study I have given the students a
choice of 3 topics and each of these make use of a model used by sociologists
and called the POET model. This looks at the interaction of 4 systems-
population, social organization, natural environment and technology. What
I ask the
students to do is examine interaction of natural environment and social/
political organization in !Kung society. Not only do they have the book as
a source of material but two films as well- the ancient John Marshall film,
but a more recent Marshall video- Bushment of the Kalahari. The latter looks
at what has happended in the years between the 1950's and the mid 1970's.
Therefore cultur change is part of the model which the students are

Each semester that I instruct this course (Intro to Social and Cultural Anthrop
I use different case studies. Oh, yes this semester I myself will summarize
the Lee, Headland, Wilmsen debates from Current Anthropology as regards the
nature of !Kung San society through the past few hundred years. So overall
the students quite a good variety of material to draw into their discussions.

One of the most successful case studies that I used a few years ago was by
Catherin Allen and entitled, The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identify in
A Peruvian Village. I gave two assignments that semester. The first was a
critical book review of teh book and the second asked tstudents to look at
the roles of coca in the peruvian billage and cocaine in North American society.
It really got the students thinking

I try to think up assignments that eigher make students use the data to solve
particular issues or those that get them thinking about the place of their
cultures in the schemes of world cultures. The response has been excellent
to most of these attempts.

I am in the middle of compiling the reader for our introductory first year
course Anthropology 1A: Social Order and Social Change

We use:

Chagnon, N
1992. *Yanamamo*, 4th edition. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers

O'Meara, J. T.
1990. *Samoan Planters: Tradition and Economic Development in Polynesia*.
Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc.

Reader. Contains about 20 papers e.g., Scupin, R. 1992; Gould, S.J. 1982;
Lewin, R. 1989; Malinowski, B. 1961; Spiro, M. 1984; Brown, D. 1991; Tooby &
Cosmides 1992; Murray, G.F. 1987; Acheson, J.M.

The reader is about two thirds of the reading. The students complained that
the amount of reading last year was too high.

Hope you post the list from other colleges. The question of balance is
problematical. How much of the "Human Behavior and Evolution" stuff, how much
of the more traditional sources?

I teach 101 (cultural)104 (culture and society) I have used Kottak,
Cultural anthropology at Bs and have switched this sem to peoples and
Bailey Humanity which I use at both places I find content to be the
same or at least close but like the
organization and ordering of p&b better .

I have been teaching cultural for only about seven years and I still am not
exactly satisfied with the way the course has been going. I have used
Haviland, Bohannan and Bodley.
I have been so impressed by Ferraro that I was thinking of using it
this next time. Along with the Podolefsky/Brown reader from Mayfield.

I used Carol R. and Melvin Ember's "Anthropology" 7th ed. this past Fall, but
would not do so again. Previously I had used Haviland. My colleagues are
using Kotak, "Adnthropology: The Exploration of Human Diversity". I like
parts of Anthropology: An Applied Perspective by G. Ferraro, W. Trevathan and
J. Levy, but don't think that I would like to use the entire text. In fact,
I am getting a bit tired or bored with using general anthropology textbooks to
teach the four fields. A response in the Society for Anthropology in
Community Colleges (AAA Newsletter) suggested that one might try teaching
without an all-inclusive text and work things out on your own. This is
beginning to appeal to me as many of my freshman students are the kind that if
there is a text they will not come to class, but rely on reading the text to
pass the objective type exams that we give as there are no TA's to help
correct essay exams. We certainly need a different approach as the students
are no longer excited or even interested in the exotic, the bizarre or the
unusual. TV is loaded with strange and foreign peoples and places so they
pay little attention to classroom movies which still get me excited. Too
blaise I guess.

I have over the past few years done away with "typical" texts because they
are filled to the brim with what seems to students to be ethno-trivia, i.e.,
a zillion little facts about several hundred different societies. Plus, most
texts are woefully short on theoretical/conceptual ideas--e.g., they cover
the issue of relativism in a few paragraphs, etc. (However, I dislike those
texts that do a mini-hisotyr of anthro, since that is not entirely suitable
for first-year students, INHO). So, I switched to the new texts by
Bohannan and then Robbins. They are much more oriented towards general
concepts rather than lots of ethno-facts. Yet, the wriiting style has
struck many of my students as less than rigorous. However, they do allow,
unlike many standard texts, the instructor to decide, through lectures, what
ethnographic information he/she would like students to learn. Nevertheless,
they are simply not as rigorous as I would like. So, I do not know what to
do (but thankfuly I have until Fall 95 to figure out what to use next).
My final complaint is that many texts are too materialist in orientation,
which might be best for first-year students, but I often find myself having
to assign passages that I will later contest in higher-level courses.
Oh, a final point: I very much like Peacock's Anthropological Lens, bikos
it introduces some theoretical ideas.

OK; I use Spradely & McCurdy reader CONFORMITY AND CONFLICT (8th edition) for
Lower division cultural course; also have EARTH ABIDES (by George R. Stewart)
as required reading; this semester am also using ISHMAEL (by Daniel Quinn) as
opitional text (to see how it goes); UPPER DIVISION CULTURAL for
Majors/others, I use Conrad Kottak's CULT book and have been using Tim
O'Mara's SAMOAN PLANTERS as ethnography.

> Just about every semester I teach a course entitled "People of the World."
>This used to be "Intro. to Social Anthro." but the title was changed to
>supposedly attract enrollment and to better reflect the fact that this is
>somewhat of a survey of world cultures. My personal prejudice is that I
>hate most textbooks. The problem with them is that they tend to be too
>frenetic -- they try to cover everything and in the process tend to do
>a poor job on most topics. I have given up on the attempt to cover all
>topics in cult./social anthro and instead use a bare bones framework of
>looking at political/subsistence differences as a way to make broad
>categories in types of societies (pretty standard materialist approach).
>Given my dislike of most comprehensive texts and my theoretical predilections,
>I have found that the very thin text _Human Adaptive Strategies_ by Bates and
>Plog works well for me. This is a shorter version of their four-field intro.
>text. It is organized into chapters which emphasize subsistence techniques. In
>addition to having a logical theme to it, its briefness allows me to have a
>much greater amount of other readings for the students (it is also reasonably
>priced, less than half the cost of most other texts). My other texts for this
>class are the _Annual Editions:Anthropology_ reader, and a case studies book
>written by Holly Peters-Golden (_Culture Sketches_) which was apparently
>prepared to accompany the Kottak intro. text (it has a matching cover) but
>stands nicely on its own. There are of course many problems with a "set"
>reader such as the Annual Editions one, but I find that there are reliably
>more useful articles in that one than in most. The Podelefsky and Brown
>reader (_Applying Cultural Anthropology_) is also full of good articles, but
>I find that it, and many other readers, are difficult to integrate into the
>topics being presented in class and in the "main" text. The _Annual Editions_
>reader tends to have articles which more-or-less integrate well with the
>standard topics I discuss in class (i.e. sorcery, economic development,
>rites of passage, difference in political systems, reciprocity, etc.).
> > The Peters-Golden case studies book consists of about ten chapters, each
>about twelve pages long, on ten different cultures. Each is basically based
>on information from Holt-Rinehart-type classroom ethnographies. Each chapt.
>has both the advantage and disadvantage of being brief. The author has done
>a good job in focusing on one or two interesting features of each group in
>addition to giving a quick overview of each culture.
> Finally, I also assign a number of articles which I put on reserve at the
>library and make available at a copy shop. This is the only way to fill the
>gaps left by published textbooks/readers. I have had some dealings with the
>custom published offerings from Prentice-Hall. Ember and Ember have edited
>a bunch of readings from perhaps fifty different cultural groups, each one
>written exclusively for this Prentice-Hall custom publish project (called
>_Portraits of Culture_ and _Research Frontiers in Anthropology_) by anthros
>who have research experience in the various places. I use about six of the
>selections in my Pacific Islands Ethnology class, and they work reasonably
>well. The problem with using them in an intro course is that although one
>has a large number of cultures from which to pick and choose, the individual
>chapters do not reliably give an overview of the cultures they are discussing.
>This can be either positive or negative, but I would warn prospective adopters
>to be sure to make the publisher send you each of the chapters you are
>considering adopting. I was rushed for time (there is more of a lead time
>since they have to put the thing together specially for each adopter) and
>ended up not being able to get a copy of some of the things I assigned in the
>reader for that class. Some of the selections are great (they were the ones
>on which I based my decision), but others turned out to be dogs.

Janis silva Solano Community College Anthropology Department
Fax 707 427-0109 707 864-7000 ext. 470