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Political disintegration is a persistent feature of world history. The Collapse of Complex Societies, though written by an archaeologist, will therefore strike a chord throughout the social sciences. Any explanation of societal collapse carries lessons not just for the study of ancient societies,…read more

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Considering the anthropological ideas of Britain between 1885 and 1945, this book explores the relationship between social scientific ideas and behavior. Professor Kuklick shows how the descriptions British anthropologists produced about the peoples of exotic cultures can be translated into…read more

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Japan experienced rapid industrial growth after World War II, but its economic miracle brought dramatic environmental deterioration. In the early 1970s, as local protest movements grew more vocal, the Japanese government moved relatively swiftly to regulate industrial pollution and succeeded in…read more

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In King Kong on 4th Street, Jagna Sharff chronicles an ethnographic team’s involvement over a span of fifteen years with the people of a poor, largely Puerto Rican neighborhood in New York City. Anchoring her observations in field notes, she recounts the joys, fears, and disappointments of…read more

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The question of how modern human behaviour emerged from pre-human hominid behaviour is central to discussions of human evolution. This important book argues that the capacity to use signs in a symbolic way, identified by the authors as language, is the basis for behaviour that can be described as…read more

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Current theories and views on the differences in the 'mind' of human societies depend very much on a dichotomy between 'advanced' and 'primitive', or between 'open' and 'closed', or between 'domesticated' and 'savage', that is to say, between one of a whole variety of 'we-they'…read more

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The mechanism approach calls attention to an intermediary level of analysis, in between pure description and story-telling, on the one hand, and grand theorizing and universal social laws, on the other. These essays, written by prominent social scientists, advance criticisms of current trends in…read more

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Matter, Materiality and Modern Culture offers a new approach to the study of contemporary objects, to give the reader a new understanding of the relationship between people and their material world. It asks how the very stuff of our world has shaped our societies by addressing a broad array of…read more

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The Khoisan are a cluster of southern African peoples, including the famous Bushmen or San "hunters," the Khoekhoe "herders" (in the past called "Hottentots"), and the Damara, also a herding people. Most Khoisan live in the Kalihari desert and surrounding areas of Botswana and Namibia. Despite…read more

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Challenging the notion that racism consists simply of prejudice in the minds of individuals, this book argues instead that racism is a set of culturally acceptable beliefs that defend the advantages whites have obtained in American society. The book is based on five chapters of interviews. The…read more

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In this volume, Mr Runciman has selected extracts, from Max Weber's writings which reflect the full range of his major concerns: the nature of domination in human society, the role of ideas in history, the social determinants of religion, the origin and impact of industrial capitalism and the…read more