This book brings culture and biology back together in new and refreshing ways. Directly addressing earlier criticisms of biological anthropology, Building a New Biocultural Synthesis concerns how culture and political economy affect human biology--e.g., people's nutritional status, the spread of disease, exposure to pollution--and how biological consequences might then have further effects on cultural, social, and economic systems.
Contributors to the volume offer case studies on health, nutrition, and violence among prehistoric and historical peoples in the Americas; theoretical chapters on nonracial approaches to human variation and the development of critical, humanistic and political ecological approaches in biocultural anthropology; and explorations of biological conditions in contemporary societies in relationship to global changes.
Building a New Biocultural Synthesis will sharpen and enrich the relevance of anthropology for understanding a wide variety of struggles to cope with and combat persistent human suffering. It should appeal to all anthropologists and be of interest to sister disciplines such as nutrition and sociology.
Alan H. Goodman is Professor of Anthropology, Hampshire College. Thomas L. Leatherman is Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of South Carolina.
The Nature of Differencecritically analyses biological explanations for morality, criminality, race, sexuality, and disability. Based on the 45th annual symposium of the Society for the Study of Human Biology, this work synthesizes the perspectives of established experts in the field of human biology with those studying the social meanings of human biological variation and scientific practices in human biological research.
Some questions addressed by The Nature of Difference:
· Is there a biological basis for morality, criminality, witchcraft, sexuality or disability?
· What do comparisons of humans and apes tell us about society?
· How do people draw on scientific methods to justify racism?
· Why do geneticists continue to use racial categories in their research?
· Do ethical guidelines constrain or facilitate research into human biology?
· Can science and society escape from biological determinism?
As biotechnology expands the frontiers of what we know and what we are able to do, and as the genomic revolution moves out of the laboratory and into our daily lives, we are faced with a number of pressing social issues that need to be resolved. Offering an unparalleled collection of multidisciplinary perspectives on the meanings of biological diversity, this book provides readers with a vibrant analysis which revisits these issues with deepened insight from contrasting yet complementary perspectives.
Featuring new and engaging essays by noted anthropologists and illustrated with full color photos, RACE: Are We So Different? is an accessible and fascinating look at the idea of race, demonstrating how current scientific understanding is often inconsistent with popular notions of race. Taken from the popular national public education project and museum exhibition, it explores the contemporary experience of race and racism in the United States and the often-invisible ways race and racism have influenced laws, customs, and social institutions.