Anthropology For Dummies

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Covers the latest competing theories in the field

Get a handle on the fundamentals of biological and cultural anthropology

When did the first civilizations arise? How many human languages exist? The answers are found in anthropology - and this friendly guide explains its concepts in clear detail. You'll see how anthropology developed as a science, what it tells us about our ancestors, and how it can help with some of the hot-button issues our world is facing today.

Discover:

  • How anthropologists learn about the past
  • Humanity's earliest activities, from migration to civilization
  • Why our language differs from other animal communication
  • How to find a career in anthropology
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About the author

Cameron M. Smith’s fascination with humanity was sparked on a 1984 trip to Mexico’s Maya ruins; by 1987, he was a student of both Harvard University’s early human archaeology field school at Kenya’s Leakey research station and the University of London’s Institute of Archaeology. He then went to Durham University in northern England for a Joint Honours BA in Anthropology & Archaeology, followed by an MA in Anthropology at Portland State University (in Portland, Oregon) and a PhD from Canada’s Simon Fraser University.
Since 2002, Dr. Smith has taught a wide variety of courses as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Portland State University’s Department of Anthropology; he has also taught at Washington State University and Linfield College.
Dr. Smith’s scientific works have been published in journals such as the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and the Journal of Field Archaeology and books published by International Monographs in Prehistory and Oxford’s British Archaeology Reports. His research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation-funded Barrow Arctic Science Consortium.
Reaching out from the academic world, Dr. Smith has written popular-science articles for Scientific American MIND, Archaeology, Playboy, Spaceflight, Skeptical Inquirer, South American Explorer, The Next Step, Cultural Survival Quarterly, The Bulletin of Primitive Technology, and other magazines. Anthropology For Dummies is Dr. Smith’s second book. His first, written with Charles Sullivan, was The Top Ten Myths About Evolution (Prometheus, 2006).

Evan T. Davies received his BA from Cornell University where he began his studies in anthropology. He earned a PhD in cultural anthropology from Rice University, and has conducted fieldwork throughout Europe, the South Pacific, and in many locations throughout sub-Saharan Africa. His doctoral dissertation reported on the land use patterns of the BaAka foragers of the central African rainforests whose subsistence and hunting strategies he studied while living with them through the seasons. He has recently become involved with the protection of archaeological sites in Iraq.

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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Feb 23, 2009
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9780470507698
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

When three-month-old Lia Lee Arrived at the county hospital emergency room in Merced, California, a chain of events was set in motion from which neither she nor her parents nor her doctors would ever recover. Lia's parents, Foua and Nao Kao, were part of a large Hmong community in Merced, refugees from the CIA-run "Quiet War" in Laos. The Hmong, traditionally a close-knit and fiercely people, have been less amenable to assimilation than most immigrants, adhering steadfastly to the rituals and beliefs of their ancestors. Lia's pediatricians, Neil Ernst and his wife, Peggy Philip, cleaved just as strongly to another tradition: that of Western medicine. When Lia Lee Entered the American medical system, diagnosed as an epileptic, her story became a tragic case history of cultural miscommunication.

Parents and doctors both wanted the best for Lia, but their ideas about the causes of her illness and its treatment could hardly have been more different. The Hmong see illness aand healing as spiritual matters linked to virtually everything in the universe, while medical community marks a division between body and soul, and concerns itself almost exclusively with the former. Lia's doctors ascribed her seizures to the misfiring of her cerebral neurons; her parents called her illness, qaug dab peg--the spirit catches you and you fall down--and ascribed it to the wandering of her soul. The doctors prescribed anticonvulsants; her parents preferred animal sacrifices.

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