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In this illuminating tour of humanity, Joy Hendry and Simon Underdown reveal the origins of our species, and the fabric of human society, through the discipline of anthropology. Via fascinating case studies and discoveries, they unravel our understanding of human behaviours and beliefs, including how witchcraft has been used to justify misfortune, and debunk old-fashioned ideas about "race" based upon the latest genetic research. They even share what our bathroom tells us about our concept of the body - and ourselves. From our evolutionary ancestors, through our rites of passage, to our responses to globalization, Hendry and Underdown provide the essential first step to understanding the world as an anthropologist would - in all its diversity and commonality.
The first introductory guide to explore both biological and cultural approaches to the study of humanity, from the origin of our species, to traits that we all share, to the vast range of our sacred rites and rituals. Hendry and Underdown bring anthropology to life with case studies, explaining why witchcraft was so feared in colonial Salem but embraced in Sudan and elsewhere and what our relationship with mobile phones (and even the bathroom) tells us about ourselves. Joy Hendry is Professor of Social Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University in the UK and is author of Sharing Our Worlds: An Introduction to Social Anthropology. Simon Underdown is Senior Lecturer in Biological Anthropology also at Brookes University in Oxford.
The text is written primarily for students taking up the study of social anthropology.
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