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Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches

The Riddles of Culture

By

Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
This book challenges those who argue that we can change the world by changing the way people think. Harris shows that no matter how bizarre a people's behavior may seem, it always stems from concrete social and economic conditions.
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This book challenges those who argue that we can change the world by changing the way people think. Harris shows that no matter how bizarre a people's behavior may seem, it always stems from concrete social and economic conditions.
Product Details
Paperback (288 pages)
Published: December 17, 1989
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679724681
Other books byMarvin Harris
  • Cultural Anthropology

    Cultural Anthropology
    Using a cultural materialist approach, the seventh edition ofCultural Anthropologyprovides a framework for explaining how the parts of sociocultural systems are interrelated and how they change over time.   “Marvin Harris' lifelong commitment to a scientific anthropology shines through in this comprehensive and well-written textbook,” praises one reviewer. Described as accessible, engaging, well-illustrated, and comprehensive, this text covers a wide range of Western and non-Western cultures for analysis and comparison. “Marvin Harris can continue to bring new insights to the field of anthropology and provide ways to inspire students new to this discipline,” writes a long-time user. “Cultural Anthropologyexcels in making anthropology accessible and relevant to today's students. The authors succeed in showing not only what the current status of anthropology is but also the potential of anthropology to explain human culture in all of its diversity and magnificence,” writes another.   For the seventh edition, rReadings from Spradley/McCurdy, Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology, 12/e have been integrated with wherever possible through emic and etic interpretations within the levels of infrastructure, structure and superstructure.  Chapter 9, “Descent, Locality, and Kinship,” has been rewritten to provide more streamlined coverage. Increased use of the universal pattern model through graphics and new content throughout each chapter. The universal pattern model is introduced in Chapter 2 and applied throughout the text to reinforce how differences in civilization impact infrastructure and adaptive patterns. Enhanced problem-orientation in the new edition capitalizes on this growing trend through interim questions after each section in each chapter.

    Food and Evolution

    Food and Evolution
    Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits
    The old adage "you are what you eat" may be more accurate than anyone could have ever imagined. This unprecedented interdisciplinary effort by scholars in primatology, biological anthropology, archaeology, nutrition, psychology, agricultural economics, and cultural anthropology suggests that there is a systematic theory behind why humans eat what they eat. Includes discussions ranging in time from prehistory to the present, and from the most simple societies to the most complex, including South American Indian groups, African hunter-gatherers, and countries such as India, Bangladesh, Peru, and Mexico.

    Cannibals and Kings

    Cannibals and Kings
    Origins of Cultures
    In this brilliant and profound study the distinguished American anthropologist Marvin Harris shows how the endless varieties of cultural behavior -- often so puzzling at first glance -- can be explained as adaptations to particular ecological conditions. His aim is to account for the evolution of cultural forms as Darwin accounted for the evolution of biological forms: to show how cultures adopt their characteristic forms in response to changing ecological modes. "[A] magisterial interpretation of the rise and fall of human cultures and societies." -- Robert Lekachman, Washington Post Book World "Its persuasive arguments asserting the primacy of cultural rather than genetic or psychological factors in human life deserve the widest possible audience." -- Gloria Levitas The New Leader "[An] original and...urgent theory about the nature of man and at the reason that human cultures take so many diverse shapes." -- The New Yorker "Lively and controversial." -- I. Bernard Cohen, front page, The New York Times Book Review

    Cultural Materialism

    Cultural Materialism
    The Struggle for a Science of Culture
    Cultural Materialism, published in 1979, was Marvin Harris's first full-length explication of the theory with which his work has been associated. While Harris has developed and modified some of his ideas over the past two decades, generations of professors have looked to this volume as the essential starting point for explaining the science of culture to students. Now available again after a hiatus, this edition of Cultural Materialism contains the complete text of the original book plus a new introduction by Orna and Allen Johnson that updates his ideas and examines the impact that the book and theory have had on anthropological theorizing.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Siempre que se discute acerca de la influencia de los factores prácticos y mundanos en los estilos de vida, estoy seguro de que alguien dirá: "¿Pero, qué opina de todas esas vacas que los...

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  • This book is about the causes of apparently irrational and inexplicable lifestyles.

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  • Yet, there is sound basis for assuming that by struggling to demystify our ordinary consciousness we shall improve the prospects for peace and economic and political justice. If this...

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