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Almost Human is the personal story of a charismatic and visionary palaeontologist, a rich and readable narrative about science, exploration, and what it means to be human.
In 2013, Wits University reasearch professor Lee Berger caught wind of a cache of bones in a hard-to-reach underground cave near Johannesburg. He put out a call around the world for collaborators – men and women small and adventurous enough to be able to squeeze through 8-inch tunnels to reach a sunless cave 40 feet underground. With this team of ‘underground astronauts’, Berger made the discovery of a lifetime: hundreds of prehistoric bones, including entire skeletons of at least 15 individuals, all perhaps two million years old. Their features combined those of known pre-hominids with those more human than anything ever before seen in prehistoric remains. Berger's team had discovered an all new species: Homo naledi.
The cave proved to be the richest pre-hominid site ever discovered, full of implications that challenge how we define ourselves as human. Did these ancestors of ours bury their dead? If so, they must have had an awareness of death, a level of self-knowledge: the very characteristic we used to define ourselves as human. Did an equally advanced species inhabit Earth with us, or before us?
Addressing these questions, Berger counters the arguments of those colleagues who have questioned his controversial interpretations and astounding finds.
During the Zimbabwean crisis, millions crossed through the apartheidera border fence, searching for ways to make ends meet. Maxim Bolt explores the lives of Zimbabwean migrant labourers, of settled black farm workers and their dependants, and of white farmers and managers, as they intersect on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa. Focusing on one farm, this book investigates the role of a hub of wage labour in a place of crisis. A close ethnographic study, it addresses the complex, shifting labour and life conditions in northern South Africa's agricultural borderlands. Underlying these challenges are the Zimbabwean political and economic crisis of the 2000s and the intensifi ed pressures on commercial agriculture in South Africa following market liberalization and post-apartheid land reform. But, amidst uncertainty, farmers and farm workers strive for stability. The farms on South Africa's margins are centers of gravity, islands of residential labour in a sea of informal arrangements.
How does anthropology help us understand who we are?What can it tell us about culture, from Melanesia to the City of London? Why does it matter?For well over one hundred years, social and cultural anthropologists have traversed the world from urban Zimbabwe to suburban England, Beijing to Barcelona, uncovering surprising facts, patterns, predilections and, sometimes, the inexplicable, in terms of how humans organize their lives and articulate their values. By weaving together theories and examples from around the world, Matthew Engelke brilliantly shows why anthropology matters: not only because it allows us to understand other points of view, but also because in the process, it reveals something about ourselves too.
From 2003-2006, Patricia Henderson lived in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, where she recorded the experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS. In this illumination study, she recounts the concerns of rural people and explores local repertoires through which illness was folded into everyday life. The book spans a period when antiretroviral medication was not available and moves on to a time when the treatment became accessible. Hope gradually became manifest in the recovery of a number of people through antiretroviral therapies and 'the return' of bodies they could recognise as their own. This research implies that protracted interaction with people over time, offers insights into the unfolding textures of everyday life, in particular in its focus on suffering, social and structural inequality, illness, violence, mourning, sensibility, care and intimacy.
At the end of life, our comfort lies mainly in relationships. In this book, Daniel Miller, one of the world's leading anthropologists, examines the social worlds of people suffering from terminal or long-term illness. Threading together a series of personal stories, based on interviews conducted with patients of an English hospice, Miller draws out the implications of these narratives for our understanding of community, friendship, and kinship, but also loneliness and isolation. This is a book about people's lives, not their deaths: about the hospice patients rather than the hospice. It focuses on the comfort given by friends, carers and relatives through both face-to-face relations and, increasingly, online communication. Miller asks whether the loneliness and isolation he uncovers is the result of a decline of English patterns of socialising, or their continuation. This moving and deeply humane book combines warmth and sharp observation with anthropological insight and practical suggestions for the use of media by the hospice. It will be of interest not only to students and scholars of anthropology, sociology, social policy and media and cultural studies, but also to healthcare professionals and, indeed, to anyone who would like to know more about the role of relationships in the final stage of our lives.
A highly readable and entertaining first look at how today's members of iGen-the children, teens, and young adults born in the mid-1990s and later-are vastly different from their Millennial predecessors, and from any other generation, from the renowned psychologist and author of Generation Me.With generational divides wider than ever, parents, educators, and employers have an urgent need to understand today's rising generation of teens and young adults. Born in the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s and later, iGen is the first generation to spend their entire adolescence in the age of the smartphone. With social media and texting replacing other activities, iGen spends less time with their friends in person-perhaps why they are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. But technology is not the only thing that makes iGen distinct from every generation before them; they are also different in how they spend their time, how they behave, and in their attitudes toward religion, sexuality, and politics. They socialize in completely new ways, reject once sacred social taboos, and want different things from their lives and careers. More than previous generations, they are obsessed with safety, focused on tolerance, and have no patience for inequality. iGen is also growing up more slowly than previous generations: eighteen-year-olds look and act like fifteen-year-olds used to. As this new group of young people grows into adulthood, we all need to understand them: Friends and family need to look out for them; businesses must figure out how to recruit them and sell to them; colleges and universities must know how to educate and guide them. And members of iGen also need to understand themselves as they communicate with their elders and explain their views to their older peers. Because where iGen goes, so goes our nation-and the world.
In the past twenty five years, South Africa has seen incredible amounts of reform and change culturally and politically. Sociology: A South African Perspective introduces you the reader to sociological concepts and theories and demonstrates how important these are to understanding South Africa and what is means to be South African. Leading experts from across South Africa have come together to contribute chapters on a wide range of sociological ideas that affect the country.
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.
Humans are a puzzling species. On the one hand, we struggle to survive on our own in the wild, often failing to overcome even basic challenges, like obtaining food, building shelters, or avoiding predators. On the other hand, human groups have produced ingenious technologies, sophisticated languages, and complex institutions that have permitted us to successfully expand into a vast range of diverse environments. What has enabled us to dominate the globe, more than any other species, while remaining virtually helpless as lone individuals? This book shows that the secret of our success lies not in our innate intelligence, but in our collective brains-on the ability of human groups to socially interconnect and learn from one another over generations.Drawing insights from lost European explorers, clever chimpanzees, mobile hunter-gatherers, neuroscientific findings, ancient bones, and the human genome, Joseph Henrich demonstrates how our collective brains have propelled our species' genetic evolution and shaped our biology. Our early capacities for learning from others produced many cultural innovations, such as fire, cooking, water containers, plant knowledge, and projectile weapons, which in turn drove the expansion of our brains and altered our physiology, anatomy, and psychology in crucial ways. Later on, some collective brains generated and recombined powerful concepts, such as the lever, wheel, screw, and writing, while also creating the institutions that continue to alter our motivations and perceptions. Henrich shows how our genetics and biology are inextricably interwoven with cultural evolution, and how culture-gene interactions launched our species on an extraordinary evolutionary trajectory.Tracking clues from our ancient past to the present, The Secret of Our Success explores how the evolution of both our cultural and social natures produce a collective intelligence that explains both our species' immense success and the origins of human uniqueness.
Filling a gap in the literature, this volume explores the struggles and accomplishments of women from both past and present-day Tibet. Here are queens from the imperial period, yoginis and religious teachers of medieval times, Buddhist nuns, oracles, political workers, medical doctors, and performing artists. Most of the essays focus on the lives of individual women, whether from textual sources or from anthropological data, and show that Tibetan women have apparently enjoyed more freedom than women in many other Asian countries. The book is innovative in resisting both romanticization and hypercriticism of women's status in Tibetan society, attending rather to historical description, and to the question of what is distinctive about women's situations in Tibet, and what is common to both men and women in Tibetan society.
In The Alternative Introduction to Biological Anthropology, author
Jon Marks presents an innovative framework for thinking about the
major issues in the field with fourteen original essays designed to
correlate to the core chapters in standard textbooks. Each chapter
draws on and complements--but does not reconstitute (except for the
sake of clarity)--the major data and ideas presented in standard
texts. Marks explores such topics as how we make sense of data
about our origins, where our modern ideas comes from, our inability
to separate natural facts from cultural facts and values as we try
to understand ourselves, and the social and political aspects of
science as a culturally situated mental activity.
Explore the most fascinating, creative, dangerous, and complex species alive today: you and your neighbors in the global village. With compelling photos, engaging examples, and select studies by anthropologists in far-flung places, the authors of ANTHROPOLOGY: THE HUMAN CHALLENGE, 14E, International Edition provide a holistic view of anthropology to help you make sense of today's world. You'll discover the different ways humans face the challenge of existence; the connection between biology and culture in the shaping of human behavior; and the impact of globalization on peoples and cultures around the world.
Explore the most fascinating, creative, dangerous, and complex species alive today: you and your neighbors in the global village. With compelling photos, engaging examples, and select studies by anthropologists in far-flung places, the authors of "Anthropology: The Human Challenge, International Edition" provide a holistic view of anthropology to help you make sense of today's world. With this text you will discover the different ways humans face the challenge of existence, the connection between biology and culture in the shaping of human behavior, and the impact of globalization on peoples and cultures around the world.
A newer edition of this book is available for ordering at the following web address: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780759122031 In addition to the traditional use of participant observation, interviews, and surveys, qualitative researchers have developed a variety of other methods to obtain information in their studies. Visual data from film and still photographs are now supplemented with video and computer techniques and are used in many settings. Focused group interviews, once in the domain of market researchers, are now regularly used by qualitative researchers as well. Elicitation techniques, such as triads, pile sorts, and freelists, originally developed by cognitive anthropologists have been widely adopted to help understand the inner workings of the members of a group. In this brief volume, these three sets of methods are explained in simple, practical language. The authors describe when and how to use these sets of techniques for community research, market research, and formative evaluation and other health, social welfare, and educational settings both domestically and internationally.
The writers in Life After Work, no longer accountable to a boss, have realized their wildest dreams. They administrate theater companies, become counselors and teachers, build houses and run marathons. They also discuss the challenges of adjusting to a new lifestyle, the difficulties of living on a pension, and the experiences of solitude and loss of perceived status and responsibility.
"Public and Private "was first published in 1997. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
This groundbreaking work examines the emergent and fluctuating relationship between the public and private social spheres of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By assessing novels such as Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" and Jane Austen's "Emma" through the lens of the social theories of Jurgen Habermas and Michel Foucault, Patricia McKee presents a fresh and highly original contribution to literary studies.
McKee explores the themes of production and consumption as they relate to gender and class throughout the works of many of the most influential novels of the age including Tobias Smollett's "Humphry Clinker," Horace Walpole's "The Castle of Otranto," "Emma," "Frankenstein," Anthony Trollope's "Barchester Towers," Charles Dickens's "Little Dorrit" and "The Old Curiosity Shop," Mrs. Henry Wood's "East Lynne," and Thomas Hardy's "The Return of the Native."
McKee analyzes portrayals of a society in which abstract idealism belonged to knowledgeable, productive men and the realm of ignorance was left to emotional, consuming women and the uneducated. She traces the various ways British literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries worked to reform this social experience. Topics include Dickens's attack on the bureaucratic use of knowledge to maintain the status quo; the function of antiprogressive depictions of knowledge in Trollope, Shelley, and Hardy; and Austen's characterization of the protagonist Emma as an exception in a society that denied women's productive use of knowledge.
Offering a sharp challenge to theorists who have charted a linear division of public and private experience, McKee highlights the unexpected configurations of the emergence of the public and private spheres and the effect of knowledge distribution across class and gender lines.
Patricia McKee is professor of English at Dartmouth College. She is the author of "Heroic Commitment in Richardson, Eliot, and James" (1986).
When people do things with words, how do we know what they are doing? Many scholars have assumed a category of things called actions: 'requests', 'proposals', 'complaints', 'excuses'. The idea is both convenient and intuitive, but as this book argues, it is a spurious concept of action. In interaction, a person's primary task is to decide how to respond, not to label what someone just did. The labeling of actions is a meta-level process, appropriate only when we wish to draw attention to others' behaviors in order to quiz, sanction, praise, blame, or otherwise hold them to account. This book develops a new account of action grounded in certain fundamental ideas about the nature of human sociality: that social conduct is naturally interpreted as purposeful; that human behavior is shaped under a tyranny of social accountability; and that language is our central resource for social action and reaction.
Explore cultural anthropology and its relevance in today's world with Gary Ferraro and Susan Andreatta's CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY: AN APPLIED PERSPECTIVE, Tenth Edition. This contemporary book provides interesting real-world examples and applications of the principles and practices of anthropology, helping readers appreciate other cultures as well as their own--and apply what they learn to situations in their personal and professional life.
Shabano -- the name for the hamlets of palm-thatched dwellings where the Yanomama Indians of Venezuela and southern Brazil live -- recounts the vivid and unforgettable experience of anthropologists Florinda Donner's time with an indigenous tribe in the endangered rain forest. Shabano dramatically documents the daily life and mysterious rituals of a disappearing people.
What is it that makes us human? There are more than seven billion of us on the planet and we come in all different shapes and sizes, are born in different cultures and to different parents, but fundamentally we are the same. People Like Us provides a tongue-in-cheek investigation of the human race that might serve as a guide to earthlings for an imaginary alien visiting our planet for the first time. Amusing and entertaining, it documents the things we do; the things that make us human. This book is the culmination of more than 25 years of human observation. An inveterate people watcher and devotee of Honore Balzac, Sasha Gusov's career has taken him to over 40 countries where he has devoted his spare time to casting his keen and playful eye on the quirks that make us human.
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