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August 26, 2008
9780295987897
English
352
20 illus.
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v2.1 Reference
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August 14, 2015
9780295997155
English
352
20 illus.
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v2.1 Reference

Explaining Culture Scientifically

Edited by Melissa J. Brown
What exactly is culture? The authors of this volume suggest that the study of one of anthropology's central questions may be a route to developing a scientific paradigm for the field. The contributors - prominent scholars in anthropology, biology, and economics - approach culture from very different theoretical and methodological perspectives, through studies grounded in fieldwork, surveys, demography, and other empirical data. From humans to chimpanzees, from Taiwan to New Guinea, from cannibalism to marriage patterns, this volume directly addresses the challenges of explaining culture scientifically. The evolutionary paradigm lends itself particularly well to the question of culture; in these essays, different modes of inheritance - genetic, cultural, ecological, and structural - illustrate evolutionary patterns in a variety of settings.

Explaining Culture Scientifically is divided into parts that address how to think about culture, modeling approaches to cultural influences on behavior, ethnographic case studies addressing the question of culture's influence on behavior, and challenges to the possibility of a scientific approach to culture. It is necessary reading for scholars and students in anthropology and related disciplines.

About the Author

Melissa J. Brown is assistant professor of anthropology at Stanford University. The other contributors are Kenichi Aoki, Christophe Boesch, Robert Borofsky, Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd, Roy D'Andrade, William H. Durham, Marcus W. Feldman, Herbert Gintis, Joseph Henrich, Yasuo Ihara, James Holland Jones, Peter J. Richerson, Gregory Starrett, and Arthur P. Wolf.

Reviews

"Space limitations have prevented me from discussing more than the highlights of the material found in this interesting and informative volume . . ."—Adam Gifford, Jr., Journal of Bioeconomics, Vol. 13 (2011)
University of Washington Press

9780295987897 : explaining-culture-scientifically-brown
Paperback / softback
352 Pages
$30.00 USD
9780295997155 : explaining-culture-scientifically-brown
Hardback
352 Pages
$99.00 USD

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