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A Global Perspective

Ninth Edition
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January 2020 | 656 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
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Using state-of-the-art research, Anthropology: A Global Perspective introduces students to the four core subfields of anthropology and applied anthropology. Integrating material from each subfield, this comprehensive text is founded on four essential themes: the diversity of human societies; the similarities that tie all humans together; the interconnections between the sciences and humanities; and a new theme addressing psychological essentialism. Authors Raymond Scupin and Christopher R. DeCorse demonstrate how anthropologists use research techniques and methods to help solve practical problems and show students how anthropology is relevant to improving human societies. This supportive textbook is grounded in the belief that an enhanced global awareness is essential for people preparing to take their place in the fast-paced, interconnected world of the twenty-first century. The extensively revised Ninth Edition includes a new chapter on gender and sexuality, features a dramatically new look with new photos and figures, and has been updated to reflect the most recent findings in the field.

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Part 1: Basic Concepts in Anthropology
Chapter 1: Introduction to Anthropology
Anthropology: The Four Subfields

Holistic Anthropology, Interdisciplinary Research, and the Global Perspective

Anthropological Explanations

Humanistic Interpretive Approaches in Anthropology

Why Study Anthropology?

Chapter 2: The Record of the Past
Answering Questions

Paleoanthropological Study

Archaeological Research

Locating Sites and Fossil Localities

Archaeological Excavation

Dating Methods

Interpreting the Past

Chapter 3: Evolution
Cosmologies and Human Origins

The Scientific Revolution

Theory of Evolution

Principles of Inheritance

Inheritance and Molecular Genetics

Population Genetics and Evolution

How Do New Species Originate?

The Evolution of Life

Part 2: Biological Anthropology
Chapter 4: The Primates
Primate Characteristics

Classification of Primates

Evolution of the Primate Order

Primate Behavior

The Human Primate

Chapter 5: Hominin Evolution
Trends in Hominin Evolution

Fossil Evolution for Hominin Evolution

Interpreting the Fossil Record

From Homo erectus to Homo sapiens

Genetic Data and Modern Human Origins

Archaic and Anatomically Modern Homo sapiens

Chapter 6: Human Variation
Sources of Human Variation

Adaptive Aspects of Human Variation

Effects of the Physical Environment

Cultural Factors in Human Evolution

The Concept of Race

Heredity and Intelligence

Current Approaches to Human Variation

Part 3: Archaeology
Chapter 7: The Paleolithic
Lifestyles of the Earliest Hominins

The Life and Times of Genus Homo

The Middle Paleolithic

Modern Homo sapiens and Their Cultures

The Migration of Upper Paleolithic Humans

Chapter 8: The Origins of Domestication and Settled Life
The End of Paleolithic: Changes in Climate and Culture

The Neolithic: Origins of Food Production

Why Did Domestication Occur?

Domestication in Different Regions of the World

Consequences of Domestication

Chapter 9: The Rise of the State and Complex Society
The State and Civilization

Studying Complex Societies

Theories about State Formation

States in Different World Areas

The Collapse of State Societies

Part 4: Basic Concepts of Culture and Society
Chapter 10: Culture
The Characteristics of Culture

Culture is Learned

Culture is Shared

Aspects of Culture

Cultural Diversity

Cultural Universals

Chapter 11: The Process of Enculturation: Psychological and Cognitive Anthropology
Biology versus Culture

Instincts and Human Nature

Enculturation: Culture and Personality

Psychoanalytic Approaches in Anthropology

Enculturation and Cognition

Cognitive Anthropology

Evolutionary Psychology

Enculturation and Emotions


The Limits of Enculturation

Chapter 12: Language
Non-Human Animal Communication

Animal Communication versus Human Language

The Evolution of Language

The Structure of Language

Language Acquisition

Language, Thought, and Culture

Historical Linguistics


Nonverbal Communication

Chapter 13: Anthropological Explanations
Nineteenth-Century Evolutionism


Historical Particularism


Twentieth-Century Evolutionism

Marxist Anthropology

Symbolic Anthropology: A Humanistic Method of Inquiry

Feminist Anthropology

Postmodernism and Anthropology

Twenty First Century Cultural Evolution

Chapter 14: Analyzing Sociocultural Systems
Ethnographic Fieldwork

Ethnographic Research and Strategies

Ethics in Anthropological Research

Analysis of Ethnographic Data

Sociocultural Evolution: A Contemporary Model

Types of Sociocultural Systems

Cross-Cultural Research

Part 5: Studying Different Societies
Chapter 15: Environment, Subsistence, and Demography
Subsistence and the Physical Environment


Modern Foraging Environments and Subsistence

Demographic Conditions for Foragers

Environment and Subsistence for Horticulturalsts and Pastoralists

Demographics and Settlement

Environment, Subsistence, and Demography for Chiefdom

Environment and Demography in Agricultural States

Environment and Energy Use in Industrial and Postindustrial States

Demographic Change

Chapter 16: Technology and Economics
Anthropological Explanations of Technology

Anthropology and Economics

Technology in Foraging Societies

Economics in Foraging Societies

Technology Among Horticulturalits and Pastoralists

Economics in Horticulturalists and Pastoralist Societies

Technology in Chiefdoms

Economy Chiefdoms

Technology in Agricultural States

Economics in Agricultural States

Technology and Economic Changes for Industrial and Postindustrial Societies

Chapter 17: Social Structure, the Family, Marriage, and Age
Social Structure

Understanding Incest Avoidance and the Incest Taboo


Social Structure in Hunter-Gatherer Societies

Social Structure in Tribes

Social Structure in Chiefdoms

Social Structure in Agricultural States

Social Stratification in Agricultural States

Social Structure in Industrial and Postindustrial States

Social Stratification in Industrial and Postindustrial Societies

Chapter 18: Gender and Sexuality
Complexities of Sex

Complexities of Gender

Gender in Foraging Societies

Gender in Tribal Societies

Gender and Enculturation: Margaret Mead’s Study

Patriarchy in Tribal Societies

Gender in Chiefdom Societies

Gender in Agricultural States

Gender in Industrial and Postindustrial States

Gender in Latin America, Africa, The Middle East, and Asia

Sexuality in Different Societies

Chapter 19: Politics, Warfare, and Law
Politics, Warfare, and Law

Political Organization in Foraging Societies

Warfare and Violence in Foraging Societies

Political Organization in Horticulturalist and Pastoralist Tribes

Explaining Tribal Warfare

Political Authority in Chiefdoms

The Evolution of Chiefdoms

Politics in Agricultural States

Political Organization in Industrial and Postindustrial States

Warfare and Industrial Technology

Chapter 20: Religion and Aesthetics


Rites of Passage

Cognition and Religion

Aesthetics: Art and Music

Religion among Foragers

Art, Music and Religion among Foragers

Religion among Horticulturalists and Pastoralists

Religion in Chiefdoms

Art, Architecture, and Music in Chiefdoms

Religion in Agricultural States

Art, Architecture, and Music in Agricultural States

Religion and Secularization in Industrial and Postindustrial Societies

Art and Music in Industrial and Postindustrial Societies

Part 6: Consequences of Globalization
Chapter 21: Globalization, Culture, and Indigenous Societies
Globalization: A Contested Term

Globalization: Technological and Economic Trends

Globalization: General Theoretical Approaches

Anthropological Analysis and Globalization

Globalization, Politics, and Culture

Globalization and Indigenous Peoples

Forms of Resistance among Indigenous Peoples

Pro and Anti Globalization: An Anthropological Contribution

Chapter 22: Globalization, Colonialism and Postcolonialism
Globalization and Colonialism

Consequences of Globalization and Colonialism

Political Changes: Independence and Nationalist Movements

Uneven Economic Development

Ethnographic Studies

Social Structure in Postcolonial Societies

Patterns of Ethnicity

Part 7: Anthropology and the Global Future
Chapter 23: Ethnicity
Race, Racism, and Culture

The Cultural and Social Significance of Race


Anthropological Perspectives on Ethnicity

Patterns of Ethnic Relations

Ethnic Relations in the United States


Chapter 24: Applied Anthropology
The Roles of the Applied Anthropologist

Biological Anthropology

Medical Anthropology

Medical Anthropology and Mental Illness

Cultural Resource Management: Applied Archaeology

Who Owns the Past?

Applied Cultural Anthropology

Applied Anthropology, Climate Change, and Sustainability

Applied Anthropology and Human Rights



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“I like the amount of relevant information, how the division of societies are by type of organization, and the use of sociocultural variables.”

Deborah Tooker
Le Moyne College
Key features
  • A fourth core theme of psychological essentialism, the flawed beliefs that members of certain categories or classifications share an underlying invisible essence, is introduced.
  • A dramatically new look: new photos and figures, and others deleted or modified, better illustrate key points.
  • A new chapter on gender and sexuality explores the complexities of topics such as LGBTQ issues in various societies throughout the world.  
  • Chapter 3 on evolution has been condensed, and its key terms reduced, providing a succinct discussion for undergraduate students.
  • Chapter 5 on human evolution and Chapter 7 on the Paleolithic have been substantially revised and updated to include the most up to date paleoanthropological and archaeological data and findings.
  • A new condensed Chapter 22 on globalization, colonialism, and postcolonialism provides the most current ethnographic research on how peoples have been impacted by globalization throughout the world.
  • Updated Anthropologists at Work boxes provide profiles of anthropologists and archaeologists who study native languages, psychological anthropology, YouTube, space travel, the global financial world, and more.
  • New, updated, and expanded discussions include coverage of the current field methods used in archaeological research, the evolution of anatomically modern humans, the Neanderthals, the Denisova hominins, the increasing role of genomic data in the interpretation of hominin evolution and modern human origins, and more.


  • An organization around four unifying themes structure the material presented in this textbook, helping students grasp the complex field of anthropology:
  1. diversity of human societies
  2. similarities that make all humans fundamentally alike
  3. synthetic-complementary approach
  4. psychological essentialism
  • This text engages readers in anthropology by delving into both classic and current research in the field, reflecting a commitment to anthropology’s holistic and integrative approach.
  • Critical Perspectives boxes are designed to stimulate independent reasoning and judgment by prompting students to take on the role of anthropologists and engage in the critical analysis of specific problems that arise in anthropological research.
  • Chapter Outlines at the beginning of each chapter provide students with a comprehensive view of the content ahead.
  • Learning Objectives prompt students to begin each chapter with an idea of what they should seek to understand as well as summarize at the end of the section.
  • Every chapter ends with a Summary and Review of Learning Objectives, helping students review and better retain concepts.
  • A list of Key Terms with page numbers in every chapter helps students focus on the key concepts introduced.

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