The Rise of Anthropological Theory: A History of Theories of Culture

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Rowman Altamira, 2001 - Social Science - 806 pages
4 Reviews
The best known, most often cited history of anthropological theory is finally available in paperback! First published in 1968, Harris's book has been cited in over 1,000 works and is one of the key documents explaining cultural materialism, the theory associated with Harris's work. This updated edition included the complete 1968 text plus a new introduction by Maxine Margolis, which discusses the impact of the book and highlights some of the major trends in anthropological theory since its original publication. RAT, as it is affectionately known to three decades of graduate students, comprehensively traces the history of anthropology and anthropological theory, culminating in a strong argument for the use of a scientific, behaviorally-based, etic approach to the understanding of human culture known as cultural materialism. Despite its popularity and influence on anthropological thinking, RAT has never been available in paperback_until now. It is an essential volume for the library of all anthropologists, their graduate students, and other theorists in the social sciences.
  

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Review: The Rise of Anthropological Theory: A History of Theories of Culture

User Review  - pronoti - Goodreads

The biggest appeal of this book, for me, is its comprehensive nature. Harris manages to give his critique of the different schools of thoughts he describes while submitting before the readers a huge ... Read full review

Review: The Rise of Anthropological Theory: A History of Theories of Culture

User Review  - Emily - Goodreads

Partially read. We read this in our lab meeting to get more background on theory. Ugh. It really isn't a 'reader' on theory, but Harris's opinions, alone. Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
1
Enlightenment
8
Reaction and Recovery The Early Nineteenth Century
53
Rise of Racial Determinism
80
Spencerism
108
Evolutionism Methods
142
The Evolutionists Results
180
Dialectical Materialism
217
Diffusionism
373
Culture and Personality PreFreudian
393
Culture and Personality Freudian
422
Culture and Personality New Directions
449
French Structuralism
464
British Social Anthropology
514
Ernies Etics and the New Ethnography
568
Statistical Survey and the Nomothetic Revival
605

Historical Particularism Boas
250
The Boasian Milieu
290
The Ethnographic Basis of Particularism
301
Kroeber
319
Lowie
343
Cultural Materialism General Evolution
634
Cultural Materialism Cultural Ecology
654
Bibliography
688
Index
765
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About the author (2001)

Marvin Harris is an American anthropologist who was educated at Columbia University, where he spent much of his professional career. Beginning with studies on race relations, he became the leading proponent of cultural materialism, a scientific approach that seeks the causes of human behavior and culture change in survival requirements. His explanations often reduce to factors such as population growth, resource depletion, and protein availability. A controversial figure, Harris is accused of slighting the role of human consciousness and of underestimating the symbolic worlds that humans create. He writes in a style that is accessible to students and the general public, however, and his books have been used widely as college texts.

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