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Why humans have cultures : explaining anthropology and social diversity

Author: Michael Carrithers
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.
Series: OPUS.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"How and why do humans create so many different forms of life? This book presents an original and powerful answer to this central problem of anthropology." "Why Humans Have Cultures asks three basic questions: what unity underlies cultural diversity? What are the origins of that diversity? How can we understand it? Michael Carrithers argues that it is the ways in which people interact with each other, rather than  Read more...
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Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Michael Carrithers
ISBN: 0192192272 9780192192271 0192892118 9780192892119
OCLC Number: 25509519
Notes: "An OPUS book"--Half-title.
Description: xi, 217 p. ; 22 cm.
Contents: The question - one strand, a second strand, a third strand, and all strands together; the great arc - the great arc, sea shells, between, Europe and the people without history, metamorphic life, the question again; beginning to make history - Darwinian demands, the basic sketch, social and technical intelligence, the selective advantage of sociality, an evolutionary ratchet, the invention of history, three tales; the anatomy of sociality - intersubjectivity, mind-reading, politeness, pedagogy and aesthetic standards, creativity and repetition with constant variation, speech and stories, putting it back together; reading minds and reading life - research programmes, narrative thought, Oedipus Rex, making events, recapitulation; the bull and the saint - the philosopher and the story-teller, a short, sharp story, ambiguities, Siddhasagar again, a disagreement, paradigmatic thought again, imagery.
Series Title: OPUS.
Responsibility: Michael Carrithers.
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Abstract:

Aims to provide an introduction to anthropology, showing it as an activity which helps us to understand human social and cultural diversity. This book is also an invitation to anthropologists, which  Read more...

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"A stimulating contribution to the debate on "the nature of human nature"--extremely well-presented."--William Lipe, Washington State University."..presents a complex problem in an entertaining, but Read more...

 
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schema:reviewBody""How and why do humans create so many different forms of life? This book presents an original and powerful answer to this central problem of anthropology." "Why Humans Have Cultures asks three basic questions: what unity underlies cultural diversity? What are the origins of that diversity? How can we understand it? Michael Carrithers argues that it is the ways in which people interact with each other, rather than technological advances, that have been of crucial importance in human history. The human capacity for social interaction, whether on a grand scale or between individuals, is a prime mover in the continual process of social innovation. The imaginative and flexible nature of human social intelligence has created the vast and complex web of different cultures, societies, and histories which exist today." "In this lucid and thought-provoking book, Michael Carrithers draws both on ancient and contemporary examples to show how this perspective forms a firm foundation for the study of culture, society, and history. It is necessary, he argues, to look at societies rather than technologies in order to produce challenging, useful, and reliable knowledge about ourselves."--BOOK JACKET."
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