Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780192853462

John Monaghan; Peter Just
176 Pages
113 x 179 mm
Pub date
Feb 2000
Very Short Introductions


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  • 'A very good idea, these Very Short Introductions, a new concept from OUP' Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
  • Authors draw on their own experience of anthropology, including fieldwork in Mexico and Indonesia
  • Accessible and stimulating

If you want to know what anthropology is, look at what anthropologists do

This Very Short Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology combines an accessible account of some of the disciplines guiding principles and methodology with abundant examples and illustrations of anthropologists at work. 

Peter Just and John Monaghan begin by discussing anthropologys most important contributions to modern thought: its investigation of culture as a distinctively human characteristic, its doctrine of cultural relativism, and its methodology of fieldwork and ethnography. They then examine specific ways in which social and cultural anthropology have advanced our understanding of human society and culture, drawing on examples from their own fieldwork. The book ends with an assessment of anthropologys present position, and a look forward to its likely future.


1. Fieldwork and Ethnography
2. Culture
3. Society
4. Sex and blood
5. Class and caste, village and city, home and the world
6. Language and social life
7. The culturally constructed self
8. The future of anthropology
Further reading

About the author: 

John Monaghan is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Vanderbilt University, and author of The Covenants With Earth and Rain: Exchange, Sacrifice, and Revelation in Mixtec Sociality (University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).

Peter Just is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts. His research and teaching interests include law and dispute settlement, religion and magic, and the cross-cultural study of personality and emotions. He is the author of Dou Donggo Justice: Conflict and Morality in an Indonesian Society (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998).

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