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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction to Anthropology
This was the main text book used for an Anthropology course which was run by the London School of Economics last summer, which I had the pleasure of attending. This book was perfect for both those who had no background in the life sciences and for those who had studied related disciplines but not particularly Anthropology. It gave the course director an opening for each...
Published on 17 Mar. 2009 by D. O'Riordan

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable anthropology introduction, with some fascinating examples
A reasonable introduction into anthropology, splitting halfway between a discussion of the theoretical underpinnings of the field and examples of cultural diversity in various areas (religion, possessions, relationships, etc.). The examples are completely fascinating, but the theoretical discussions are somewhat dry and although they don't shirk from describing the...
Published on 27 Sept. 2008 by Daniel Bor


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful introduction to Anthropology, 17 Mar. 2009
By 
D. O'Riordan "Dee" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
This was the main text book used for an Anthropology course which was run by the London School of Economics last summer, which I had the pleasure of attending. This book was perfect for both those who had no background in the life sciences and for those who had studied related disciplines but not particularly Anthropology. It gave the course director an opening for each of the topics which he introduced, and subsequent anecdotes and examples of the issues which arose during lectures. Monaghan and Just do a wonderful job of providing a personal dimension by relating actual events which occured during their many years conducting fieldwork. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the general area of Anthropology, not neccesssarily from an academic vantage point. It is written in very comprehensible English with relatively no jargon used. Well done to both authors in providing an excellent insight into the lives of those who in some ways are so far removed from modern Western civilization, and giving us, the readers an opportunity to compare and contrast our own cultural rites and rituals.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly does what it intends, 9 Oct. 2002
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I am not an anthropologist, but this book admirably delivers a real sense of the diversity of human culture in today's world. The history (or histories) of anthropology becomes the grounding for the scholarly elucidation of key issues, which are illustrated by some memorable anecdotes. Perhaps its obvious albeit minor failing to the non-specialist is the way it simply comes down on the side of cultural relativism (as against internationalism in human rights), minus any substantial debate or sense of whether this is the prevailing view within anthropology.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable anthropology introduction, with some fascinating examples, 27 Sept. 2008
By 
Daniel Bor (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
A reasonable introduction into anthropology, splitting halfway between a discussion of the theoretical underpinnings of the field and examples of cultural diversity in various areas (religion, possessions, relationships, etc.). The examples are completely fascinating, but the theoretical discussions are somewhat dry and although they don't shirk from describing the mammoth difficulties in studying a different culture, to my mind betray the shaky pseudo-scientific ground that anthropology rests on.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very Smart Introduction, 19 Jun. 2005
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
The authors manage, within severe space restrictions, to convey the essential features of their discipline, an outline of its history and development, and an indication of the philosophical and moral issues that it raises.
Monaghan's work with the Mixtec of Central America and Just's work with the Dou Donggo of Indonesia are used as sources for the anecdotal details that are used throughout the book to illustrate aspects of anthropology. This is very much a description of anthropology as a practical endeavour, a hands-on discipline whose theories are firmly grounded in the everyday lives of human beings.
Broader theoretical contexts, such as are found in Marxism or Structuralism, are touched on but no more. Those are the things you go on to read about after your appetite has been whetted by an excellent introduction such as this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly What it Advertises, 1 Mar. 2009
By 
Luka Rejec (Ljubljana, Slovenia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
This is a good book, in fact, a very good book. It presents an overview of the field of Social and Cultural Anthropology, the main theories and theories, a hands on example of methodology (participant observation), how theories relate to real-life situations, and so forth.

PROS:
- a very short introduction.
- covers all the fundamentals in an accessible format.

CONS:
- a very short introduction (but I don't count this against it, as it says as much on the cover).
- not really for the casual reader - it's not really popularizing science and it's quite dense. But again, it wasn't billed as such. You see, this book is not an easy read. To understand the concepts, you have to read it slowly, in small chunks and deliberately.

That said, still very recommendable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good introductory book, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
I studied foreign languages and literature in Italy, but we never took an exam on anthropology. So I've always wanted to know at least a bit about it, but I was afraid to find a book that was too difficult to read on my own. This book is actually easy to approach even if one has never heard about the subject, so I would recommend it to anybody who would like to be introduced to this discipline in an easy way.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book which covers the basics, 25 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
A good introductory guide to anthropology. The book itself is very accessible and small enough to fit into your pocket so it's easy to carry around and read. Covers a range to groups and outlines locations around the world on maps for a visual aid.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for beginners in the discipline, 21 Oct. 2013
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This is good book to introduce beginners to cultural analysis. My colleagues and I have chosen it as part of a Cultural Analysis module in the Middle East to provide a general background.
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3.0 out of 5 stars okay, 24 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
takes more of an in depth look at case studies and personal experience of the author to teach you about the subject, not giving the best overview of the topic as a whole.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 19 July 2013
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This review is from: Social and Cultural Anthropology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Paperback)
Worthwhile for anyone unfamiliar with Anthropology and needing an overview which is readable and not too academic. Small size makes it ideal for commuter reading.
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