Via 100 entries or "mini-chapters," 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook highlights the most important topics, issues, questions, and debates any student obtaining a degree in the field of anthropology ought to have mastered for effectiveness in the 21st century. This two-volume set provides undergraduate majors with an authoritative reference source that serves their research needs with more detailed information than encyclopedia entries but in a clear, accessible style, devoid of jargon, unnecessary detail or density.Key Features- Emphasizes key curricular topics, making it useful for students researching for term papers, preparing for GREs, or considering topics for a senior thesis, graduate degree, or career.- Comprehensive, providing full coverage of key subthemes and subfields within the discipline, such as applied anthropology, archaeology and paleontology, sociocultural anthropology, evolution, linguistics, physical and biological anthropology, primate studies, and more.- Offers uniform chapter structure so students can easily locate key information, within these sections: Introduction, Theory, Methods, Applications, Comparison, Future Directions, Summary, Bibliography & Suggestions for Further Reading, and Cross References.- Available in print or electronically at SAGE Reference Online, providing students with convenient, easy access to its contents.
Chapter 14: Concept of Culture
Concept of Culture
Culture, as a concept, is one of the most complex ideas in academic use today. It is defined and applied in various and often incompatible ways and is the site of significant disagreement between academic disciplines regarding the fundamental character of human social life and the manner in which it is to be studied. For anthropologists, culture tends to refer to symbolic systems of beliefs, values, and shared understandings that render the world meaningful and intelligible for a particular group of people. While these systems-which provide the basis for such elementary concepts as food and kinship and even influence how individuals experience time, space, and other aspects of reality-often appear to their adherents as natural and objective, they in fact ...