The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Anthropology is the first instalment of The SAGE Handbook of the Social Sciences series and encompasses major specialities as well as key interdisciplinary themes relevant to the field. Globally, societies are facing major upheaval and change, and the social sciences are fundamental to the analysis of these issues, as well as the development of strategies for addressing them. This handbook provides a rich overview of the discipline and has a future focus whilst using international theories and examples throughout. The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Anthropology is an essential resource for social scientists globally and contains a rich body of chapters on all major topics relevant to the field, whilst also presenting a possible road map for the future of the field. Part 1: Foundations; Part 2: Focal Areas; Part 3: Urgent Issues; and Part 4: Short Essays: Contemporary Critical Dynamics.

Anthropology Theories II: Systems and Complexity

Anthropology theories II: systems and complexity
Sean S. Downey


Using a term like nonlinear science is like referring to the bulk of zoology as the study of non-elephant animals. —Stanislaw Ulam

In the opening quotation, Stanislaw Ulam, a nuclear physicist, mathematician, and participant in the Manhattan Project, characterizes a key scientific insight: the world does not behave in predictable ways and to think otherwise is absurd. Nonlinear systems are a particular type of complex system that can be characterized by mathematical equations that represent disproportional inputs and outputs and which can generate chaotic and unpredictable patterns. Ulam quaintly suggests that this behavior is the norm in most systems, and that the linear models used in biology ...

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