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.



Mark Moberg

Long established as the unifying principle of North American anthropology, the concept of culture is now deployed globally across numerous disciplines and professions. Early in the 20th century, American anthropologists advanced culture (rather than race) as the chief determinant of human behavior and behavioral difference worldwide. Yet even as anthropologists agreed that behavior is overwhelmingly cultural in origin, their definitions of the concept proliferated. In their encyclopedic 1952 review, Kroeber and Kluckhohn enumerated 164 meanings then in use, including their own, oft-cited definition of ‘all those historically created designs for living, explicit and implicit, rational, irrational, and nonrational, which exist at any given time as potential guides for the behavior of men’ (1952: 50).

Despite their efforts, Kroeber and ...

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