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The Art of Being Human: A Textbook for Cultural Anthropology cover image

The Art of Being Human: A Textbook for Cultural Anthropology

(2 reviews)

Michael Wesch, Kansas State University

Pub Date: 2018

ISBN 13: 9781944548131

Publisher: New Prairie Press

Language: English

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Reviewed by Christina Cappy, Instructor of Anthropology, Central Oregon Community College on 6/21/19

This book offers a creative and innovative approach to teaching anthropology. Rather than dividing content into topics such as gender, race, and the economy, this book adopts an alternative approach that covers key anthropological skills and asks... read more


Reviewed by Lori Cole, Instructor, Chemeketa Community College on 5/5/19

Let me start by saying I absolutely had no idea this book would be so fabulous. If only all texts were written in this way we'd never have to worry again if our students were reading the information we provide. Professor Wesch's writing style is... read more


Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Fieldwork
  • Lesson 2: Culture
  • Lesson 3: Evolution
  • Lesson 4: Language
  • Lesson 5: Infrastructure
  • Lesson 6: Social Structure
  • Lesson 7: Superstructure
  • Lesson 8: Globalization
  • Lesson 9: "The Good Life"
  • Lesson 10: The Art of Being Human

About the Book

Anthropology is the study of all humans in all times in all places. But it is so much more than that. “Anthropology requires strength, valor, and courage,” Nancy Scheper-Hughes noted. “Pierre Bourdieu called anthropology a combat sport, an extreme sport as well as a tough and rigorous discipline. … It teaches students not to be afraid of getting one’s hands dirty, to get down in the dirt, and to commit yourself, body and mind. Susan Sontag called anthropology a “heroic” profession.” What is the payoff for this heroic journey? You will find ideas that can carry you across rivers of doubt and over mountains of fear to find the the light and life of places forgotten. Real anthropology cannot be contained in a book. You have to go out and feel the world’s jagged edges, wipe its dust from your brow, and at times, leave your blood in its soil. In this unique book, Dr. Michael Wesch shares many of his own adventures of being an anthropologist and what the science of human beings can tell us about the art of being human.

About the Contributors


Michael Wesch, Kansas State University