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    Read more about The Art of Being Human: A Textbook for Cultural Anthropology

    The Art of Being Human: A Textbook for Cultural Anthropology

    (9 reviews)

    Michael Wesch, Kansas State University

    Copyright Year:

    ISBN 13: 9781944548131

    Publisher: New Prairie Press

    Language: English

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    Reviewed by Sharon Methvin, Instructor, Mt. Hood Community College on 12/2/22

    The material covers much of the material and ideas in an introductory text, but it is difficult to follow the sequence/order of the sections. Terms/concepts could be better identified in a coded or easy to spot framing. I love the colorful... read more

    Reviewed by Diana Fox, Professor and Department Chair, Bridgewater State University on 6/15/20

    The book takes a novel approach to introduce cultural anthropology to students, drawing on wonderful stories and ethnographic anecdotes as a way to discuss anthropological concepts. This means that there is somewhat of a trade-off between anecdote... read more

    Reviewed by K. Drybread, Lecturer, University of Colorado Boulder on 6/11/20

    In the introduction to "The Art of Being Human," Wesch quotes a post that one of his students presumably shared on social media. It reads: "today my anthro professor said something kind of really beautiful: you all have a little bit of 'I want to... read more

    Reviewed by Lara Watkins, Anthropology, Bridgewater State University on 5/30/20

    The book is a short and easy-to-read introduction to anthropology. It covers key concepts in a simple and engaging fashion. It is not really a stand alone textbook, but rather a "grabbing read" that would be best complemented through an... read more

    Reviewed by Lincoln DeBunce, Instructor, Blue Mountain Community College on 12/16/19

    The Art of Being Human has no index or glossary but really doesn’t need one. If you are looking for the tell-tale text book full of boldfaced words and concepts this isn’t for you. Most topics covered in a traditional text book are here, though... read more

    Reviewed by Peggy Gibbons, Assistant Professor of Social Work, George Fox University on 8/31/19

    Although this text is designed for an introductory anthropology course, students from other disciplines will find value in the content and in the power of great story-telling. There are six sections to the book: Fieldwork, Culture, Evolution,... read more

    Reviewed by Sanaa Riaz, Associate Professor, Metropolitan State University of Denver on 7/27/19

    The book covers many foundational concepts, such as ethnocentrism, participant-observation, culture shock and others. However, there are very few important terms described in relation to politics, religion, health, socioeconomic inequalities,... read more

    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

    Ancillary Material

    • New Prairie Press
    • 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

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