Anthropology Books

What truly makes us human is somewhat up for debate, and always has been. Some say it’s our ability to create and use language. Some say our interconnected societies and ability to work together. Some see it as a purely biological feature resulting from evolution. These anthropology books delve into the details of these areas, looking at how they relate to people and society and how that relationship has changed over time.

Anthropology Books - Archaeology Researcher Reconstructing Ancient Tool

A Look at People Through Time and Space

To study anthropology means studying the meaning of culture, behavior, and societies through time. Big and small, ancient and modern; all societies can teach us a great deal. And learning about people from the past can shed light on our own way of life today. We might rediscover methods of living and doing things that were lost over time. Or, maybe we can learn from the mistakes that others made and be able to avoid the same blunders.

Although anthropology focuses mostly on culture, it still has many scientific points. Through the books in this category, you can explore these various topics and discover how they relate to one another. For example, some of the main topics in the field are biology and archaeology, which sit alongside linguistics and sociocultural studies. They can get into the details of skeletal structure, diet, psychology, and physical evolution of our ancestors, but always relate these factors back to how they affect society. It’s an interesting mix of humanities and sciences, sitting somewhere in the middle.

What You Can Gain

Scientific or not, reading books on the topic of anthropology can increase your knowledge about subjects such as history, law, culture, linguistics, and the methods used in the field. But it’s about more than just learning facts and information. In a modern sense, anthropology strikes a balance between studying the differences between people as well as the things we all have in common. That is, using critical thinking and analysis to understand people and society at a deeper level; understanding how we interact with each other, and why.

Some issues in anthropology today include the treatment of indigenous groups experiencing either isolation or forced integration. Globalization as a whole presents many problems in need of understanding. An ever an increasing “us” vs “them” mentality poses threats to the peaceful integration of the world.

However, many describe anthropology as “the art of making the familiar exotic, and the exotic familiar.” Keep this in mind as you’re looking through potential reading material. Consider that topics which look familiar are likely to hold many new ideas to expand your mind. Similarly, topics that might sound like they’re not your speed give the perfect chance to become familiar with something new.

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