Since its founding in the nineteenth century, social anthropology has been seen as the study of exotic peoples in faraway places. But today more and more anthropologists are dedicating themselves to addressing matters of public concern and to understanding and helping solve social problems wherever they occur-in international aid organizations, British TV studios, American hospitals, or racist enclaves in Eastern Europe, for example. In Exotic No More, an initiative of the Royal Anthropological Institute, some of today's most respected anthropologists demonstrate, in clear, unpretentious prose, the tremendous contributions that anthropology can make to contemporary society.
Covering issues ranging from fundamentalism to forced migration, child labor to crack dealing, and visual arts to tourism, the contributors highlight anthropology's commitment to taking people seriously on their own terms, paying close attention to what they are saying and doing, and trying to understand how they see the world and why. In exposing the cultural basis of seemingly "natural" behaviors and challenging us to rethink some of our most cherished ideas-about gender, "free" markets, "race," and "refugees"-the essays here demonstrate the vitality of anthropology for today's world.