Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology proposes an innovative approach to understanding culture as a constructed phenomenon open to investigation of its implicit premises and explicit forms.
This exciting book offers a refreshing hands-on alternative to more traditional textbooks by challenging readers to think about culture in new ways and to apply these ideas to their own lives. Investigating Culture teaches students to think like anthropologists by encouraging them to compare their own cultural experiences with that of anthropologists who enter a culture specifically to study it. Approaching the study of culture or cultural anthropology in this way trains students to confront the reflexive nature of anthropology early on and to distance themselves from the inherent flaws of studying the “exotic Other.” Investigating Culture is divided into nine chapters that focus on the variety of ways that humans orient themselves - in space and time, by means of language, the body, the structures of everyday life, and the symbols of religion and public ritual. Each chapter includes an introduction outlining the central issues, selected classic readings, examples from a variety of cultures, suggested additional readings, and a series of exercises designed to make the analysis of culture personally accessible.