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Common Myths of Culture:
An Introduction to
Cultural Anthropology

Nancy P. McKee and
Linda Stone
Washington State University

ISBN: 978-1-59738-059-8 
© 2016

364 pages / paper /
student price $89.95


Table of Contents 
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The world today is increasingly concerned with and intrigued by “culture,” yet misconceptions about it abound. This introduction to cultural anthropology explores the concept of culture through the refutation of many commonly-held myths about the subject including, for example, that some cultures are intrinsically superior to others, or that as cultures have evolved through time they have resulted in greater well-being for most of the world’s population.

Common Myths of Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology begins by exploring the notion of culture, touching upon its biological basis and development through time.  Subsequent chapters explore aspects of culture such as communication, making a living, family structure, and group organization.  Each of these sections includes considerations of societies that range from small-scale groups to metropolitan populations through time and space, and each chapter considers issues of social inequality and gender.

The overarching concern of the authors is, in the words of the German poet Novalis, to “make the strange familiar and the familiar strange” and thus to illustrate the central teaching of anthropology, that humans are dramatically diverse in their cultural practices but profoundly the same in their shared needs, goals, and capabilities.