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Human Materialism: A Model of Sociocultural…

Human Materialism: A Model of Sociocultural Systems and a Strategy for…

by Paul J. Magnarella

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0813012457, Paperback)

"Substantive, interesting, and provocative.  Magnarella has advanced anthropological theory through this work. . . . I believe this book will become a classic in the field."--Mario D. Zamora, College of William and Mary 
"Refreshing and very welcome . . . builds on and expands many of the time-honored concepts in ethnographic science. . . . a sound piece of scholarship [that] focuses our attention on important questions and unresolved debates in the field. . . . a model that many anthropologists will most likely want to test against their own field experience and data."--Andrei Simic, University of Southern California

Human materialism, Magnarella's new paradigm for anthropology, offers both an abstract model of sociocultural systems and a research strategy.  Designed to be dynamic rather than mechanical, the paradigm is flexible enough to deal with systems as small as families or hunting-and-gathering bands and as large as modern nations and international systems.  Furthermore, it can address issues in any social science area, from questions of kinship and law to questions of religion, education, and politics.
 The author supplies several case studies to illustrate how human materialism applies to this range of sociocultural situations: state-level politics and civil violence in Turkey; religion and politics within Arabia's Ikhwan movement; religion, myth, and symbolic systems among Siberia's Koryak. 
 Human materialism not only places human behavior within its environmental context but focuses significantly on human thought, especially the plans, strategies, and agendas of societal leaders. 
 The paradigm integrates a spectrum of theoretical perspectives that are often viewed by anthropologists as mutually exclusive and competitive.  In the process it reaffirms the field's traditional holistic approach to the study of culture and society.  Magnarella contends that such an integrative paradigm can resolve the debate among cultural anthropologists, "those seeking scientific explanations as well as those searching for meaning."
 This work will attract the attention of those interested in theory, modernization, economic development, social and cultural change, and applied and general anthropology.
Paul J. Magnarella is professor of anthropology and affiliate professor in the Center for African Studies at the University of Florida.  Among his recent books are The Peasant Venture and Tradition and Change in a Turkish Town.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:47 -0400)

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