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  • Published: 18 September 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141983226
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

Think Like an Anthropologist




Essential reading for anyone who wants a fresh take on our cultural values that goes beyond economics, psychology and politics

What is anthropology? What can it tell us about the world around us? And why do we need it?

For well over one hundred years, social and cultural anthropologists have traversed the world from Melanesia to suburban England, Taipei to Wall Street, uncovering surprising facts, patterns, predilections and, sometimes, the inexplicable, in terms of how humans organize their lives and articulate their values. By weaving together theories and examples from around the world, Matthew Engelke brilliantly shows why anthropology matters: not only because it helps us understand other points of view, but also because in the process, it reveals something about ourselves too.

  • Published: 18 September 2017
  • ISBN: 9780141983226
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $22.99

Praise for Think Like an Anthropologist

Engelke's subtle and self-reflexive study presents an excellent overview of the debates and issues that have shaped this hugely influential social science. . . Using an eclectic range of examples, including "bridewealth" in modern China and the role of social values in Downton Abbey, he shows how anthropology reveals both the limits of common sense and the universal lessons that can be drawn from communities everywhere

PD Smith, Guardian

Think Like an Anthropologist sets forth the anthropological sensibility as a mode of thinking that might encourage us to better appreciate the complexity and diversity of the modern world

Lamorna Ash, TLS

Informing -- and perhaps occasionally startling readers who aren't themselves anthropologists -- is a profoundly important goal. Engelke achieves his goal with crystal-clear writing, and occasional humor, too

Barbara J. King, NPR

An affable introduction to the discipline

James Ryerson, New York Times Book Review

Clearly the work of an author having tremendous fun with material he knows inside out . . . Thinking like an anthropologist is something that we should all do more often

Simon Underdown, Times Higher Education

We may not do research in faraway places or even nearby, among our curious neighbors, but we all need to be anthropologists. Thinking like an anthropologist means stopping to consider our common-sense categories in critical, comparative, and historically informed ways. Matthew Engelke's admirably lucid book gives us the tools we need

James Clifford, author of Returns: Becoming Indigenous in the Twenty-First Century

A terrific introduction to the field. Beautifully written, winningly told, and provocative, the book captures the basic feature of the discipline: that anthropology is a way of seeing and thinking. Anthropology invites you to see yourself as someone else might see you. In this way, it is the most world-changing of fields

T. M. Luhrmann, author of When God Talks Back

Playful and perceptive, Matthew Engelke welcomes readers into the fascinating history and profound insights of anthropology. This elegant synthesis shows how the discipline can change the way we think about the world

Caitlin Zaloom, author of Out of the Pits

Brilliant, lively, short(ish) introduction into the key issues that shape anthropology. The ideal introduction for a general reader, a student - or the parent of a teenager who does not understand why their kid wants to study anthropology instead of accounting. (Don't worry; they can still find a job.)

Gillian Tett, Guardian

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