A Life in Anthropology


John  Forrest– Professor Emeritus, Purchase College SUNY, Purchase, NY,  USA

Series: Anthropology Research and Developments
BISAC: SOC000000; SOC002010; SOC022000
DOI: https://doi.org/10.52305/QSJC4401

This book is a series of essays for people who are interested in anthropology, whether they be school leavers considering possibilities for university, or simply curious minds looking for alternate ways of thinking about the world we live in. The book is not in any sense meant to be exhaustive in terms of the things that interest anthropologists, nor completely definitive in terms of the current state of play within the discipline, but, rather, a look at how the anthropological lens can be helpful in viewing the world, particularly as it relates to problems that you encounter – maybe on an everyday basis. The chapters are based on my experience as a fieldworker and lecturer in anthropology for over forty years.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Orientation

Chapter 2. What Is the Meaning of Life? Worldviews

Chapter 3. You are OK, How Am I? Feedback Loops

Chapter 4. Traffic Jams: Optimizing and Maximizing

Chapter 5. There’s No Free Lunch: Gifts, Reciprocity, and Transactions

Chapter 6. What’s the Difference? Emic and Etic

Chapter 7. Who Is My Brother? Kinship Systems

Chapter 8. ‘Till Death Us Do Part: Marriage

Chapter 9. Neither In nor Out: Liminal Stuff

Chapter 10. Why Did the Anthropologist Cross the Road? What Traffic Patterns Tells Us about Cultures

Chapter 11. Waiter There’s a Dragonfly in My Soup: Food Taboos

Chapter 12. Ancient Greeks Had No Word for Blue: Color Classification, Language, and Cognition

Chapter 13. Tag, You’re It: Magic, Religion, and Science

Chapter 14. Then and Now: The Search for Origins

Chapter 15. Got Any Change? Marx versus Weber

Chapter 16. Lord, I’m Coming Home: Home and Identity

Chapter 17. I Like It, But Is It Art? Anthropology of Aesthetics

Chapter 18. A Change Is as Good as a Rest: Revitalization and Social Change

Chapter 19. Where Is the Center? Who Am I?



Author’s ORCID iD

John  Forrest 0000-0002-5038-647X

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