A Companion to Biological Anthropology [book review]

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Robert Anemone, Professor and Department Head (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: The publication of a new volume in the Blackwell Companions to Anthropology series provides an opportunity to reflect on the nature and breadth of our discipline. According to the publisher, the aim of this series is to offer “comprehensive syntheses of the traditional subdisciplines, primary subjects, and geographic areas of inquiry…and a cutting edge guide to the emerging research and intellectual trends in the field as a whole.” In this, the seventh title in the series, editor Clark Spencer Larsen and a large (N = 40), diverse group of authors have succeeded brilliantly in describing the wide range of issues and themes of interest to biological anthropologists, as well as summarizing what we know, and sometimes what we don't know, about these questions. As the editor explicitly points out in his Introduction, the central paradigm of biological anthropology is evolutionary theory. I should say that I use the term paradigm in the sense of a lens or explanatory framework with which we view our subject matter—humans and other primates. Our focus on evolutionary theory provides the metaphorical glue that binds together biological anthropologists who work in such seemingly disparate areas as genetics, epidemiology, behavior, biomechanics, physiology, growth, nutrition, and paleontology. My sense is that the shared focus and identity that evolutionary theory provides us as biological anthropologists is a much-valued feature of our field that is perhaps missing from some of the other subdisciplines of Anthropology.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
anthropology, book reviews, evolutionary theory, biological anthropology

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