From the Author
I decided to look into the evidence and reasoning that might support more attention to human universals than they were then receiving. The result was this book and a few papers that expand on one or another facets of the matter. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Although human universals were of considerable importance to early anthropologists, a later emphasis on sociocultural determinants of behavior produced an ambivalence toward both universals and the concept of human nature. This ambivalence toward universals has persisted since the 1920s; however, six important case studies involving the classification of basic colors, facial expressions of emotion, sex roles, time, adolescent stress, and the Oedipus Complex have reopened discussion of this nearly taboo topic.
After discussing the distinctions between the various kinds of universals, the history of attempts to study universals, and the means by which universality may be demonstrated and explained, Brown presents a list of some four hundred human universals in the form of an ethnography that describes any and all peoples known to anthropologists. In his conclusion the author charges that, in making universals and human nature virtual non-subjects, anthropology has not adequately performed its major task. While the field has demonstrated well how people vary, it has not provided a sense of the ways in which they are all alike. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.