8 reasons to love ethnography, sociology, and social anthropology

A Listmania! list by American Ethnography (Anywhere)
The list author says: "Here are some bang-up works from the world of ethnography, sociology, and social anthropology. These are books that became classics in their fields because they are very well written and nice to read, so don't be afraid to try them out! In addition: they are books which will make you more enlightened and more perceptive, wiser, sagacious and cool to hang with, and since those are qualities we believe in at American Ethnography, we think you all should check out some of these beauties. (We have listed the books in chronological order.)"
The Rites of Passage
1.  The Rites of Passage by Arnold van Gennep
The list author says:
  "Have you ever use the phrase "rite of passage" in a sentence? You probably have, and so you should know that Arnold Van Gennep was the guy who first wrote the concept down, back in 1909 when he described the phenomena in this book here. After you read this, you can drop Gennep's name in conversations, and people will know you posses deep and brilliant insights. You'll feel awesome!"
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The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (Oxford World's Classics)
2.  The Elementary Forms of Religious Life (Oxford World's Classics) by Emile Durkheim
The list author says:
  "Here's Durkheim's conclusion: “A religion is a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them.” … But, hey, read the rest of it, too. It'll be good for us all if you do."
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Argonauts Of The Western Pacific - An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea - With 5 maps, 65 ... (Studies in Economics and Political Science)
3.  Argonauts Of The Western Pacific - An Account of Native Enterprise and Adventure in the Archipelagoes of Melanesian New Guinea - With 5 maps, 65 ... (Studies in Economics and Political Science) by Bronislaw Malinowski
The list author says:
  "Bronislaw Malinowski is often said to have invented modern fieldwork. In Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922), a result of his “voluntary” wartime exile on the Trobriand islands, Malinowski eloquently argues that participant observation is the anthropologist's most important tool in the study of cultures. This was groundbreaking ethnography when first published and it's still a riveting read!"
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The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies
4.  The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies by Marcel Mauss
The list author says:
  "After reading this book, giving and receiving becomes very complicated."
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Crime and Custom in Savage Society: [1926/1940]
5.  Crime and Custom in Savage Society: [1926/1940] by Malinowski
The list author says:
  "One more Malinowski book on the list?! Well, why not ... the guy was, after all, the bomb. This one will help you  reflect around the basic workings of how society sanctions and punishes the types of behavior it finds unacceptable. Once again, the master at work."
$39.80   Used & New from: $32.31

Patterns of Culture
6.  Patterns of Culture by Ruth Benedict
The list author says:
  "As far as we can remember, this is the only book from the field of anthropology that ever made us cry. When the Paiute Chief whips out his broken cup allegory, we break down. Every time. Ruth Benedict – we salute you."
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Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo
7.  Purity and Danger: An Analysis of the Concepts of Pollution and Taboo by Mary Douglas
The list author says:
  "The notion that dirt is "matter out of place" could well be the single definition you want to take from this book, but we dare you to stop at that one sentence. This thing will draw you in. Supposedly  the Times Literary Supplement once listed this book as one of the hundred most influential non-fiction books published since 1945, and that's probably a fair postulate."
Used & New from: $15.99

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Pigs for the Ancestors: Ritual in the Ecology of a New Guinea People
8.  Pigs for the Ancestors: Ritual in the Ecology of a New Guinea People by Roy A. Rappaport
The list author says:
  "Nutritional data has never been this exciting! It's a tour de force of ecological anthropology as Rappaport masterfully shows us how natural environment impacts a culture's ritual cycles and warfare."
$32.84   Used & New from: $10.00
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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American Ethnography (Anywhere)
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Last updated: 10/5/11
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