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Anthropology makes a unique contribution to the study of egalitarianism. While ‘egalitarianism’ has long been the purview of moral philosophy, anthropology is unique in that it is the...
by Megan Laws
Social reproduction is a lens through which to analyse the persistence of society over time, even as its human and material components keep changing. Its main value is in identifying...
by Hadas Weiss
The collapse of the socialist societies in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union drastically changed the lives of millions of people and offered a new and exciting field of research...
by Dominic Martin
Sharing is a particularly versatile and widespread human practice that features in all domains of life, including religion and politics, family life, and economics. It has a long...
by Thomas Widlok
Climate change, largely a product of human activities, is arguably the most comprehensive and dramatic challenge facing humanity. In the first decades of this century, its...
by Thomas Hylland Eriksen
Depression, which psychiatrists regard as a most common mental illness, has been examined by anthropologists especially closely since the 1980s. While most medical experts consider...
by Junko Kitanaka, Stefan Ecks
Dependence is often considered as a primarily negative state of being. It has gone from being described as a threat to individual self-reliance in early modern political theory in...
by Keir Martin
Paying tax or avoiding tax is part of everyday life across the globe. But what kinds of payments are taxes, and how do fiscal systems shape society? Taxes are often conceived of as a...
by Miranda Sheild Johansson
‘Neoliberalism’ is a widely used term that travelled from economic philosophy into policymaking, and from policymaking into critical social scientific discourse in the late twentieth...
by Natalie Morningstar
Cooperatives are a main means of organization for economic activity, generally operating on principles of equal membership and members’ democratic control of their means of...
by Theodoros Rakopoulos
As one of the oldest forms of social actions that bind people together and as an arresting example of the universality and diversity of humanity, gift exchange has long been a focus...
by Yunxiang Yan
Hunting and gathering
Hunting and gathering constitute the oldest human mode of making a living, and the only one for which there is an uninterrupted record from human origins to the present....
by Thomas Widlok
Professions are institutionalised bodies of specialised knowledge and practice around which divisions of labour within contemporary societies are organised. As well as performing a...
by Elizabeth Hull
Money is a formidable subject — an intimate object in our everyday lives, a claim over resources, and a topic of academic inquiry. Textbooks define money by its various functions, e....
by Allison Truitt
Farming has become increasingly visible in recent years, following a growing public interest in how food is produced. Anthropologists have been studying farming since the founding of...
by Andrew Ofstehage
Because water permeates every aspect of human existence, ethnographic accounts describe many forms of engagement with it: for example, its centrality to modes of production; its...
by Veronica Strang
House and home
If asked to imagine home, most of us will come to think of a particular house or building. And, for many of us, the quintessential image of home remains the place we grew up in. This...
by Farhan Samanani, Johannes Lenhard
Mining has occurred for thousands of years, and social anthropologists have studied it for almost a century. This entry explains anthropology's principle findings about mining,...
by Alex Golub
From plastics in the oceans, to the export of toxic materials, waste is an issue that increasingly attracts public attention as well as demands for political and environmental action...
by Patrick O'Hare
Though there is no universally accepted definition for what constitutes a ‘game’, games are typically defined as goal-oriented, rules-based activities closely associated with the...
by Max Watson
‘The digital’ is defined here as new technologies that are ultimately reducible to binary code. These have made many cultural artefacts easier and quicker to both reproduce and to...
by Daniel Miller
Cet article aborde la charité comme un terme «étique» qui facilite la comparaison entre des traditions différentes. Les bases théoriques en ont été posées par deux grands...
by Jonathan Benthall
What is adoption? To answer this question is to jump directly into one of the key controversies of anthropology: anthropologists, associated for over a century with the close study...
by Jessaca Leinaweaver
Precarity emerged as a central concern in scholarly research and writing in the twenty-first century, partly in response to political mobilizations against unemployment and social...
by Sharryn Kasmir
This entry considers charity as an ‘etic’ term that facilitates comparison between different traditions. Theoretical foundations were laid by two great anthropologists at the...
by Jonathan Benthall
Tourism is a new phenomenon in world history, but today more people travel long distances for this purpose than for any other. This entry traces some main contributions...
by Rupert Stasch
Bureaucracy quite literally translates into rule by public office (‘bureau’). The anthropology of bureaucracy can be seen as falling under two broad approaches. Firstly, there is an...
by Nayanika Mathur
Feasts are special meals (food out of the ordinary in kind or quantity) shared among an enlarged circle of people. They are occasions for many kinds of activities, not only eating...
by Chloe Nahum-Claudel
With images of protest and dissent widespread and frequently circulated in news broadcasts and social media posts, resistance to prevailing power structures seems to be an expected...
by Fiona Wright
Anthropology museums and museum anthropology
This entry provides an overview of the history, politics and changing roles of anthropology museums. It explores the developing field of museum anthropology, which encompasses the...
by Anita Herle
Colonialism / postcolonialism
The giant composite field of colonialism and postcolonialism studies has had a transforming effect on modern anthropology. Anthropologists have been innovative users of its...
by Susan Bayly
Gambling occurs when a person commits one or more valuable items (a ‘stake’) to an event or series of events packaged together, and where the result determines a loss or win at a...
by Anthony Pickles