3rd Edition

Inside Cultures An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

By William Balée Copyright 2022
    324 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    324 Pages 61 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This concise, contemporary option for instructors of cultural anthropology breaks away from the traditional structure of introductory textbooks. Emphasizing the interaction between humans and their environment, the tension between human universals and cultural variation, and the impacts of colonialism on traditional cultures, Inside Cultures shows students how cultural anthropology can help us understand the complex, globalized world around us. This third edition:

    • contains brand new material on many subjects, including anthropological approaches to anti-racism social movements in the Global North during 2020;
    • includes findings in anthropological research regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, and its relation to other recent global events and conditions;
    • updates the organization and presentation of cultural universals and cultural variations;
    • presents updated and enhanced discussions of anthropological studies of humankind and the environment, with expanded analysis of industrial agriculture in the age of globalization;
    • includes more illustrations and updates to existing illustrations, sidebars, and guideposts throughout the volume;
    • is written in clear, supple prose that delights readers while informing on content of one of the important courses in a liberal arts education, one that effectively bridges humanities and the sciences.


    1. The Study of Us

    2. Sociocultural Universals

    3. Cultural Variation

    4. Where Anthropology Comes From

    5. Contemporary Theory and Method

    6. Social Organization in Kin-Based Societies

    7. Politics and Power

    8. Ecology, Landscape, and Culture

    9. Colonialism and the World System

    10. Collapse and Change

    11. Applications of Cultural Anthropology

    12. Globalization and Indigeneity

    13. Concluding Remarks


    William Balée is Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University.