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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This overview of cultural anthropology begins with a brief discussion of historical, recent, and current trends in theory and method. Next, there is a critical analysis of two broad issues concerning the anthropological subject: namely, tensions between approaches and perspectives emphasizing the individual, practice, and agency, on the one hand, and those emphasizing collectivities, institutions, and structure, on the other; and tensions between shared universal themes, on the one hand, and local cultural variations, on the other. There follow illustrative examples from selected relevant topics, including enculturation, altered states, healing, the body and senses, and personhood. The chapter concludes with a brief sum-up and key questions for future directions in cultural anthropology.

Keywords: cultural anthropology, cultural theory, ethnography, psychological anthropology, enculturation, altered states, personhood

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