Explore our groundbreaking books that facilitate teaching across disciplines. To request an exam copy, click on “Request an Exam or Desk Copy” on the book page, and this will take you to our distributor’s site where you can order your copy.
Connected: How a Mexican Village Built Its Own Cell Phone Network by Roberto J. González
The true story of how, against all odds, a remote Mexican pueblo built its own autonomous cell phone network—without help from telecom companies or the government. Anthropologist Roberto J. González paints a vivid and nuanced picture of life in a Oaxaca mountain village and the collective tribulation, triumph, and tragedy the community experienced in pursuit of getting connected. In doing so, this book captures the challenges and contradictions facing Mexico’s indigenous peoples today, as they struggle to wire themselves into the 21st century using mobile technologies, ingenuity, and sheer determination. It also holds a broader lesson about the great paradox of the digital age, by exploring how constant connection through virtual worlds can hinder our ability to communicate with those around us.
Anthropologies of Revolution: Forging Time, People, and Worlds by Igor Cherstich, Martin Holbraad, and Nico Tassi
What can anthropological thinking contribute to the study of revolutions? The first book-length attempt to develop an anthropological approach to revolutions, Anthropologies of Revolution proposes that revolutions should be seen as concerted attempts to radically reconstitute the worlds people inhabit. Viewing revolutions as all-embracing, world-creating projects, the authors ask readers to move beyond the idea of revolutions as acts of violent political rupture, and instead view them as processes of societal transformation that penetrate deeply into the fabric of people’s lives, unfolding and refolding the coordinates of human existence.
Inside Ethnography: Researchers Reflect on the Challenges of Reaching Hidden Populations by Miriam Boeri and Rashi K. Shukla
While some books present “ideal” ethnographic field methods, Inside Ethnography shares the realities of fieldwork in action. With a focus on strategies employed with populations at society’s margins, twenty-one contemporary ethnographers examine their cutting-edge work with honesty and introspection, drawing readers into the field to reveal the challenges they have faced.
Representing disciplinary approaches from criminology, sociology, anthropology, public health, business, and social work, and designed explicitly for courses on ethnographic and qualitative methods, crime, deviance, drugs, and urban sociology, the authors portray an evolving methodology that adapts to the conditions of the field while tackling emerging controversies with perceptive sensitivity. Their judicious advice on how to avoid pitfalls and remedy missteps provides unusual insights for practitioners, academics, and undergraduate and graduate students.
Military Waste: The Unexpected Consequences of Permanent War Readiness by Joshua O. Reno
In Military Waste, Joshua O. Reno offers a unique analysis of the costs of American war preparation through an examination of the lives and stories of American civilians confronted with what is left over and cast aside when a society is permanently ready for war. Using ethnographic and archival research, Reno demonstrates how obsolete military junk in its various incarnations affects people and places far from the battlegrounds that are ordinarily associated with warfare. Using a broad swath of examples—from excess planes, ships, and space debris that fall into civilian hands, to the dispossessed and polluted island territories once occupied by military bases, to the militarized masculinities of mass shooters—Military Waste reveals the unexpected and open-ended relationships that non-combatants on the home front form with a nation permanently ready for war.
Fires of Gold: Law, Spirit, and Sacrificial Labor in Ghana by Lauren Coyle Rosen
Fires of Gold is a powerful ethnography of the often shrouded cultural, legal, political, and spiritual forces governing the gold mining industry in Ghana. Lauren Coyle Rosen argues that significant sources of power have arisen outside of the formal legal system to police, adjudicate, and navigate conflict in this theater of violence, destruction, and rebirth. These authorities, or shadow sovereigns, include the transnational mining company, collectivized artisanal miners, civil society advocacy groups, and significant religious figures and spiritual forces from African, Islamic, and Christian traditions. Often more salient than official bodies of government, the shadow sovereigns reveal a reconstitution of sovereign power—one that, in many ways, is generated by hidden dimensions of the legal system. This innovative book illuminates how the crucible of gold, itself governed by spirits, serves as a critical site for embodied struggles over the realignment of the classical philosophical triad: the city, the soul, and the sacred.
Troubled in the Land of Enchantment: Adolescent Experience of Psychiatric Treatment by Janis H. Jenkins and Thomas J. Csordas
In this groundbreaking study based on five years of in-depth ethnographic and interdisciplinary research, Troubled in the Land of Enchantment explores the well-being of adolescents hospitalized for psychiatric care in New Mexico. Anthropologists Janis H. Jenkins and Thomas J. Csordas present a gripping picture of psychic distress, familial turmoil, and treatment under the regime of managed care that dominates the mental health care system. The authors make the case for the centrality of struggle in the lives of youth across an array of extraordinary conditions, characterized by personal anguish and structural violence. Critical to the analysis is the cultural phenomenology of existence disclosed through shifting narrative accounts by youth and their families as they grapple with psychiatric diagnosis, poverty, misogyny, and stigma in their trajectories through multiple forms of harm and sites of care.
The Spirit Ambulance: Choreographing the End of Life in Thailand by Scott Stonington
The Spirit Ambulance is a journey into decision-making at the end of life in Thailand, where families attempt to craft good deaths for their elders in the face of clashing ethical frameworks, from a rapidly developing universal medical system, to national and global human-rights politics, to contemporary movements in Buddhist metaphysics. Scott Stonington’s gripping ethnography documents how Thai families attempt to pay back a “debt of life” to their elders through intensive medical care, followed by a medically assisted rush from the hospital to home to ensure a spiritually advantageous last breath. The result is a powerful exploration of the nature of death and the complexities arising from the globalization of biomedical expertise and ethics around the world.
Cartographies of Youth Resistance: Hip-Hop, Punk, and Urban Autonomy in Mexico by Maurice Rafael Magaña
Based on a decade of ethnographic fieldwork, Maurice Magaña considers how urban and migrant youth in Oaxaca embrace subcultures from hip-hop to punk and adopt creative organizing practices to create meaningful channels of participation in local social and political life. In the process, young people remake urban space and construct new identities in ways that directly challenge elite visions of their city and essentialist notions of what it means to be indigenous in the contemporary era. Cartographies of Youth Resistance is essential reading for students and scholars interested in youth politics and culture in Mexico, social movements, urban studies, and migration.