Studying Societies and Cultures: Marvin Harris's Cultural Materialism and its Legacy

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A thought-provoking, stimulating volume on the past, present and future of cultural materialism that is both laudatory of Harris' research strategy and critical of it. Paul Shankman, University of Colorado One of the most important anthropologists of all time, Marvin Harris was influentialworldwide as the founder of cultural materialism. This book accessibly analyzes Harris'stheories and their important legacies today. The chapters explore cultural materialism'sepistemology and its relation to rational choice theory, Darwinian social science, andpopulation pressures. The authors assess recent attempts to extend and reformulate cultural materialism and highlight cross-cultural, archaeological, and ethnographic applications ofcultural materialism today.