Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

The Essence of Anthropology, 4th Edition

  • William A. Haviland
  • Harald E.L. Prins
  • Dana Walrath
  • Bunny McBride
  • ISBN-10: 1305258983
  • ISBN-13: 9781305258983
  • 416 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2013, 2007
  • COPYRIGHT: 2016 Published
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About the Product

THE ESSENCE OF ANTHROPOLOGY features an experienced and diverse author team with expertise in all subfields of anthropology. With an eye to visual and written clarity, the authors present anthropology from an integrated, holistic perspective. They use three unifying themes as a framework to tie the book together and keep students focused: systemic adaptation to emphasize that every culture, past and present, is an integrated and dynamic system of adaptation; biocultural connections that highlight the integration of human culture and biology in the steps humans take to meet the challenges of survival; and the emergence of globalization and its disparate impact on peoples and cultures around the world. Pedagogical elements support these main themes and give students deeper insight into the meaning and relevance of a wide range of topics covered in the general narrative by tying examples to behavior today. Insightful questions foster critical thinking, additional Visual Counterpoints widen the book's array of compare-and-contrast examples, and a new Digging into Anthropology feature provides a hands-on approach to anthropological methods by giving students active learning opportunities related to each chapter's content. In addition, the authors have broadened viewpoints to offer explanations and examples from different points of view.


  • Visual Counterpoints provide students with opportunities to compare and contrast illustrative material, as well as to think critically about what they see in the world.

  • Learning objectives under the heading "In this chapter you will learn to..." give students a tangible grip on the material to be covered and an understanding of the knowledge skills they are expected to develop while reading and studying.

  • A Chapter Checklist concludes each chapter and poses questions with answers so students can study for exams.

About the Author

William A. Haviland

William A. Haviland is professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, where he founded the Department of Anthropology and taught for 32 years. He holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and has conducted research in archaeology in Guatemala and Vermont; ethnography in Maine and Vermont; and physical anthropology in Guatemala. This work has been the basis of many publications in national and international books and journals, as well as in trade publications. His books include The Original Vermonters, co-authored with Marjorie Power, and a technical monograph on ancient Maya settlement. He served as consultant for the award-winning telecourse Faces of Culture, and he is co-editor of the series Tikal Reports, published by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Dr. Haviland has lectured to many professional and non-professional audiences in Canada, Mexico, Lesotho, South Africa, and Spain, as well as in the United States. A staunch supporter of indigenous rights, he served as expert witness for the Missisquoi Abenaki of Vermont in a case over aboriginal fishing rights. Dr. Haviland received the University Scholar award by the Graduate School of the University of Vermont in 1990; a Certificate of Appreciation from the Sovereign Republic of the Abenaki Nation of Missisquoi, St. Francis/Sokoki Band in 1996; and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Research on Vermont in 2006. Now retired from teaching, he continues his research, writing, and lecturing from the coast of Maine and serves as a trustee for the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, focused on Maine's Native American history, culture, art, and archaeology. His most recent books are At the Place of the Lobsters and Crabs (2009) and Canoe Indians of Down East Maine (2012).

Harald E.L. Prins

Harald E.L. Prins is a University Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at Kansas State University (KSU). Academically trained at half a dozen Dutch and U.S. universities, he came to the U.S. as a List Fellow at the New School for Social Research in New York City. He has taught at Radboud University (Netherlands), as well as Bowdoin College and Colby College in Maine, and as a visiting professor at the University of Lund, Sweden. He has received numerous honors for his teaching, including the Conoco Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching in 1993, Presidential Award in 1999, Coffman Chair of Distinguished Teaching Scholars in 2004, Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year for Kansas in 2006, and the AAA/Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology in 2010. His fieldwork focuses on indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere, and he has long served as an advocacy anthropologist on land claims and other native rights. In that capacity, Dr. Prins has been a lead expert witness in both the U.S. Senate and Canadian federal courts. He has refereed for 40 academic book publishers and journals. His own numerous academic publications appear in nine languages, with books including The Mi'kmaq: Resistance, Accommodation, and Cultural Survival (Margaret Mead Award finalist). Also trained in filmmaking, he served as president of the Society for Visual Anthropology, and has coproduced award-winning documentaries. He has been the visual anthropology editor of American Anthropologist, co-principal investigator for the U.S. National Park Service, international observer in Paraguay's presidential elections, and a research associate at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

Bunny McBride

Carol Ann (Bunny) McBride is an award-winning author specializing in cultural anthropology, indigenous peoples, international tourism, and nature conservation issues. Published in dozens of national and international print media, she has reported from Africa, Europe, China, and the Indian Ocean. With an MA from Columbia University, she is highly rated as a teacher and has taught at the Salt Institute for Documentary Field Studies and as visiting anthropology faculty at Principia College. Since 1996, she has been an adjunct lecturer of anthropology at Kansas State University. Her many publication credits include the books Women of the Dawn, Molly Spotted Elk: A Penobscot in Paris, and Our Lives in Our Hands: Micmac Indian Basketmakers; chapters in multiple books; and several co-authored books, including Indians in Eden and The Audubon Field Guide to African Wildlife. Working on a range of issues and projects with Maine Indian tribes since 1981, McBride received a commendation from the Maine state legislature for her research and writing on the history of Native women. Boston Globe Sunday Magazine featured a profile about her, and Maine Public Television made a documentary about her work on Molly Spotted Elk. Recently, she served as investigator for a National Park Service ethnography project and curated several museum exhibits. Her exhibit, "Indians & Rusticators," received a Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History (2012). She currently serves as president of the Women's World Summit Foundation based in Switzerland, and is wrapping up two books (with co-author Harald Prins): From Indian Island to Omaha Beach: Charles Norman Shay, Penobscot Indian War Hero; and Native Americans in Seacoast Maine: A Natural and Cultural History of Mount Desert Island.

Table of Contents

1. Thinking and Doing Anthropology.
2. Biology, Genetics, and Evolution.
3. Living Primates.
4. Human Evolution.
5. The Neolithic Revolution.
6. The Emergence of Cities and States.
7. Modern Human Diversity -- Race and Racism.
8. Characteristics of Culture.
9. Language and Communication.
10. Social Identity, Personality, and Gender.
11. Subsistence and Exchange.
12. Sex, Marriage, and Family.
13. Kinship and Other Forms of Grouping.
14. Politics, Power, and Violence.
15. Spirituality and Religion.
16. Global Changes and the Role of Anthropology.

New to this edition

  • Data and examples have been updated throughout the text, less relevant material trimmed or cut, and the writing refined to make it all the more clear, lively, and engaging.
  • More current examples better engage students and enable them to see the world through an anthropological lens.
  • Each chapter opens with a new Visual Essence photograph and caption, and there are many new compelling pictures throughout the text.
  • Now, nearly all chapters include new Visual Counterpoints highlighting the book's array of compare-and-contrast examples.
  • A new Digging into Anthropology feature at the end of chapters provides a hands-on approach to anthropological methods by giving students active learning opportunities related to each chapter's content.
  • The authors provide explanations and examples from different points of view so students can better evaluate their learning material.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank  (ISBN-10: 1305582357 | ISBN-13: 9781305582354)

Online Instructor's Manual with Test Bank for THE ESSENCE OF ANTHROPOLOGY, Fourth Edition. The Instructor's Manual offers detailed chapter outlines, learning objectives, key terms and concepts, lecture suggestions, resources, and student Internet activities. A sample syllabus guides you in organizing your course. The fully revised test bank contains at least 120 test questions per chapter, including multiple choice, true/false, completion, short answer, and essay questions.

Online PowerPoint®  (ISBN-10: 1305582446 | ISBN-13: 9781305582446)

PowerPoint for THE ESSENCE OF ANTHROPOLOGY, Fourth Edition. Helping you make your classroom lecture more engaging, these PowerPoint slides consist of a pre-assembled, customizable Microsoft presentation using charts, graphs, line-art, and images from the text. New to this edition are "Consider This…" images with critical-thinking questions to facilitate class discussion.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305577639 | ISBN-13: 9781305577633)

Cengage Learning testing powered by Cognero. This is a flexible online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate test bank content from THE ESSENCE OF ANTHROPOLOGY, Fourth Edition or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305575822 | ISBN-13: 9781305575820)

This student study site provides all the learning tools your students will need to succeed. Organized by chapter, online CourseMate includes glossaries, flashcards, quizzes, videos, an e-reader of the text, and more.

Student Supplements

CourseMate, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305575822 | ISBN-13: 9781305575820)

The more you study, the better the results. Make the most of your study time by accessing everything you need to succeed with chapter-specific learning tools, including glossaries, flashcards, quizzes, videos, an e-reader of the text, and more -- online with CourseMate.