Cows, Pigs, Wars & Witches: The Riddles Of Culture
Harris is especially good at explaining how s ...more
One more thing: Since I'm not ...more
I read Marvin Harris' scintillating book in 1978. Although an accessible paperback desi ...more
This is an interesting look at some of the cultural riddles that tend to mystify Westerners - like Cow Love in India, Pig Hate in the Middle East, Cargo Cults, etc. Harris explains how these seemingly ridiculous (to us) behaviors are actually perfectly sensible and successful adaption strategies. A short and pleasant read, well researched and written. I highly rec ...more
"Our culture tends to determine what foods we like, how we dress, what constitutes polite behavior, what sports we should follow, what our taste in music should be, the importance of education, and our attitudes toward honesty. It also influences men as to the importance of recreation or religion, influences women about the priority of career or childbearing, and has a powerful effect on ...more
The main thing Harris ...more
Lo que no me queda claro es si el autor atribuye estas adaptaciones a una o varias inteligencias individuales o a alguna especie de 'int ...more
While the author is very much the product of the time in which the book was written (the 1970's) the methods that ma ...more
Totalmente recomendable para cualquiera que disfrute de una lectura desenfadada y gratificante, esta obra es un ensayo antropológico que -ni más ni menos- cumple su fución didáctica sin dejar de lado una prosa que mueve al lector a abrirse a la información dada por el escritor.
Este no es otro ensayo rimbombante e intelectualoide, sino una lección de antropología y objetividad expuesta d ...more
Desafortunadamente no soy ninguna experta del tema, por lo que no puedo saber si lo que está diciendo el autor es un disparate, pero me ha parecido bastante convincente, sobre todo la explicación de por qué el hinduismo prohíbe comer vacas. Siempre he pensado que la religión era una herramienta eficaz para contro ...more
I had previously read Cultural Anthropology by the same author. It was part of an anthropology course during my three-month-period in Japan and it made me curious about other books by the same author.
I chose this one because of the title, which is very funny and catchy. And I wonder why it's never been translated into Italian. I would have ...more
The only thing I know something about before reading this book is the European witchcraft craze.
I'm not really convinced that the authorities perpetrated the belief as a red herring in order to convince the general public that they ar ...more
Why do Indians worship cows? Many Indians don't even know, but after reading this book's explanation, you'll understand all the historical and econ ...more
Como ya he dicho, este libro me parece genial, y le doy 5 estrellas (de lo mejor que leí en 2005). Puedo decir que me transformó y que me hizo interesarme por la antropología y plantearme la historia y la imagen que tenemos de las distintas culturas de una forma completamente distinta a como veía el mundo antes de leer este libro.
* literal sacred cows
* swine both sacred and profane
* primitive chauvinism; the formation of warrior cultures
* the path of development fro ...more
The chapter on Cargo cults made me extremely interested in the following chapter on messianism; cargo isn't just LIKE messianism, it is a form of it. Unfortunately, my trust in him was shaken when I found his research on messiah theology and history to be completely shoddy. For example, he writes th ...more
While other books by Harris might be more educational on a "world history" scale, this book investigates cultural-religious institutions and beliefs that are certainly relevant and educational. Harris doesn't really care what people and cultures believe, but instead he tries to explain why they believe what they do. He does this f ...more