We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
Peoples and Cultures of the World Lecture

Peoples and Cultures of the World

Regular Price:£27.29
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

As the "science of humanity," anthropology can help us understand virtually anything about ourselves, from our political and economic systems, to why we get married, to how we decide to buy a particular bottle of wine. This 24-lecture course reveals the extraordinary power of anthropology - and its subspecialty, cultural anthropology - as a tool to understand the world's varied human societies, including our own.

  • Is there such a thing as progress? Are modern nations really happier and better off than "primitive" hunter-gatherer societies?
  • How common is cannibalism today? What are the different types of cannibalism, and the beliefs associated with them?
  • What's the difference between a "matriarchal" and a "matrilineal" society? Which is more common among world cultures?

These lectures will immerse you in the world of the Trobriand Islanders of Melanesia; the Yanomamö of the Brazilian Amazon; the Dobe Ju'hoansi or Kung Bushmen of Botswana and Namibia; and other indigenous peoples.

Professor Fischer leads an excursion through cultural practices that often seem, to us, quirky, exotic, and even repulsive - marriages that include as many as 20 husbands, matrilineal societies, magic spirits and witchcraft, cannibalism, and incest - practices that will make you question your assumptions about what is natural, or what is human nature.

As you review these customs, the professor describes the issues that cultural anthropologists face in dealing with them. For example, what should anthropologists do in cases such as female circumcision or ritualized rape, in which customs seriously conflict with our own sense of morality and human rights?

Professor Fischer also applies the lessons of cultural anthropology to our own culture by considering the U.S. economy and consumer behavior. Is our economy really based on rational decision making? If so, why do we eat cattle and pigs, but not horses? Why are we willing to shop around to save $10 on a clock radio, but not on a big-screen TV?

You will grow to appreciate how valuable an understanding of cultural anthropology is in a world of ever-increasing globalization, in which members of even the most remote cultures come into more frequent and more influential contact through international travel, migration, business, and the Internet.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (18 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.5 (13 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.7 (13 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Chris 29/09/2016
    Chris 29/09/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    30
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting introduction but too diffuse"

    This course introduces the four main fields of anthropology - physical, cultural, linguistic and archaeological - before focussing on cultural anthropology for the majority of the lectures.

    Topics covered include rites of passage, organisational structures of societies and systems of exchange (gift giving, market economies etc.). The professor takes several societies to which he returns repeatedly - some tribal like the Yanomami and some more familiar like modern Americans - and discusses them with respect to the kinds of anthropological theories that have been developed.

    The first two thirds is very interesting, introducing concepts which were completely new to me and well worth learning about. Some of these were quite horrible - rituals in the rites of passage lecture stick out as being particularly disgusting - but always discussed with maturity and explained with reference to cultural models. I think there are important lessons in these lectures for anyone interested in human societies and how varied humans are.

    The final third shifts focus substantially to how large societies and their economic systems impact smaller societies. I found this a bit out of nowhere, I certainly did not expect lectures on Marxist theory in an anthropology course (perhaps thats just my ignorance of the subject showing...) and I would really have preferred more lectures just on different cultures and how varied they can be. The final few lectures on how people integrate other cultures into their own just felt a bit wasted - the lecturer was more interested in telling us about how the Japanese integrate McDonalds into their culture by cutting up burgers than he was in telling us why they feel the need to cut up burgers and not eat with their hands.

    It's a shame, I'm giving a three stars because I could have just stopped listening after the first two thirds and it would have been a better course. However, the first two thirds are really worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mario 31/08/2015
    Mario 31/08/2015 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely insightful and well presented"

    Great build up, well explained and generally entertaining. Thank you very much for providing this podcast.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Pedro M
    Porto, Portugal
    19/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The world is not only made of tribes"

    Actually the world is made of tribes, but I was left with the feeling that the book was too much focused on small tribes (interesting as they may be... and they are). I was expecting a more overarching perspective of big tribes: modern peoples and nations... it would be more useful.
    It was a good anthropological exercise though...

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • A. Smith
    South Texas
    07/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting"
    Would you listen to Peoples and Cultures of the World again? Why?

    I would like to hear these lectures again. Professor Fischer describes the culture and habits of peoples all over the globe. I loved that he guided us through the lives of those in remote villages and people who are rarely studied. These lectures were really enjoyable.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I think for me, when he explained why cannibals think we are wrong and wasteful when we bury (instead of eat) our dead he was most compelling because it helped me to see them as humans with reasons for their actions. I never understood the "why" behind what they do. He has a way of teaching delicate subjects in an academic manner, so the listener can accept the information easier. He told stories of peoples so dramatically different than traditional Americans, I found it very interesting. I also learned that acts that can seem barbaric to us are seen in a very different light by others.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Edward Fischer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not, but would like to hear a sequel.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I think it is too long for that, but I did listen to one a day and really looked forward to each one.


    Any additional comments?

    Really fascinating, many good lessons on human nature. I enjoyed it very much.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • CJFLA
    WINTER PARK, FLORIDA, United States
    06/01/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The title of this series makes you think the lectures will be interesting. And, to a degree, they are. However, they deal with "out of the way" cultures that affect very few of us, and do not cover the scope of humanity. There is nothing of consequence discussed of the world's major cultures, just smaller tribes around the globe. While it is somewhat interesting, it really doesn't offer insight into humanity to any degree. Be aware, as well, this is an older series. At one point the author/reader mentions there are 6 billion people on earth (current population is 7.2 billion). Because of this, I feel there may have been more recent discoveries in the field which get no mention in this series of lectures.


    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Marjee
    Washington DC
    19/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great refresher"

    I've skimmed many of the topics covered in this lecture during my graduate school days, but Professor Fischer's passion for this topic enhanced my understanding of the cultures mentioned here and his framing of Anthropology as a discipline added enormously to my understanding of the subject matter. Listening to this course gave me exactly what I had hoped for: a fascinating, globe-trotting escape into the lives of other people I will never meet and an opportunity to marvel at our shared, human experiences.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A. Yoshida
    Pasadena, CA USA
    19/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Introduction to Anthropology"

    This book offers a good introduction to anthropology, which is a combination of many studies like humanities, social science, economics, and political systems. It is interesting to learn the cultural practices and beliefs of other societies, such as family lineage traced through the mother side (not the father side), some hunter-gather tribes working abut 20 hours a week to get their food (probably happier than our "modern" societies), and the practice of polygamy (multiple wives as well as multiple husbands). The only downside is the few chapters about obscure tribes and the minutiae of their everyday tribal life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • VICTORIA
    DISCOVERY BAY, US, Canada
    05/01/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best Antropological course ever."
    What made the experience of listening to Peoples and Cultures of the World the most enjoyable?

    I have a degree in Anthropology and stay current on theory. This course is so interesting and fun. I loved the professor's lectures, he makes the material relevant and engaging.
    I highly recommend this course.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Edward Fischer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no, this is the only one


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    all the lectures were great


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Donna
    03/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fresh and engaging look many cultures"
    What did you love best about Peoples and Cultures of the World?

    I was totally engaged in the process and went back to listen again and again. With each listening I was learning new material


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Peoples and Cultures of the World?

    ; coming of age stories
    challenged views of maternal instinct, how language tells so much about our culture


    Any additional comments?

    is there a part two and a part three to this course? Would love to take it!!
    Thank you for a great and successful effort.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Constance
    Philadelphia
    08/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent- great lecturer and interesting subject matter"

    I really enjoyed this course. It was my 3rd of the Great Courses or whatever and my favorite thus far. I found myself excited to listen and often multi tasked so I could continue a lecture. I also found myself re-listening to many that I found extremely interesting and informative.

    If you're only picking one of these courses to listen to, this should be the one. The breadth of anthropology essentially allows for any history to be referenced and thus made this an amazing listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Karolina
    03/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good lecture"

    Good lecture. Gives a wider view on our culture also shows grow and development of different civilizations. Topic it self is huge, and it is hard to tell about everything but, nevertheless author gave an interesting lecture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jon M. Wilson
    Stafford Springs, CT USA
    03/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Facinating"

    I've listened to many of the Great Courses-- and this one tanks very near the top. I've never studied Sociology or Anthropology-- but I found these lectures insightful, interesting, and engaging. Highly recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.