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Publisher's Summary

What does it mean to be human? Where did we come from? And what unites us in our diversity today? Anthropology and the Study of Humanity is your chance to tackle these big questions as you survey one of the world's most engaging - and human - sciences. Taught by acclaimed professor and field researcher Scott M. Lacy of Fairfield University, these 24 wide-ranging lectures are the ideal guide through the world of anthropology, or the study of humanity across time and space.

Professor Lacy gives you an elegant blend of theory and application to help you understand this extraordinarily interdisciplinary field as a whole. You will examine how humans evolved and built civilizations, review humanity's changing attitudes about our relationship to the cosmos, and consider the many ways we express ourselves. In the end, what you'll discover is that while our species is rich with diversity, we are all one human race.

To anchor this course, Professor Lacy gives you a historical overview of Homo sapiens, starting at the very root of our family tree, when proto-humans split away from other primates in the animal kingdom. As he wends his way across time and around the world, he also introduces the field's four major academic sub-disciplines: biological, archaeological, linguistic, and cultural anthropology.

One of the joys of this course is that it is truly global in the way Professor Lacy introduces you to the boots-on-the-ground practice of the field. When you complete this course, you will have a new appreciation for our world and its many cultures, but you will also have a new appreciation for the cultural connections and similarities we share as one race of Homo sapiens. With a passionate and knowledgeable professor as your guide, this course gives you a broad understanding of academic anthropology, as well as a deeper appreciation for humanity as a whole.

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

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Simplistic and unsubstantive

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Very disappointing. Great Courses usually offer challenging and informative high-level chunks of knowledge. This was geared to non-intellectuals on a childish level, instead of summarizing the latest knowledge of the field for non-experts.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Well written, read and with a great message

I enjoyed this course it is very well thought out and entertaining with only a little bias

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I WANT MY CREDIT BACK

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Scott M Lacey, PhD?

I have a degree in Anthropology and I thought a course with this title would take us through the wonderful world of Anthropology NOT this guy's work experience. Worst great course ever. Tell me I'm going to have to deal with hours of tedious boredom over seeds and farming and give me a choice whether to waste my time. I'm going to go get my credit back. DONT WASTE YOUR CREDIT ON THIS UNLESS YOUR A FARMER ABD INTERESTED IN HIS FARMING METHODS.<br/>

Has Anthropology and the Study of Humanity turned you off from other books in this genre?

I have a degree in Anthropology. This is the worst lecture series I've ever heard/attended.

What didn’t you like about Professor Scott M Lacey, PhD’s performance?

I am bored by his seeds, his farming, and his farmers.<br/>

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I feel tricked.<br/>

Any additional comments?

Pull this terrible Great Book. Let this guy package his farming techniques in some other book.<br/>

20 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Fascinating introduction

I found this to be an excellent introduction to anthropology. I did however, find the professor’s grammar to be distracting from the story itself. His enthusiasm and breath of knowledge partially made up for it.

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Laughable

Need to understand what baseless dogma students endure from academia today, listen to this book. Six tired socialist doctrines from the Summer of Love drone for 10 hours: 1) Primitive, non-Western cultures are noble and pure. Western European culture is egotistical and evil. 2) Evolutionary culture is the bad old days of Europe's arrogance. There's no good or bad behavior, just different. For example, all forms of group sex are acceptable. The concept of binary sex between man and woman is from unenlightened Westerners. Also, violence between non Western cultures is rare except when under Western pressure. 3) Religion is a curious behavior displayed by humans prior to scientific enlightenment. 4) Race is a figment of the imagination of Western culture. There's only the human race. But then the author explains races are neither good or bad, just people, unless of course you're white European. 5) As a result of Western culture and capitalism, humans are confronted with imminent extinction. And, 6) socialism from totalitarian government is the path forward. It must phase out fossil fuels (and presumably pay academics more). High cost renewable fuel is the only path forward.

If you espouse these philosophies, enjoy the rah rah.

10 of 21 people found this review helpful

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the GREAT courses

this was amazing
very informative and mind opening
the great courses are surely that! GREAT!

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • a reader
  • 06-14-17

Engaging tour through anthropology

I found the choice of topics and delivery of these lectures enjoyable and stimulating.
The level might not be very advanced but i wouldn't say it was lower than other material for a more general audience. Maybe you could say the lecturer sounds very slightly pleased with himself but i really didn't find him patronising, and i would actually say he just sounds happy and enthusiastic about his job :)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • professor robin matthews
  • 06-05-17

Disappointing

Would you try another book written by The Great Courses or narrated by Professor Scott M Lacey, PhD?

No. The lecturer is irritating and dumbs down a fascinating subject matter.

What will your next listen be?

Historical great courses most of which are really outstanding.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Patronizing style.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Fascinating subject matter. What a pity

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Tiit Pähn
  • 10-30-17

Great overview of the field

Found many new rabbit holes to discover and know now where my interests lie in this field