The authors of this book share a common assumption about anthropology—that replicable and systematic procedures of data collection and analysis are essential requirements for building useful cultural theory. They view cultural theory as both an aid to understanding sociocultural phenomena, and as an aid in changing existing social conditions.
This book focuses on five specific themes representing a set of principles for conducting research: the importance of intra-cultural variation; the blending of qualitative and quantitative approaches; the search for micro/macro levels of generalization; the innovative matching of methodology to research problems; and the practical or applied merit of systematically generated and evaluated theory. It contributes to scientific anthropology and shows that the credibility and utility of anthropological research in policy matters is enhanced by scientific research methodology.
John J. Poggie, Jr. is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rhode Island. Billie R. DeWalt is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. William W. Dressler is Associate Professor of Behavioral and Community Medicine at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.
"The book will provide an important intellectual springboard for some of the new directions anthropology is taking at the present time. " — Robert Trotter, Northern Arizona University