What are some good ethnography books?

I like books that give an inside perspective of other cultures. I would be interested in travel accounts or the accounts of embedded ethnographers. I'm interested in Asian cultures the most but not limited to. What are some good books? Thanks.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Ed Hutchins: Cognition in the Wild.

    It's cognitive anthropology/ethnography.

    Hutchins describes ship navigation on a modern marine ship and compares the methods the crew uses to methods micronesians use.

    Links to the book:



    Ed Hutchins website:


    Gail Kligman: The Politics of Duplicity. Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu's Romania.

    This is an ethnographic study of how the ban of abortion in post-WWII-socialist romania affected the lives of people there.


    Mary Catherine Bateson: Peripheral Visions.

    She is the daugter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. In this book, she compares the personal experiences she had in the different cultures she lived in - Iran and the Philippines, and the U.S. and reflects on them in very personal, witty ways.


    Geoffrey Lloyd and Nathan Sivin: The Way and the Word. Science and Medicine in Early China and Greece.

    They compare the differences between the approaches to science and medicine taken in ancient China and Greece, and relate them to the social organization (China: Emperor, Greece: Democracy (polis)).



  • 4 years ago

    I think a book by a Norwegian Anthropologist, Thomas Hylland Eriksen, What is Anthropology is a good starting point. Particularly if you are interested in cultural anthropology. I also suggest a book by James Spradley and another author, Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. It will give you good grounding in fields of anthropology. If you get your hands on these two books, I am sure you will be fine. You may also read ethnographic works depending the geographic area you are interested in. The Nuer is a good classic ethnography too. good luck

  • 1 decade ago

    Guests of the Sheik

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.