100 books like Why Do Men Barbecue? Recipes for Cultural Psychology

By Richard A. Shweder,

Here are 100 books that Why Do Men Barbecue? Recipes for Cultural Psychology fans have personally recommended if you like Why Do Men Barbecue? Recipes for Cultural Psychology. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Cities by Contract: The Politics of Municipal Incorporation

Elizabeth Maggie Penn Author Of Social Choice and Legitimacy: The Possibilities of Impossibility

From my list on how people shape their communities.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a social scientist, I've always been interested in how the communities we live in shape our values, priorities, and behavior. I also care about how institutional change—from small things like a college offering a new major to big things like a town choosing to incorporatecan shape communities. Each of these books has changed my thinking about how we influence, and are influenced by, the communities we live in, for better or worse. I'm a professor in the departments of Political Science and Quantitative Theory and Methods at Emory University in Atlanta, and I hold a Ph.D. in the Social Sciences from Caltech. 

Elizabeth's book list on how people shape their communities

Elizabeth Maggie Penn Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Between 1954 and 1981, when this book was written, the number of cities in L.A. County nearly doubled from 45 to 81. Many of these new cities contracted with the county for their basic public services, and were consequently able to maintain low property tax rates. Homeowners "voted with their feet" by moving to these new cities, and previously middle-class places like Compton saw their tax bases plummet while their need for public services skyrocketed. As a native Angeleno, I found Miller's account of the fragmentation of Los Angeles fascinating and devastating.  A gem of a chapter entitled "Is the Invisible Hand Biased?" presents a withering critique of the argument—standard in economic theory—that more choices make people better off.

By Gary J. Miller,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cities by Contract as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The battle line in the urban conflict lies between the central city and the affluent suburb. The city, needing to broaden its tax base in order to provide increasingly necessary social services, has sought to annex the suburb. The latter, in order to hold down property taxes, has sought independence through incorporation.

Cities by Contract documents and dissects this process through case studies of communities located in Los Angeles County. The book traces the incorporation of "Lakewood Plan" cities, municipalities which contract with the county for the provision of basic—which is to say minimal—services.

The Lakewood plan is shown in…


Book cover of Micromotives and Macrobehavior

Shikha Basnet Silwal Author Of The Economics of Conflict and Peace: History and Applications

From my list on the foundations of conflict, war, and peace economics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Associate Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee University in Virginia, USA. My expertise is in conflict, war, and peace economics. I'm deeply motivated to understand the broader impacts of violent conflicts in low-income countries with the hope that doing so will pave the way for us to live in a more harmonious world. Recently, I've been interested in economics of cultural heritage destruction during violent conflicts. My aim is to understand patterns of heritage destruction in the past such that we can incorporate heritage destruction in atrocity forecasting models of today. I'm just as passionate to teach what I have learned over the years and what I'm curious to explore in the future.

Shikha's book list on the foundations of conflict, war, and peace economics

Shikha Basnet Silwal Why did Shikha love this book?

In this book we learn that our actions are shaped by that of others or by our expectation of what others will do.

If, for example, a white neighbor leaves the neighborhood upon seeing a minority family move in, other white neighbors are likely to follow suit if they expect more white neighbors to move out and more minorities to move in. If a critical mass of white neighbors adopts this behavior, the result is a segregated neighborhood.

Applied this idea to the study of mass atrocities, we understand mass participation in mass atrocities as not a result of moral failure, but a social phenomenon driven by imitating nature and belonging need of the humankind. This understanding humanizes the mass perpetrators of an atrocity and opens space for reconciliation.

By Thomas C. Schelling,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Micromotives and Macrobehavior as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Schelling here offers an early analysis of 'tipping' in social situations involving a large number of individuals." -official citation for the 2005 Nobel Prize

Micromotives and Macrobehavior was originally published over twenty-five years ago, yet the stories it tells feel just as fresh today. And the subject of these stories-how small and seemingly meaningless decisions and actions by individuals often lead to significant unintended consequences for a large group-is more important than ever. In one famous example, Thomas C. Schelling shows that a slight-but-not-malicious preference to have neighbors of the same race eventually leads to completely segregated populations.

The updated…


Book cover of Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality

Elizabeth Maggie Penn Author Of Social Choice and Legitimacy: The Possibilities of Impossibility

From my list on how people shape their communities.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a social scientist, I've always been interested in how the communities we live in shape our values, priorities, and behavior. I also care about how institutional change—from small things like a college offering a new major to big things like a town choosing to incorporatecan shape communities. Each of these books has changed my thinking about how we influence, and are influenced by, the communities we live in, for better or worse. I'm a professor in the departments of Political Science and Quantitative Theory and Methods at Emory University in Atlanta, and I hold a Ph.D. in the Social Sciences from Caltech. 

Elizabeth's book list on how people shape their communities

Elizabeth Maggie Penn Why did Elizabeth love this book?

In 2004, sociologists Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton set up camp in a dorm at Indiana University with the aim of writing an ethnography of the girls on the floor. They tracked the girls for five years, documenting their education, social lives, and post-college outcomes. As the product of a flagship state university myself, this book floored me. Armstrong and Hamilton document a process whereby administrators attract wealthy full-tuition students by subsidizing Greek life and creating legitimate-sounding but low-value majors. Far from being an equalizer, the rich leave university employed and debt-free, while the poor leave with staggering debt and few job prospects. For those of us in higher ed, this book articulates the discomfort many of us have felt in recent decades as universities have become increasingly consumer-oriented.

By Elizabeth A. Armstrong, Laura T. Hamilton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Paying for the Party as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two young women, dormitory mates, embark on their education at a big state university. Five years later, one is earning a good salary at a prestigious accounting firm. With no loans to repay, she lives in a fashionable apartment with her fiance. The other woman, saddled with burdensome debt and a low GPA, is still struggling to finish her degree in tourism. In an era of skyrocketing tuition and mounting concern over whether college is "worth it," Paying for the Party is an indispensable contribution to the dialogue assessing the state of American higher education. A powerful expose of unmet…


Book cover of The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates

Elizabeth Maggie Penn Author Of Social Choice and Legitimacy: The Possibilities of Impossibility

From my list on how people shape their communities.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a social scientist, I've always been interested in how the communities we live in shape our values, priorities, and behavior. I also care about how institutional change—from small things like a college offering a new major to big things like a town choosing to incorporatecan shape communities. Each of these books has changed my thinking about how we influence, and are influenced by, the communities we live in, for better or worse. I'm a professor in the departments of Political Science and Quantitative Theory and Methods at Emory University in Atlanta, and I hold a Ph.D. in the Social Sciences from Caltech. 

Elizabeth's book list on how people shape their communities

Elizabeth Maggie Penn Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Given the above books, one might ask: Can free markets and unchecked self-interest ever work for the social good? Leeson offers an answer in the affirmative: Yes! For pirates! This delightful and readable book applies Adam Smith's metaphor of the invisible hand to pirate life at the turn of the 18th century, arguing that purely profit-seeking motives led pirates to adopt norms of cooperation, democratic governance, and (sometimes) racial equality. Recent events like the subprime mortgage crisis led many to argue that our government's failure to check risky profit-seeking behavior led to market collapse. This book provides an interesting complement to that claim, arguing that it was precisely the criminality of the pirate enterprise that drove democracy on the high seas.

By Peter T. Leeson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Invisible Hook as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pack your cutlass and blunderbuss - it's time to go a-pirating! "The Invisible Hook" takes readers inside the wily world of late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century pirates. With swashbuckling irreverence and devilish wit, Peter Leeson uncovers the hidden economics behind pirates' notorious, entertaining, and sometimes downright shocking behavior. Why did pirates fly flags of Skull & Bones? Why did they create a 'pirate code'? Were pirates really ferocious madmen? And what made them so successful? "The Invisible Hook" uses economics to examine these and other infamous aspects of piracy. Leeson argues that the pirate customs we know and love resulted…


Book cover of Deep China: The Moral Life of the Person

Aihwa Ong Author Of Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality

From my list on people's lives in contemporary China.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a professor emerita of Anthropology at Berkeley. I have written books on Muslim women in runaway factories; the modern Chinese diaspora; Cambodian refugees in the US; neoliberal Asian states; and Singapore's biomedical hub. I also write on contemporary Chinese art. We live in worlds interwoven by assemblages of technology, politics, and culture. Each situation is crystallized by the shifting interactions of global forces and local elements. Given our interlocking, interdependent realities, a sustainable future depends on our appreciation of cultural differences and support of transnational cooperation. For many people, China today is a formidable challenge, but learning about its peoples' struggles and desires is a beginning toward recognizing their humanity.

Aihwa's book list on people's lives in contemporary China

Aihwa Ong Why did Aihwa love this book?

This collection, by anthropologists and psychiatrists, gives us a glimpse of soul searching by ordinary people as China compresses centuries of industrial growth into two decades. The unprecedented fragmentation of families and loss of culture have scattered lives and disoriented minds. The chapter authors consider intimate topics --  death, sex, depression, stigma, suicide, and madness -- that lie beneath the glossy images of Chinese achievements. They reveal the deep confusion of ordinary people as they struggle with questions of morality and humanity in a relentless, turbulent world.

By Arthur Kleinman, Yunxiang Yan, Jing Jun , Sing Lee , Everett Zhang , Pan Tianshu , Wu Fei , Jinhua Guo

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Deep China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Deep China" investigates the emotional and moral lives of the Chinese people as they adjust to the challenges of modernity. Sharing a medical anthropology and cultural psychiatry perspective, Arthur Kleinman, Yunxiang Yan, Jing Jun, Sing Lee, Everett Zhang, Pan Tianshu, Wu Fei, and Guo Jinhua delve into intimate and sometimes hidden areas of personal life and social practice to observe and narrate the drama of Chinese individualization. The essays explore the remaking of the moral person during China's profound social and economic transformation, unraveling the shifting practices and struggles of contemporary life.


Book cover of Culture's Consequences: Comparing Values, Behaviors, Institutions and Organizations Across Nations

Andrea Nelson Trice Author Of Strong Together: Building Partnerships Across Cultures in an Age of Distrust

From my list on people who want to change the world.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a faculty member and program evaluator, I’ve spent over two decades exploring questions around cross-cultural dynamics, empowerment, and human flourishing. I care deeply about vulnerable people and the misuse of power, and I find joy in conducting research that can improve people’s lives. I recognize that my early work as a counselor brings a unique perspective to my work, as does my childhood, which was partially spent in the Peruvian rainforest. 

Andrea's book list on people who want to change the world

Andrea Nelson Trice Why did Andrea love this book?

If you want to understand the importance of cultural differences across countries and within our own communities, this is a phenomenal book!

I appreciate the tables and charts throughout the book that give me quick access to concrete ways in which people differ culturally. These differences affect our work environments, male/female relationships, and even our life goals, but we are too often oblivious because we don’t know to look for them. 

I’ve used this book for years, and I’m a strong believer that we can’t contribute to positive change around the world unless we understand more about the many ways that we all differ culturally. 

By Geert Hofstede,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Culture's Consequences as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"An important, sophisticated and complex monograph . . . Both the theoretical analysis and the empirical findings constitute major contributions to cross-cultural value analysis and the cross-cultural study of work motivations and organizational dynamics. This book is also a valuable resource for anyone interested in a historical or anthropological approach to cross-cultural comparisons."
--PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY

--PERSONNEL PSYCHOLOGY

The Second Edition of this classic work, first published in 1981 and an international best seller, explores the differences in thinking and social action that exist among members of more than 50 modern nations. Geert Hofstede argues that people carry "mental programs" which…


Book cover of Do Parents Matter?: Why Japanese Babies Sleep Soundly, Mexican Siblings Don't Fight, and American Families Should Just Relax

Meredith Small Author Of Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent

From my list on the anthropology of parenting.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an anthropologist with a background in evolutionary biology, primate behavior, and cross-cultural approaches to parenting. I taught “The Anthropology of Parenting” for 20 years at Cornell University. The book grew from interviews with anthropologists, pediatricians, and child development experts taking a different stance about parents and babies—that we should look at how babies are designed by evolution and how cultures then interfere with those expectations. My book shows there is no perfect way to raise a child but there are styles in other cultures we can borrow to make our babies, and ourselves, more at ease.

Meredith's book list on the anthropology of parenting

Meredith Small Why did Meredith love this book?

The Levines have studied the Gusii of Western Kenya for decades and in this book, they look at childhood in all its glory and compare Gusii parenting and parenting philosophy to Western culture.

By Robert A. LeVine, Sarah LeVine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Do Parents Matter? as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When it comes to parenting, more isn't always better,but it is always more tiringIn Japan, a boy sleeps in his parents' bed until age ten, but still shows independence in all other areas of his life. In rural India, toilet training begins one month after infants are born and is accomplished with little fanfare. In Paris, parents limit the amount of agency they give their toddlers. In America, parents grant them ever more choices, independence, and attention.Given our approach to parenting, is it any surprise that American parents are too frequently exhausted?Over the course of nearly fifty years, Robert and…


Book cover of Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing

Elizabeth Fournier Author Of The Green Burial Guidebook: Everything You Need to Plan an Affordable, Environmentally Friendly Burial

From my list on if you literally want to go green when you die.

Why am I passionate about this?

Saving the planet one death at a time is truly what the world needs now: to reduce our carbon footprint and go out in eco-friendly style. As the one-woman funeral service in the rural town of Boring, Oregon, I support the philosophy of old-school burial practices that are kinder to both humans, the earth, and our wallets. I have humbly been baptized the Green Reaper for my passionate advocacy of green burial, and as an undertaker and the owner and undertaker of Cornerstone Funeral, the first green funeral home in the Portland area. I love to devour all literature possible on green burial and environmentally friendly death care.

Elizabeth's book list on if you literally want to go green when you die

Elizabeth Fournier Why did Elizabeth love this book?

Green burial is not a new idea; it has been practiced for thousands of years and is still commonly practiced around the world. Green burial is also starting to be used as an avenue of enabling the restoration and preservation of habitat. The tradition of green (or natural) burials dates back to ancient times. For most of human history, in cultures where bodies were buried, the body was placed in a grave, perhaps wrapped in a shroud or in a simple box, directly into the ground. Robert’s chapters provide sustenance for the world full of people who exist in complete harmony with the natural world and with each other.

By Robert Wolff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Original Wisdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

• Explores the lifestyle of indigenous peoples of the world who exist in complete harmony with the natural world and with each other.

• Reveals a model of a society built on trust, patience, and joy rather than anxiety, hurry, and acquisition.

• Shows how we can reconnect with the ancient intuitive awareness of the world's original people.

Deep in the mountainous jungle of Malaysia the aboriginal Sng'oi exist on the edge of extinction, though their way of living may ultimately be the kind of existence that will allow us all to survive. The Sng'oi--pre-industrial, pre-agricultural, semi-nomadic--live without cars or…


Book cover of Wages of Guilt: Memories of War in Germany and Japan

Naoko Abe Author Of 'Cherry' Ingram: The Englishman Who Saved Japan's Blossoms

From my list on Japanese history.

Why am I passionate about this?

Living in Britain for the past 20 years, I've been able to look at Japan with new eyes and to understand historical events from a global perspective. 'Cherry' Ingram's story isn't just about a man and his love for cherry blossoms. It's also about the cherry ideology and how it was perverted for militaristic purposes before and during World War II. While researching the book, I was amazed how many compelling anecdotes came to light that offered new insights into both British and Japanese society in the early 20th century.

Naoko's book list on Japanese history

Naoko Abe Why did Naoko love this book?

Buruma compares how the Japanese and Germans view their World War II behaviour and actions, with particular attention given to memories of Auschwitz, Hiroshima, and Nanking. While Germany was preoccupied after the war with atoning for its past sins, Japan swept them under the carpet. Buruma explains how, why and what this means for today's younger generation.

By Ian Buruma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wages of Guilt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this highly original and now classic text, Ian Buruma explores and compares how Germany and Japan have attempted to come to terms with their violent pasts, and investigates the painful realities of living with guilt, and with its denial.

As Buruma travels through both countries, he encounters people whose honesty in confronting their past is strikingly brave, and others who astonish by the ingenuity of their evasions of responsibility. In Auschwitz, Berlin, Hiroshima and Tokyo he explores the contradictory attitudes of scholars, politicians and survivors towards World War II and visits the contrasting monuments that commemorate the atrocities of…


Book cover of Nuclear Nativity: Rituals of Renewal and Empowerment in the Marshall Islands

Lin Poyer Author Of The Typhoon of War: Micronesian Experiences of the Pacific War

From my list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands.

Why are we passionate about this?

We are three anthropologists who have focused decades of research on the cultures and histories of the beautiful part of the world known as Micronesia. We wrote this book when we realized that the many volumes of history on War in the Pacific focused on the combatants, and told us little of the experiences of the Islanders across whose lands, seas, and airspace the war was fought. Kwajalein, Enewetak, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Peleliu, Saipan, Guam, Tinian—these were not just battlegrounds, but also precious homelands. Our goal was to combine documentary history with interviews of more than 300 elders to tell the story of the war in Micronesia as it was experienced by Islanders who lived through it.

Lin's book list on the indigenous experiences of WW2 in the Pacific Islands

Lin Poyer Why did Lin love this book?

Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands experienced Japanese colonial rule, militarization in the build-up to the Pacific War, and invasion and conquest by American forces---followed by exile and relocation so their homeland could be used for nuclear testing. This book describes how they interpret and deal with this history through a three-month-long Christmas ritual that reflects traditional Marshallese culture as well as modern war. Carucci’s sensitive analysis helps us see how cultural rituals enable communities to deal with traumatic pasts, through symbolism, drama, artistic creativity, and humor—including the role of an exploding Christmas tree!

By Laurence Marshall Carucci,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nuclear Nativity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The leading authority on the lifeways of the Enewetak people explores the rituals, customs, and meanings of the Kurijmoj festival. Illuminating the empowering aspects of rituals involved in feasts, competitive games, speeches, dances, songs of apocalypse, and gift giving, Carucci offers a wealth of insights into a celebration the Enewetak people have made uniquely their own.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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