Books like Kate Fox's "Watching the English"?
June 27, 2018 3:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm reading Kate Fox's "Watching the English." It is exactly what I wish the Culture Shock books were. Does anyone have recommendations for similar anthropological analyses of behaviors among a certain nationality or regionality? Bonus points if it's as funny as Fox, although I now understand from her book that humor is embedded in British culture...
posted by rednikki to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have a recommendation which I read in an anthropology course. It’s called the mushroom at the end of the world And it’s about the maitsutake mushroom and the people who pick it in America for the Japanese market. It’s an odd little book that’s less about one specific nationality but about several different doing one odd thing- but it’s very anthropological without being dry. The one ding against it is that is isn’t so much funny as it is deeply interesting.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 3:13 PM on June 27, 2018

Best answer: You might enjoy Class by Paul Fussell though dated.
posted by peacheater at 3:52 PM on June 27, 2018 [4 favorites]

Best answer: The Anglo Files by Sarah Lyall is also a good one, though it's from a transplanted American's POV about English culture after she marries an Englishman. It's pretty funny.
posted by Kitteh at 4:10 PM on June 27, 2018

Best answer: Simon Winder, Germania and Danubia.
Michael Booth, The Almost Nearly Perfect People.
Diccon Bewes, Swiss Watching.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:59 PM on June 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It's more narrative driven, but "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" by Ann Fadiman is about clashing cultures as well as being readable and interesting.

Pretty much any of Mary Roach's books are entertaining, though it's more about specific topics/subcultures than people from a certain nation/region.

I haven't read it but, Jennifer 8 Lee's book "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles" is supposed to be good.

And just because it's my favorite book and it's written by an anthropologist, "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell is astoundingly good. While it is a novel, she is very clearly an anthropologist.
posted by mulkey at 5:04 PM on June 27, 2018 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Body Ritual among the Nacirema by Horace Miner
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:55 PM on June 27, 2018 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong is an amusing take on the ways of les Françaises. Written by two Canadians.
posted by Morpeth at 10:50 PM on June 27, 2018

Best answer: The Xenophobes Guide series.
posted by brujita at 10:51 PM on June 27, 2018

Best answer: "Me talk pretty one day" by David Sedaris. The second part of the book tells his story of moving to Normandy and his efforts to live in France. So the impression of the french culture through his eyes.
posted by alchemist at 12:40 AM on June 28, 2018

Best answer: Southern Ladies and Gentlemen, by Florence King
posted by janey47 at 1:02 AM on June 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: King also wrote WASP, Where Is Thy Sting?
posted by brujita at 4:59 AM on June 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

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