2019 Society for Anthropological Sciences Book Prize - William Dressler
Culture and the Individual: Theory and Method of Cultural Consonance (Routledge, 2018) is a theoretical and empirical account of one of the central questions of anthropology: how do what individuals know and believe relate to what is culturally shared by groups? Bill Dressler frames this issue as a century-old question, tracing it through virtually every theoretical tradition in the discipline. By doing so, he situates the specific focus of his the book, the approach of cultural consonance which he pioneered, within its broader anthropological context, reaching out to students and professionals alike, including critics. Cultural and the Individual presents a formal, empirical approach to bridging the social and biomedical sciences, making a plea for the relevance of culture in understanding how individuals’ incorporation of cultural models into their own beliefs and behaviors profoundly affects health outcomes. It is the crowning achievement of the scholarship on cultural consonance and will doubtless be read and cited for decades to come.