The material clearly and concisely defines concepts typically covered in separate classes. These include evolution, genetic diversity, the origins of food production, language diversity, systems of food collection, and the origins of social, political, and ideological diversity. In addition, Bare Backbones provides information on topics, such as territoriality, ethnicity, and nationalism, that can help frame complex human relations.
The information is written to correspond with that found in more extensive and specialized texts on each sub-field, but can be customized to meet the needs of different courses and instructors.
Bare Backbones can serve as a stand-alone text to introductory courses in general anthropology. It is also a useful supplement for specialized anthropology courses.