Daily Life of the Inuit

by Pamela R. Stern


What is it like to live surrounded by the harsh climate and stark landscapes of the Arctic tundra? While there is considerable scholarly literature on the Inuit in a particular place or touching on a specific issue such as religion or hunting, no recent scholarship has attempted to provide a broad description of this intriguing culture—until now.

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Cover image for Daily Life of the Inuit

June 2010


Pages 206
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/American Indian Studies

This wide-ranging treatment of daily life in the contemporary Inuit communities of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland reveals the very modern ways of being Inuit.

Daily Life of the Inuit is the first serious study of contemporary Inuit culture and communities from the post-World War II period to the present. Beginning with an introductory essay surveying Inuit prehistory, geography, and contemporary regional diversity, this exhaustive treatment explores the daily life of the Inuit throughout the North American Arctic—in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

Twelve thematic chapters acquaint the reader with the daily life of the contemporary Inuit, examining family, intellectual culture, economy, community, politics, technology, religion, popular culture, art, sports and recreation, health, and international engagement. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the historical and cultural underpinnings of Inuit life in the North American Arctic and describes the issues and events relevant to the contemporary Inuit experience. Leading sources are quoted to provide analysis and perspective on the facts presented.


  • Includes a chronology of major cultural and political events from the peopling of the North American Arctic to the present
  • Provides contemporary and historical photographs of people, places, and activities discussed in the text
  • Offers a glossary of key sociological and Inuktitut terms


  • Describes contemporary Inuit life in Canada, Alaska, and Greenland, conveying such information as the fact that the development of literature in Inuktitut, the Inuit language, is hampered by the existence of multiple writing systems
  • Presents Inuit culture from an Inuit point of view, underscoring that today’s Inuit culture is vibrant, modern, and adaptive
  • Includes multiple illustrative examples drawn from ethnographies, the news, and the author's own fieldwork
Series Description

Daily Life

What was life really like for ordinary people in other cultures throughout history? How did they raise their children? What did they do for fun? From sexual mores in ancient Egypt to resistance music in modern Latin America, and from the fashion sense of the Mongols to the importance of film in modern India, the world comes alive in the indispensable hands-on volumes of this award-winning series. A truly interdisciplinary resource, the Daily Life series covers arts; religion; food; literature; language; romance; rites of passage and coming of age; marriage customs; social and government structure; sickness and cures; warfare; sports and games; holidays; festivals; and more. With direct ties to the curriculum and supported by the most current research, these authoritative volumes are organized in an accessible narrative chapter format, and supplemented with photos, maps, and other ready-reference materials, Daily Life volumes are ideal sources for general readers and students of world history, United States history, social studies, anthropology, religion, literature, arts, and more.

Each volume provides:
• An exploration of complex eras in history on a level accessible to students and general readers
• Authoritative coverage stemming from the most current scholarship and recent discoveries
• A focus on social rather than political history in key curricular areas, providing an in-depth understanding of the nuts and bolts of daily life
• Interactive, exciting details such as recipes, sheet music, rules for games, song lyrics, and more
Author Info

Pamela R. Stern, PhD, is adjunct professor of anthropology at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Stern wrote Historical Dictionary of the Inuit and is co-editor of Critical Inuit Studies: An Anthology of Contemporary Arctic Ethnography.

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