Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account


a combination of phonemes that communicates a standardized meaning

scientific approaches

theoretical notion that human cultural differences and similarities can be explained in the same sense as biologists explain life and its evolution


the study of the units of meaning in language

Material culture

artifacts and other physical, visible manifestations of culture, including art, architectural features, tools, consumer goods, clothing, and writing


each individual is allowed to have only one spouse at a time

ecclesiastical organizations

religious organizations in which a full-time priesthood performs rituals believe to benefit believers or the whole society, usually in large buildings dedicated to religious purposes or deities; found in complex societies

Anthropological linguistics

subfield that focuses on the interrelationships between language and other aspects of a people's culture


rights and duties that individuals receive because of their personal identity or membership in a social group


a kind of religious specialist, usually full-time, who officiates at large-scale, bureaucratically organized rituals that keep the population in proper relationship to deities or cosmic forces

court leagal systems

systems in which authority for settling disputes and punishing crimes is formally vested in a single individual or group


a kind of social control characterized by the presence of authority, intention of universal application, obligation, and sanction


system of stratification in which membership in a stratum can theoretically be altered and intermarriage between strata is allowed

sapir-whorf hypothesis

the idea that language profoundly shapes the perceptions and the worldview of its speakers


the use of psychic powers to harm others by supernatural means

initiation rite

a rite held to mark the transition, usually to sexual maturity, of an individual or group of individuals of the same sex

psychological approach

the notion that the emotional or affective satisfactions people gain from religion are primary


degree to which individuals, groups, and categories differ in their access to rewards

Patterns of behavior

within a single culture, the behavior most people perform when they are in certain culturally defined situations


ideas and beliefs that legitimize and reinforce inequalities in stratified societies

stratified society

society with marked and largely or partly heritable differences in access to wealth, power, and prestige; inequality is based mainly on unequal access to productive and valued resources

Cultural knowledge

information, skills, attitudes, conceptions, beliefs, values, and other mental components of culture that people socially learn during enculturation


the description of a specific culture


a method of cultivation in which hand tools powered by human muscles are used and in which land use is extensive

social control

mechanisms by which behavior is constrained and directed into acceptable channels, thus maintaining conformity

Cultural integration

the interrelationships among the various components of a cultural system

Cultural identity

the cultural tradition a group of people recognize as their own; the shared customs and beliefs that define how a group sees itself as distinctive


custom whereby a widower marries a female relative of his deceased wife

incipient courts

Court systems in which judicial authorities meet, frequently informally, in private to discuss issues and determine solutions to be imposed. Evidence is not formally collected, and the parties involved in these cases are not formally consulted


theoretical orientation claiming that the main influences on cultural differences and similarities are technology, environment, and how people produce and distribute resources


theoretical idea that each culture historically develops its own unique thematic patterns around which beliefs, values, and behaviors oriented

conflict theory of inequality

theory holding that stratification benefits mainly the upper stratum and is the cause of most social unrest and other conflicts in human societies

Biological determinism

the idea that biologically inherited differences between populations are important influences on cultural differences between them

evolutionary psychology

emphasizes that humans are animals and so are subject to similar evolutionary forces as the other animals


centralized political systems with authority vested in formal, usually hereditary, offices or titles

gender stratification

the degree to which males and females are unequal in dimensions such as status, power, or influence, access to valued resources, eligibility for social positions, and ability to make decisions about their own lives

hunting and gathering

adaptations based on the harvest of wild plants and animals

humanistic approach

theoretical orientation that rejects attempts to explain culture in general in favor of achieving an empathetic understanding of particular cultures

Enculturation (socialization)

the transmission (by means of social learning) of cultural knowledge to the next generation

Medical Anthropology

the specialization that researches the connections between cultural beliefs and habits and the spread and treatment of diseases and illnesses

shamanistic organizations

religious organizations in which certain individuals (shamans) have relationships with supernatural powers that ordinary people lack

Cultural Relativism

the notion that one should not judge the behavior of other peoples using the standards of one's own culture

biolocal residence

postmarital residence in which couples move between the households of both sets of parents

omaha terminology

kinship terminology system associated with patrilineal descent in which ego's mothers and relatives are distinguished only by their sex


theoretical orientation that analyzes cultural elements in terms of their useful effects to individuals or to the persistence of the whole society


formal institutions that cut across communities and serve to unite geographically scattered groups; may be based on kin groups (clans or lineages) or on non-kin-based groups (age grades or warrior societies)


custom whereby a widow marries a male relative of her deceased husband


intenional plantin, cultivation, care, and harvest of domesticated food plants

exogamous rules

marriage rules prohibiting individuals from marrying a member of their own social group or category

cultural construction of kinship

the idea that the kinship relationships a given people recognize do not perfectly reflect biological relationships; reflected in the kinship terminology

communal organizations

religious organizations in which the members of a group cooperate to perform rituals intended to benefit all.

unilineal evolutionism

the nineteenth-century theoretical orientation that held that all human ways of life pass through a similar sequence of stages in their development

life course

the changes in expected activities, roles, rights and obligations, and social relationships individuals experience as they move through culturally defined age categories

self-help legal systems

Informal legal systems in societies without centralized political systems, in which authorities who settle disputes are defined by the circumstances of the case

revitalization movement

a religious movement explicitly intended to create a new way of life for a society or group

intellectual approach

the notion that religious beliefs provide explanations for puzzling things and events

semantic domain

a class of things or properties perceived as alike in some fundamental respect

individualistic organizations

religious organizations based on personal relationships between specific individuals and specific supernatural powers

simple bands

autonomous or independent political units, often consisting of little more than an extended family, with informal leadership vested in one of the older family members

cross-cultural comparisons

a methodology for testing a hypothesis using a sample of societies drawn from around the world

courts of regulation

court systems that use codified laws, with formally prescribed rights, duties and sanctions


the study of human cultures from a comparative perspective

tone languages

languages in which changing voice pitch within a word alters the entire meaning of the word


those who follow the philosophical viewpoint that emphasizes as the relativity of all knowledge, including science, focus on how the knowledge of a particular time and place is constructed


the socially learned knowledge and patterns of behavior shared by some group

Comparative Perspective

the insistence by anthropologists that valid hypotheses and theories about humanity be tested with information from a wide range of cultures

ranked society

society that has a limited number of high-ranking social positions that grant authority; groups are ranked relative to one another, with the highest rank bringing the highest rewards in prestige, power, and sometimes wealth

cargo cults

Melanesian revitalization movements in which prophets claim to know secret rituals that will bring wealth (cargo).


the mid-twentieth century rebirth of evolutionary approaches to the theoretical study of culture


the pastoral pattern involving migration to different elevations to respond to seasonal differences in the availability of pasturelands


a form of communal religious organization in which all members of a kin group have mystical relationships with one or more natural objects


total system of linguistic knowledge that allows the speakers of a language to send meaningful messages that hearers can understand


studies of changes in a culture over time


the description of a culture at one period in time


the description of a culture at one period in time


an autonomous political unit encompassing a number of distinct, geographically dispersed communities held together by sodalities


the performance of rites and spells for the purpose of causing harm to others by supernatural means

Biological (physical) anthropology

major subfield of anthropology that studies the biological dimensions of humans and other primates

courts of mediation

court systems in which the judges attempt to reach compromise solutions, based on the cultural norms and values of the parties involved, that will restore the social cohesion of the community.

marriage alliances

the relationships created between families or kin groups by intermarriage


the collection of goods or money from a group, followed by a reallocation to the group by a central authority


custom in which a man spends a period of time working for the family of his wife


studies of changes in a culture over time


cultural differences characteristic of members of various ethnic groups, regions, religions, and so forth within a single society or country

kinship terminology

the logically consistent system by which people classify their relatives into labeled categories or into kinds of relatives

ethnographic fieldwork

collection of information from living people about their way of life

historical particularism

the theoretical orientation emphasizing that each culture is the unique product of all the influences to which it was subjected in its past, making cross-cultural generalizations questionable


a method of cultivation in which hand tools powered by human muscles are used and in which land use is extensive

functional theory of inequality

theory holding that stratification is a way to reward individuals who contribute most to society's well-being

secular ideology

an ideology that does not rely on the will of supernatural powers but justifies inequality on the basis of its society wide benefits

Classifications of reality

ways in which the members of a culture divide up the natural and social world into categories, usually linguistically encoded

ethnohistoric research

the study of past cultures using written accounts and other documents


a centralized, multilevel political unit characterized by the presence of a bureaucracy that acts on behalf of the ruling elite

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording