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study of human beings; or study of culture

4 fields of Anthropology

cultural, archaeological, biological, and linguistic

cultural anthropology

using ethnography and ethnology to study human societies and cultures

archaeological anthropology

reconstructs, describes and interprets past human behavior and cultural patterns through material remains

biological anthropology

Pale anthropology: human evolution via fossil record: genetics, growth and development; primatology

linguistic anthropology

language in social and cultural context across space and time


Learned traditions and customs, that govern beliefs and behaviors; not biological always acquired ALSO the complex whole that includes all habits, customs, beliefs, knowledge, art, morals, etc. learned by humans as members of a society


Biology, culture, behavior, basic values, language, and customs shared within a group. Members recognize other members of the group. Not strictly limited to color of skin. Example a person can be WHITE without being CAUCASIAN

Binary oppositions

contrasting pairs, such as male/female, young/old, sun/moon, by which people organize their social and conceptual worlds. This idea is associated with the French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss.


cultural meanings, values, and social roles assigned with respect to sex differences NOT BIOLOGICAL


the process of transmitting appropriate cultural values and social behavior from one generation to the next


groups living and sharing culture

Class, caste

a category of people who have approximately the same access to power and resources


the culturally shaped way one sees and interprets the world. Not biological assumptions about nature moral options and life options. People never venture beyond their perception of the "Real world"

Applied anthropology

to identify, assess and solve contemporary social problems. Examples: Medical Anthropology, Cultural Resource Management (CRM), Forensic Anthropology, and Non-government Organizations (NGO's)


cultural- Phenomena or mode of comparison not limited to a particular culture or group

Cultural relativism

principle assuming that human customs and life ways are meaningful and coherent in their native social context






the belief that all aspects of European culture represent the best forms of culture


requires fieldwork to collect data, descriptive, group/community


draws upon data collected by a series of researchers, synthetic, comparative, cross-culture


human biology, culture, and language


a framework for systematically acquiring information about the physical world and testing that information through controlled observations


the discipline that records and interprets past events involving human beings

Participant observation

the preferred anthropological method it involves living as a member of the society under study and sharing in day-to-day activities usually for an extended period of time.


individuals related through marriage


individuals related through biological ties


a marriage practice according to which people are expected to take mates from within the group


a marriage practice according to which people are expected to take mates from outside the group


the process of development or growth in a group; technically the change in allele frequency in a population from one generation to the next


associated with Bronislaw Malinowski, an anthropological approach the emphasizes the synchronic and holistic approaches


the practice of killing infants, female infanticide is the practice of killing female infants usually for purposes of population control or as a result of economic factors


a kin group whose members trace descent matrilineally or patrinilinealy from a common ancestor through known links


a system of marriage involving one man and one wife

Social Darwinism

Application of the theory of natural selection to social organization, involving a misinterpretation of Darwin's biological theory of evolution

Big Man

in Melanesia a man who aims to increase his status by redistributing pigs and other goods at a feast or giveaway


uses the past to analyze the present


emphasizes the present


A type of political organization that is autonomous at the local level; bands are kin-based and egalitarian


composed of a number of bands


a type of political organization that is regional, kin-based and hierarchical


a type of political organization that is regionalized, bureaucratic, and hierarchical

General evolution

Associated with Leslie White, a theory of social evolution that argues that cultures evolve through a series of universal stages as a result of increasing use of technology to capture energy

Specific evolution

Associated with Julian Steward, a theory of social evolution that holds the changes in each culture must be studied as adaptations to a specific environment rather than with reference to universal stages


mutual dependence

Slash and burn agriculture

a cultivation technique in which an area of forest is cut down and then burned allowing the ashes to serve as fertilizer for crop production. Because the soil is only fertile for a few seasons the technique requires that the land be allowed to lie fallow after a few seasons


People who are dependent mainly on domesticated animals, such as cattle, for subsistence


Economic system characterized by the following: private property ownership exists; individuals and companies are allowed to compete for their own economic gain; and free market forces determine the prices of goods and services. Such a system is based on the premise of separating the state and business activities. Capitalists believe that markets are efficient and should thus function without interference, and the role of the state is to regulate and protect.


Associated with Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels, a school of thought that argues that the social organization and ideology of a particular society are determined by its economic base.

Market System

a form of exchange which is concluded in a single transaction at a public place either through barter or transfer of cash


having a economic system heavily dependent on manufacturing

Complex society

a society characterized by a great deal of task specialization and differences in access to power and resources

Cultural ecology

Associated with Julian Steward, an approach to anthropological analysis that focuses on the relationship of a culture to its environment


Characteristic of a society in which social roles are allocated by gender or age but are otherwise undifferentiated

Hierarchy, status

A form of social organization in which some roles are associated with more power, higher status, and greater access to resources than others


The belief in a spirit essence that animates people, animals, plants, and some geographical features

Kinship, marriage

A publically recognized social contract that establishes a social contract, sexual rights, social identity of offspring, and an alliance between kin groups.

Bride capture

A marriage custom in which the groom makes a great show and pretense of stealing the bride from her family

Fictive kin

People who and not blood relatives of an individual but occupy the place of biological kin and are referred to by kinship terminology

Kula, potlatch

A redistribution form of exchange characteristic of native people of the northwestern coast of North America in which a lineage head collects art objects and other valuables to be given away to members of another lineage at a ceremonial feast and dance performance

Nuclear family

An economically interdependent unit consisting of a parent or parents and their dependent offspring


A system of marriage where a person of either sex can have more than one mate


A system of marriage where a man can have more than one wife


a system of marriage where a woman can have more than one husband (mostly in East Asia)

Exchange, redistribution



the means by which human groups convert environmental resources to human use


Tracing your descent using only one line either your mother's side or father's


tracing your descent using both parents' lines

Incest taboo

a social rule the prohibits sexual relations with certain categories of relatives


Anthropologist that went and lived with the Eskimos and learned that culture affects behavior. Culture Realism, historical particularism. Father of American Anthropology

Lewis Morgan

General Evolution. Control of energy is key to evolution= progress. Famous for his statement in 1957 after Russia launched Sputnik


Specific evolution. Ecological approach. Culture=adaptation


rules governing way rules combine


theoretical represents of sound


the specialization in linguistics that focuses on grammatical structure of language

Conspicuous consumption

taking in more than you need; appearing rich


all aspects of culture are means to exploit materials

Political economy

economics of power; the way power is structured


creating a new home with a new family example a new husband and wife move to a new house in a new location seperate from either of their original families


wrote "In Search of Respect" studied crack dealers in Harlem and lived there for three years using participant observation.


anthropologists have to put themselves in the picture; interpretive anthropologist


Tribraind Islands; Cricket Video


General Evolution. Control of energy is key to evolution= progress. Famous for his statement in 1957 after Russia launched Sputnik


survival of the fittest theory, social Darwinism


evolution theory, The Origin of the Species


Generalization: control of energy is the key to cultural progress


Specific evolution. Ecological approach. Culture=adaptation


agriculture was the worst mistake of humans because it increased the likely hood of diseases


sacred cows in India, starving people were dumb should eat the cows like we do, economic materialist


social conflict/ conflict between the classes


the idea that one variety of language has higher value than others and it should imposed onto the whole of the speech community: grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, creation of a standard speech or writing "correctly"


human sacrifices


Clifford Geertz's famous cockfight scene came from here. Inside glimpse of life


Rage Theory. "Rosaldo" wife died, canibals

Margaret Mead

anthropologist who studied Samoa culture and decided that nurture was above nature in human emotions

culture and personality 'school' of anthropology

discovered by Francis Boas, trained famous anthropologist like Margret Mead and Ruth Benedict. Concentrated on nurture vs. nature, female anthropologist, race, how adolescents see the world, disappearing cultures ect.

language and communication

the ability to transmit encoded thoughts from the mind of one individual to another, usually verbal.

language universals

Substantive, formal and implicational

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

language structures the world in particular ways different languages = different social realities

functions of language

emotional expression, social interaction, control of reality, recording the facts, an instrument of thoughts, and expression of identity

place names

may give info about societies, history, beliefs, and values

Language families

languages with clear linguistic evidence of relation

pidgin and Creole

real formal languages languages with grammar that developed when people gathered and didn't have a common language so they created a new language; creative adaptations of other languages.


- English anthropologist that pioneered the study of social relations as integrated systems.


native american group on the north american pacific coast studied by Francis Boas


societies exist which have little or no concept of social hierarchy, political or economic status, class, or even permanent leadership.


What is Cricket used for in the trobriand islands?

shorten the bats and balls, made it so as many people who wanted to play could play

What did the trobriand islanders do to inovate the game of Cricket?

culture affects behavior

During his artic fieldwork what does Boas learn about the relationship between culture and behavior?


Where does "In Search of Respect" take place?

puerto rican immigrants

Who is the SPECIFIC subject of "In Search of Respect"

changing names and addresses, partially censors it, and constructs a story

What literary liberities are taken by the ethnographer of "In Search of Respect"

children of children

Who are the most vunerable inner city residents in "In Search of Respect"

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