Theory of Anthropology Final

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Induction
reasoning from detailed facts to general principles
Deduction
reasoning from the general to the particular (or from cause to effect)
Verification
additional proof that something that was believed (some fact or hypothesis or theory) is correct
Falsification
the act of determining that something is false
Paradigm
the generally accepted perspective of a particular discipline at a given time
Paradigmatic shift
a major pardigm shift be because of new information that causes cognitive dissonance
Positivism
the form of empiricism that bases all knowledge on perceptual experience (not on intuition or revelation)
Political ecology
An approach to studying nature-society relations that is concerned with the ways in which environmental issues both reflect, and are the result of, the political and socioeconomic contexts in which they are situated.
False consciousness
A term used by Karl Marx to describe an attitude held by members of a class that does not accurately reflect their objective position, Marx's term for explanations of social problems as the shortcomings of individuals rather than as the flaws of society
Materialism
a desire for wealth and material possessions with little interest in ethical or spiritual matters
Idealism
impracticality by virtue of thinking of things in their ideal form rather than as they really are
Emic
approach of studying a culture's behavior from the perspective of an insider
Etic
approach of studying a culture's behavior from the perspective of an outsider
Barrel model of culture
Base to top: Infrastructure (economic), social structure, superstructure (world view, perception of self and society).
Under the model: Environment (natural resources)
Cultural ecology
broadly defined, the study of the relationships between the physical environment and culture; narrowly defined, the study of culture as an adaptive system that facilitates human adaptation to nature and environmental change.
Multilineal evolutionism
The concept that the evolution of cultures could go in different directions depending on the society's overall culture, its technology, and the particular environment to which each society was adapting.Same idea that evolution proceeds in a certain direction and cannot skip stages According to Max Weber, culture change occurring in fits and starts in different historical contexts; according to Julia Steward, "branching" cultural evolution
New Archaeology
an approach to archaeology that arose in the 1960s emphasizing the understanding of underlying cultural processes and the use of the scientific method; today's version of the "new archaeology" is sometimes called processual archaeology.
Processual archaeology
Stresses dynamic relationship between social and economic aspects of culture, and the environment as the basis for understanding the processes of culture change. Archaeology becomes independent from anthropology -- explanation over description. Shifted focus from "what" to "who" to "how" and "why". More of a science. Developed in US. Became widely known in 1960's-70's through writings of LEWIS R. BINFORD. 1. Processual Archaeology emphasizes evolutionary generalizations, not historical specifics. Processual archaeology seeks universal laws. Explanation in processual archaeology is explicitly scientific. Processual archaeology attempts to remain objective and ethically neutral. 1/2 of US archaeologists practice new archaeology
Post-Processual Archaeology
placed more emphasis on who people were, what they liked disliked and their emotions rather than just why did they make that pot etc. etc. Added a human element to the theory. It rejected the processual archaeology's views of cultural revolution and the idea of universal laws of human behavior and understanding. They emphasize objectivity and ethical neutrality, taking a culturally relativistic stance on archaeology in order to better understand the people involved. Europe rose theoretical objectives to American tradition (Ian Hodder at Cambridge University). Less scientific. IDEA- If we ask "who", we can get a specific, meaningful "why" 1) The post-processual critique rejects cultural evolutionary generalizations. 3) The post-processual critique rejects explicitly scientific methods
Cultural Materialism
a theoretical position that takes material features of life, such as the environment, natural resources, and mode of production, as the bases for explaining social organization and ideology. Marvin Harris; determines human thought and behavior; provides explanations for comparisons in groups; environment & ppl = 1; relies on ETIC
Eclectics
Those who borrow from many theories in their attempts to predict and explain human development. According to Marvin Harris, anthropologists who are sometimes cultural materialists and other times cultural idealists.
Scientific racism
The use of scientific findings and methods to investigate differences among the human races to support or validate racist world-views, usually based upon belief in the existence and significance of racial categories — typically with a hierarchy of superior and inferior races.
Biocultural anthropology
The study of the interaction between biology and culture, which plays a role in most human traits
Human ethology
A hereditarian approach to the study of human behavior, derived in part from Darwinism and employing the analytical constructs of fixed action pattern, innate releasing mechanism, and key stimulus
Kinesics
the study of communication through body movements, stances, gestures, and facial expressions
Proxemics
The study of distance individuals maintain between each other in social interactions and how this separation is significant.
Genotype
the particular alleles at specified loci present in an organism (ACTUAL GENETIC COMPOSITION)
Phenotype
what an organism looks like as a consequence of its genotype (EXPRESSION OF GENE)
Sociobiology
the branch of biology that conducts comparative studies of the social organization of animals (including human beings) with regard to its evolutionary history
Inclusive Fitness
The total effect an individual has on proliferating its genes by producing its own offspring and by providing aid that enables other close relatives to increase the production of their offspring.
Reciprocal Altruism
Behavior that benefits another with the expectation that those benefits will be returned in the future.
Selfish gene
recognizes that a gene could increase in frequency in the population, even if it were detrimental to its host in some way, as long as it promoted its own reproduction
Hegemony
the domination of one state over its allies
Imagined Community
Benedict Anderson's concept of a nation whose members' knowledge of one another does not come from regular face-to-face interactions but instead based on their shared experiences with national institutions, such as schools, and the bonds created from reading the same newspapers and books.
Postmodernism
Post-World War II intellectual movement and cultural attitude focusing on cultural pluralism and release from the confines and ideology of Western high culture.The belief that society is no longer governed by history or progress. Postmodern society is highly pluralistic and diverse, with no "grand narrative" guiding its development.
Globalization
The trend toward increased cultural and economic connectedness between people, businesses, and organizations throughout the world.
Structural power
Power that organizes and orchestrates the systemic interaction within and among societies, directing economic and political forces on the one hand and ideological forces that shape public ideas, values, and beliefs on the other.
Symbolic power
A symbol is a representation of deeper, implicit meaning. Symbols include routines, rituals, signs.
Symbolic power = power to manipulate and use symbols to create.
organizational environments.
others' beliefs and understandings to suit own purposes.
Symbolic Domination
value of a dialect depends on the extent to which it provides access to desired positions in the labor market. this reflects its legitimation by formal institutions. linguistic forms, which lack power in themselves, take on the power of the groups they symbolize
Dialectics
An analytical methodology, derived from Hegel and Marx, that juxtaposes pairs of opposites - a thesis and antithesis, to arrive at a synthesis of ideas. The thesis and antithesis growing together.
Habitus
mental and cognitive structures through which individuals perceive the world based largely on their standing in a social class
Commodity Fetishism
the process by which commodities are emptied of the meaning of their production (the labor that produced them and the context in which they were produced) and filled instead with abstract meaning (usually through advertising) Marx; We believe objects have powers that surpass their actual value; only in capitalism; we only relate to our products and not the labor behind it; we think commodities can relate to each other but there is a human behind the decision
Reflexivity
A constant rechecking of biases and assumptions as anthropologists work. The self reflections are presented along with their observations.
Agency
Human agency is the concept that each human individual within a culture has the ability to determine and choose by free will his/her actions, beliefs, etc. This contrasts the idea that we are completely governed by either nature or environmental factors (like culture) because we possess these innate capacity to think for ourselves. Thus, looking throughout civilizations, certain individuals changed the entire course of human history. An obvious example is Hitler and horrific events during the Holocaust. However, these individuals also produce positive influences within cultures as well. Additionally, this concept does not imply that cultural and natural forces are invalid, but rather adds to the complexity within understanding human behaviors within a culture.
Praxis
translating an idea into action
Deconstruction
is an analytical strategy developed in the late 20th century according to which all cultural "constructs" (art, architecture, and literature) are "texts". People can read these texts in a variety of ways but cannot arrive at fixed or uniform meanings. Any interpretation can be valid, and readings differ from time to time, place to place, and person to person. This strategy has destabilized traditional interpretations. The facts of power, privilege and prejudice underlay all interpretation., a philosophical theory of criticism (usually of literature or film) that seeks to expose deep-seated contradictions in a work by delving below its surface meaning
Disjuncture
Hochschild defines disjunction as inconsistent views across a wide number of beliefs. She explains that this often occurs when people can no longer justify a statement previously made. While ambivalence occurs when people "flip-flop" on one issue, disjuncture occurs when people produce contradictory arrangements across "domains of life" - or different issues. She explains that the consequence of holding two "disjoint sets of views" is political paralysis. This is significant because in contrast to Converse, Hochshild thinks that disjuncture is not necessarily a sign of a non-attitude, but rather a sign that people have complex opinions and have to wrestle with issues. The distinction, for Hochschild between disjuncture and non-attitudes is people who struggle with the issues to get at an opinion and people who simply don't care.
Induction/Deduction
Induction: the process or arriving at generalizations about particular facts
i. Latin: duce: "to lead to something"
ii. Gather a lot of data and form hypotheses based on the collection of the data and from these
hypotheses you form a theory (bottom-up)
b. Deduction: the use of logic to reason from general to particular statements
i. Start from the general principle of a theory and deduce from the theory the facts that substantiate it
(top-down)
c. Inductive-deductive approach: used in most sciences, go back and forth to formulate a theory
d. Methods emerged when the intellectual authority of the Church was eroding as part of the Scientific
Revolution
i. Two new epistemologies developed for science
ii. Big names
1. Rene Descartes:
a. FRE mathematician
b. Deductionist
i. "I exist, therefore God exists, therefore the real world exists."
c. Laid the foundation for FRE rationalism
2. Francis Bacon and John Locke:
a. ENG philosophers
b. Inductionists
c. Laid the foundation for British empiricism
Theory/Doctrine
a. Dogma/doctrine: assertion of opinion or belief formally handed down by an authority as true and
indisputable (and accepted as a matter of faith)
b. Theory: in science, an explanation of natural phenomena, supported by a reliable body of data
(generalization)
i. GRK: related to theatre (both related to seeing)
1. A mental form of seeing: allows you to see perceptions that are not obvious
ii. Connects lines that don't always appear to be connected, allows us to see from the bottom-up
and top-down
iii. Measured by its capacity to explain, the more effective the explanation the more
powerful the theory and the power of the theory to generate new research (questions)
1. Parsimonious principle/principle of parsimony/Occam's razor
a. If you have two theories that are equally effective in explaining something the shorter
one is favored
iv. Two fold of theory (functions)
1. Has the purpose of explaining the world
2. Guides us into formulating research questions
v.Model: a highly simplified theory that offers a blueprint for research
1. As such it has a heuristic value (GRK heurs: to find/discover) that means it has the function
to find something, it guides you into thinking about something
vi. Imagination: plays a major role in theory formation as it involves the construction of
something that isn't there but might be if you look for it
1. Much of what we think is spontaneous is the process of thought happening in our
subconscious
vii. Theory is the core of anthropology but stands for different things in different anthropological
circles
1. Guiding principle, intellectual framework
Verification/Falsification
Facts
i. Latin factum: "that which is done"
1. Something that is made, as well as something that is done
ii. Truth/In search of truth
iii. What is truth?
1. Truth is something we pursue but we don't know whether it is or not, have to test it
2. 2 methods of testing
a. Verification: veritas: latin for truth: to make sure it is true
i. Can't prove it is conclusively true but we can determine if it's false
b. Falsification: proving something is not true
iv. Axiomas are truths held to be true apriori → it is always true
1. Facts deduced from axiomatic statements can be simply deduced through cultural lenses
a. In different cultures, different things are facts
Paradigm/paradigmatic shift
a. Paradigm (Weltanschauung): worldview
i. Para (GRK): at side/alongside
ii. Digma (GRK): example/pattern
iii. Thomas Kuhn: paradigmatic revolutions: metatheory (theory that underlies other theories,
worldview at a certain time in history that is providing the answers to our questions)
iv. Paradigms in a certain period of time to work in such an effective way that we don't
question the paradigm
1. Meta-theory (Thomas Kuhn): theory that underlies other theories, worldview that at a
certain time in history that is providing the answers to our questions (we don't question the
paradigm)
b. Paradigmatic shift/revolution: every now and then in certain places and times there is so much new
stuff that occurs that doesn't fit within the convention a framework of explanation that the framework of
explanation has to shift
i. A new world is conjured up
1. Copernicun (heliocentric) revolution triggered a series of new perspectives
2. Explanatory framework: how the world is constructed (possibly supernatural and natural)
Positivism
a. positivism: a philosophical perspective on the production of scientific knowledge that is (from an
anthro view) naïve because the idea is that reality is obvious and self-evident and it is not
i. Naïve positivism: as if the facts speak for themselves: they don't
1. Always an element of theory going on
2. Idea of non-theory is nonsense
b. 19th cen: social scientists felt need to emphasize stability, result was Positivism
i. Positivism was the creation of Auguste Comte: Course of Positive Philosophy
1. Described how all branches of knowledge have passed through 3 stages: theological,
metaphysical, and positive
a. Theological: phenomena were explained in terms of deities
b. Metaphysical: phenomena were explained in terms of abstract concepts
c. Positive: phenomena were explained in terms of other phenomena
2. In his scheme science involved the search for generalizations:
a. Social dynamics would search for generalizations about social change
b. Social statics would search for generalizations about social stability
3. One of the founding fathers of modern social science (particularly sociology) which was built
on the foundation of his pronouncement that social phenomena are to be explained in their
own terms
a. By the end of the cen anthropologists began to realize that science is permeated
by values, even if those values are not always explicit, and began to cite
positivism as a source of theoretical misguidance
Political ecology
An approach to studying nature-society relations that is concerned with the ways in which environmental
issues both reflect, and are the result of, the political and socioeconomic contexts in which they are situated.
b. Political ecology is the study of the relationships between political, economic and social factors with
environmental issues and changes. Political ecology differs from apolitical ecological studies by politicizing
environmental issues and phenomena.
i. Arose through the development of development geography and cultural ecology
ii. Drawn much from cultural ecology (a form of analysis that showed how culture depends
upon, and is influenced by, the material conditions of society)
c. Political economy attempted to explain the relationships between economic production and political
processes ( overly structuralist explanations)
i. Cultural ecology shifted toward more scientific but ignored the impact of environment on political
and economic factors
ii. Recognizing flaws in political economy and cultural ecology, geographers and anthros
worked with the strengths of both to form the basis of political ecology
False consciousness
a. False consciousness: in the theories of Marxism and cultural materialism, the capability of people to
misrepresent the meaning of their behavior to themselves and others
b. For Marxists, people have false consciousness when they believe the representations of the dominant classes
that serve to obsure the realities of their domination and exploitation
c. A term used by Karl Marx to describe an attitude held by members of a class that does not accurately reflect
their objective position, Marx's term for explanations of social problems as the shortcomings of individuals
rather than as the flaws of society
d. What MH uses to critique the emic behavioral perspective
Materialism
Materialism: the belief that human existence determines human consciousness
i. In dialectical materialism the belief that human existence determines human consciousness
1. Dialectical materialism: the philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, commonly called
Marxism
a. Marxism: a collection of views derived from Marx and Engles and their theory of
dialectical materialism
ii. In cultural materialism equivalent of the principle of infrastructural determination
1. Infrastructural determinism: in MH's theory of CM, the name for the belief that culture
change usually begins in the etic infrastructure
Idealism
a. Idealism: human consciousness determines human existence
b. Idealistic: pertaining to idealism, a perspective that looks to ideas and meanings (superstructure) rather than
material conditions (infrastructure) as the well spring of culture
i. Associated with Weber who viewed the holistic individual as central to the creation, maintenance,
and innovation of social and cultural forms
c. Idealists: according to MH, followers of cultural idealism, the misguided belief that culture change usually
begins in the etic superstructure
Emic/etic
a. Kenneth Pike
i. Anthropologist/missionary/linguist
ii. 1954: made an analogy with the contrast between phonemics and phonetics in linguistics and
applied it to culture
a. Etic: the outsider's perspective of a culture
i. Observer using categories of science
ii. Outsider who uses analytic series of concepts
b. Emic: the insider's perspective of the culture
i. A reflection of a native worldview
ii. Native persons perspective on the world, programs them to think
and act
c. This idea began to merge with culture materialism
i. Helps us appreciate the lang and the culture as the whole
iii. CM addresses a central problem for scientific anthro: people can be both subjects and objects
of scientific investigation and so where does true knowledge reside?
1. According to Harris it is found by maintaining two pairs of cross-cutting epistemological
criteria; mental vs behavioural domains and emic vs etic domains
a. Mental domain: what people think
b. Behavioral domain: what people do
c. Emic domain: belongs to the participant
d. Etic domain: belongs to the observer
e. Combined these two pairs of distinctions yield four epistemological perspectives:
i. The emic behavioral perspective: what people think about their own behavior
1. problematic because people can develop false consciousness
ii. The emic mental persective: what people think about their own
thoughts
iii. The etic behavioral persepective: what the observer observes about
other people's behavior
iv. The etic mental perspective: what the observer observes about other
people's thoughts
1. problematic because it is difficult to find out what is going on inside
someone else's head
f. In the end, etic perspective predominates
i. In emics the native consultant is the ultimate judge of validity, in etics it's the
scientific observer
Barrel model of culture
a. Theoretical model:
i. A model is a highly simplified theory that we know the theory is a gross distortion of the real theory
let alone reality
1. Purpose of a model as a simplified scheme is that it offers a blueprint for research
a. As such it has a heuristic value (GRK heurs: to find/discover) that means it has
the function to find something, it guides you into thinking about something
b. Barrel model: invented at KSU, by Prins
i. Environment
1. Natural resources in a society's habitat
ii. Infrastructure
1. Economic base: the mode of subsistence
2. The economic foundation of a society, including its subsistence practices and the tools and
other material equipment used to make a living.
iii. Social structure
1. Social organization: the patterned social arrangements of individuals within a society
a. DEF: the rule-governed relationships -with all their rights and obligations- that hold
members of a society together. This includes households, families, associations, and
power relations, including politics
iv. Superstructure
1. Worldview: the perception of the self, society, and the world around us
a. A society's shared sense of identity and worldview. The collective body of ideas,
beliefs, and values by which members of a society makes sense of the world- its
shape, challenges, and opportunities- and understand their place in it. This includes
religion and national identity.
c. Explanation:
i. Every culture is an integrated and dynamic system of adaptation that responds to a combination of
internal factors (economic, social, ideological) and external factors (environmental, climatic). Within
a cultural system, there are functional relationship among the economic base (infra), the social
organization (social), and the ideology (super). A change in one leads to a change in the others.
cultural ecology
a. Cultural ecology (JS): the examination of interactions between cultural and environmental variables
i. Broadly defined, the study of the relationships between the physical environment and culture
ii. Narrowly defined, the study of culture as an adaptive system that facilitates human adaptation
to nature and environmental change
b. Nurtured a nomothetic (in search of laws) approach to anthropology because it focused on the articulation
between culture and nature, linking anthropology to nomothetic natural sciences such as biology,
demography, and chemistry
Multilineal evolutionism
a. Multilineal: according to Max Weber, culture change occurring in fits and starts in different historical
contexts; according to Julian Steward, "branching" cultural evolution
i. Unilineal: pertaining to the view that cultural evolution proceeds along the same lines everywhere, as
in classical cultural evolution
b. Julian Steward distanced himself from Leslie White by calling White's evolutionism universal and his own
as multilineal, the 19th cen perspective he called unilineal
i. White and Steward fought for years about the points of cultural ecology
1. Steward accused White of being so general that he couldn't explain anything in particular
2. White accused Steward of being so particular that he could scarecely be called an evolutionist
ii. Took two of their collegues (Sahlins and Service) to resolve the dispute (1960)
new archaeology
a. An approach to archaeology that arose in the 1960s emphasizing the understanding of underlying cultural
processes and the use of the scientific method; today's version of the "new archaeology" is sometimes called
processual archaeology.
b. Had major impact on prehistoric archaeology, mainly through Leslie White
c. Betty Meggers: took White's thermodynamics and said if archs know T and E then they could reconstruct P
d. Idea developed further by Lewis Binford who became the leader of the New Arch of the 1960s
i. Decided arch should be an integral part fo anthropology because archs and anthros share the same
goal: to explain similarities and differences among cultures
1. Binford acknowledged cultures change in response to both the natural envorinment and
other cultures but he maintained that in explaining change, some parts of culture are more
important than others
2. Under Binford's direction the New Arch revived the 19th cen "comparative method"
a. Adopted nomothetic devices to make arch scientific
i. Hypothetical-deductive model developed by Carl G. Hempel
1. Directed scientists to hypothesize "covering laws" form which specific
circumstances could be deduced and then compared with empirical
reality
ii. General systems theory
1. Involved feedback loops and positive or system-maintaining, and
negative (system-changing) cuase and effect chains
e. Because of its preoccupation with cultural process, the New Arch came to be called processual arch
processual and post-processual archaeology
a. Processual archaeology: a name post-processual archs use for the nomotehtic (universal laws) New Arch
i. Stresses dynamic relationship between social and economic aspects of culture, and the environment
as the basis for understanding the processes of culture change.
ii. Emphasizes evolutionary generalizations, not historical specifics
iii. Developed in US: widely known in 1960's-70's through Lewis Binford
1. Arch becomes independent from anthro- explanation over description- more hard science
2. 50% of US archaeologists practice new archaeology
b. Post-processual archaeology: critical of the New Arch (aka contextual archs)
i. Placed more emphasis on who people were, what they liked disliked and their emotions rather than
just why did they make that pot etc.
ii. Added a human element to the theory
iii. Rejected processual arch's views of cultural revolution and the idea of universal laws of
human behavior and understanding
1. Emphasize objectivity and ethical neutrality, taking a culturally relativistic stance on
archaeology in order to better understand the people involved.
iv. Developed in Europe (UK specifically)
1. Less scientific
2. IDEA- If we ask "who", we can get a specific, meaningful "why"
cultural materialism
a. Cultural materialism: the theory of Marvin Harris that distinguishes emic from etic perspectives and
mental from behavioral domains, and that advocates infrastructural determinism
i. Explaining cultural practices or ideas by looking at the materialist perspective
b. CM was an important part of the resurgence of nomothetic anthropology in the post-Boasian era
c. Marvin Harris (1927-2001)
i. Cultural Materialism (1979): his theoretical manifesto
ii. Developed CM in an effort to purge modern anthro of some of Boas's legacy and continued
to develop it in an effort to combat the spread of new nonscientific and antiscientific attitudes in the
profession
d. CM addresses a central problem for scientific anthro: people can be both subjects and objects of scientific
investigation and so where does true knowledge reside?
i. According to Harris it is found by maintaining two pairs of cross-cutting epistemological criteria;
mental vs behavioural domains and emic vs etic domains
1. Mental domain: what people think
2. Behavioral domain: what people do
3. Emic domain: belongs to the participant
4. Etic domain: belongs to the observer
5. Combined these two pairsof distinctions yield four epistemological perspectives:
a. The emic behavioral perspective: what people think about their own behavior
i. Problematic because people can develop false consciousness
b. The emic mental persective: what people think about their own thoughts
c. The etic behavioral persepective: what the observer observes about other people's
behavior
d. The etic mental perspective: what the observer observes about other people's thoughts
i. perspective is problematic because it is difficult to find out what is going on
inside someone else's head
6. In Harris' understanding of scientific anthro, there is no room for both emic and etic
perspectives, they must be kept separate and maintain their own operational definitions and
data languages
a. In the end, etic perspective predominates because in emics the native consultant is the
ultimate judge of validity, in etics it's the scientific observer
i. For Harris there is only one objective truth- the etic truth of science
e. Materialism in cultural materialism is derived from Marxism
i. Why infrastructural determinism?
1. Infrastructure is the primary interface between culture and nature and the place where people
are obliged to start using culture to cope with nature in orderly ways
ii. CM has much in common with neo-evolutionism and the New Arch
Eclectics
a. Eclectics: according to MH, anthros who are sometimes cultural materialists and other times cultural
idealists
b. Those who borrow from many theories in their attempts to predict and explain human development
c. Not following any one system but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.
scientific racism
a. Scientific racism: improper or incorrect science that actively or passively supports racism
i. The use of scientific findings and methods to investigate differences among the human races to
support or validate racist world-views, usually based upon belief in the existence and significance of
racial categories — typically with a hierarchy of superior and inferior races.
b. Eugenics movement (selective breeding) couldn't have occurred without the notion of genetics (which were
then reapplied to the notion of race): scientific racism
i. Madison Grant: 1916 A Passing of the Great Race (ie the Nordic race)
c. UNESCO
i. Universal Declaration of Human rights (1948)
1. The world will make an effort to not get into a fallacy kind of thinking about repression for
any reason
2. Dangers of lethal ideologies, like racist ideas need to be made aware of in the peoples minds
ii. Declaration on Race (1951)
1. All men are born equal
biocultural anthropology
a. Biocultural anthropology: anthropology aimed at exploring interactions between human biology and culture,
usually according to ecology
i. The study of the interaction between biology and culture, which plays a role in most human traits
b. Part of The New Physical Anthropology
i. New physical anthropology: the name for PA committed to the synthetic theory of evolution
ii. 1950s: New Physical Anthropology developed by biological anthropologist Sherwood L.
Washburn
1. Washburn urged biological antrhos to embrace the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, the
synthesis of Dawinism and Mendelian genetics that biologists had achieved in the 1930s
a. Directed anthros to study biological process more than form and to abandon
typological thinking, or thinking in terms of fixed "pure" races
iii. 1970s saw the emergence of three biobehavioral explanatory approaches from the
combination of biocultural anthropology and cultural anthropologists
1. Human ethology
2. Behavioral genetics
3. Sociobiology
human ethology
a. Human ethology: a hereditarian approach to the study of human behavior derived in part from Darwinism
and employing the analytical constructs of fixed action pattern, innate releasing mechanism, and key
stimulus
1. Fixed action pattern: as conceived by human ethologists, an innate sequence of behavior
released by a key stimulus of an innate releasing mechanism
2. Innate releasing mechanism: as conceived by human ethologists, the mechanism that, when
triggered by a key stimulus, releases a fixed action pattern
3. Key stimulus: as conceived by human ethologists, the device that triggers an innate releasing
mechanism, thus releasing a fixed action pattern
ii. Human ethology examined both the ontogeny (individual growth) and phylogeny
(evolutionary growth) of biologically linked behaviors that constitute the human biogram
1. According to ethologists, cultural universals (like some facial expression and gestures) are
potentially genetic
a. Diluted form of ethology in anthropology in the study of body languages , kinesics,
and proxemics
2. Ethology gained little support
Kinesics
a. Kinesics: the scientific study of human body motion
b. Term coined by Ray Birdwhistell in 1952, Introduction to Kinesics: An Annotation System for Analysis of
Body Motion and Gesture
c. Influenced by Sapir's linguistic model:
i. Kine: smallest identifiable unit of motion
ii. Allokine: variation of a kine
iii. Kinemes: combine to form kinemorphs
iv. Kinemorphs: analyzable into kinemorphemic classes (behave like linguistic morphemes)
1. Combined to form complex kinemorphs (may be analogically related to words)
v.Exconsturctions: combined complex kinemorphs (may have the properties of the spoken syntactic
sentence)
vi. Kinetography: B's notation system inspired by Rudolf von Laban's Labanotation
d. Divides it into: micro-, social-, and pre-kinesics
proxemics
a. Proxemics: the scientific study of posture as a form of non-verbal communication, which is sometimes
called "body language"
b. Coined by Edward T. Hall in the 1950's/60s
c. Classifications of territories: vary and are determined by the culture
i. Public: 12-2 ft
ii. Social: 4-10 ft
iii. Personal: 2-4 ft
iv. Intimate space: out to 1 ft
Genotype
a. the particular alleles at specified loci present in an organism (ACTUAL GENETIC COMPOSITION)
b. an organism's full hereditary information, even if not expressed
phenotype
a. Phenotype: the product of gene action, often affected by environment
i. What an organism looks like as a consequence of its genotype (EXPRESSION OF GENE)
sociobiology
a. Sociobiology: an investigation of the biological basis of social behavior using the evolutionary principles of
kin selection and inclusive fitness
i. Kin selection: in sociobiology, reproductive success via genes shared with relatives; sometimes
called the biology of nepotism
ii. Inclusive fitness: in sociobiology, the measure, or result, of kin selection
b. Has been called the biology of nepotism: a colloquial albel for sociobiology focusing on the preferential
treatment of kin
i. Sociobiology predicted that genes incline individuals to behave more favorably to relatives than to
non-relatives and more favorably to close relatives than to distant ones
ii. For sociobiology, life is a series of strategic choices in which individuals unconsciously
assess the personal costs and benefits of alternative behaviors and end up choosing the laternative
with the greatest inclusive yield
1. Argued genetic relatedness can be quantified which allows for precise predictions about
behavior
inclusive fitness
a. Inclusive fitness: in sociobiology, the measure, or result, of kin selection
i. Kin selection: in sociobiology, reproductive success via genes shared with relatives
b. The total effect an individual has on proliferating its genes by producing its own offspring and by providing
aid that enables other close relatives to increase the production of their offspring
reciprocal altruism (self-sacrificing)
a. Reciprocal altruism: in sociobiology, the "Biological Golden Rule," said to account for altruistic behavior
among non-relatives
i. Altruism: in sociobiology, "self-sacrificing" behavior explained by kin selection
b. Behavior that benefits another with the expectation that those benefits will be returned in the future.
c. Robert Trivers (sociobiologist): introduced the evolutionary mechanism of reciprocal altruism
i. Individuals behave altruistically toward non-relatives in the understanding that non-relatives will
behave altruistically toward them
d. Sociobiology made the greatest strides in late 20th cen anthropology
i. Edward O. Wilson: Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975)
1. Harvard entomologist who'd been working on altruism, but the problem was how to explain
it in terms of Darwinian evolution by natural selection
a. If altruism is genetic, it should hold to natural selection, so it should be reduced or
eliminated over time, it's not
2. Others produced kin selection as an alternative of altruism
a. Kin selection became the cornerstone of Wilson's book
b. Solved the problem of altruism by defining it out of existence
i. Altruism isn't really altruistic; instead it is "selfish" as he explained with his
new concept of inclusive fitness
ii. The genetic basis of most behaviors is polygenic (the result of the
action of multiple genes)
selfish gene
a. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, 1976 (book on evolution)
i. Coined the term "selfish gene" as a way of expressing the gene-ceneered view of evolution as
opposed to the views focused on the organism and the group, popularizing ideas developed during
the 1960s by W. D. Hamilton and others
1. Gene-centered view: the more two individuals are genetically related, the more sense (at the
level of the genes) it makes for them to behave selflessly with each other.
a. Good at explaining forms of altruism, regardless of a common misuse of the term
along the lines of a selfishness gene
ii. An organism is expected to evolve to maximize its inclusive fitness—the number of copies of
its genes passed on globally (rather than by a particular individual).
1. The genes that get passed on are the ones whose consequences serve their own implicit
interests (to continue being replicated), not necessarily those of the organism, much less any
larger level.
a. This view explains altruism at the individual level in nature, especially in kin
relationships: when an individual sacrifices its own life to protect the lives of kin, it is
acting in the interest of its own genes
Hegemony
a. Hegemony: a term for the capacity of one social group to impose particular beliefs or political and
economic conditions upon another group
b. Another word for soft-power (shaping minds)
i. Early 1960s Gramsci, ITA Marxist journalist, wrote about what he saw happening in Italy after WWI
1. Rise of international communities, giant movement of laborers against the ITA state
2. ITA originally a weak state, WWII Mussolini had ideas to create a strong state
a. Fabricated an ideology (today known as facism: LAT: concept of bundle that keeps
arrows all together)
i. Facism is political ideological movement that bundles various pieces of the
ITA REP into one unified stated with Mussolini in charge
1. Bound ITA people regardless of station in life à formed a nation
b. Gramsci as a Marxist is puzzled as to why people are collectively acting against their
own self-interest (doesn't quite fit Marxist theory)
i. Wrote about it, nationhood, ideology (false consciousness, conscious
collective- culture), Mussolini's control of media
ii. Thrown in jail
iii. Wrote Notebooks from a Prison led to Neo-Marxian evolutionary
theory (blending of Marx and Weber)
3. Gramsci's ideas about hegemony are with us in terms of soft power today.
Imagined community
a. Benedict Anderson's 1983 book, Imagined Communities
i. Argued that the technology of print and the use of vernacular were essential to the idea of
nationhood in Europe (nation-states were imagined into being as a result of post-medieval influence
on vernacular languages of what was in the 16th century a radically new technology: the print media)
1. Latin had been universal in EUR
2. The printing of works in vernacular languages allowed people to conceive of themselves as
members of specific language communities.
a. Became one of the building blocks of nationalism
b. Anderson's notion that nations are the results of very particular- rather than
natural and inevitable- historical processes and typeso f understadnigns underpins
Appadurai's ideas in Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy
b. Benedict Anderson's concept of a nation whose members' knowledge of one another does not come from
regular face-to-face interactions but instead based on their shared experiences with national institutions,
such as schools, and the bonds created from reading the same newspapers and books.
i. Benedict Anderson defined a nation as "an imagined political community - and imagined as both
inherently limited and sovereign".
ii. An imagined community is different from an actual community because it is not (and, for
practical reasons, cannot be) based on everyday face-to-face interaction between its members.
Instead, members hold in their minds a mental image of their affinity: for example, the nationhood
felt with other members of your nation when your "imagined community" participates in a larger
event such as the Olympic Games. As Anderson puts it, a nation "is imagined because the members
of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow-members, meet them, or even hear
of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion". Members of the community
probably will never know each of the other members face to face; However, they may have similar
interests or identify as part of the same nation. The media also create imagined communities, through
usually targeting a mass audience or generalizing and addressing citizens as the public.
Postmodernism
a. Postmodernism: a movement within the social sciences and humanities that questions the possibility of
impartiality, objectivity, or authoritative knowledge
i. Postmodernism features epistemological constituents:
1. Critique of philosophical bases of objectivity and subjectivity
2. Awareness of historical and contemporary power relations implicit between objects and
subjects
3. An end to the linear models of modernism that place post industrial capitalism at the end
point of history and at the center of the globe (justifies ideology of globalization)
4. Breakdown of autonomist fears of culture art, signs, morality, and the beleif that these
knowledge domains lie outside social and political history
5. Critique of roamntic modern myths involving the heroic individual and allegorizing the rise
of private property and the conquest of free enterprise over tradition bound uncritical thought
and soforth
ii. Three post-modern influenced responses to this in ethnography:
1. Reflexivity
2. Particularity
3. Self-other dialectic
4. Translated into deconstruction
b. Some say we that knowledge is possible but we should not be naïve positivists: the illusion that the facts
are out there in and of themselves and all we need is an empirical science to pick them up and put them
together to form an explanation
i. We really know facts are not facts in and of themselves but our culture makes us perceive things as
facts
c. Postmodernism, emphasis placed on phenemonology: idea that the thing as a thing cannot be known, the
only thing that can be known about that thing is the appearance of that thing (little like plato's allegory of
the cave)
i. Contradicts naïve positivism
ii. Draws not on facts but on relationships
d. Good thing about post-modernism began to throw a monkey wrench in march forward of hard sciences and
scientification of anthropology through biology
Reflexivity
a. Reflexivity: the practice of critical self-examination
i. A constant rechecking of biases and assumptions as anthropologists work. The self reflections are
presented along with their observations.
ii. A popular postmodern analytical strategy of reflecting on the biases and assumptions
that inform one's own theories and perspectives
b. Is a key in postmodern theory because of doubt of whether value free knowledge was possible: to what
degree is our knowledge conditioned by economical forces around us, awareness if produced in context.
c. Some say we that knowledge is possible but we should not be naïve positivists: the illusion that the facts
are out there in and of themselves and all we need is an empirical science to pick them up and put them
together to form an explanation
i. We really know facts are not facts in and of themselves but our culture makes us perceive things as
facts
ii. Reification: fication (LAT to make), res (LAT thing)
1. Reification much of what we think are things are not things at all, hence positivism a false
idea. Things are created by our own culture as if they are things, they are made to be things.
Most things are things at all we think of them as things then give them meaning then worship
them
d. Reflexivity means you become critically self-aware of the relationship betewent he observer and the
observed
Deconstruction
a. Deconstruction means you become critically aware that the world we tryto understand is actually
constructed therefore to know what it really is we need to engage in deconstruction (have to understand the
construction)
i. Authorial voice is challenged as just a POV by a person: anthro deals with this by using
multivocality (anthropologist is co-author of subjects), emphasizes there is an individual (not just
"the mikmaq")
ii. NO MORE MASKING ETHNOGRAPHIES WITH THE AUTHORIAL VOICE (voice
who knows everything)
b. Deconstructionism: a term describing the ambition of postmodernism to understand the political and
cultural contexts "hidden" behind the writing, or "construction" of narratives
Agency
a. Agency: in recent anthropological theory, creative acts of intentioned individuals that generate social form
and meaning
b. Connected to Weber and his holistic view of the individual
c. Frederick Barth considered the individual social agent the linchpin in the creation and maintenance of social
relationships
i. Barthian perspective: at base social life is a complex series of economic transactions between
individual social actors, all of whom share the same goal of maximizing their interests of gain
through the strategic choices they make. In this view, structured systems of norms and values are
created and sustained through the economic interests of individuals.
d. Bourdieu: human agents assemble their cultures thorugh praxis
e. Human agency is the concept that each human individual within a culture has the ability to determine and
choose by free will his/her actions, beliefs, etc. This contrasts the idea that we are completely governed by
either nature or environmental factors (like culture) because we possess these innate capacity to think for
ourselves.
f. Thus, looking throughout civilizations, certain individuals changed the entire course of human history. An
obvious example is Hitler and horrific events during the Holocaust. However, these individuals also produce
positive influences within cultures as well.
g. Additionally, this concept does not imply that cultural and natural forces are invalid, but rather adds to the
complexity within understanding human behaviors within a culture.
Habitus
a. Habitus: Bourdieu's term for the capacity of individuals to innovate cultural forms based on their personal
histories and positions within the community
i. The ways in which personal history and social positioning allow individuals to improvise or innovate
ii. Habitus allows individual members of the dominated class within this economic system are
sometimes able to transform the nature of what counts as the socially prestigious or valuable by
creating alternative taxonomies that resist those imposed by the powerful
b. Pierre Bourdieu
i. Turned more from structuralism to practice
1. Uses practice and strategy to reintroduce human agency which structuralism excluded from
social theory
2. For Bourdieu society is the outcome of individual strategies, but these strategies
are neighter freely chosen nor based on rational calculations. They are shaped by a
practical sense which individuals acquire in their socialization. When social actors
choose a way of dealing with a given situation, they do so with knowledge of the aims
they should achieve, with a sense of possible ways to reach them, and with a feeling
for the specific actions necessary to do so. All this is acquired in the individual's
socialization and mostly taken for granted, not consciously evaluated.
3. Most famous of his concepts: habitus
a. Describes how society manages to shape individual strategies
b. As you grow up in a specific society you learn according to the rules of that society's
game
c. The society we grow up in shapes our individuality
d. With habitus as the link between society and individual he tries to trump the choice
between subjectivism (social theories based on the agency of free individuals) and
objectivism (social theories only interested in the objective structures of a society)
i. Habitus: structured structure, structuring structure
Praxis
a. Praxis: or practice; according to Bourdieu, the concept that society is constructed by purposeful, creative
agents who bring society to life through talk and action
i. Practice: or praxis; according to Bourdieu, the concept that society is constructed by purposeful,
creative agents who bring society to life through talk and action
b. Bourdieu: what people do in practice is create, reproduce, and change a variety of "taxonomies" that are
understood to be the basis of social relations.
i. These taxonomies are made up on symbolic representations that do not merely reflect ideas about the
world but actually make the world what it is for the people who live in it.
Structural power
a. Structural Power: power that organizes and orchestrates the systemic interaction within and among
societies, directing economic and political forces on the one hand and ideological forces that shape public
ideas, values and beliefs on the other
i. Hard Power: coercive power backed by economic and physical (military) force
ii. Soft Power: cooptive power that presses others through attraction and persuasion o change
their ideas, beliefs, values, and bevaiors
iii. Hard Power + Soft Power = Structural Power
b. Wolf, Envisioning Power: Ideologies of Dominance and Crisis
i. Defined structural power as organizing and orchestrating the settings themselves and shaping the
social field of action so as to render some kinds of behavior possible, while making others less
possible or impossible
ii. analyzed structural power by examining historical ideology
Symbolic capital
a. Symbolic capital: according to Bourdieu, the body of meanings, representations, and objects held to be
prestigious or valuable to a social group
b. Bourdieu sees three forms of cultural (or symbolic) capital in any society:
i. Economic capital
ii. Social capital (and individuals ability to rely on social networks and to mobilize social
relations for his/her own aims)
iii. Economic and social are important but can't be sustained without symbolic
c. Distinction (1984)
i. Complex description of the workings of the three forms of capital in FRE society
1. Predominance is not only negotiated in economic or political terms; symbolic capital as
expressed in taste (fine art, musical, everyday consumption) is one of the most efficient
markers of social distinction and means of social differentiation
2. Legitimate culture: dominant taste of people with a high amount of cultural capital
Symbolic domination
a. Symbolic domination: according to Bourdieu, the tendency of dominant social groups to create and sustain
a worldview in which all members of a society, including subjugated members, participte
b. Social relations that come to be taken for granted are actually the result of one interest group's symbolic
domination of others within a society
c. What is seen to be "real" in any society, from this perspective, inevitably reflects the POV of whoever's
interests are served by that reality
Disjuncture
a. Disjuncture: a separation, a disconnection, a disunion
b. Arjun introduced the term disjuncture to characterize the complexity of the patterns of economy and
culture in the world are far more complex that existing theories suggest
c. He uses it to signify that ideas that are in some sort of relationship to one another but where that relationship
cannot be specified because it is characterized by gaps and irregularity
d. Argues all existing theories are "inadequately quirky" to explain the global cultural economy and envisions
culture as characterized by elements that combine, cooperate, and separate in ways that seem largely chaotic
e. "The new global cultural economy has to be seen as a complex, overlapping disjunctive order that cannot
any longer be understood in terms of existing center-periphery models...nor simple models of push and
pull...even the most complex and flexible theories"
f. "The complexity of the current global economy has to do with certain fundamental disjunctures between
economy, culture, and politics that we have only begun to theorize."
Globalization
a. Globalization: worldwide interconnectedness, evidence in global movements of natural resources, trade
goods, human labor, finance capital, information, and infectious diseases (Haivaland)
b. Globalization: The expansion of western institutions and lifeway into non-Western cultures and the
emergence of new forms of cultural practice that are global ins cope (Erickson)
i. Started in WWI prior to the use of the term in the 1980s, used to be called imperialism
ii. Everything in terms of dominance and exploitation is sped up (through internet, finance
capitals, etc)
iii. Global institutions are established (Red Cross, UN, UNESCO, etc)
iv. Integrates all corners of the Earth, tied together in a common market system with fast flows
of info, capital, humans (travel)
v.Technoscapes- The world is wired together (radio waves, signals) We have no clue how much we
are being observed. → Corporations, governments.
1. Enveloped in a global system of information
2. New technologies make entirely new aspects of humanity
c. Arjun Appadurai: Indian anthro, wrote about globalization and disjunctures
i. Anthropology has become a global discipline
Dialectics
a. Herakleitos (540-470 BCE)
i. Dialectics: Trial method of logical argument in which contradictions are disclosed and are
synthetically resolved (task of judge, arrive at the truth through logical arguments)
1. Dialectos: GRK speech
2. World is opposite forces (you pull the bow back, the arrow goes the other direction, propels
something forward
3. "Nothing is the same, everything changes"
b. Dialectical: in the Marxist theory of dialectical materialism, philosopher Hegel's formulation of historical
change as proceeding in the form of T-A-S
i. Thesis-antithesis-synthesis: in dialectical materialism, Hegel's form for dialectical change
1. Constructs it (as a philo of the mind) he thought that in society there is always the
contradictory forces Herakleitos talks about: the contradictions work themselves out in a
conflict whereby a solution/resolution will be found from that contradiction
2. The mind is perceiving contradictions in the system and they get resolved
c. Marx takes Hegel's dialectics and Feurbach's materialismàdialectical materialism
i. Dialectical materialism: the philosophy of Marx and Friedrich Engels, commonly called Marxism
1. A process of change driven by opposition and contradiction
ii. Basic idea:
1. In a system strife is the father of all things
2. Systems are always changing
3. Conflict is essential (Hierokleitos)
4. Change is the result of a non-harmonious process but the contradictions that are working
themselves out
a. These contradictions may be imagined as thesis and antithesis
Commodity fetishism
a. Commodity fetishism: transformation of human relations, derived from the trading of commodities
in the market, whereby the social relationships among people are expressed with objectified economic
relationships, among the money and commodities, and the buyers and sellers
i. Commodity fetishism transforms the subjective, abstract aspects of economic value into objective,
real things that people believe have intrinsic value
b. Marx: Only in capitalism do we believe objects have powers that surpass their actual value; we only relate to
our products and not the labor behind it
c. Presented in the first chapter of Capital: Critique of Political Economy (1867)
i. Hence, in a capitalist society, social relations between people—who makes what, who works for
whom, the production-time for a commodity, et cetera—are perceived as economic relations among
objects, that is, how valuable a given commodity is when compared to another commodity
d. Alienation between producer and consumer: now it's not about how much time it took, the quality of
ingredients, your skills but the price is compared against other apple pies
e. Fetish: PORT: feticau: to make it, to craft
f. Fetishism: something that is treated as if it is not really
When and why did the crisis in anthropology occur, and what were the theoretical responses as formulated
by its practitioners?
When and why did the crisis in anthropology occur, and what were the theoretical responses as formulated
by its practitioners?
Marvin Harris:
a. Fieldwork in Mozambique after became aware of how power of colonialism played
a role in how race was enacted and perceivedàlooked at why are people having race
ideas to begin with
i. Used a nomothetic approach to look for seemingly strange cultural ideas and
find out whether in fact there might be a materialist base for that
1. Built on White's evolutionary approach, Marxian component of
materialism (minus dialectics), Steward's cultural ecology à
ii. Cultural materialism: explaining cultural practices or ideas by
looking at the materialist perspective
1. Picked up ethnoscience and Pike's emics and etics
a. Emics: from inside
i. Native persons perspective on the world, programs
them to think and act
b. Etics: from outside
i. Observer using categories of science
ii. Outsider who uses analytic series of concepts
2. Example: pork taboo
a. Pigs competitor for human beings, pigs scarce, only for elites,
argument is pork is so ecologically maladaptive people stopped
keeping and that's where the prohibition came from
Roy Rappaport
a. Student of White, influenced by cultural ecology
i. Looked at culture as if that ideological system "culture" as part of the
ecosystem itself
b. Research among the Tsembaga: sweet potatoes, little hunting, pig keepers
i. Fieldwork in nutshell:
1. Way tsembaga think (etics) is part of the ecosystem
2. How they think about their world and what they do as a result is part
of the system maintenance because it's part of a cyberknetic system
(engery regulation: White)
3. People reproduce and need to expand sweet potato farms. Pigs then
invade cultivated gardens. Guys in charge of butchering pigs, prestige
connected to number of pigs you have. Have more than enough so
invite other group/tribe, by inviting people to feast they owe you
something. Everyone is now stocked up on protein, if wounded in
battle can handle injury better. Perpetuates war.
4. Pig feast connected to ecosystem: pigs and war is part of a system
maintenance
Edward Wilson: New Synthesis (book)
a. Entomologist: interested in social behavior of ants
b. Said every organism could be looked at in terms of social behavioràsocial
biology
5. Napolein Schagnom: influenced by Wilson's sociobiological theory
a. Did research among Yanomami Indians in Amazon
b. Focused on emic perspective of why yanonami fight
i. Concept of warrior as waiteri (translated as fierce but also a heroic manhood
that means you are willing to kill and be killed)
ii. Why is there endemic warfare?
1. Idea was people fight because of scarcity, but there was no scarcity
2. Realizes that Indians told him that they fight for women. Always
rejected as false reason. Schagnom looked at what that what they
themselves were telling him
a. Warriors who have killed have greater reps, more women than
men, monogamous system means not enough for everyone, but
linked to their polygynous practices.
3. Mixture of two theorettheoretical strands coming together in Wilsonian
perspective of sociology: Darwinian perspective of nat selection and
Mendelian perspective of genetics
6. Michael Harner looked at whether institutionalized way of dealing with protein shortage, in
area bereft of domesticated animals
a. Similar to how institutionalized warfare for waiteri
7. Monique Borgerhoff/Molder
a. Kipsigi: pastoral nomadic people in KEN, have bride price, interested in whether
sociobiological perspective could be brought to bride price
b. Measure women as marriageable brides in exchange was bride price, realized BP
varied, some had higher others lower àdirectly correlated to fleshier women than
skinny women.
Marvin Harris was famous for his effort to make anthropological theory more scientific, calling his approach
"cultural materialism." His article on the cultural ecology of India's sacred cattle provides an important
ethnographic example. Detail the evidence and explain the argument he makes.
b. Argues the irrational, non-economic, and exotic aspects of the Indian cattle complex are greatly
overemphasized at the expense of rational, economic, and mundane interpretations
c. Intends to show that taboos, customs, and rituals associated with management of Indian cattle be viewed in
terms of the ecological systemthey are a part of rather than the influence of the Hindu theology
i. Hindu doctrine of ahisma: Hindu principle of the unity of life, of which sacredness of cattle is
principal sub-case and symbol
d. From non-Hindu POV it seems the cattle are useless, surplus, uneconomic, and superfluous, but they aren't
i. Have to view the cattle complex as part of an ecosystem, not part of the national price market
ii. Hypothesis: Ahisma isn't the reason Hindus don't slaughter cows but rather ecological
pressures are the cause
e. Supporting the hypothesis:
i. Milk production
1. Minor aspect of cow's contribution to the ecosystem
2. 47% of IND's dairy products comes from cow's milk
ii. Traction
1. Cows contribute to grain crops, constitute 80% of the human calorie ration
2. Need some animal traction (plowing, transport)
iii. Dung
1. Main source of domestic cooking fuel
2. Grain crops have to be cooked to be digested
iv. Beef and hides
1. Many die naturally and although Hindus wouldn't eat meat there are untouchables,
Christians, and Muslims that would
2. At this time India had the largest leather industry in the world; supplied by natural deaths
v.Pasture
1. Indian men and cattle don't compete for existence : the food cattle eat is not what humans do
vi. Useful and useless animals
1. Useless: on the cattle census it is those who are dry
2. Cows are never useless to their owners (above functions) plus offspring
3. "In rural areas tojudge a cow useless may be to ignore the recuperative power of these breeds
under conditions of erratic rainfall and unpredictable grazing opportunities
vii. Slaughter
1. Few if any Hindu farmers kill their cows
a. Some say they "neglect" them but this neglect often leads to death
2. Few cattle live to old age
3. Some farmers cull their stock by starving unwanted animals
viii. Anti-slaughter legislation
1. Not ahisma but legislation
ix. Old-age homes
1. "Homes for cows, which are supported by public charity, which maintain the old and derelict
animals till natural death occurs"
x.Natural selection
1. India's cattle are undersized because they are the only ones who can survive the harsh Indian
environment
f. Conclusion:
i. "The probability that India's cattle complex is a positive-functioned part of a naturally selected
ecosystem is at least as goo as that it is a negative-functioned expression of an irrational ideology"
ii. You don't need ahisma to understand he cattle complex
Detail the ethnographic evidence and theoretical arguments presented by Roy Rappaport in his article on the
Tsembaga of Highland New Guinea
a. Ritual Regulation of Environmental Relations among a New Guinea People (1967)
b. In some cases ritual does produce "a practical result on the world"
c. Point of article: shows the ritual cycles of the Tsembaga, and other local territorial groups of Maring
speakers living in the New Guinea interior, play an important part in regulating the relationship of these
groups with both the nonhuman components of their immediate environments and the human components of
their less immediate environments, that is, with other similar territorial groups
i. More specifically: this regulation helps to maintain the biotic communities existing within their
territories, redistributes land among people and people over land, and limits the frequency of
fighting
ii. The ritual cycle also provides a means for
1. Mobilizing allies
2. Redistributing the pig surpluses throughout a large regional population
d. Have taro-yam gardens and sugar-sweet potato gardens
e. Pig population fluctuates greatly
f. Human carrying capacity of the Tsembaga territory is between 270-320 people
g. Role of the pig in Tsembaga adaptation
i. Are omnivore keeping residential areas free of garbage and human feces
ii. Limited numbers of pigs rooting in secondary growth may help to hasten the development of
that growth
iii. Pigs eat garbage and substandard tubers, but if the pig pop is too big the tuber number is
insufficient and the people have to harvest specifically for the pigs and/or give them their food
iv. Almost never kill domestic pigs outside of ritual context
v.Misfortune and emergency are likely to induce phsyciological changes (collectively known as
"stress") which increased the catabolization (metabolic breakdown of complex molecules into
simpler ones, often resulting in a release of energy) of protein
1. When the Tsembaga under physcologicla stress they kill and eat their pigs
vi. During war taboos are observed (including fasting)
1. Eat highly salted pig fat before battle, shortens the day (since they can't drink anything)
vii. The rumbim is the switch that turns hostility off: the group not driven off their territory
performs the ritual "planting the rumbrim" to honor the ancestors
1. Antoher group can't attack a group whose rumbim is still in the ground because it hasn't
fully rewarded its ancestors and allies for their assistance in the last fight
a. To uproot a rumbim takes sufficient pigs: if the place is "good" it can take as little as
5 years, if it is "bad" it may take ten years or longer
i. A bad place is one in which misfortunes are frequent and where, therefore,
ritual demands for the killing of pigs arise frequently
ii. A truce of god exists until the rumbim is uprooted and a kaiko
completed (pig festival)
iii. 140-260 animals can maintained without environmental degredation
but the level of tolerance is below the carrying capacity since the destructive
capacity of the pigs is dependent upon the population density of both people
and pigs
iv. The kaiko continues for a year in which friendly groups are entertained
occasionally
1. facilitates trade (dancing ground turns into a trading ground)
2. concludes with major pig sacrifices
3. Kaiko ends with the pig slaughter and the presentation of salted pork to
allies of the last fight
viii. Relationship of Tsembaga and their environment is composed of two subsystems:
1. Local subsystem: relations of the Tsembaga with the nonhuman components of their
immediate or territorial environment
2. Regional subsystem: relations of the Tsembaga with neighboring local populations similar to
themselves
Briefly discuss the major tenets of sociobiology. In addition to including a brief discussion of its founding
father E. O Wilson, and his essay on "the morality of the gene," offer some examples of anthropological
research based on a sociobiological perspective.
a. Major tenets of sociobiology
i. Sociobiology: an investigation of the biological basis of social behavior using the evolutionary
principles of kin selection and inclusive fitness
1. The systematic study of the biological basis of all social behavior
ii. Kin selection: in sociobiology, reproductive success via genes shared with relatives;
sometimes called the biology of nepotism
iii. Inclusive fitness: in sociobiology, the measure, or result, of kin selection
iv. Biology of nepotism: a colloquial label for sociobiology focusing on the preferential
treatment of kin
v.Reciprocal altruism: in sociobiology, the "Biological Golden Rule," said to account for altruistic
behavior among non-relatives
b. Edward O. Wilson
i. Born 1929
ii. American biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity), theorist, naturalist, and author.
iii. His biological specialty is entomology, the study of ants, on which he is considered to be the
world's leading authority
iv. Known for his scientific career, his role as "the father of sociobiology"
v.Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975) ((The Morality of the Gene (excerpt))
1. Harvard entomologist who'd been working on altruism, but the problem was how to explain
it in terms of Darwinian evolution by natural selection
a. If altruism is genetic, it should hold to natural selection, so it should be reduced or
eliminated over time, it's not
2. Others produced kin selection as an alternative of altruism
a. Kin selection became the cornerstone of Wilson's book
b. Solved the problem of altruism by defining it out of existence
i. Altruism isn't really altruistic; instead it is "selfish" as he explained with his
new concept of inclusive fitness
ii. The genetic basis of most behaviors is polygenic (the result of the
action of multiple genes)
3. Sociobiology predicted that genes incline individuals to behave more favorably to relatives
than to non-relatives and more favorably to close relatives than to distant ones
a. Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene (1976)
c. For sociobiology, life is a series of strategic choices in which individuals unconsciously assess the personal
costs and benefits of alternative behaviors and end up choosing the laternative with the greatest inclusive
yield
i. Argued genetic relatedness can be quantified which allows for precise predictions about behavior
1. Parents and children share 50% of their genes
2. Half siblings 25%
3. First cousins 12.5%, etc
ii. Robert Trivers (sociobiologist): introduced the evolutionary mechanism of reciprocal
altruism
1. Individuals behave altruistically toward non-relatives in the understanding that non-relatives
will behave altruistically toward them (Biological Golden Rule)
Neo-Marxian theorists like Antonio Gramsci have sought to develop a synthesis between Marx and Max
Weber. Please, summarize Weber's article on class, status, and party.
a. Class, Status, Party
i. Social honor is distributed the social order (community between typical groups participating in this
distribution)
ii. The social order and economic order are related to the legal order (directly influences the
distribution of power, economic, or otherwise, within its respective community)
iii. Social order and economic order aren't identical
1. Economic order: the way in which economic goods and services are distributed and used
2. Social order: conditioned by the economic order and reacts upon it
iv. Classes, status groups, and parties are the phenomena of the distribution of power
within a community
v.Classes are not communities; they represent possible bases for communal action
1. Refers to any group fo people found in the same class situation (the typical chance for supply
of goods, external living conditions, and personal life experiences)
2. This is the way in which the disposition over material property is distributed among a
plurality of people
3. Excludes non-owners from from competing for highly valued goods
4. Gives owners a monopoly to acquire such goods
a. Property and lack of property are the basic categories of all class situations
b. Further divided into property that is usable for returns and the other according to the
kind of services that can be offered in the market
5. Creditor-debtor relation becomes the basis of class situations only in those cities where a
credit market is developedàthat's where class struggles begin
6. The factor that creates class is economic interest
vi. Types of class struggle
1. Continuous shift over time: from consumption credit toward competitive struggles in the
commodity market then toward price wars on the labor market
vii. Status groups
1. In contrast to classes they are normally communities
2. Status situation: every typical component of the life fate of men that is determined by a
specific, positive or negative, social estimation of honor
3. Status honor is normally expressed by the fact that above all else a specific style of life can
be expected from all those who wish to belong to the circle
4. The development of status is a question of stratification resting upon usurpation, when the
consequences have been realized to their full extent the status group evolves into a closed
"caste"
a. Now status distinctions are guaranteed by conventions, laws, and rituals
viii. Parties
1. The place of classes is within the economic order; the place of status groups is in the social
order and from within these spheres they both influence each other and the legal order and
are influenced by it
2. Parties live in a house of power: they can influence a communal action no matter what
content it may be in
3. Party actions are always driven towards a goal (may be personal or a cause, etc)
ix. Classes, status groups, and parties in general all necessarily presuppose a comprehensive
societalization and a political framework of communal action within which they operate
Briefly discuss the rise (and demise) of postmodernism in anthropological theory, identify its major features
in ethnographic representations, its strengths and weaknesses (based on lectures and readings).
a. Leading up to postmodernism:
i. Transactionalism: represents an attempt to overcome the limitations of traditional strut-functionalism
by revisiting the notion of the individual as the basic unit of social life
ii. Feminist anthropology: argued a more powerful and inclusive understanding of society
and culture can only be achieved by studying the cultural representations and experiences of, and
practices associated with, women
iii. Political economy: it's foundation is development and underdevelopment theory (theory
of systematic exploitation of underdeveloped nation-states and regions by developed nation-states
and regions), word-system theory (theory that core nation-states are engaged in the systematic
exploitation of peripheral nation-states for labor and natural resources), and a fresh reflection of the
key tenets of Marxist analysis
b. Postmodernism:
i. Often credited with exploding the culture concept once and for all
ii. Not a homogenous movement
1. Postmodernists working within variety of disciplines have emphasized the subjectivity of
experience and the impossibility of any one form of authoritative knowledge
a. Seen in anthropology and ethnography by challenging the authorial voice
iii. Post-modernity and post-structuralism are not the same terms: post-modernity embraces a
much wider range of interdisciplinary dispositions in which the "modernist" acquisition of scientific
and objective knowledge is critiqued as a Western, Enlightenment-inspired project
iv. Postmodernists have been accused of trying to do away it scientific anthropology and
modernity
1. Objections:
a. Postmodernists agree that the logic of modernity is not easily dispensed with because
it is embodied in key Western assumptions about an objective world that can and
should be subdued and controlled (politically, economically, ideologically) by
orderly, dispassionate, and rational Europeans and Euro-Americans
b. Misunderstanding of cultural deconstruction and reflexivity
i. Acceptance of scientific accounts are like any other, the products of social
negotiations and construction, not the mere description of objective selfevident
facts
1. Challenges positivism
2. They push the definition of what it means to do science
v.Roots of postmodernist perspective in the works of three seminal theorists although they themselves
are not necessarily "postmodern"
1. Paul Feyerabend
a. Philosophical anarchist: someone who believes that all scientific paradigms are
logically equivalent (because they are all interpretations), with no logical way to
choose among them
b. Scientific thought and institutions, like any others, are the products of lived
experience, as are their assumption about the "truth"
c. Influenced Antonio Gramsci, Raymond Williams, Anthony Giddens
2. Michel Foucault
a. Viewed relationships as being intimately grounded in a pervasive economy of
discourses of power that shape relations between people at all levels in a society
b. In his formulation power ceased to be solely a function of formal political institutions
and became something inscribed in everyday life
i. Some people are dominant others of subjugated
1. The dominant ones control the economic and ideological conditions
under which knowledge, or truth (therefore reality) are defined
c. Foucauldian theory redefines the concept of knowledge itself
i. Not a reference to real or objective understanding but a way of naming and
ordering the world that favors the powerful and seeks to maintain the status
quo
d. Individuals and their interrelationships are determined by discourses of power
3. Pierre Bourdieu
a. Individuals and social arrangements are created by human agents who assemble their
culture through practice/praxis
b. What people "do" in practice is create, reproduce, and change a variety of
"taxonomies" that are understood to be the basis of social relations
i. The taxonomies are made up of symbolic representations that don't merely
reflect ideas but make the world what is ti for the people who life in it
ii. Individuals are powerful to the extent that they can impose on others
taxonomies that reproduce their own power and authority; they are powerless
to the extent that they are unable to escape their social positioning in relation
to the taxonomies created by others
c. Social structures aren't things (machines or organisms: Durkheim) but are systems
of relationships or fields (the dynamic configuration, or network, of objective
relationships among social agents and positions)
i. Fields are fluid and complex societies are composed of many
ii. Within fields doxa is present (all members of a community consider
relations natural, including relations of social, economic, and political
inequality)
1. Doxa is a natural order in which the essentially arbitrary character of
the powerful taxonomies is obscured
2. Emerges is a sense that certain thoughts, feelings, actions are part of
the outer objective world while others (those of the dominated) are
"unnatural"
d. What is real in a society reflects the POV of whoever's interests are served by that
reality
vi. Out of the above three comes the idea that there is no solid ground, there is no clear, single
truth
1. No perspective could be let unchallenged
vii. Postmodernists challenged positivism by adhering to reflexivity
1. Same thing Boas preached with cultural relativism in the early 1900s
viii. Postmodernist perspective most influential in the writing of ethnographies
1. Challenged the authorial voice
2. Goal was to describe different cultures and societies without denying the subjectivity of the
people being analyzed and without laying claim to absolute, or authoritative, knowledge
about them
ix. Medical anthropology emerges
x.Globalization
1. Globalization: the expansion of Western institutions and lifeways into non-Western cultures
and the emergence of new forms of cultural practice that are global in scope
2. Marshall McLuhan: global village (term for increasingly interconnected global society)
xi. Public anthropology
1. Makes anthropology relevant to those beyond (not 'outside' because scholars within and
outside academia are important) academic settings
2. It is not applied anthropology (anthropology conducted by anthros working outside
traditional academic settings such as universities)
c. Overview: Postmodernism
i. Emphasis on phenemonology: the thing as a thing cannot be known, the only thing that can be
known about that thing is the appearance of that thing
1. Thing by itself is unknown, the relationship between observer and unobserved is where the
thing reveals itself
ii. Contradicts naïve positivism
1. Draws not on facts but on relationships
iii. Postmodernism features epistemological sconstituents:
1. Critique of philosophical bases of objectivity and subjectivity
2. Awareness of historical and contemporary power relations implicit between objects and
subjects
3. An end to the linear models of modernism that place post industrial capitalism at the end
point of history and at the center of the globe (justifies ideology of globalization)
4. Breakdown of autonomist fears of culture art, signs, morality, and the beleif that these
knowledge domains lie outside social and political history
5. Critique of roamntic modern myths involving the heroic individual and allegorizing the rise
of private property and the conquest of free enterprise over tradition bound uncritical thought
and soforth
iv. Responses to this in ethnography:
1. Reflexivity
2. Particularity
3. Self-other dialectic
4. Translated into deconstruction
a. Have to understand the construction to know what is going on
Renato Rosaldo and his wife Michelle did fieldwork among the Ilongot in the northern Philippines. After
Michelle's deadly accident, her husband experienced grief and rage, which made him better understand the
Ilongot cultural practice of headhunting. Please, detail.
a. Renato Rosaldo (1941-)
i. Born in AZ
ii. Poet and anthro
iii. 1967-1969: Conducted fieldwork in the Philippines with his wife Michelle
1. Studied the Ilongot
a. Slash-and-burn agriculturists
b. Historically were headhunters
2. Research produced Illongot Headhunting, 1883-1974 (1980)
a. Focused on understanding the history and structure of Ilongot society
b. Examined the centrality of headhunting to Ilongot social organization, marriage,
notions, notions of male adulthood, and kinship practices
i. Social structure was intertwined with and shaped by historical circumstances
c. Was writing against stereotypes of bloodthirsty headhunters
iv. 1981: Michelle slipped and fell off a trail and died
1. Culture and Truth: The Remaking of Social Analysis (1989)
a. Her death helped him to understand headhunting whereas before he couldn't
b. Ilongots explained they would kill a victim after a loved one died because the act of
severing a head helped a man to vent his rage (born of grief) that released him from
his anger and allowed him to get on with life
c. Before Michelle's death Rosaldo had dismissted this explanation, searching for
a 'deeper' cultural truth
d. Michelle's death helped him move past his scientistic detachment to understand the
emotional force to which Ilongots referred and to better appreciate the cultural force
of emotions without reducing them to what he describes as the 'brute abstractions'
promoted by anthropological norms of objectivism
In her 2000 Distinguished Lecture "Anthropology!," anthropologist Laura Nader (sister of Ralph Nader)
critically reviews our "uncomfortable discipline.... caught between science and humanities." Please,
summarize her major critiques of the discipline and why she is optimistic about the more recent turns in the
profession.
a. Critiques
i. Mentions anthropology is described as being self-absorbed, trapped in a diminished rality, and
inaccessible to the general public
ii. We divide and divide anthropology and still call it anthropology, is that really successful?
1. Specialization occurs and with is the units to study shrink and so do the larger questions
b. Optimistic
i. Throughout anthropological theory we've become more reflexive
ii. Anthropology is an all encompassing discipline and we are now working together, more
holistic, no longer split up and only stay within that framework
iii. Anthropologists are now working to solve problems with people not for them
iv. Anthropology can't be carved off into permanent parts- legal, political, gender, historical,
biological, cognitive
Arjun Appadurai wrote that the "new global cultural economy has to be seen as a complex, overlapping,
disjunctive order, [and proposed] that an elementary framework for exploring such disjunctures is to look at
the relationships among five global cultural flows..." Please explain in detail.
a. Born 1948 in Mumbai, IND
b. One of the first anthros to problematize the concept of culture in the context of globalization
i. Called for anthros to look at disjunctures in the global system, with a focus on landscapes based not
on territories but rather on perspective constructs:
1. Ethnoscapes: the fluid and shifting landscape of migrants, refugees, exiles, tourists, and other
moving groups and people
2. Technoscapes: the global configuration of technologies moving at high speeds across
previously restrictive borders
3. Financescapes: the global crossroads of currency speculation and financial transfers
4. Mediascapes: the distribution of electronic media capabilities to produce and spread
information, plus the large complex repertoire of narratives and visual images generated by
these media
5. Ideoscapes: ideologies produced by the state and alternative ideologies developed by nonstate
and counter-hegemonic forces, around which societies organize their political cultures
and collective cultural identities
ii. All part of the globalscape: a worldwide interconnected landscape with multiple intertwining
and overlapping peoples and cultures on the move
1. All of humanity lives in the globalscape
You have read how Eric Wolf developed his critical theory of power (Prins 2010), as outlined in his research
on peasantry (Reader), his 1982 book "Europe and the People Without History," and his 1989 article on
four modalities of power, including "tactical" and "structural power." Discuss and explain the Wolfian
perspective in detail.
b. Eric R. Wolf (1923-1999)
i. Born in Vienna
ii. "Anthropology at its best is analytic, comparative, integrative, and critical, all at the same
time."
iii. Analyzed how peasant communities are interlinked and systematically integrated within
larger polities, especially the state
1. Focused on their structural relationships to regional and national institutions and analyzed
social webs of relatives, neighbors, friends, brokers, patrons, and fictive kinsmen
institutionally bonded by means of compadrazgo (ritual co-parenthood)
2. The exercise of economic and political power by some people over others enters into all of
them, on all levels of integration
iv. Said no way Jose to unethical anthropology
1. Anthropologists must commit themselves to writing "a critical and comprehensive history of
the modern world in which we spell out the processes of power which created the present day
cultural systems and the linkages between them which would provide us with the intellectual
grid needed to order the massive data we now posses on individual societies and cultures
engulfed by these phenomena"
v.Developed anthropology critical of power in the modern world
1. Analysis showed how the rise of global capitalism was predicated on the penetration and
ensuing cataclysmic transformation of band and tribal societies, chiefdoms, and kingdoms
drawn into its orbit, forging the regimes of exploitation and fomenting violent conflicts
a. Construction of project in two major phases
i. Infrastructure of world capitalism as it historically impacted tribal and peasant
peoples
1. Used Marxian mode of production (mop) and distinguished three
types:
a. Kin-ordered
b. Tributary
c. Capitalist
2. Argued peasants have been misrepresented as an isolated and tmieless
peoples
ii. Superstructure of unfolding global capitalism
1. Developed his mop types further
2. Distinguished four modes of power
a. Tactical
i. Indexes the ways in which actors in a social field of
force circumscribe or impose their will on the actiosn of
others in determinate settings
b. Structural
i. Organizes and orchestrates the settings themselves as
shapes the social field of action so as to render some
kinds of behavior possible while making others less
possible or impossible
3. In relation to the three mop types
a. Common phenomenon in all three concepts: we commoly
project the real contradiction underlying each mode upon an
imaginary screen of belief and ritual
vi. Wolfian Perspective
1. Lifelong search for explanations of asymmetrical power Wolf turned to ethnographic
cases studies, comparative history, critical theory
a. Used Marxian concepts but was eclectic in his theoretical approach
b. Introduced a political economical perspective to research on peasantry in
complex societies
c. Committed to the holistic and integrative perspective
i. Tried to work toward a synthesis of both parts
2. Effect on anthropology: provokes more critical thinking and responsible action
56. Lecture: Eric Wolf
a. Interested in peasants because majority of people in the decolonizing world were rural farmers, peasants.
Majority of world population hadn't been studied by anthropology.
b. Looked not just at peasants at how these communities should be studied not as isolated bounded
communities but as integrated into social networks.
i. Requires adjustment of theoretical anthropological frameworksàchange in field work
ii. Started looking at the major figure in peasant communities: the middle man
1. important because middle man forms nexus between local community (between local and
state gov/wider market, etc)
2. If you want to understand in the wider networks you have to see how all these seemingly
isolated parts connect (though the middle man)
3. From this research he realized that from the 1950s-60s the concept of dual economy was used
to describe what was going on in terms of the economy: peasant local community, capitalist
economy
a. Seen as separate
b. Wolf said they should be seen as parts of the same system: global capitalism
i. Composed of the core and periphery
1. Core: controls; high levels of development, capacity of innovation,
convergence of trade flows (centers of finance, etc)
2. Periphery: usually less development, poorer
ii. To understand what happens on the margins you have to understand
what happens in the coreàmuch more encompassing for anthropology,
takes in both systems
Feminist and Marxian anthropologist Eleanor Leacock argues "that only when gender hierarchy is taken as an historical problematic... can the structure of primitive communist relations be properly understood, and the part played by exchange in the transformation of these relations clearly formulated." What did she mean?
She resuscitated Engels' theory that linked the domination of women to the rise of classes and the state in which he termed as "the historic defeat of the female sex." In this piece, she argues the importance of male and female relationships. Leacock uses a Marxist approach to her ethnographies, arguing that capitalism is largely responsible for female subordination
Leacock seeks to criticize the widespread practice in anthropology of ignoring contexts of colonization and repression in the collection and analysis of ethnographic data. Leacock's goal is also "to strike down the assumption that women aren't equal actors in human history as much as men."
She breaks this down from a feminist-Marxist point of view. Her first major claim is that the history of women's roles in society have been skewed in anthropology by the portrayal of the ethnographic present of any given group as timeless, unchanged, and uninfluenced by colonialism and capitalism. In particular, she chastises French Marxists (who are supposed to think like her) for not criticizing Levi-Strauss' idea that the exchange of women was what started human society (this is a male dominant, capitalist idea).
Leacock illustrates change in Native American society as the result of economic pressures. She also claims (with the help of Kroeber) that our understanding of Native American society as being tribal is actually a white-man's classification. White man's classification is equated with capitalism, and capitalism is the dominant form, the dominant way of seeing the world. As Marx and Engels say, and Leacock cites, "Man makes his own history." She argues that relationships between men and women in primitive communism were egalitarian, but dominant history denies it. Leacock points out that most ethnographies ignore the historical background of 500 years of colonization that effect Native American groups. These type of histories explain egalitarian societies in the same terms as capitalist societies, but lacking in certain aspects. Gender hierarchy is assumed to be physiological, expressed only slightly in egalitarian society, but more-so in capitalist society. Capitalism assumes universality in human nature, but Marxist thought does not. For a Marxist, human nature is not fixed, but arises from relations to production. Gender hierarchy (according to a Marxist) is produced by the division of labor into men's production of commodities for exchange and women's production of labor that supported the production of commodities.
In the last pages of her article, Leacock describes the influence of capitalism on societies that are exemplified over and over again in anthropology. In ethnographic accounts, these societies may be described as autonomous and uninfluenced by colonial/capitalist politics, but Leacock gives many influences to these societies that anthropologists had chosen to ignore in the interest of salvage ethnography that fits into the capitalist ideas of human nature.
Theory
a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world
Doctrine
a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
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