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The study of human diversity, through time and space. Anything that humans do, anything that humans are.

Biological anthropology (physical)

human beings as biological organisms, search for human origins, genetics


The learned sets of ideas and behaviors that are acquired by people as members of a society.

Franz Boas

Father of American Anthro, sought to show differences actually due to cultural learning. Psychic unity of mankind. Psychic unity of mankind

Culture is symbolic

we exist in a web of symbols. People interpret meaning in symbols


Early anthropologists typed cultures from least to most civilized. The belief that one's own culture is superior.

Richard B Lee and the !King san

hunter gatherers in kalahari dessert. Fat cow for christmas story

The narrative

an account which delivers information, data. Usually followed by analysis.

Participant observation

living and working with informants, trying to become culturally fluent, establishing trust and rapport.

Anthro before 1860

motives for learning were different then, wanted to learn how to hold power over others. Anthro is an arm of collonialism.

Henry Schoolcraft

worked for the Gov. learned about Native Americans

Applied ethnology (1860-1930)

typically employed as training or research specialists (for gov. etc). Practicing "value free anthro". Beaurou of American Ethnology formed in 1870s to study Native Americans

Federal Service (1930-1945)

Great depression and new deal. Employment for anthro. took off. US Gov needed info. WW2 caused large increase in employment. Very prominent in war relocation agency. Far Eastern civil affairs training school.

Value explicit stage (1945-1970)

anthropologists directly involved now. Directing new programs for social change. Value free research idea is tossed out the window. Becoming very action oriented. Want to use anthro to promote dvlpmnt and influence peoples lives positively.

Cultural Broker

Arose with Hazel Wheatman. Many people weren't getting medical coverage. Set up a system of liasons btwn cultural groups.

Policy Research (1970-present)

Anthropologists working outside of academia completely. Lack of job prospects in academia. Demand for anthro. outside of academia. Policy implications due to legislative and social change.

Human Terrain system

project to embed anthropologists with military combat units in Iraq, Afghan. Saving lives or serious ethical breach?

Decennial Census

Mandated by congress. Blueprint for development. hightly political tool


rural communities and neighborhoods

Early anthropologists and race

concerned with explaining races


traits for hair color, skin color, eye color, etc. They detectable physical characteristics. Genetic source

Three great races

Mongoloid, Caucasoid, Negroid. Skin color as the primary indicator. Becomes complicated

Consequences of three great races

premise says race determines everything. Hierarchical values.

Samuel Morton

collected human heads for measurement. Tried to prove superiority of Europeans. Promoted and Supported racial inferiority of Africans. Supporter of Slavery

Sir Francis Galton

Pioneer of Eugenics. Eugenics supports selective breeding. Eugenicists influenced passage of 1924 immigration Act in the US. Major component in Nazi Germany

Explanatory Approach

Phenotypic traits unreliable for classification. Differences are a part of human adaptability. Skin color is determined by mealnin. Not about race, about adaptation. HUMANS SHARE THE SAME ANCESTRY AND FORM A SINGLE SPECIES. DIFFERENCES BASED IN BIOLOGY ARE REAL, BUT NOT ENOUGH TO CLASSIFY.

what is the marker of race in the US?


how we interpret race

while thought to be biological, race is a social and cultural construction.


Children from mixed races automatically assume lower prestige race category. One drop rule. Assigned at birth

variation in faces

Black children grow up to be adults who see more variation in their racial group

Race in Brazil

Psychologist Jeffrey M. Fish: Folk terminology for race is tipo (or type). People see various body features as independent variables, leading to a massive number of tipos. Tipos vary by region and language.

Race in japan

Folk terminology of "blood". Minority Groups (Ainu, Ryukyuan). Foreign ethnic groups.


Japanese who went abroad for work. Often treated as foreigners. Brazil, Peru

Race vs. Ethnicity

Overlap, Combining, Confusing. Ethnic groups=shared identity.

Fredrik Barth

Ethnic groups as membership, negotiation, reinforcing boundaries. Markers of membership. Not static, malleable, flexible.

Origins of language

Great apes (call systems, limited communication). Gene Mutation


Allows fine motor skills for speech. Innovative adaption

Sir William Jones

Sanskrit, Similarities with other languages. Indo-European family, Daughter languages.

Ferdinand de Saussure

Synchronic approach. Linguistics as a field emerges. Proved language was arbitrary (sounds carried no meaning)

Synchronic approach

patterns could be found in a particular language at a particular point in time.


rules that govern speech




speech as spoken


rules governing speech


Sound patterns in particular language


minimal differences in sounds


study of significant phonemes in a particular language


units of meaning in particular language


Study of structure and use of mophemes

Noam Chomsky

sentences as syntax. Universal grammar. Semantics. Linguistic performance and competence. Thinks performance should be ignored and competence should be studied.

Universal Grammar

all humans have the same linguistic abilities, thought processes.

Linguistic Performance

People make grammatical errors when speaking.

Linguistic Competence

despite errors, people are competent with underlying grammar.

Dell Hymes

Critic of Chomsky. Argued for communicative competence. Successful communication requires more than just grammatical knowledge. Setting, audience all matter. The parole is signif. and should be studied.


the firsthand personal study of local settings


the study of the whole of the human condition: past, present, and future; biology, society, language, and culture

biological factors in which culture depends

abilities to learn, to think symbolically, to use language, and to employ tools and other products in organizing their lives and adapting to their environments.


the processes by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses.

4 fields of general anthropology

sociocultural, archaeological, biological, and linguistic

how can we explain the geographic distribution of skin color

Natural selection, Manufacture of vitamin D in the body


the study of interrelations among living things in an environment


the process by which a child learns his or her culture.


signs that have no necessary or natural connection to the things they stand for or signify


members of the zoological family that includes fossil and living humans, as well as chimps and gorillas.


the group that leads to humans but not to chimps and gorillas and that encompasses all the human species that ever have existed.

difference between culture and society.

Culture involves symbolic thought, society does not

how has the english language spread?

Through Diffusion (cultural borrowing)

Culture is contested

Different groups in society struggle with one another over whose ideas, values, goals, and beliefs will prevail

practice theory

recognizes that individuals within a society or culture have diverse motives and intentions and different degrees of power and influence. Focuses on how such varied individuals through their ordinary and extraordinary actions and practices manage to influence, create, and transform the world they live in. Recognizes a reciprocal relation between culture and the individual.

National Culture

embodies those beliefs, learned behavior patterns, values, and institutions that are shared by citizens of the same nation.

how is culture transmitted?

through learning, not genetically


different symbol-based patterns and traditions associated with particular groups in the same complex society.

3 mechanisms of cultural change

diffusion, Acculturation, Independent invention


the exchange of cultural features that results when groups have continuous firsthand contact.

Independent invention

the process by which humans innovate, creatively finding solutions to problems.

Emic approach

investigates how local people think.

Etic approach

shifts the focus from local observations, categories, explanations, and interpretations to those of the anthropologist.

reflexive ethnography

the ethnographer puts his or her personal feelings and reactions to the field situation right in the text.

Longitudinal research

the long-term study of a community, region, society, culture, or other unit, usually based on repeated visits.

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

the grammatical categories of particular languages lead their speakers to think about things in different ways.

focal vocabulary

specialized sets of terms and distinctions that are particularly important to certain groups.

intrinsic racism

the bthat a perceived racial difference is a sufficient reason to calue one person less than another.


describes the process of change that a minority ethnic group may experience when it moves to a country where another culture dominates.

Plural Society

a society combining ethnic contrasts, ecological specialization and the economic interdependence of those groups.

Cultural Colonialism

internal domination-boy one group and its culture or ideology over others.


the study of communication through body movements, stances, gestures, and expressions.


a dictionary containing all of a languages morphemes and their meanings.

Focal vocabulary

Specialized sets of terms and distinctions that are particularly important to certain groups.

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