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Understanding cultures final
Terms in this set (36)
The adaptive nature of culture
the idea that cultures function in such a way that allows humans to survive in a variety of different environments
is problemoriented research among the world's contemporary populations
Some of these problems may include income inequality (both between and within nationstates), environmental destruction, the need for sustainable forms of energy, depletion of the world's natural resources, and the cultural survival of the world's indigenous peoples
according to this anthropological theory, all societies pass through a series of distinct evolutionary stages, and we find differences in cultures because they are at different evolutionary stages of development.
observing and learning in the field while participating in an activity
Art may serve many functions in a culture, including
emotional gratification, social integration, social control, and as a means of preserving or challenging the status quo
is a theoretical orientation in anthropology that assumes that cultures provide various means for satisfying both societal and individual needs
a set of beliefs in supernatural beings and forces directed at helping people make sense of the world and solve important problems
Functions of Religion include:
acting as a means of social control, working to resolves conflicts, reinforcing group solidarity, and helping to improve cognitive and emotional function
Ethnographic fieldwork primarily involves
collecting data on site and engaging in participantobservation.
an in-depth account of a people's culture studied by the anthropologist who conducted the on-site fieldwork.
in an arranged marriage, family members of the prospective bride and groom handle the negotiations, and for all practical purposes, the decision of whom one will marry is made primarily one's parents or other influential relatives
means to marry within a certain group
means to marry outside of a certain group
the prohibition on mating with certain categories of relatives
is the marriage of a woman to two or more men at the same time;
involves the marriage of a man to two or more women at the same time
MIT professor who argues that the overuse of new technologies of mobile communication may be hurting our ability to hold facetoface conversations
cofounder of Sun Microsystems who warned of the dangers of advances in genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and robotics in his essay, "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us."
The Flynn Effect
A phenomenon that suggests that in the second half of the twentieth century, people around the world grew smarter at a rate of about three IQ points per decade
A group of 19th century textile workers who worked to destroy their own factories after the introduction of steam driven looms.
former math professor who became better known as the "Unabomber."
Cultural reproduction theory is
the idea that social classes reproduce themselves through the process of culture. In other words, we learn how to be poor, working class, and rich - (Bourgois)
is a socially approved union between two or more partners that regulates the sexual and economic rights and obligations between them.
an anthropologist who worked among crack dealers in Spanish Harlem. In "Selling Crack in Spanish Harlem," he described a "culture of resistance" to mainstream society that had developed in the neighborhood
the idea that the introduction of a single technological innovation may set off a series of changes in other parts of a culture
Collective vs. individualist orientation
In a culture with a "collective" orientation, sharing is valued over boasting, winning in competition, or motor skills
When discussing cultural change in the modern world
viewing culture as holistic (understanding a culture in its entirety) and integrated (all of the cultural parts are tightly connected to all other cultural parts) is useful because it helps us understand that changes introduced to a culture will affect many parts of the integrated system
Preferential cousin marriage
in some cultures, cousins may be encouraged to marry to maintain the ties between kin groups established by marriages that took place in the preceding generation
Unique methods and contributions of applied anthropology include
participantobservation, the emic view, a holistic perspective, regional expertise, cultural relativism, and topical expertise
the process of acquiring culture
systems and rules of descent can determine whom you can marry, where you live, with whom you work, and from whom you inherit wealth.
Culture is integrated
this means that cultural patterns will be shaped to support a way of life, and that patterns of behavior (regarding mobility, marriage, etc.) will support their needs (as huntergatherers, agriculturalists, etc.)
Cultural assumptions about certain behaviors and concepts:
can vary widely from one culture to the next - for example: time, food, personal space, hand gestures, etc
environmental factors set an upper limit on the productivity of any foodgetting system and the size of the population it can support. - For example, huntergatherers can enjoy high quality diets as a long as population density is low enough
Can we or should we call certain societies "simple" or "primitive?"
Cultural anthropologists should avoid such labels because it is ethnocentric, it implies other's' beliefs are inferior, it doesn't apply cultural relativism, it isn't objective, and it can lead to crosscultural misunderstanding
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