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Anthropology terms.


processes by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses, such as those posed by climate


the study of the human species and its immediate ancestors

Applied Anthropology

the application of anthropoligical data, perspectives, theory, and methods to identity, assess, and solve contemporary social problems

Archaelogical Anthropology

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


the inclusion and combination of both bilogical and cultural perspectives and approaches to comment on or solve a particular issue or problem

Biological Anthropology

human biological diversity in time and space

Cultural Anthropology

the study of human society and culture, the subfield that describes, analyzes, interprets, and explains social and cultural similarities and differences

Cultural Resource Management

decides what sites need saving, and to preserve significant information about the past when sites cannot be saved


traditions and customs, transmitted through learning, that form and guide the beliefs and behavior of the people exposed to them


provides an account of a particular community, society, or culture


examines, interprets, analyzes, and compares the results of ethnography

Food production

the cultivation of plants and domestication of animals

General Anthropology

the academic discipline of anthropology, which includes the subfields sociocultural, archaelogical, biological, and linguistic anthropology


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

Linguistic Anthropology

studies language in its social and cultural context, across space and over time

Natural Selection

the process by which the forms most fit to survive and reproduce in a given environment do so in greater numbers than others in the same population do


refers to an organism's evident traits

Racial Classification

the attempt to assign humans to discrete categories based on common ancestry


a systematic field of study or body of knowledge that aims, through experiment, oberservation, and deduction, to produce reliable explanations of phenomena, with reference to the material and physical world


investigates relationships between social and linguistic variation


a belt extending about 23 degrees north and south of the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer, and the Tropic of Capricorn

Complex Societies

large and populous societies with social stratification and central governments

Cultural Consultant

refers to individuals the ethnographer gets to know in the field, the people who teach him or her about their culture, who provide the emic perspective

Emic Approach

investigates how local people think

Etic Approach

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

Genealogical Method

a well-established ethnographic technique

Informed Consent

the agreement to take part in research, after having been so informed

Interview Schedule

when an ethnographer talks face to face with people, asks the questions, and writes down the answers

Key Cultural Consultants

people who, by accident, experience, talent, or training, can provide the most complete or useful information about particular aspects of life

Life History

a recollection of a lifetime of experiences

Longitudinal Research

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

Participant Observation

taking part in the events one is observing, describing, and analysing

Random Sample

a survey type in which all members of the population have an equal statistical chance of being chosen for inclusion


a manageable study group

Survey Research

involves sampling, impersonal data collection, and statistical analysis


attributes that vary among members of a sample or population


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

Core Values

key, basic, central values

Cultural Relativism

the viewpoint that behavior in one culture should not be judged by the standards of another culture

Cultural Rights

include a group's ability to preserve its culture, to raise its children in the ways of its forebears, to continue its language, and not to be deprived of its economic base by the nation in which it's located


borrowing of traits between cultures


the process by which a child learns his or her culture


the tendancy to view one's own culture as superior and to apply one's own cultural values in judging the behavior and beliefs of people raised in other cultures


features that are common to sevaral but not all human groups


encompasses a series of processes, including diffusion, migration, and acculturation, working to promote change in a world in which nations and people are increasingly and mutuall dependent

Human Rights

include the right to speak freely, to hold religious beliefs without persecution, and not to be murdered, injured , or enslaved or imprisoned without charge

Independent Invention

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

Intellectual Property Rights

concept that says that a particular group may determine how indigenous knowledge and its products may be used and distributed and the level of compensation required

International Culture

a level of culture that extends beyond and across national boundaries

National Culture

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


features that are unique to certain cultural traditions


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


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


features that are found in every culture

Black English Vernacular

the relatively uniform dialect spoken by the majority of black youth in most parts of the US today

Call Systems

the natural communication systems of other primates

Daughter Languages

languages that descend from the same parent language and that have been changing separately for hundreds or thousands of years

Descriptive Linguistics

scientific study of a spoken language


applies to high and low variants of the same language


the ability to talk about things that are not present

Focal Vocabulary

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

Historical Linguistics

the longer-term change of contemporary variation in speech


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


a dictionary containing all its morphemes and their meanings


studies the forms in which sounds combine to form morphemes - words and their meaningful parts


a sound contrast that makes a difference


studies the significant sound contrasts of a given language


the study of speech sounds in general


the study of speech sounds

Linguistic Productivity

to use the rules of a language to produce entirely new expressions that are comprehensible to other native speakers


the original language from which a daughter language diverges

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

states that different languages produce different ways of thinking


a language's meaning system


investigates relationships between social and linguistic variation

Style Shifts

when speech is varied in different contexts


Languages within a taxonomy of related languages that are most closely related


the arrangement and order of words in phrases in sentences

Domestic-Public Dichotomy

a strong differentation between the home and the outside world


outside the home; within or pertaining to the public domain

Gender Roles

the tasks and activities a culture assigns to the sexes

Gender Stereotypes

oversimplified but strongly held ideas about the characteristics of males and females

Gender Stratification

describes an unequal distribution of rewards between men and women, reflecting their different positions in a social hierarchy


a political system rules by men in which women have inferior social and political status, including basic human rights

Patrilineal-Patrilocal Complex

consisting of patrilineality, patrilocality, warfare, and male supremacy

Sexual Dimorphism

refers to differences in male and female biology besides the contrasts in breasts and genitals

Sexual Orientation

refers to a person's habitual sexual attraction to, and sexual activities with, persons of the opposite sex (heterosexuality), the same sex (homosexuality), or a lack of attraction to either sex (asexuality)


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

Cultural Colonialism

refers to internal domination by one group and its culture or ideology over others


to assign social identity on the basis of ancestry


refers to policies and practices that harm a group and its members

Ethnic Group

a group that shares certain beliefs, values, habits, customs, and norms because of their common background


identification with, and feeling part of, an ethnic group and exclusion from certain other's groups because of this affliation


when a dominant group tries to destroy the cultures of certain ethnic groups


the deliberate elimination of a group through mass murder


automatically placing the children of a union between members of different groups in the minority group

Majority Groups

superordinate, dominant, or controlling group

Minority Groups

subordinate with inferior power and less secure access to resources


the view of cultural diversity in a country as something good and desirable


an independent, centrally organized political unit, or a government


refers to an autonomous political entity, a country


ethnic groups that one had, or wish to have or regain, autonomous political status


an organism's evident traits - it's physiology and anatomy, including skin color, hair form, facial features, and eye color

Plural Society

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


devaluing a group because of its assumed behavior, values, capabilities, or attributes


an ethnic group that is assumed to have a biological basis


discrimination against a race


people who have been forced or who have chosen to flee a country, to escape persecution or war

Social Races

groups assumed to have a biological basis but actually defined in a culturally arbitrary, rather than a scientific, manner


fixed ideas about what the members of a group are like


nonindustrial system of plant cultivication characterization by continuous and intensive use of land and labour

Balanced Reciprocity

applies to exchanges between people who are more distantly related than are members of the same band or household


basic unit of social organization among foragers that includes fewer than one hundred people


an association between two or more variables such that when one changes, the other also changes


a population's system of production, distribution, and consumption of resources

Generalized Reciprocity

principle that characterizes exchanges between closely related individuals


nonindustrial system of plant cultivation in which plots lie fallo for varying lengths of time

Market Principle

profit-oriented principle of exchange that dominates in states, particularly industrial states

Means of Production

land, labor, technology and capital - major productive resources

Mode of Production

way of organizing production - a set of social relations through which labor is deployed to wrest energy from nature by means of tools, skills, and knowledge

Nomadism, Pastoral

movement throughtout the year by the whole pastoral group with their animals


people who use a food-producing strategy of adaptation based on care of herds of domesticated animals


small-scale agriculturalist living in a state, with rent fund obligations


competitive feast among Indians on the North Pacific Coast of North America


one of the three principles of exchange that governs exchange between social equals


major exchange mode of chiefdoms, many archaic states, and some states with managed economies


one of two variants of pastoralism; part of the population moves seasonally with the herds while the other part remains in home villages

Achieved Status

social status that comes thrrough talents, actions, efforts, activities, and accomplishments, rather than ascription

Age Set

group uniting all men or women born during a certain time span

Ascribed Status

social status that people have little or no choice about occupying

Big Man

figure often found among tribal horticulturalists and pastoralists, who occupies no office but creates his reputation through entrepreneurship and generosity to others

Caste Systems

closed, hereditary system of stratification, often dictated by religion


form of sociopolitical organization intermediate between the tribe and the state; kin-based with differential access ro resources and a permanent political structure

Conflict Resolution

the means by which disputes are socially regulated and settled

Differential Access

unequal access to resources


pertaining to finances and taxation


a legal code, including trial and enforcement


permanent political position

Open-Class System

stratification system that facilitates social mobility, with individual achievement and personal merit determining social rank


the ability to exercise one's will over others


esteem, respect, or approval for acts, deeds, or qualities considered exemplary


the most extreme, coercive, abusive, and unhumane form of legalized inequality

Sociopolitical Typology

classification scheme based on the scale and complexity of social organization and the effectiveness of political regulation

Pantribal Sodality

a non-kin based group that exists throughout a tribe, spanning several villages


complex sociopolitical system that administers territory and populace with substantial contrasts in occupation, wealth, prestige, and power


any position that determines where someone fits in society


characteristic of a system with socioeconomic strata


the lower, or underpriviledged, group in a stratified system


the upper, or priviledged, group in a stratified system


form of sociopolitical organization usually based on horticulture or pastoralism

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