Study sets, textbooks, questions
Upgrade to remove ads
Cultural Anthropology Exam 1 Study Guide
You have not begun module 5 yet.
Terms in this set (93)
The science of humanity
The area that specializes in the diversity of human bodies in the past and present.
The study of the diversity of human behavior in the past.
Focuses on the diversity of human language in the past and present.
The study of the diversity of human behavior in the past and present.
Each particular culture is and must be approached as a whole, not just as a single trait or as a disconnected list of traits.
A cross cultural perspective or emphasis means that anthropologists are curious about human behavior in a wide and inclusive sense, embracing many or potentially all human ways of being.
If anthropologists want to understand another culture, then we must understand or judge them in terms of their own notions of good, normal, moral, valuable, meaningful etc.
The attitude or practice of assuming that one's own cultural point of view is the best, the right, or even the only point of view.
the scientific description of the customs of individual peoples and cultures. The writer would begin with a discussion of the environment in which the group lives (mountain, desert, jungle, etc.) and then proceed to provide details on each aspect of the culture.
The surprise, confusion, and actual pain that one feels in the presence of the profoundly unfamiliar and unexpected.
Cultural relativism asserts than an observer cannot apply the standards of one culture to another culture, at least not in an informative way.
The application of anthropological knowledge & methods to real world problems.
First definition of Cultural Anthropology
Differences and similarities in contemporary and historical cultures. What is universal and what is particular?
Explain second definition of cultural anthropology.
Second definition of cultural anthropology
The study of the beliefs and practices of social actors within society... in which societies and social groups are treated as open ended systems.
Anthropological Relativism (or Methodological Relativism) refers to a methodologicalstance in which a researcher suspends his or her own cultural biases so as to avoid ethnocentrism in an attempt to understand beliefs and behaviors in their local contexts.
Moral relativism is the view that moral judgments are true or false only relative to some particular standpoint (for instance, that of a culture or a historical period) and that no standpoint is uniquely privileged over all others.
Something that mean, stands for, or calls to mind something else.
Setting up opposition between culture and modernity
based on random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system.
Ideas about the goals or way of life that is desirable
How we think people should behave. It is an expectation of behavior not the behavior itself.
Perception/interpretation of reality. How we think we should relate to world, other people etc
Construction of reality
each person's view of reality is constructed by social and cognitive processes
our spoken, written, or signed words and the ways we combine them to communicate meaning. Language affects how you perceive reality.
Social Roles refer to the expectations, responsibilities, and behaviors we adopt in certain situations.
These are general environment or circumstances that are the social framework for interpersonal and individual behaviour.
Socialization refers to the process through which people develop culturally patterned understandings, behaviors, values, and emotional orientations.
Enculturation often refers the passing of cultural knowledge to children, but enculturation is a constant and ongoing process, indeed, it goes on throughout our lives.
subgroups within the larger, or national, culture with unique values, ideas, and attitudes. Ex. regional, religious, ethnic, political, interest based, organization based
leadership or dominance, especially by one country or social group over others. Ex. use of social, economic, & institutional resources to make one interpretation/ meaning "stick" over others.
the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
Open ended system
An open system is a system that has external interactions. Such interactions can take the form of information, energy, or material transfers into or out of the system boundary, depending on the discipline which defines the concept. An open system is contrasted with the concept of an isolated system which exchanges neither energy, matter, nor information with its environment.
My definition of culture
How social groups and society shape the construction of meanings by social actors and influence their behavior.
What is the danger of a single story?
Overall, being exposed to a single side of a story, especially repeatedly, can be very problematic. The inability to effectively seek out stories from multiple points of view can lead to the promotion of hegemony due to certain social groups or nations exerting greater influence over the spread of information about a topic. By avoiding the misrepresentation of people in the stories we are exposed to, we can prevent focusing on our differences and learn to embrace our similarities.
Ethnographic Qualitative methods
Interviews, observation/ participant observation, focus groups, life histories, archival materials.
They can be structured or unstructured. It can be highly effective to use conversation with informants, largely to discover the appropriate questions to ask".
To "grasp the insider point of view"
"Being continuously involved in people's daily lives."
practical work conducted by a researcher in the natural environment, rather than in a laboratory or office.
What are the challenges faced by those who engage in fieldwork?
Building rapport, overcoming the community's biases of researchers, overcoming our own biases, adjusting to the mundane aspects of life, translations of words and ideas, and personal issues.
An etic view of a culture is the perspective of an outsider looking in.
Who introduced participant observation?
Participant observation was introduced into anthropology at the beginning of the twentieth century when Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) challenged the traditional paradigm of researchers conducting their studies from the veranda of a missionary station, by taking accounts from individuals rather than observing situations firsthand
Why can participant observation be beneficial?
to grasp the native's point of view, his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world
a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other's feelings or ideas and communicate well.
What issues did Rosado encounter in his fieldwork?
Rosado faced multiple problems as he studied the Ilongot and their tradition of headhunting as a way to relieve feelings of anger and rage. Rosado had to avoid being ethnocentric and find a way to empathize with the feelings which the Ilongot hoped to relieve through headhunting. The fact that Rosado did not feel as if he understood the feelings of the Ilongot which led to headhunting until the death of his wife demonstrated the limits of ethnography. Without the horrible rage that filled Rosado after his wife's death he would have been unable to properly empathize with the behavior of the Ilongot and thus he may have misrepresented why the thought of headhunting being restricted was so unbearable for the Ilongot, why the tradition persisted, and how your cultural upbringing can shape your reactions to intense emotions.
What insights about positionality and relativism does Rosado offer?
When Rosado states that "all interpretations are provisional; they are made by positioned subjects who are prepared to know certain things and not others...good ethnographers still have their limits, and their analyses always are incomplete." he argues that ethnographic research is never perfect as ethnographers analysis is clouded by their own experience, lack of exposure to the groups of people being described besides their research, and evidence which cannot be relied on with certainty.
Mead Freeman debate
I agree that Freeman often did not test Mead's conclusions effectively. He should have exposed himself to Samoans who fit a similar profile to those studied by Mead. Freeman's research did demonstrate that Samoan females who were part of wealthy and socially prominent Samoan families were very restricted in how they could display their sexuality prior to marriage. However, it could be argued Freeman overemphasized the importance of certain practices which were common amongst high ranking Samoans when describing the common experiences of young Samoan females. Freeman's use of Samoan views on virginity when attempting to discredit the conclusions made by Mead hinges on whether young Samoan females who were not part of families which were of high rank in Samoan society chose to express their sexuality less, especially engaging in sexual intercourse, as a result of being aware of how high ranking Samoan women were expected to behave prior to marriage. Overall, Freeman's arguments make Mead's conclusions appear somewhat misleading at times but Freeman often exaggerated the extent to which Mead was incorrect about the practices of young Samoan females.
How was difference constructed over time by Euro-Americans prior to evolutionary theories? What was the role of religion and the ideas of Rousseau and Hobbes?
Culture and religion were seen as signifiers of difference (Christian vs Pagan).
The great chain of being
European idea that every species was a link on a chain extending from lowest forms to humans and on to spiritual beings. All links had been designed at the same time during creation and would never change. Once all the links were discovered and described, the meaning of life would be revealed.
One way of talking about who isn't Christian.
No arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
Others in world were in touch with nature, moral, sincere, ecologically sound, they were noble savages. Romanticized the people of the world as compared to Europeans.
the theory that individuals, groups, and peoples are subject to the same Darwinian laws of natural selection as plants and animals. Now largely discredited, social Darwinism was advocated by Herbert Spencer and others in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and was used to justify political conservatism, imperialism, and racism and to discourage intervention and reform.
Sarah Baartman (1775-1815)
She was abducted through trickery by a doctor who she worked for and taken to European displayed as an attraction at various places. Eventually she was put on display at the Museum of Natural History in Paris.
What was the point of human zoos?
The celebration and spread of Social Evolution theory.
Ota Benga (1883-1916)
Ota Benga (c. 1883 - March 20, 1916) was a Mbuti (Congo pygmy) man, known for being featured in an exhibit at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri, and as a human zooexhibit in 1906 at the Bronx Zoo. Benga had been purchased from African slave traders by the explorer Samuel Phillips Verner, a businessman searching for African people for the exhibition, who took him to the United States. While at the Bronx Zoo, Benga was allowed to walk the grounds before and after he was exhibited in the zoo's Monkey House. Except for a brief visit to Africa with Verner after the close of the St. Louis Fair, Benga lived in the United States, mostly in Virginia, for the rest of his life.
Who is Franz Boas?
He is a German born physicist and geographer who moved to the U.S. in 1886 and graduated from Columbia university.
Boas on why Social Darwinism and Social Evolutionary theory are wrong
Different environments produce different needs which produces different results.
Boas on historical particularism
historical particularism rejected the cultural evolutionary model that had dominated anthropology until Boas. It argued that each society is a collective representation of its unique historical past..
An armchair anthropologist. Helped develop Social Cultural Evolutionary theory with Henry Lewis Morgan.
Henry Lewis Morgan.
An armchair anthropologist. Helped develop Social Cultural Evolutionary theory with E.B. Tylor.
Social Cultural Anthropology Theory.
Unilineal evolution, also referred to as classical social evolution, is a 19th-century social theory about the evolution of societies and cultures. It was composed of many competing theories by various anthropologists and sociologists, who believed that Western culture is the contemporary pinnacle of social evolution. Different social status is aligned in a single line that moves from savagery to barbarianism and civilization. This theory is now generally considered obsolete in academic circles.
hunting or gathering, fire, pottery, bow
domestication of animals, agriculture, metal working
Industrialization, adoption of alphabet and writing
Boas on racism
Boas was also instrumental in debunking scientific racism- he argued that 'race' was a cultural construction of reality, a way of classifying that has no foundation in biology.
Functionalism (developed by Bronislaw Malinowski)
Functionalists seek to describe the different parts of a society and their relationship by meansof an organic analogy. The organic analogy compares the different parts of a society to the organs of a living organism. The organism is able to live, reproduce and function through the organized system of its several parts and organs.
Similarly, the Structural Functionalist, Alfred Reginald Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955), used the same type of questions as Malinowski- but instead of seeing institutions and practices as fulfilling bio-cultural needs, he argued that they functioned to maintainsocial order.
Marvin Harris (1927-2001) taught anthropology at Columbia University and the University of Florida and was influential in developing the materialist perspective, which shows up in the 'barrel model of culture' that we talked about in module 2.The materialist perspective adds to our 'Anthropological Toolkit' by asking the question: How do material, economic, and ecological conditions shape human behavior and ideas?
The Interpretivist approach in Anthropology is most associated with the anthropologist, Clifford Geertz (1926-2006), who taught at Princeton University. Geertz led the movement in shifting towards a style of anthropology that was concerned about meaning and how meaning becomes embedded in key symbols and institutions. This style of anthropology adds these types of questions to our 'Anthropological Toolkit': How do symbols shape our experiences? In what ways do they provide a lens through which we understand the world? How are symbols/meaning manipulated by people within specific types of social situations (shaped by power?)? How are meanings transmitted, experimented with, created, debated?
What methodical contribution did Bronislaw Malinowski offer?
What anthropological perspective did Radcliffe and Malinowski emphasize?
What methodological contribution did Geertz offer?
The usage of thick descriptions. He described the practice of thick description as a way of providing cultural context and meaning to human actions and behavior, as opposed to "thin description" which is a factual account without any interpretation.
Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960)
fundamentally shaped how anthropology is practiced today. As a Black woman of color, she paid attention to the dynamics of power, race, gender, class, and religion in her research on the experiences of Black Americans in the South and the Voodoo religion in the Caribbean. She also was known for her use of the life-history research technique, where she recorded the life history of Cudjoe Lewis.While her work was not necessarily acknowledged by mainstream Anthropology during her lifetime, she has influenced more recent generations of anthropologists in the process of accounting for power, identity, and amplifying marginalized perspectives.
Abu-Lughod's strategies to counter misunderstandings of "culture"
The strategies that Abu-Lughod offers for 'writing against culture' picks up on the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984) in questioning the link between knowledge and power, discourse and practice. He argued that knowledge is a way of naming and ordering the world as if its objective, but is instead caught up in relations of power. So the way that we talk about, write about, and think about the world employs power to shape our social realities- power allows for certain ideas or perspectives to be transmitted more forcibly and further than others. These discourses (the way we talk about, write about, think about the world) also influence the way in which we act in the world around us.
Anthropological debates about objectivity and whether Anthropology is a science or interpretation
That debate really gets at the issue as to whether anthropologists can ever be 100% objective and the need for reflexivity. One thing to note in that debate though is that we can try to account for why people have a different perspective on their world. What experiences, ideas, relationships, etc have shaped that perspective? What structurally or institutionally is going on that shapes that difference? Why would these shapes look like 4 to one person and 3 to another?
that we are reflecting upon who we are in our accounts, continuously vigilant for biases, and recognizing that their is never a 'single story'.
The point here is that while certain flows of ideas, businesses, etc may seem as if they hold power and are creating similarities, its not like people are mindlessly adopting everything. They are rather situating these global commodities into local systems of meaning- this is what we would call the process of localization- a process of where ideas or objects fashioned in one context circulate and then are situated into other contexts, systems of meanings, and social structures.
Limitations of localization argument
Consumer behaviors can be hard to predict. Ideas are often far less popular when placed in a new cultural context. The idea or object could have some other flaw which is less apparent in its initial environment.
Often academics may also use the word hybridity to describe how ideas, commodities, etc move from one location to another, and as a result they change in shape. Hybridity refers to a 'blending' of sorts- a new thing being created through global interactions.
Flaws of hybridity argument
This concept can be useful, but we should also recognize its embedded assumptions. The idea of an hybrid implies that there are two 'wholes' that are blended in some fashion- but since interactions and changes have continuously occurred over time, we would never know what those 'wholes' are- rather we would have to think about it as a hybridity upon hybridity upon hybridity etc.
Westernization- or the transmission (forced or not) of goods, ideas, media, political forms, etc from the U.S. or Europe.
Dependency theorists emerged in the 1970s to provide a different outlook on global development- by taking into account the context of historical relationships of power and exploitation, and arguing that these new policies continue to create relations of exploitation and dependency.
Limitations of westernization theory
The flow of ideas, goods, and media is not a one way flow. Ideas, good, and media also flow back to the U.S. and Europe.
First stage of globalization (200+ years ago)
The first migrations of humans out of the African continent
Second stage of globalization
The Silk Road. This was such a big part of how different societies were shaped historically, as ideas, products, technologies and people were on the move. Gun powder? That was created in China and spread along this trading corridor. Paper too. And Christianity, Judiasm, Buddhism, and Islam spread through the transmission of ideas along with Silk Road. And of course, silk.
Third stage of globalization (1400-1800)
"The European Expansion". not only did global trade become more extensive, but the European Expansion was responsible for political integrations (colonialism), the spread of ideas, technologies, religions, and disease; and the voluntary and forced movement of peoples.
Fourth stage of globalization (1700-1900)
The Industrial Revolution and Colonialism. its important to remember that the industrial revolution in Europe and the U.S. could not have occurred without the extraction of people and wealth from other regions of the world, especially the African continent (where colonialists also exported timber, cocoa, diamonds, oil, copper, iron, salt, rubber from).
Fifth stage of globalization
World war two and its aftermath- particularly the formation of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, tying the value of global currencies to the U.S. $, and the Declaration of Human Rights- also seem pretty important to processes of globalization...but this list could go on and on. The point is, this is a historical process of interconnectivity- those connections today are in part due to those made in the past.
What insights on globalization does the podcast Om Alone in America and the reading by Farmer give us?
Globalization can lead to the acceptance of controversial topics if they are seen as normal in foreign respected societies. Globalization can lead to widespread backlash against groups who oppose activities which are popular worldwide. Globalization is not as beneficial when one of the areas lacks technological and educational infrastructure.
Structural violence refers to any scenario in which a social structure perpetuates inequity, thus causing preventable suffering.
Other sets by this creator
(Comm 103) Wk 10 Murrar & Brauer (2019)
(Comm 103) Wk 10 Joyce & Harwood (2014)
9-end (Comm 103) Week 8 and 9 Powerpoints and onli…
1-8 (Comm 103) Week 8 and 9 Powerpoints and online…
Other Quizlet sets
Jugoslavija u Drugom svjetskom ratu
Factors of Production Quiz