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Cultural Anthropology Chapters 1-8, most likely will just ned 4-8
Terms in this set (118)
study of human nature, human society, and the human past. In the broadest sense, they try to answer almost what it means to be human.
Integrates All in that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Inclusive.
similarities and differences in human nature that must be considered before holism
patters of learned behaviors that humans acquire as members of society. Much of culture is affected by environment, race, religion etc.
defining features of people are pre-determined by biological and cultural factors. (Their surroundings)
objects created or shaped by human beings and gives meaning to cultural practices EX) North American and Consumerism
4 North American subfields of Anthropology
Biological, Archeology, Linguistics, and Cultural
Basically just means using Anthropology for things. Can be used in Medicine, Psychology, Developmental research, Forensics, etc.
Social groupings of people of biological differences
looks at humans as biological organisms and tries to see all the differences and similarities between humans and other other organisms
Fossiles remains of humans earlier ancestors
study of cultures you stupid
observable biological differences
behavioral beliefs between the two sex's. Gender Role
People in a particular culture that teach Anthropologists their way of life. NISA
the study of comparing two cultures through written paper or film.
systematic pattern of vocal sounds to communicate
Anthropology of the human past involving the analysis of material remains left behind by earlier societies
Concerned with human health and factors that contribute to disease or illness. Can look at the way a different culture goes about medically healing people.
the process of learning to live as a member of the group. Acquire, Adapt, and Transform
cognitive challenges facing human beings who live together and must come to terms with ways of thinking and feeling that are appropriate to their culture
unknowingly participating as a teacher for socially acceptable behaviors, simply done by performing normal things. EX)phone in the stall.
humans, their physical environments, and symbolic practices co determine each other. EX) Egyptians worship the god of the Nile because it would give them their crops
understanding another culture in its own terms sympathetically enough that what they do seems coherent to us, even though we think it is BATSHIT CRAZY. can Range from eating insects to Genocide
Just chilling in the world of field
participating in the culture, living as closely as possible
Reality is or could be foreseen through the senses and there is an appropriate set of scientific methods to investigate that reality
the shared, public symbolic systems of a culture. Participant observation
critically thinking about ones own way of thinking, Reflection. Fieldworkers need to reflect a lot because of their biases and their place in the foreign society.
Multi sited Work
Ethnographer goes from site to site following certain groups following groups not usually studied. Sometimes can be like a certain group in a nation, like women in North America and an anthropologists studies the women in North American compared to another nation. Or can be the phenomena of doing something like putting a drug in a community and following how it spreads to another community.
Dialectic of Fieldwork
building a bridge between anthropologist and informant. Also have to recognize the informant might not be totally honest or be doing things for pay or not acting the way they normally would around other culture members
being thrown into a culture and not understanding whats going on. This happens if their is no bridge of understanding between informant and anthropologist
culture is biologically determined
the idea that culture is learned and not biologically determined.
key elements are timeless and define the character of a group. What is essential to a group. Ex) Freeman essentialized aggression of a group, and Mead essentialized sexuality.
Anthropology and Colonialism
colonialism made it possible and necessary for anthropology to be invented as a discipline. Anthropologists always studied post-contact studies but they never happened in colonial times.
EX) Chiefs in late 18th century samoa were a lot different then chiefs late 19th century samoa
preached non sex to many
fantasized about sexual freedom
Marshall Sahling's 3 Necessities to understand another culture
1. Understand historical context. 2. Understand Cultural Context. 3.
An economic system dominated by supply and demand mechanism called "The market." It is an entire way of life that grew in response and in service of the market
cultural domination with enforced social change. EX) colonies in America and indians. EX) a country would have to join the trade and market to stay alive
holistic. It emphasizes the centrality of material interest (economy) and the use of power (politics) to protect and enhance interest
persistence of profound social and economic entanglements linking former colonial territories to their former colonial rulers despite political sovereignty. EX) Native Americans continue to struggle for social justice today by using the courts to fulfill treaty obligations and international human rights law to press for recognition of tribal soveringty
classification system which in this case, based on human similarities and differences. Recognize non western and non civilized people (like africans) as deficiencies
unlined cultural evolutionism
19th century theory that proposes a series of stages through which all societies must go or had gone through in order to reach civilization
enduring aspects of the social forms in a society, including its political and kinship systems
the character form of social organization found among foragers, a small group, usually less than 50, labor is divided due to age and sex, and social relations are highly egalitarian
larger than a band, usually farm or herd for living, relatively egalitarian, although there may be a chief who speaks for the groups or organizes group activities
leader and relatives of the leader are apart and privileged to wealth, power, and prestige
stratified society that possesses a territory with an army (and a police force for internal affairs). Usually run by an elite or elite group which posses monopoly
structural functional theory
explores how particular social forms function from day to day in order to reproduce the traditional structure of society
a dance, ritual, certain types of pottery
limits of borrowing, or the diffusion of a particular set of traits
reproductive community that is specific in nature
measurable outward characteristics of an organism...........................................
gradual interdegration of genetic variation from population to population
reshaping of local conditions by powerful global forces over an ever intensifying life style
is the discipline that studies the interaction between humanity and technology from an anthropological perspective. The discipline is relatively new, but offers novel insights on new technological advances and their effect on culture and society.
implore the interconnection among the sociocultural, political, economic, and historic conditions that make scientific research both possible and successful
Chapter 1 Summary
-Anthropology aims to describe in the broadest sense what it means to be human.
-The anthropological perspective is holistic, comparative, and evolutionary, and has relied on the concept of culture to explain the diversity of human ways of life.
-Humans depend on cultural learning for successful biological survival and reproduction, which is why anthropologists consider human beings to be bicultural organisms.
-(4/5) major subfields are linguistic, cultural, biological, archeology (and applied)
-Biological anthropology began as an attempt to classify all the different worlds populations into races. By 20th cent, most had rejected racial classifications as scientifically unjustifiable and objected to the ways in which racial classifications were used to justify the social practice of racism. Contemporary anthropologists who are interested in human biology include biological anthropologists, primatologists, and paleoanthropologists.
-Archeology is an anthropology of the human past. Applied usually concerns itself with human health and illness, suffering, and well being.
Chapter 2 Summary
-Culture distinguishes us from other species
-Culture has been adapted and evolved
-Holism of Anthropology says people and environment define and interpenetrate each other
-The whole is more than the sum of its parts
-Human's societies are open systems that cannot be reduced to the parts that make them up
-Parts and the whole codetermine and co evolve
-Cultural Understandings are necessary for ambiguities
-Ethnocentrism is countered by cultural relativism
-Cultural Relativism doesn't suggest that we should abandon our own morals, but discourages that other cultural ideas and actions are not coherent
-Past culture and new cultural regularities in society bring up the idea of Human Agency
Chapter 3 Summary
-Both participation and outside observation has their obvious advantages and drawbacks.
-Positivists did a controlled anthropological study in a lab in an extremely controlled room studying some people of their culture and they got extremely accurate date
-When humans study other humans, how the anthropologists and informant think about their own culture and biases must be taken into account when studying. This is where reflection is really important.
-Communication between anthropologist and informant can make or break a study.
-Multisite studies help better understand the people, material things, and metaphors.
-Ethnograph studies can change how the informant acts, sometimes wanting to make social change.
-May never know everything about a culture and how they think, but can always learn more.
Chapter 4 Summary
-Modern Western history has been characterized by the rise of capitalism .
-European penetration of capitalism brought political conquest, a lot of groups lost their autonomy with capitalism
-The continues existence of certain groups show that conquered groups can actually reshape own social identities despite oppression and exploitation.
-Anthropology is a formal discipline. Many hoped after the dismantle of colonialism in WWII, that indigenous cultures would go back to normal and become indigenous again.
-Little evidence shows that other anthropologists during the colonial period wanted to further colonialism.
-There was now a new classifications of Nations. First, Second,and Third Worlds
-Anthropologists focus on the historically specific detail about the effects of global processes in local settings
-Cyborg Anthropology is the current popular study between human and machine
system of arbitrary vocal symbols we use to encode our wordily experience
study of language
Characteristics of language that, when taken together, differentiate from other known animal communication
6 Design Features of language
Openness, arbitrariness, displacement, Semanticity, Duality of Patterning, Prevarication.
New, Unique random utterances are easily made. Like language is very open to new sounds
no intrinsically or logical connection between a sound signal and its meaning. Whatever name humans call things is completely arbitrary. Spoken words do not represent the object they represent.
humans can speak about things that aren't here or now, like talking about the future
specific sound signals are directly tied to certain meanings.
Duality of Patterning
Meaningful messages are made up of distinct smaller units. sounds (smaller units) are meaningless till turned into patterns (words)
The ability to lie and make false statements
coined by Noam Chomsky, refers to the mastery of grammar
coined by Dell Hymes. Mastery of Adult Rules for socially and culturally appropriate speech
Linguistic Relativity Principle
a Position associated with Edward Sadit and Benjamin Whorf asserts that language has the power to shape the way people see the world.
Set of rules that aim to describe fully the patterns of linguistic usage observed by members of a particular speech community
Study of sounds of a language
Morphology in linguistics is the study of minimal units of meaning in a language. The study of how these words are put together
In language, the study of sentence structure
The study of meaning in language
the study of language in the context of its use. For example the nomads, the anthropologists, and the scorpion.
Stretch of speech longer than a sentence, united by a common theme. Can be a 1 word greeting, a conversation among two or more people, or an extended narrative.
Relies on ethnographic use to illuminate the ways in which speech is both constituted by and constitute of social interactions
Language with no native speakers that develops in a single generation between members of communities that possess distinct native languages
a marker of struggles between social groups with different interests, revealed in what people say and how they say it
attempted by linguists and activists to preserve or revive languages with few native speakers that appear to be on the verge of extinction
Chapter 5 Summary
--Language is Unique to Humans. It encodes experience and helps engage with one another. The study of different languages shows that humans are unique and language is natural to us
--As babies we attempt to create a unique voice and communicate but are put down by our larger social groups/ the vernacular our parents use.
--Of Hockett's 16 design features of language, the most important are the 6 ^
--Linguistic Relativity Theory says that language has the power to shape the world
--Formal Language Analysis is usually subdivided into 5 main categories :Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, Pragmatics
--Ethnopragmatics pay attention to both specific and broad languages. It locates the meaning in routine activities which then turn grammatical features of language into resources people use in interaction.
--Different social groups generate different communicative practices. It is argued that each persons linguistic knowledge is based off of heteroglossia, which is distinct varieties within a language.
--Pidgin lang. is the study of radical negotiation of new meaning, invented by two groups coming in contact and inventing a new language usually by colonization. Usually it is very similar to the parent language and shows that social power can play a large part in language
--Language Ideologies are unwritten rules shared by members of a speech community concerned with what kind of language is valued. Develop from political, social, and cultural histories.
--Many ling. anthro's become involved in projects to revive languages or maintain dying ones. Disappear if the younger generations just learn the popular language. Reviving is complex and controversial.
A framing (or orienting context) that is continuously adopted by the players, somehow pleasurable, systematically related to what is non play by alluding to the non play world and by transferring objects, roles, actions, and relations of ends and means characteristic of the non-play world and is essential for learning.
communicating about the process of communication, Framing and Reflexivity
cognitive boundary that marks certain behavior as "play" or "ordinary life"
critically thinking about the way one thinks in their own experience aka joking about yourself
physically exertive activity that is aggressively competitive within constraints imposed by definitions and rules, Sport is a component of culture that is ritually patterned and game like and consists of varying amounts of play, work, and leisure
play with form producing some aesthetically successful transformation-representation
experience is transformed as it is represented symbolically in a different medium. AKA Art has a deeper meaning than just what the eye sees.
stories that recount how various aspects of the world came to be. Powerful because of their ability to make meaningfulness to those who accept them. Truths of myths seem self evident because they effectively integrate personal experience with a wider set of assumptions of how the world works.
"correct Doctrine." The prohibition of deviating from approved mythical texts
repetitive social practice composed of a sequence of symbolic activities in the form of dance, song, speech, gestures, or manipulation of objects, adhering to a culturally defined ritual schema and loosely connected to a specific set of ideas that are often encoded in myth.
Rite of Passage
A ritual that serves to mark the movement and transformation of an individual from one social position to another
the ambiguous transitional state in a rite of passage in which the person undergoing the ritual are outside their ordinary social positions
an unstructured or minimally structured community of equal individuals found frequently in rites of passages
"Correct Practices" Prohibition of deviating from approved forms of ritual behavior.
Chapter 6 Summary
--Play is a general form of behavioral openness. It is the ability to think about, speak about, and act upon the same thing in different ways
--We put a frame around things that has the message "this is play" around playful activities
--Reflexive meta-communication allows us to separate from reality and suggest that our perspective of ordinary life is only one way to view an experience and make sense of it.
--Play functions as many things including exercise, real world practice, increased creativity in children, and understanding of the real world.
--The fate of national sports teams can come to represent the nation itself. Devotion of sports fans of that National team can be a way of affirming patriotism
--When sports are translated from one culture to another, they are frequently transformed to fit the patterns appropriate to the new culture.
--Art is play that is subject to certain culturally appropriate forms and content. Different cultures will have different art.
-Art aims to exoke a holistic, aesthetic response from artists and observers. Artists succeed in this when form is is culturally appropriate and TECHNICALLY perfect in its "realization"
--Aesthetic evaluations are culturally shaped judgements.
--We recognize other art because of the family resemblance to what we call art in our own culture, although people with other cultural understandings may not have produced art on purpose, we call or view it as art by appropriation
--What we perceive as art calls into question what is authentic art
--Myths are stories that recount how various aspects of the world came to be the way are.
--The personal experiences in them make the truthfulness of them seem self-evident
--Full understanding of a myth requires the ethnographic background.
--In studying ritual, we pay attention to not only symbols, but also how and the way it is performed
--Cultural ideas are made concrete by rituals
--Rites of Passage are rituals of moving from one social group to another. Marked by periods of separation, transition, and regression
--During transition, individuals occupy a liminal position and with this position they usually develops an intense comradeship, and a feeling of oneness with the group.
--Communitas is this feeling of oneness
--Ritual and play are complementary. Play is "let us make-believe" whereas ritual is "let us believe." Consequently, rituals frame is much more rigid than play's.
--Although Rituals overwhelming or all powerful, individuals or groups can SOMETIMES manipulate ritual forms to achieve non-traditional ends.
Freedom of del-contained individuals to pursue their own interests above all else, to be able to challenge one another for dominance
Transformative Capacity. The ability to literally transform a situation. Think about it
A world view that justifies the social arrangements under which people live
the ability to have coercive rule
Study of Social power in human society
Persuading subordinates to accept the ideology of the dominant group by mutual accommodations that nevertheless preserve the rulers privileged position
Chapter 7 Summary
--People attempting to account for their experiences make use of shared cultural assumptions about how the world works. Encompassing pictures that result are called world views.
--Symbols that sum up an entire semantic domain are called summarizing symbols. Elaborating symbols, in contrast, are analytic and allow people to sort out complex and undifferentiated feelings and ideas.
--Differences in worldview derive from differences in experience that people try to explain by metaphor.
--People use at least 3 kinds of metaphors as foundations for particular world views: societal metaphors, organic metaphors, and technological metaphors.
--A single society may have members who subscribe to different world views. Knowledge, like power, is not evenly distributed throughout a society.
--More powerful individuals and groups often promote ideologies, imposing their preferred worldview on the rest of society. Those without power can resist this imposition by creating their own contrasting metaphors and constructing alternative world views.
--Anthropological studies of religion tend to focus on the social institutions and meaningful processes with which it is associated.
--People can address personalized forces symbolically and expect responses. Context w/ cosmic forces is very complex and societies have exact rituals and practices in order to contact.
--Two important religious specialists are Shamans and Priests
--Many anthro's have attempted to show the rich, coherent tapestries of symbols, and rituals that make up particular world views and demonstrate to the high degree to which world views vary from one another.
--Drastic changes in people's experience lead them to create new meaning to explain
the art of governing the appropriate promotions of the welfare of the populations within a state. (Corrupt people are constantly trying to elude)
the power to refuse being forced against ones will to conform to someone else's wishes
An agreement to which all parties collectively give together their consent
Power based on a verbal agreement
A persuasive sense of rootlessness and normlessness in a society
used by Karl Marx to describe the deep separation that workers seemed to experience between their innermost sense of identity and the labor they were forced to perform in order to earn enough money to live
Essentially negotiable concepts
Culturally recognized concepts that evoke a wide range of meanings and whole relevance in any particular context must be negotiated
Chapter 8 Summary
-The ability to act on a situation implies power among someone or a group.
-Study of Social Power in human society is the domain of Political Anthro.
--In the Western Prototype of power, power should never and can never be reduced to physical force.
--Power operates according to culturally created principles. These principles are arbitrary, affected by history, and may differ from other societies
--Western thinkers generally assumed without a state, social life would be chaotic, but not impossible. They believed people as free agents would not cooperate unless forced
--Power is demonstrated by coercion and persuasion. People may submit to bigger power (usually government) because of fear, they want to, Or Quasi-Voluntary Compliance...like a social contract.
--Antonio Gramisci and Michael Foucalt are said to have influenced the recent power studies due to their arguments (not against each other).
--Gramisci argues that coercion alone is rarely sufficient for social contract. Distinguished coercive domination from Hegemony.
-- (Hegemony practice deflects challenges to coercive power, is always an outcome of a struggle between two groups, but never is guaranteed.)
--Foucalt's view of govern-mentality is 19th cent. Western nation-states practices aimed to create and sustain peaceful and prosperous social life by exercising power over who could be counted, who's physical attributes could be measured statistically, and who's sexual reproductive behaviors could be shaped by the exercise of state power
--societies without social obligations can restrict individuals from pursuing their own self-interest due to the detriment of the group.
-- In these societies, power is seen to WTFFFFFFFFFF entity to which is gained by supplication and not coercion
--Individuals cannot be coerced but persuaded to cooperate. They're not free agents, but still have the power to resist conformity
--All humans have the power to invest the world with meaning
--Many would argue that a discussion of social power is incomplete without including how people make sense and use constraints given to them, however limited they may be.
--Rulers face the risk that their people may create new and persuasive ways to view being dominated, then organize to defend and disseminate (Spread out) themselves, create a large following, and fight to unseat the ruler.
--When Reality is bargained, elements of shared culture and history in order to persuade others of the validity of their position.
-- Often must bargain over not just what is relevant to what is agreed on tradition, but also a new version and which version to be agreed upon.
--Political debate concerns which lessons from past are relevant to present.
--Experience is transformed when disputes are settled.
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