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Cultural Anthropology Exam 1
Terms in this set (163)
What is anthropology?
The study of the human species and its immediate ancestors
the art of map making
-The skill began in the 13th century in Europe with its development being related to expansion of Europeans.
Is cartography eurocentric?
The two major problems in early cartography:
1. Technical one of how to depict three-dimensional sphere onto a two dimensional, flat surface
2. Cultural one of whose worldview the maps reflect
These problems are inseparable.
What is reality determined by? or What is anthropology about?
How we view the world, be it on a map or in our minds is shaped by our
Subjective thought processes
What is reality for one culture may not be...
reality for other cultures
Myths (mythology) and folklore were once used to try to understand our
Myths are often defined in popular culture as merely a ___. But they are actually stories that:
lie; explain things in our world.
Myths (mythology) was, therefore, a way of trying to:
Mythologies are very
One of the most popular type is the ____ _______
is the hallmark of any science
Anthropology is relatively new. Why?
-Major reason: technology and travel.
-human history of transportation to other parts of the world is expensive, laborious, and time consuming
The second reason for why Anthropology is relatively new.
-Early civilized Europeans had a problem with recognizing that "primitive" or "barbarian" people could be of the same, common human stock.
Even educated, scientific people often used negative value laden words in describing any group of people that were not European, especially Indigenous peoples.
the study of the full scope of human diversity and the application of that knowledge to help people of different backgrounds better understand one another.
is the idea of judging other groups of people based upon how you live, in other words, making value judgments that are based on your own culture when describing aspects of another culture.
looking at a culture and not using any value judgments that stem from your own culture-bound background.
what does the comparative method do?
simply compare data
-its used in all fields of anthropology
-don't rely on one study
Cultural anthropologists make _____ between peoples and cultures of the past and present but not judgments on the quality between them.
Difficulties of anthropological studies:
1. Objectivity: It is difficult for someone who grew up in one culture to frame objective hypotheses about other cultures.
2. Validity and Reliability: The reliability of the ethnographer's account is not easily validated.
A study can be reliable but not valid, i.e., always obtain the same data although it may be bad or skewed data.
What happened in the 1700s? 3 things
1. A significant number of Europeans finally realize that studying other people in the world was important.
2. A time of scientific activity in many fields of endeavor, such as biology, chemistry, astronomy, and many others.
3. A time of conflict between the "objective" scientific views and the prevailing "subjective" religious views of the day.
an important early attempt at classifying life in which each life form was placed on a graduated scale of "perfection".
the chain of being
What was wrong with the chain of being?
it was objective.
1. it it is the study of humankind everywhere,
2. the science or study of Homo sapiens using a holistic approach.
3. seeks knowledge about what makes people different and about what people have in common.
Anthropology includes the study of humans not just as members of society within culture but as _______ _______ well.
the study of "humankind" as a whole
what is the primary goal of anthrop.?
Goals for Anthropological Research
1. Describing, explaining, and analyzing human cultural similarities and differences
2. Describing and assessing the cultural development of our species as revealed in the archaeological record.
3. Describing and analyzing the biological evolution of the human species as evidenced in the fossil record.
Anthropologists formulate _____ that will help to develop theories supported by data collected from research, usually fieldwork.
Anthropologists do _______ to become familiar with situations within a specific culture and to recognize patterns within their data and observations.
Anthropology as a scientific field developed in the United States in the ____
Anthropology largely derived out of
european colonial expansion
was one of the founders of anthropology in North America.
worked with the government to help educate the public about cultural and biological variability.
Sixty percent of anthropologists today work in
Anthropology is ____ in _____.
global in scope
Anthropology traditionally has focused on _____ societies.
-It has focused particularly upon those that are not technologically sophisticated and that are minimally integrated into global systems.
In recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on studying:
are composed of an amazing diversity of distinct yet integrated cultural groups.
political scientists often approach topics from population-wide demographics:
ex: How many women and men live in a nation or how are ethnic groups distributed within a state.
_____ fieldwork involves living with the community under study for a prolonged period of time
-they start their research with this
To learn a culture, one must be engaged in what is called "_______", which means not simply watching people around you but actually participating in their way of life.
Anthropology has long been particularly interested in how people are organized by "_______."
structures of power
Structures of power are pervasive throughout all cultures.
To understand power, we cannot simply look at the top of the system of control.
That is to say, we do not want to simply study social and political leaders, but the many _____ and _____ of power.
______ and their _______ are included in their study of power structures.
Beyond the family, cultures have numerous power structures throughout their _____, _______, and ______
economic, political, and religious systems
anthropologists believe that all humans are______
What are the four fields of anthropology?
Physical or Biological Anthropology
Cultural Anthropology (Sociocultural)
Name the subfield:
-Economics, politics, gender, religion,
play, art, music, kinship, social organiz.
Name the subfield:
-Cultural resource management
Name the subfield:
-Sociolinguistics - looking at language in a
different social context (code switching)
-we use different languages in
Name the field:
-Contemporary human variation studies
refers to people. Looking at the relationship between language and culture.
Five threads that run through all anthropology:
All peoples are fully and equally human.
Human existence is viewed as a multifaceted whole. The biological as well as the cultural aspects of human existence is recognized. All aspects of human society are related and, therefore, of interest to the anthropologist. They want to understand the whole society.
This is the means by which individuals or populations react to environmental conditions in order to maintain themselves and survive.
Emphasizes how the various aspects of cultural life function together. In order to understand any culture, it must be studied in the context of its own society as well as all environmental influences around it.
judging and interpreting the behavior and beliefs of others in terms of their own traditions and experience. What is "right" for one society may be just the opposite for others. Ex: eating dogs.
is concerned primarily with humans as biological organisms and the human variation that can be seen within the species.
-These anthropologists will analyze fossils to reconstruct the ancestry and timeline of the human species which can highlight how much we have changed over the years, i.e., evolution and they observe living primates to reconstruct the ancestry of the human species.
today we can explain the distribution of skin tones by the linked relationship between UV exposure and the body's need for ____
Physical Anthropology has diversified into several subfields. Areas of focus include:
Paleoanthropology (Human evolution)
Human growth and development
Biology, evolution, behavior, and social life of monkeys, apes, and other nonhuman primates (primatology)
Genetics (contemporary human physical variation)
study the evolution and origin of humans
This study is primarily carried out by studying the fossil record of hominin ancestors.
This study is difficult and involves detailed work.
trace the history of human evolution by reconstructing human fossil records of our early ancestors.
is the study of living primates, including New and Old World Monkey species, as well as the Great Apes.
Human beings are classified as
combining biological and cultural approaches to a given problem
cultural standards of attractiveness and propriety that influences participation and achievement in cultural activities such as ____.
The way a sentence is formed.
The way languages change
The study of language in its social setting.
The relationship between a language and culture.
is the study of human language and how it affects our culture and our worldview.
is a complex system of communication.
-We assign meaning to arbitrary sounds.
We build grammatical structures so that we can have meaningful communication.
is flexible and innovative.
is the systematic study of the remains of past cultures for the purpose of reconstructing their life ways.
It studies material remains in order to describe and explain human behavior that took place at the time they were living.
It studies tools, pottery, weapons, bones, and other features such as hearths and enclosures that remain as the testimony of earlier cultures.
Generally speaking to be considered any time before written records.
Time after written records would have begun in that particular culture.
Preserving archaeological sites that may be destroyed from present cultural activities, like building roads.
cultural resource management
Recreating the tools of the past to see how "they" did it.
All archaeologists study: 3 things
Artifacts, features, ecofacts
Any material remains left behind by mankind. Bones that are dug up are not considered artifacts. But, if a fish hook or a brooch was carved from bones, then that would be an artifact.
The particular characteristics of the artifacts.
The environmental influence on these artifacts.
Early archaeologists focused their attention on large ____
-For example, they studied monuments such as the ancient Egyptian pyramids, or the monuments of the ancient Maya kingdoms.
While these studies provided important information, archaeologists realized they were focusing on a narrow vision of cultural elites.
archaeologists must learn to read the______ ______.
This is composed of all physical objects left behind by people.
These objects include their tools, their homes, and even more ephemeral traces such as camp fires and food remains and using these traces, archaeologists attempt to reconstruct the culture of the people that left them.
study of interrelations among living things in an environment.
looks at ecosystems of the past.
Archaeology does not focus exclusively on the ____ ______
______ is important in all archaeology because we learn a great from looking through someone's ______
It is the study of customary patterns in human behavior, thought, and feelings.
Focuses on humans as culture-producing and culture-reproducing creatures.
There are two main components to this part of the discipline: ethnographic fieldwork and participant observation.
The study of the characteristics of various peoples and the differences and relationships among them. It is comparatively based.
seeks to compare cultures to better understand general patterns of human behavior.
It is through ethnology that anthropologists have seen that despite surface differences observed in ethnography, human cultures have more in common than they have differences.
-looks beyond the specific, beyond the descriptive ethnography.
The descriptive study of one culture, subculture, or microculture based on fieldwork.
two dimensions of cultural anthropology
1. Ethnography. 2. Ethnology
-requires fieldwork to collect data
-uses data collected by a series of researchers
studies cross-cultural variations in psychological traits
Application of anthropological data, perspectives, theory, and methods to identify, assess, and solve contemporary social problems
-Ex: Public archaeology
Forensic anthropologists who assist CSI police units
decide what needs saving, and preserve significant information about the past when sites cannot be saved
Cultural resource management (CRM)
Anthropologists have obligations to:
1. Those whom they study.
2. Those who fund the research.
3. Those in the profession who expect a study to be published so they can further the research in the field.
-refers to the ongoing phenomenon where interactions between people all across the world are becoming more frequent and easier.
-has numerous facets and consequences, but, in brief, the people living across the globe today are in better contact with one another than ever before.
That contact is becoming easier at a rapidly increasing pace.
is often thought of as a modern phenomenon.
_____ and _____are strongly interrelated to one another.
Globalization and anthropology
The term "_________" refers to emergent transportation and communication technologies that allow easier contact across the globe.
refers to the ability of people, and in particular companies, to be more flexible in how they accumulate profits.
In recent decades, many nations have seen increased immigration from rural areas to ____ areas.
a reason for mass migration?
perceived job opportunities
humans have been able to spread throughout the world due to _____ _____
Culture was first defined by the British anthropologist _______ in 1871 in a very broad manner.
E. B. Tylor
______ according to______ in 1871, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.
culture; E.B. Tylor
The perspective that any aspect of a culture must be viewed and evaluated within the context of that culture.
Making value judgments based on one's own culture when describing aspects of another culture. The opposite of cultural relativism.
is a set of shared ideals, values, and standards of behavior.
is a group of people occupying a specific place and share common cultural traits.
There can be no culture without a society and no society without ___
Thought processes are different in different cultures.
Anything that is made by mankind.
Term for items made by mankind. If an archaeologist digs up a bone, it isn't an artifact. If a fish hook was made from the bone, then it is an artifact.
components of culture
cognitive processes, behaviors, material creations
The process of learning one's culture while growing up in it.
those that are similar
those that are different
characteristics of culture
Culture is learned
Culture is shared
Culture is cumulative, dynamic, adaptive, and diverse
Culture is constantly expanding through process of innovation, which includes both inventions and discovery
Culture is integrated
Culture is symbolic
signs that have no necessary or natural connection with the things for which they stand
Human cultural learning depends on the uniquely developed human capacity to use
culture is ___
Culture is learned through ____ and ____
direct instruction and observation
Culture is located in and transmitted through ___
If only one person is involved, we are just talking about ____
There are four main concepts that illustrate the symbolic and material aspects of culture:
Norms, Values, Symbols, and Mental Maps.
These are ideas or rules about how people should behave in different situations, i.e. when is it okay to kiss
-are constructed through regular practice.
That is to say they are created by the most common actions of people within a group.
are those things that a group holds to be core fundamental beliefs about what is right and wrong, what is good and bad.
represent a person's attempt to distill the complex world around them into understandable categories.
The world around us is incredibly complex.
You cannot look at every grass blade, at every cloud, even at every person that walks by.
Our brains are hardwired toward classification.
We lump things into categories, thus making it easier to navigate this world.
-Our mental maps help us encode and understand information.
is Instrumental, Adaptive, and Maladaptive
what were E. B. Tylor (1832-1917) , and his colleagues James Frazer (1854-1941) and Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881), influenced by?
the evolution theory by charles darwin
Early European anthropologists classified cultures as belonging to one of three different stages of evolution:
Cooperation and sharing are much more developed among humans
Human females lack a visible estrus cycle and ovulation is concealed
Humans mate throughout the year
Human pair bonds for mating are more exclusive and durable than those of chimps
Humans have exogamy and kinship systems
How We Differ from Other Primates
In the US, the reaction against evolutionary frameworks was led by the anthropologist
-During his career he worked with both native American cultures and immigrant European cultures
-His influence extended far down he line
Franz Boas (need to know)
-best remembered for his work fighting against the racial stereotype that Eastern European immigrants faced in the United States.
what did Boas argue?
argued that evolutionary frameworks for culture were narrow and restrictive, thus not capturing the true picture of how a culture developed.
-Boas argued that in order to understand a culture you needed to learn about its particular (i.e., unique) history.
suggested that cultural values, norms, and symbols all derived from the unique history of a group of people.
This argument helped to explain differences between the many Native American cultures.
All the pieces of society work together, politics, economy etc.
Works to create an entire culture
If one malfunctions, it messes up the entire culture
All cultures work towards stability
British Structural Functionalism
-Once these smaller systems were well understood, they could be pieced back together to understand the culture at large
exists in every culture
exists in some but not all societies
distinctive or unique culture trait, pattern, or integration
identifiable cultural patterns existing within a larger culture
rights based on justice and morality beyond and superior to particular countries, cultures, and religions
rights vested in religious and ethnic minorities and indigenous societies
an indigenous group's collective knowledge and its applications
intellectual property rights
borrowing of traits between cultures
exchange of features that results when groups come into consistent first-hand contact
process by which humans innovate, creatively finding solutions to problems
Functions Every Culture Must Provide
1. It must provide for the production and distribution of goods and services considered necessary for life.
2. It must provide for biological continuity through the reproduction of its members.
3. It must enculturate new members so that they can become functioning adults.
4. It must maintain order among its members as well as between them and outsiders.
5. It must motivate its members to survive and engage in activities necessary for survival
Consists of what people believe they "should do."
What people can be observed doing.
-Cultural adaptations allow people to survive in their environment
-Manufacture and utilize tools
-Organize social units to make foraging more successful
-Preserve and share traditions and knowledge
human cultural adaptation
The human species is one kind of primate, a subgroup of ____ that includes lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes.
Humans are most closely related to ___
apes, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons.
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