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ANTH 101 First 3 Weeks of Notes

by: Nichole Notetaker

ANTH 101 First 3 Weeks of Notes ANTH 101 (Anthropology Julie Jenkins)

Nichole Notetaker
GPA 3.86

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About this Document

These notes cover the contents of class discussions and notes from the first three weeks.
Intro to cultural anthropology
Dr. Julie Jenkins
ANTH, Anthropology, Introduction to Anthropology, anth 101, anthropology 101
75 ?




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This 4 page Bundle was uploaded by Nichole Notetaker on Monday February 1, 2016. The Bundle belongs to ANTH 101 (Anthropology Julie Jenkins) at Ball State University taught by Dr. Julie Jenkins in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 35 views. For similar materials see Intro to cultural anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Ball State University.

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Date Created: 02/01/16
1/14/16 What is Anthropology? ● Greek “anthropos” = humankind ○ “the study of human beings” 4 Subfields of Anthropology ● Archaeology: the study of ancient cultures through the analysis of material remains ● Biological/Physical Anthropology: the study of how humans differ from other primates;  biological variations; origins and evolution of Homo sapiens; non­human primate  behavior ●  Cultural/Social Anthropology  : differences and similarities in contemporary and near  historical cultures; universal vs. particular traits; study of beliefs and practices of social  actors within a society where social groups are treated as open­ended systems;  questions and perspectives of the world ○ What people do and think, and why ○ How people experience and create their world ○ Values and norms and how they are created, transmitted, and contested ● Linguistics: study of languages; style of speech for specific contexts; how language  reflects and shapes worldview; how speech shapes thought processes ● “5th Subfield” = Applied Anthropology: anthropological knowledge applied to real world  problems (health, education, development, marketing, public policy, business) Perspectives of Anthropology ● Holistic: take all parts into account; study of the whole by studying the parts that make it  up and their interactions with each other ● Comparative: differences and similarities studied closely and reasons behind those  differences and similarities ● Relativistic: look for and examine internal logic of cultural system; evaluate cultures  without bias ○ Opposed to ethnocentrism (thinking one’s own beliefs are superior to others)  which affects economic and social interactions Moral vs. Methodological Relativism ● Moral: no universal morality or “right” ● Methodological: suspend ethnocentrism Ways to Avoid Ethnocentrism ● make an effort to understand other culture ● be open minded and aware of culture shock ● meet people of a different culture and ask their opinion of your culture ● know and challenge your biases ● build relationships and ask questions ● live within a culture and learn to adopt it as your own ● Restrain Judgement ● Reconsider your own Cultural Background ● Ask: “Why does it bother me?” 1/19/16 What is Culture? ● “Culture (d)” ­ Who decides? ○ “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement” ● “It’s a small world phenomenon” ­ checklist approach of defined attributes; everyone has  culture but us What are We Looking For? ● 1954: 167 definitions of culture were used by anthropologists ● set of knowledge: what people think and say ○ norms: social expectation; comfortable/regular; how we think people should  behave; contextual (depends on place and people) ● Worldview: perception/interpretation of reality; how we think we should relate to the  world, other people, etc. ● Construction of Reality: perception/interpretation of reality; how we classify/categorize ● Symbols: “vehicle for conception”­ Geatz; something that means, stands for, or calls to  mind something else ○ Polysemic: having multiple meanings ○ Conventional: understanding by many people ○ Arbitrary: nothing in its proportions that justifies the meaning ● Values: beliefs about the goals or way of life that’s desirable ● Language: how we communicate with each other and the world ○ How does language affect how we see and understand the world? Patterns of Behavior: What People Actually Do ● Habits: can be contextual ● Roles in Interactions ● Interactions in specific social contexts Institutions ● Education (schools) ● Economic (capitalism) ● Work ● Religion ● Politics (government, judicial, police) 1/21/16 Culture Continued ● Shape our behaviors and ways of thinking ● Set boundaries/rules for action and interaction Properties of Culture ● Learned through socialization/enculturation ○ not born with intrinsic knowledge ○ learn behaviors and use of tools ○ taught by family, friends, teachers, peers, media, etc. ○ “guided reinvention of culture” ● Learned, but also contested and debated ● Shared by members of a group ○ how to define a group ■ different levels of groupings ● subcultures based on region, religion, education, etc. ○ degrees of being shared or the distribution of meaning ○ factor in power ■ use of economic and/or institutional resources to make one interpretation  “stick” ■ hegemony: so widespread it is difficult to question ● Adaptive ○ change to ways of living better fitted to survival and reproduction ○ interaction with environment ● Constructed, produced, practiced, circulated ○ always shifting the construct ● Subject to change through debate and interaction ○ not complacent The Politics of Tradition ● Longevity ● unchanging over generations Culture ● Active process of meaning making and contestation ● Way for boundaries to be created and maintained ● Historically specific and never formed coherent whole ● In hegemonic form, appears coherent, systematic, and consensual 1/28/16 What Anthropologists Do ● Create Ethanographies based on research ○ usually written, but can be expressed visually Methods used to Obtain Data ● Qualitative: ○ interviews: structured or unstructured(more common) ○ participant observation: allows for immersion in a culture ■ Emic perspective = from the inside ■ Etic perspective = from the outside ● Quantitative: data with numbers (can be quantified) ○ take a lot of surveys, but people lie, so this method is usually inaccurate ● Anthropologists usually start with data and do qualitative research usually (inductive  investigation) ○ fieldwork challenges ■ communication: language barrier ■ acceptance among the people you study ■ food and digestion ■ overcoming biases ■ mundane aspects of life


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