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Complete Course Notes - Cultural Anthropology

by: Ricardo Rauseo

Complete Course Notes - Cultural Anthropology ANT2410

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Ricardo Rauseo
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These notes cover what we saw in all of the semester, it includes: What is Anthropology? Anthropology and Culture Anthropological Theory Applying Anthropology Methods and Ethnography Religi...
Cultural Anthropology
Crystal Felima
Cultural, Anthropology
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Date Created: 04/21/16
What is Anthropology? The study of human life and culture (core concept), culture is always changing and it is basically made of off human beliefs, practices and behaviors. Anthropology Field: -Physical Anthropology -Archeology -Linguistic -Cultural: Work as:  International business consultant  International Economic Development worker  Cross-cultural trainer  Refugee/Immigration counselor What do anthropologists look for? a) Patterns: Repetition of a social or cultural phenomenon a. Belief, ideology, costumes… (for example: pattern of poverty, discrimination, health outcomes) b) Symbols: Shared understanding about the meaning of certain words, ideas, attributes and objects. c) Human Universals: Characteristics found in all human societies. Perspective, approaches and methodology 1) Holistic Approach: Study the whole of the human condition (How do anthropology do that?) 2) Emic/Etic (outsider) perspective. 3) Ethnography and Participant Observation 4) Cultural Relativism a. Study human societies as systematic units b. Macro vs. Micro c. Not reductionists/Not generalizers. d. Cross-cultural comparative studies. Emic and Etic Venn Diagram join in what is called reality. Cultural relativism is the opposite to ethnocentrism. There is not right or wrong in culture, everything is relative. We need to practice neutrality and non-prejudicial language Limits of Cultural Relativism:  If every society is unique: Cross-cultural comparison is impossible.  No behavior could be considered immoral if the people who do it think is acceptable. Value of Anthropology:  Societal: Understating can contribute to the solution of pressing societal problems. Anthropologists: -Non-Profit: 8% -Government: 12% -Self-employed: 18% -Education: 23% -Private for-profit: 40% Aims of Anthropology:  Objective and not generalists. (not influenced by feelings)  Reserve valuable knowledge: Emphasize in similarities and not too much on differences.  Foster cross-cultural empathy. ______________________________________________________________________________ Nacirema: American backward  Holy mouth-men: Dentists  Latipso: Hospital  The “Listener” Culture: What PEOPLE THINK, HAVE AND DO. Edward B. Tylor: First to coin the concept of culture, the father of anthropology. To be human is to be cultured (Clyde Kluckhohn) Civilization: Cultures with cities (government, writing, monuments, food system) 1) Culture is shared: a. Transmitted through groups b. When people share culture you can predict c. Culture shock d. Subcultural groups 2) Culture is learned: a. Acquired interacting with environment b. Enculturation c. Humans have little predetermined behavior 3) Culture is taken for granted and that leads to combat ethnocentrism. a. Culture is deeply embedded in our psyche b. How we act and think are often habitual c. Monochronic vs. Polychronic i. High value on time (mono) ii. Time is money (mono) iii. More value on social relationships (poly) 4) Culture is symbolic, animals can’t make symbols a. Symbols are the basis of culture b. Language is an important symbol 5) Culture is adaptive a. We adapt to our environment i. Uninhabitable places 1. Under the sea 2. Polar region 3. Outer space ii. Technology iii. Vaccines iv. Clothing v. Shelter 6) Culture is maladaptive: a. Tanning b. Drug use c. Cars d. Global warming e. Weapons 7) Culture changes: Dynamic systems (internal or external forces) a. Invention (internal): New thinking or idea b. Diffusion (external) Spreading from one culture to another one c. Acculturation: Force something on native people d. Future shock: i. Live in a culture that is constantly changing ii. Rejecting western culture 8) Culture is Integrated: a. Some parts influence one another b. People say it’s like a biological system c. Holistic d. Interconnected A. Functions of culture a. Provide for basic needs, psychological and emotional need (shelter/food) b. Facilitates social interaction (sexual and social relationships) B. Primitive culture: a. Small scale b. Egalitarian c. Technologically simple d. Preliterate e. Not stratified C. Globalization: a. Rapid transformation of cultures world wide in response to cultural and economical influences b. Contemporary globalization i. Interconnected economies c. Americanization D. Basic needs: a. Economic system b. System of marriage and family c. Educational system d. Social control system e. System of communication f. System of supernatural belief E. Cultural genocide: a. Ethnocide b. Threat to the ethnosphere (total sum of cultures) Ethnocentrism leads to cultural misinterpretation (for example: bullying, discrimination, war, genocide, intolerance). Cultural relativism stresses the importance of analyzing cultures in their own terms. Macroculture: Culture that all humans share in a general way. Microculture: Subculture, subjected to:  Class  Gender  Age  Race  Ethnicity Levels of culture:  International  National  Subculture Life is biocultural The Growth of Anthropological Theory  A theory is a statement that suggests a relationship among phenomena  Theories enable us to reduce reality to an abstract set of principles  Theoretical orientation is the general idea about how phenomena are to be explained.  Theories generate hypothesis that need to be tested in an empirical environment. Evolutionism in Brief Edward Tylor and Lewis Henry Morgan thought culture passes through developmental stages in the same order, evolution is unidirectional and leads to higher levels of culture. Also, it was ethnocentric because anthropologists put their culture on the top of the pyramid. Basic Features of Evolutionism: Ethnocentric: -Intended to evaluate cultures of the world in terms of model of Victorian England. -Underlying assumption that evolutionism culminated in England and Europe Armchair Speculation: -Early anthropologists did not do fieldwork -Relied on data supplied by untrained amateurs -Focus was the comparative method, with the assumption that societies could be arranged into taxonomy. They classified people in 1) Savages: Hunters and Gathers 2) Barbarians: horticulturalists 3) Civilized people: Citizens of modern, stratified states. Herbert Spencer tries to talk about social Darwinism and survival of the fittest in culture. Race Theory: This posited that the reason human cultures differed in their behaviors was because they represented separate subspecies of humans, or races. By the 19th century, few cultures were being “civilized” in the way Europeans expected. System naturae: Humans are classified into 4 distinct races (Americans, European, Asiatic, and Africa) each defined by physical characteristics as well as emotional and behavioral ones. Johann Blumenbach: He divided humans into 5 races: Caucasian, Mongolian Malayan, Ethiopian, American, to help classify the variety of humans that Europeans colonists were encountering. -Introduced formal hierarchical ordering of the races. Samuel Morton:  He was the first to explicitly link “race” with behavior and intelligence.  Crania Americana: Not only were native Americans a separate race but their behavioral differences from European Americans were rooted in the physical structures of their brains.  Crania Aegyptiaca: Race” differences were ancient and unchanging. This justified the exploitive relationships of colonialism and slavery and fought Darwin’s idea of evolution. Louis Agassiz: He argued that significant and stable differences existed between people of African versus European descent. He implied that these differences illustrated God’s creation of human “races”. Francis Galton: Eugenics A social and political movement aimed at manipulating “races” by selectively breeding humans with desirable characteristics and preventing those with undesirable ones from having offspring. Franz Boas the founding father of American Anthropology. Historical Particularism. Bornislaw Malinowski, father of Modern Fieldwork. Functionalism. ______________________________________________________________________________ Diffusionism  Societies change as a result of cultural borrowing from one another  A deductive approach is used by applying general theories to explain specific cases of cultural diversity  Overemphasized the essentially valid idea of diffusion. American Historicism  Ethnographic facts must precede development of cultural theories (Induction)  Any culture is partially composed of traits diffused from other cultures  Direct fieldwork is essential  Each culture is, to some degree, unique  Ethnographers should try to get the view of those being studied, not their own view. Functionalism  Through direct fieldwork (which is essential), anthropologists can understand how cultures function for the individual (Malinowsky – functionalism) and the society (Radcliffe-Brown- Structural functionalism).  Society is like a biological organism  Robert Merton: dysfunction (he thinks that sometimes there are things that don’t have a function) Psychological Anthropology  Anthropologists need to explore the relationships between psychological and cultural variables.  Personality is largely the result of cultural learning.  How does personality affect culture?  Ruth Benedict  Margaret Mead Neo-evolutionism  Resurgence of evolutionism was much more apparent in the U.S. than in Britain  Idea of looking for systematic cultural changes through time fit in better with American anthropology because of its inclusion of archeology.  Most important contribution was concern with the causes of change  Changes in modes of production have consequences for other arenas of culture. Material factors given causal priority  They looked at the environment, how is it affecting culture?  Leslie White: “Culture evolution is cause by advancing levels of technology and a culture’s increasing capacity to “capture energy” and control it”  Julian Seward: unilineal evolution, universal evolution, and Steward’s concept of multilinear evolution o Leading proponent of cultural ecology o How are some cultures have grown without energy? French Structuralism  Cultures are the product of unconscious processes of the human mind  Levi-Strauss concentrated on identifying the mental structures that undergrid social behavior o Draws on the science of linguistics o People think in binary opposites Ethno-science  A theoretical approach that focuses on the ways in which members of a culture classify their world  Attempt to collect ethnographic data that does not include the observer’s own cultural biases  Ethno-scientists seek to understand a people’s world from their point of view (Emic Strategy).  The problem is that it is really idealistic, and that is not possible to describe all of the cultures in the world and that you need a lot of time and funding to do that. It is not practical or realistic. Feminist Anthropology  System reanalysis of the role women play in the social structure.  Focuses on women’s positions within society o Themes of study: Social construction of gender, work and production, reproduction and sexually, body image, and how gender influences economic, political and social power.  Can men “do” feminist anthropology? Cultural Materialism (Marvin Harris)  Material conditions or modes of production determine human thoughts and behavior  Etic research methodology  Anthropology is seen as scientific, empirical, and capable of generating casual explanations.  De-emphasize the role of ideas and values in determining social life. Humanistic Anthropology a. Symbolic or Interpretive Anthropology  Descriptive approach by examining how the people themselves interpret their own values and behaviors  Like ethno-scientists and feminist anthropologists, this approach relies on the emic (insider) perspective.  Popularized by Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) o Thick description  Anthropologist is not present in his or her writing. b. Post-Modernism  Research should be collaborative  Claims that it is impossible for anyone to have objective and neutral knowledge of another culture.  Rejects the generalization of cultures – emphasizes the uniqueness of every culture. Premodern is a point: . Modern is progress: Arrow going upward Postmodern: Arrows going in all directions and ways. Political Economy  At the core: abstract issues of conflict, ideology and power and the relationship between economic production and political processes.  Multi-scaled research considers the macro and micro processes that generate inequality and marginalization. Political Ecology  The study of power relations among groups and how they are linked to the biophysical environment at the local, state, national, and international levels.  Political economy that considers environment issues. Dimensions of Anthropology  Academic/Theoretical (Ivory Tower): Research, accumulation of knowledge, formulation of theories, no practical.  Applied/Action (Advocary): Putting knowledge to work, representing people & groups who might not be heard otherwise, promote culturally sensitive programs & policies. (talk to people). Applied Anthropology  Definition: The application of anthropological knowledge, theory, and methods to the solution of specific societal problems.  Problem-oriented research  Involves three major products: sociocultural information, policy, and a plan of action or invention. Types of Applied Anthropology  Biological anthropologists work in public health, nutrition, genetic counseling, substance abuse, epidemiology, aging, mental illness, and forensics  Applied archaeologists locate, study, and preserve prehistoric and historic sites threatened by development (Cultural Resource Management)  Linguistic anthropologists frequently work with schools in districts with various languages.  Cultural anthropologists work with social workers, businesspeople, advertising professionals, factory workers, medical professionals, school personnel, and economic development experts. Anthropology Degrees Develop Skills in  Critical analysis  Oral and written communication  Interpersonal relations  Understanding of different cultures  Problem solving  Using scientific equipment and instruments  Working cooperatively with others  Adapting to varied and changing conditions  Data analysis  Adapting cultural theories to other populations History of Applied Anthropology  Academic anthropology had its beginning in the early 20th century  Application was central concern of early anthropology in Great Britain (colonialism) and U.S. (Native American policy)  During WWII and again during the Vietnam War applied and practicing anthropology experienced growth periods. Application of Cultural Anthropology Applied cultural anthropology has excelled in five areas in particular (specializations): a. Medical Anthropology  Both academic (theoretical) and applied (practical)  The study of disease and illness in their sociocultural context  Examines which diseases and health conditions affect a particular population and why  Determines how illness is socially constructed, diagnosed, managed, and treated in various societies. Three theories of Illness:  Personalistic disease theories blame illness on supernatural agents  Naturalistic disease theories explain illness in impersonal terms (Western medicine)  Emotionalistic disease theories assumes emotional experiences cause illness (susto among Latino populations) b. Environment Anthropology  Examines the relationships between humans and their environment across space and time  Draws on political ecology c. Business Anthropology  Apply anthropology theories, methods and skills to research and identify solutions to solve all kinds of business- and industry- related problems. d. Educational Anthropology  Applying anthropological theories and methods to an educational setting  Use kids as cultural beings  Rely heavily in linguistics e. Development Anthropology  Supplemental reading by O’Driscoll  Development Anthropology (Practice) vs. Anthropology of Development (Critique)  Development discourse  Question: “Is it better than anthropologists get involved in development on the wrong side, for the wrong people, for the wrong reasons, than that they stay motionless on the touchline?” Ethics and anthropology  Notions of right and wrong  Concerns about our intentions towards others, institutions, governments… Human Terrain System Kinder, Gentler Warfare?  Increase cross-cultural understanding  Reduce kinetic force (a euphemism for military action involving lethal force) Human Terrain program ended. (2007-2014) Ethics:  Do no harm  Get informed consent and appropriate permission  Make your results accessible  Protect and preserve our records  Maintain respectful and professional relationships __________________________________________________________________ _ Methods and Fieldwork Fieldwork  The practice in which an anthropologist is immersed in the daily life of a culture to collect data  Ethnographic fieldwork: purposely provides both description and explanation  Early 20 Century – Franz Boas and Bornislaw Malinowski proponents of fieldwork  It is what differences the field of anthropology from sociology, psychology, etc. Data Gathering Techniques  Participant-Observation: o The purpose is to allow the researcher to gain insight and develop relationships that require an active, trusting rapport with participants. o Cultural immersion o You look at appearance, verbal behavior and interactions, physical behavior and gestures, personal space, human traffic and people who stand out. o Strengths of Participant Observation:  Builds rapport  Allows for insight into contexts, relationships, behavior  Can provide information previously unknown.  Can help an anthropologist distinguish between what people say they do and what people actually do. o Weaknesses:  Smaller research sample  Data can be hard to code or categorize  Time-consuming  Recording  Obtrusive effect: the presence of the researcher causes people to behave differently than they would if the researcher was not present.  You are also biased by who you surround yourself as an individual with.  Interviewing o Informed consent o Participant of informant: a person who provides information about his or her culture to the ethnographic fieldwork  Not research subjectparticipant, collaborator. o Unstructured: More than a yes or no answer, no script, just talking to them o Structured: May have a script but more yes or no, what you are expecting. o Semi-structured: Both  Census Taking  Mapping  Document Analysis  Collecting Genealogies  Photography Applied Field Methods  Community Based Participatory Research  Participatory Rural Appraisal  Rapid Ethnographic Assessment (people with PhD, really systematic, fast)  Surveys  Focus Groups Ways to collect Ethnography Sometimes seen a little authoritative.  Live Field: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook  Notes  Recorder Common issues in Fieldwork  Gaining acceptance in the community  Selecting the most appropriate data-gathering techniques  Understating how to operate within the local political structure (don’t go to jail)  Taking precautions against investigator bias. Ethics and Anthropology: “Do no Harm” Areas of responsibility for anthropologists:  The people under study  The local communities  The host governments and their own government  Other members of the scholarly community  Organizations that sponsor research  Their own students. Part 1: (A) Why did the Victorians collect objects of “exotic people”? Why did they consider them “savages”? (B) What is an arm-chair anthropologist? What did they do? (C) Why was fieldwork so important to Malinowski? Part 2: (A) Why were the Australian Aborigines under scrutiny? How is this ethnocentric and prejudice? (B) What did Malinowski think about this? (C) What did Malinowski struggle with in Papua New Guinea? Part 3: (A) Does Malinowski take an etic or emic perspective to understanding ritual in Papua New Guinea? Explain. (B) How does Malinowski become a participant observer? Part 4: (A) What did Malinowski discover about kula in order to make sense of it? Part 5: (A) How is kula similar to other places across the globe? (B) How does Malinowski “civilized the savage and savaged the civilized” (according to Professor Jeremy MacClancy)? Part 6: (A) What is Malinowski’s greatest legacy to Anthropology? (B) Can objectivity (uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices) be achieved? Meaning, do you believe that “we are all prisoners of our own time and culture”? Malinowski  Papua New Guinea  His observations overturned the notions of savagery  1967  Founder of modern social anthropology.  The Victorians saw the tribe as savages  A savage is a person that was not fully in control of its rational thought. Savages were best studied from a safe distance.  Formulated a theory in savage life, they were an opposite of ourselves because they were a representation of our ancestors.  Savages were a throwback to a prehistoric past.  They were at the bottom of the ladder of evolution.  Promiscuity and no family structure made them the base of cultural evolution. Yet they did have family structures just polygamy, they lived together in huts, they cooked together.  He thought anthropology was biased and prejudicial.  Malinowski: thought that anthropology methods of relying on what someone said about a culture was flawed  He stopped being an observer but a participant observer by learning the language and immersing himself in the culture like contemporary anthropology.  Malinowski was studying the canoes, as part of a tradition that made the natives leave their families for months (kula).  Only important men were able to afford to go do kula, it was almost exclusive to the man of rank and the village chiefs. The rewards were the shell trinkets.  There was an extensive network of kula exchange (12 islands)  Each necklace and bracelet had historic semanticity. Was symbol of power and prestige.  It reinforced the concept of rich and poor, having one of those trinkets made you a hero.  Malinowski noticed the natives were just like English men: industrious, manipulative. Their societies were as complex as our own.  Kula shells was like our crowning jewels, and gaining them was like gaining a trophy. Magic was similar to our religion.  Malinowski savaged the civilized and civilized the savages.  He exposed the cultural relativism.  He thought he discovered the engine that drove humanity they were passions (hunger, fear, vanity and sex), motifs, aims, essential ways of thinking.  All humans purpose has a function.  Rituals satisfy our basic needs  He called this theory functionalism, however sophisticated or “primitive” you were.  He changed the way of thinking of at least the British anthropology.  Participant observation still brings out productive knowledge contemporary times.  Malinowski legacy: Participant observation (observing exactly what they did, not what I thought they did).  Died in 1942  In 1967 his diaries were published and his reputation was diminished.  He was racist in his diaries (niggas). They thought he was not interested in the people he studied and that is why he insulted them.  Even though he tried to be objective he was a victim of his own culture and ethnocentrism.  “New Humanism” Religion and Beliefs Defining Religion  A set of beliefs in supernatural forces and beings directed at helping people make sense of the world and solve problems  All forms of religion are founded on a belief in the supernatural. Religion and Magic  Magic refers to supernatural techniques intended to accomplish specific aims.  Magic may be imitative (as with voodoo dolls) or contiguous (accomplish through contact) Sorcery and Witchcraft  Witchcraft is an inborn, involuntary, and often unconscious capacity to cause harm to other people.  Sorcery is the performance of certain magical rites to deliberately bring about harm. Wicca  A modern-day movement of witches and pagans  Covens are local groups of witches found in major cities in the United States, which are presided over by high priestesses. Anthony Wallace  Identified four principal patterns of religious organization baes on what he calls cults.  Cult: forms of religion that have their own set of beliefs, rituals, and goals.  Every religion in the world under Wallace perspective is a cult.  Four forms or religious organization o Individualistic (less specialized):  The least complex form of religious organization  Individuals intentionally seek out spirit and supernatural powers to protect and help them in their endeavors  Vision quests are common in this type of cult. o Shamanistic  Part-time religious specialists (shaman) intervene with the deities on behalf of their clients.  Shaman gain their skills in many ways  Apprenticeship or training  Enduring sacrifice and hardship  Miraculous life experience o Communal  Societies in which groups of people conduct religious ceremonies for the well-being of the total community  Rites of passage  Rites of solidarity (enhance social integration)  Communal cults are frequently seen in agricultural societies. o Ecclesiastical. (more specialized)  Highly complex religious systems  The defining feature is that it has a full-time religious practitioner (priests)  Full time priests conduct ritual that occur at regular intervals.  Can have a combination of priests and shamans Contrasting Priest and Shaman  A priest does not necessarily have a face to face relationship with the spirit world but must have competence in conducting ritual  W.A. Lessa and E.Z. Vogt (1958): a shaman’s powers come by “divine stroke”, a priest’s power is inherited or is derived from the body of codified and standardized ritual knowledge that he learns from older priests and later transit to successors.  Shamanistic rites are “non-calendrical”. The priest and priestly cult organization found in societies where the ore common ceremonial is a public rite and often calendrical. Religious Specialist: Healers  A religious specialist who concentrates on healing o Can refer to either a priest or a shaman  Herbalist: Specialist in plant derived cures. May provide or prescribe medicines. Intimately familiar with uses of local plant life. Religious Specialist: Diviner  Diviner: A religious specialist who specializes in divination.  The future, the present at a distance, revealing the identity of supernatural elements in the natural world. Spirit Medium  A vessel or vehicle of the transhuman entity. Religious Specialist: Prophets  Someone who communicates the words and will of the gods to his or her community, acting as an intermediary between the people and the gods. Cultural Phenomena or an Issue  100-150 words abstract or summary of your topic.  2-3 Preliminary articles, book chapters, or books that you will use to write your paper (Library Catalog)  Components o Introduction of the Topic o Provide a statement about your stance o Application (Specialization) — Theory and Practice o Why is this a topic of interest o Utilize Sources Why do people create this belief systems?  Have an explanation of their miseries  Have power over their lives.  They don’t have anyone to help them Functions of Religion  Social Functions o Social control o Conflict resolution o Ethics (here in the U.S.) o Reinforcement group solidarity  Psychological Functions o Cognitive (it makes you understand unexplainable things) o Emotional (reduce anxiety) Ritual vs. Religious Ritual  Ritual: Patterned, recurring sequence of events o These ritual activities are secular (non-religious)  Religious Ritual: The symbolic behavior through which religion comes alive. General Description of Ritual  Perspective Ritual: Required to be performed either by a religious text, a deity/religious authority or dictated by tradition.  Situation/Crisis Rituals: Arise “as needed”, usually in times of crisis (prayers because of terrorism)  Periodic (also called Calendrical) rituals are performed on a regular basis as part of a religious calendar  Occasional rituals performed when a particular need arises as in marriage and death or to bring about change, or to ensure survival (wedding) Ritual Classification (Simple)  Rites of passage: mark transition points in the lives of individuals (Bar Mitzvah)  Rites of solidarity: maintain group equilibrium and solidarity. 5 Ritual Classification by Anthony Wallace  Ideological Rituals  Technological Rituals  Therapy Rituals (herbs)  Salvation Rituals (change the way you are. Baptism)  Revitalization Rituals (return back to your old ways. Amish) Violence as Ritual  Fundamental to human social existence and is central to theories regarding the nature of society.  Violence may be seen as cultural expression, practice, and/or performance/ Can also unite a community. Gangs  Bloods, Crips and Folks  Little Rocks homicide rates surpasses New York’s and LA’s  Nation union of allied gangs  Hoover Folk is multiracial.  G’s fellow gang members  Family that is going to be with them no matter what they do (support system). Union and solidarity.  No gender discrimination (=) Equality  Two rituals: Beaten (show me what you are worth) or Sexualized Functions of Ritual:  Reinforce social bonds  Relieve social tension  Deal with life crisis  Celebrate life cycle events  Ritual is also a way a society remembers o Through habit o Through bodily practices Friday, February 12, 2016 Fundamentalism A religious movement characterized by a return to fundamental principles, usually including a resistance to modernization and an emphasis on certainty through a literal interpretation of scriptures  Sometimes they believe that religion should be relevant to all parts of the society  Think on everyone believing in a certain type of god (Theo-normalcy and privilege)  Heteronormative (they disregard atheists and agnostics) Arguments Against Organized Religions  May split rather than unify society (race, sexual orientation, gender)  May focus on the outer, institutional form of the religion than its inner spirit  Those in religious power have the ability to dominate/manipulate the faithful  May be harmful to some  A potential center of political power. Religion and Conservative Force Religion acts as a conservative forcer (that is, it inhibits change) and it is also a major contributor to social change. Mechanisms for Change  Acculturation: The process whereby a culture received traits from a dominant society  Assimilation: A condition whereby a dominated culture has changed so much because of outside influences that it ceases to have its own distinct identity. o Indian Americans Syncretism: A fusing of traits from two cultures to form something new and yet permitting the retention of the old by subsuming the old into a new form o Example: African Diaspora Religions, Haitian Vodou, Candomblé, Santería. o Introduced by American Anthropologist Melville j. Herskovits Religious Pluralism  Revolves around the central idea of different religious belief systems working together.  *Differs from* Religious tolerance implies that each person is entitled to his or her own set of beliefs without judgment or conformity to some cultural or societal standard (Freedom of religion) Belief in Humanism  Its philosophical meanings are based upon equality, human rights, and social justice.  The humanistic approach believes that the results of life are chosen by the person, not supernaturalism (self-determination).  Therefore, focus is on the person as a while.  Emphasis on: Self-Esteem, Personal Growth, The achievement of Human Potential. A New Age New Age religions have appropriated ideas, themes, symbols, and ways of life from the religious practices every where specially from Native Americans, Australians Aborigines, East Asian religions. Neo-Paganism and Revival Wicca: Popularized by Gerard Gardner in the 1950s New Religious Movements Denomination: A religious group that differs on a just a few points form the mainstream religion Sect: A new branch of a mainstream religion, usually involving new revelations, new scriptures, and a new leader. Change in a belief system can lead to the inclusion of marginalized groups Albinos  Albinos are killed in Tanzania because of their condition  Albinos have no way of communication awareness.  Witch doctors are making potions out of limbs from Albinos, because they are thought to be sacred. Ritual Murder  Every ritual murder is a symbolic act.  Symbolic codes represent a way of life, a common identity and a worldview.  Honor Killings o Honor killings are the shedding of blood to get rid of the strain on a family’s or communities honor. o The mere perception that someone has behaved in a way that “dishonors” his/her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on his/her life. Monday, February 15, 2016 Art and Symbols Definition of Symbols  Shared understandings about the meaning of certain words attributes, or objects. Symbolic or Interpretive Anthropology 1960’s and 1970’s general re-evaluation of cultural anthropology as a scientific enterprise  From function to meaning  Away from materialist theories towards idealist theories  Shift towards issues of culture and interpretation and away from grand theories  Increased emphasis on the way in which individual actions creatively shape culture  Greater emphasis on meaning in definitions of culture. Symbolic anthropology: not a tightly organized or clearly bounded “school” … A loosely-conceived “project” of a variety of anthropologists of varied intellectual antecedents who see the decoding of public symbols as being the key activity of anthropological analysis Two major approaches: Clifford Geertz: function of symbols in culture Victor W. Turner: function of symbols in society. Culture (group of ideas, values, behaviors) is not the same as society (group of people) Agreement among “Symbolicists”  Culture is, fundamentally, a symbolic system  Culture is used to create and convey meanings since that is the purpose of symbols. If meanings are the end products of culture, then understanding culture requires understanding the meanings of its creators and users. Victor Turner Talks about property of symbols…  Condensation o Many things & actions are represented in a single symbol. Falls under the same domain  Unification o Many distinct meanings are interconnected & unified  Polarization o The symbol typically possesses two distinct poles of meaning, one normative (moral rules of society) and the other sensory (natural and physiological process)  Polyvalence o Have multiple meanings and can link into many domains of the culture and at a variety of levels. You can link it to a lot of domains Decode symbols by triangulating between three main bodies of information: 1. External form and observable characteristics 2. Interpretations from the local people 3. Significant contexts worked out by the anthropologist. Cross Cultural Definition of Art Art should… 1) …be creative, playful, and enjoyable and may not be practical or useful 2) …produce an emotional response 3) …be transformational. 4) …communicate 5) …highlight unique skill Differences in Art Forms  Lifestyles and settlements  Social differentiation  Division of labor  Total Culture Random Acts of Culture Surprise shows to perform so that people can get access to art. Functions of art  Emotional gratification for the Individual  Contributes to social Integration  Social Control  Preserving or Challenging the Status Quo Graphic and Plastic Arts  The Western notion refers to painting, sculpture, printmaking, & architecture.  The anthropological definition also includes such art forms as weaving, embroidery, tailoring, jewelry making, and tattooing and other forms of body decoration. Music as Symbol  Music as a symbol used to get across the desired meaning of a ritual  Music can be interwoven in the learned traditions of a culture. o In order to bridge the music symbolism gap between cultures, some artists are employing syncretism (fusion of elements from 2 different cultures) to help convey meaning. Ethnomusicology Defined as the study between music and other aspects of culture. Four Major Concerns of Ethnomusicology 1) Ideas about music 2) Social structure of music 3) Characteristics of the music itself 4) Material culture of music. Functions of Dance  Psychological  Political  Religiously  Socially  Educationally Wednesday, February 17, 2016 Arts, Symbols and Expressions Sacred Art  Formed from a myriad of religious symbols  Not art for art’s sake (i.e. not based on creative urges of the artist).  Rather art as a collection of symbols meant to convey a specific religious message. Sacred Art and Sacred Space Egyptian space-time  Sacred space in Egyptian architecture represents a dimension where heavenly time reigns Group Discussion: Art and Mass Production  Mass production and replicas are not valued as much to the culture of origin.  Mass production of art “devalue” art to the culture of origin Friday, February 19, 2016 Body Decoration, Modification, and Adornment Satisfies aesthetic, cultural, society, and group wants/needs Body decoration may demonstrate:  Social position  Gender  Occupation  Eroticism Body decoration:  Scarification  Piercing  Lip Plate  Tattoos  Body Paint  Accessories  Physical Alternations Language and Communication The Nature of Language  A system of symbolic communication using sounds and/or gestures that are able to be understood by all members within a society that share the language  Meanings attached to any given word in all languages are totally arbitrary. Symbols vs. Signal Signal: An instinctive sound or gesture that has a natural or self-evident meaning. Human Communication Systems  Capable of sending an infinite number of messages  Humans speak of events from the past or in the future (displacement)  Language is transmitted largely through tradition  Open system of communication  Phonological structure, grammar. Linguistic Anthropology  Descriptive Linguistics: o Phonology o Grammar o Morphology o Syntax Language Change  Language is constantly changing  Diachronic analysis Historical linguistics: The study of how languages change over time. Language in a Socio–Cultural Setting Sociolinguistics: Relationships between language and society Gendered Speech: Distinct male and female speech patterns Ethnolinguistic: The study of the relationships between language and culture, and how they mutually influence and inform each other. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis  Language influences perception.  Language establishes mental categories that affect the ways people conceptualize the real world. Non-verbal communication: Most messages are sent and received without words. Monday, February 22, 2016 There is cultural borrowing and cultural appropriation (this last one has the power, the “dominant” side) When you do it to people you oppress, its appropriation. Monday, March 7, 2016 Subsistence Foraging (Food collection)  Defined as a food-collection strategy that obtains wild plants and animal resources through gathering, hunting, scavenging, or fishing.  Foragers in the world today: hunter gatherers. Five Major Food Gathering Strategies 1. Food foraging/collection: collecting vegetation, hunting animals, and fishing 2. Horticulture: plant cultivation with simple tools and small plots of land, relying solely on human power 3. Pastoralism: keeping domesticated animals and using their products as a major food source. 4. (Intensive) Agriculture: horticulture using animal or mechanical power and some form of irrigation 5. Industrialization (Agriculture): production of food through complex machinery. Human Adaptation Adaptation occurs when humans change the natural environment and when the natural environment changes human biology. Humans adapt to climates in two ways: 1. Culturally: dietary patterns, levels of activities 2. Biologically: changes in the body. Inuit To survive in the harsh environment, the Inuit from Nunavut, Canada, have had to develop a number of creative hunting strategies, including the recent adoption of snowmobiles. Example of Human Adaptation Video Tuareg farmers in Mali. Proud traditions as nomads, but environmental conditions forced them to take up farming. Characteristics OF Food Collecting Societies  Low Population densities  Usually nomadic or semi-nomadic rather than sedentary  Basic social unit is the family of band  Carry Capacity  Contemporary food-collecting peoples occupy the remote and marginally useful areas of the earth Neolithic Revolution Food Producing Societies  Transition from food collection to food production began 10,000 years ago  Humans began to cultivate crops and keep herds of animals  Humans were able to produce food rather than rely only on what nature produced. Changes Resulting from Food Production  Increased population  Population became more sedentary  Stimulated a greater division of labor  Decline in overall health reduced the life expectancy from 26 to 19 years Why Food Production Led to Declining Health  Foragers had a more balanced diet (plant and animal proteins).  Farmers ran the risk of malnutrition or starvation if the crops failed  Increased population brought people into greater contact and made everyone more susceptible to parasitic and infectious diseases. Horticulture  The simplest type of farming, which involves the use of basic hand tools rather than plows or machinery driven by animals or engines.  Slash and Burn Pastoralism  Involves keeping domesticated herd animals and is found in areas of the world that cannot support agriculture because of inadequate terrain, soils or rainfall.  Associated with geographic mobility  Movement patterns: Transhumance and Nomadism  Cattle is important to society. Agriculture  Uses technology such as irrigation, fertilizers and mechanized equipment  Produces high yields and supports large populations  Associated with permanent settlements, cities, and high levels of labor specialization. Industrialized Food Production  Uses more powerful sources of energy  Requires: o High levels of technology (such as tractors and combines) o Mobile labor force o Complex system of markets Applied anthropology  Community Gardens  Farmer’s Markets Foragers Horticulture Population Size Small Small/Moderate Permanency of Nomadic (or semi) Generally sedentary settlement Surpluses Minimal Minimal Trade Minimal Minimal Labor specialization None Minimal Class differences None Minimal Pastoralist Intensive agriculture Population Size Small Large Permanency of Nomadic (or semi) Permanent settlement Surpluses Moderate Usual Trade Moderate Very important Labor specialization Minimal Highest degree Class differences Moderate Highest degree Friday, March 11, 2016 Economics Focus on Economics  Production  Distribution  Consumption Economic Anthropology …studies production, distribution and consumption comparatively in all societies of the world. …differs in formal science of economics.  Look cross-culturally at a society’s way of producing food and goods  Gather data and categorize society according to their mode of production o These categories blend and overlap  Examine how a society’s economic system affects that societies perceptions of “culture” and “nature” Cross-cultural Examination of Economic Systems  Regulation of resources  Production  Exchange Allocation of Resources Example: Individual property rights are strongly valued and protected in the US, but in some parts of the world they are more loosely defined. Pastoralists and Resources Because this group of East African pastoralists treats land as belonging to everyone in the society, you are not likely to find any “No trespassing” signs here. Production  A process whereby good are obtained from the natural environment and altered to become consumable good for society Division of Labor  Deciding which types of people will perform which categories of work  Every society, whether large or small, distinguishes between the work appropriate for men and women and for adults and children. Labor Specialization According to French Sociologist Emile Durkheim, outlined two theories to explain how social order and solidarity are established and maintained. Solidarity describes connections between individuals that allows them to form a cohesive social unity.  Mechanical Solidarity (Subsistence Societies)Collective consciousness  Organic Solidarity (Industrialized societies) Inter-dependence Modes of Distribution  Reciprocity – The exchange of goods and services (of roughly equal value) between parties WITHOUT the use of money o Generalized: Giving a gift without expecting one in return (Parents and child) o Balanced: Expectations that the values will be returned o Negative  Redistribution o Goods and services are given to a central authority and reallocated to the people according to a new pattern. o Redistribution involves two distinct stages: inward flow/ outward dispersal.  Market exchange – Involves the use of standardized currencies to buy and sell goods and services. o A form of distribution in which goods and services are bought and sold and their value is determined by supply and demand o Exchange is based on standardized currency (money) or barter. Globalization  Since the 1980s the economies of the world have become globalized  Tariffs are lowered and trading Informal Economy  James Ferguson: Surplus population/people—left out of the rural agricultural production systems and not incorporated into urban industrial working class — excluded from any significant role in the system of production — now engaged as “engineers” of distribution of goods.  Improvisation under conditions of adversity— at times can be seen as survivalist enterprises rather than micro-enterprises. Monday, March 14, 2016 Marriage and the Family Universality of Family and Marriage All societies recognize families and marriages Definition of Family  Social unit characterized by: o Economic cooperation o Management of reproduction o Child rearing o Common Residence o Recognition of rights and responsibilities o Socially approved sexual relationship Tradition view of marriage Heteronormative Marriage Defined  …as a series of customs formalizing the relationship between adults within the family  …regulates the sexual and economic rights and obligation between a married couple  …usually involves an explicit contract or understanding and is entered into with the assumption that it will be permanent. Non-ethnocentric view of Marriage  A relationship between one or more men (male or female) and one or more women (female or male) who are recognized by society as having a continuing claim to the right of sexual access to one another.  This recognized that gender is culturally defined  Not all married couple live together  Multiple spouses are accepted in many societies  In no society do all marriages endure until death Social Functions of Marriage  Creates relationships between partners that regulate mating and reproduction  Provides a mechanism for regulating the sexual division of labor  Creates a set of family relationships that provides for the material, educational, and emotional needs of children. Mate selection: Who is Out of Bounds? Incest Taboos: Theories  Inbreeding (biological consequences)  Family Disruption (negative social consequences)  Expanding Social Alliances (incest avoidance) Mate selection: Whom Should You Marry? Exogamy: marriage outside of one’s own social or kinship group Endogamy: marriage within a specified social or kinship group  Indian Aste System  Race, class, ethnicity, religion What are examples of de facto endogamy in he United States? Wednesday, March 16, 2016 Marriage and the Family Marriage: Transfer of Rights  Rights of sexual access  Legal rights to children  Rights of spouses to each other’s economic goods and services Economical Transactions of Marriage  Bridewealth: Goods or money of some type that will be give from the broom to the family’s bride  Bride service: In case the bride doesn’t have the money for the wedding…  Dowry: Bride to broom  Reciprocal exchange: Both partners exchange goods Mate Selection: Online Dating Mate Selection: Preferential Cousin Marriage Mate Selection: Levirate and Sororate Levirate: a man marrying the widow of a deceased brother Sororate: a woman marrying the husband of her deceased sister Number of Spouses Monogamy: Maritial practice with only one spouse Polygyny: Marriage of a man to two or more women Polyandry: Marriage of a woman to two or more men Friday, March 18, 2016 Marriage, the Family, and Kinship “Anthropologists use relationships to uncover relationships” —Marilyn Strathern Family Structure  The nuclear family consists of a married couple and their children  The extended family consists of a larger social unit, comprising relatives from three or more generations. US Family structures  Divorce is more acceptable  Woman in the workplace  Individualism Kinship Defined  Kinship: the social relationships that people are born into or create later in life, and are expressed through but not limited to, family member terms (i.e. mother, son, cousin, and so on).  Can be visualized as a “network of relatedness” that radiates from each individual. Perspective of Kinship: By blood (descent) and law (marriage)  Kinship is the recognition of a relationship between persons based on descent or marriage  Consanguines: blood relatives  Affinal: relatives by marriage Perspective of Kinship: Relationships Fictive Kinship: The socially recognized relationship between people in a culture who are or are held to be biologically related or who are given the status of relatives by designation or ritual. Function of Kinship Systems  Vertical function: provides social continuity by binding together a number of successive generations  Horizontal function: solidify or tie together a society across a single generation through marriage. Principles of Kinship Classification  Generation  Gender  Lineality Versus Collaterality  Consanguineal versu Affinal Kin  Relative age  Sex of the connecting  etc… The formation of descendent groups A descendent group is a social unit whose members claim common ancestry. Rules of Descent: Two Types  Unilateral o Trace their ancestry through mother’s line (matrilineal) or father’s lineal (patrilineal), but not both  Cognatic (Multilineal) descent o Includes double descent, ambilineal descent, and bilateral descent. Unilineal Descent Groups Lineage: an unilineal descent group of up to approximately ten generations – can trace ancestry back (step-by-step) to a common founder Clan: A group of kin, usually comprising more than ten generations, consisting of members who claim a common ancestry even though they cannot trace step-by-step Cognatic or Multilineal Descent Groups  A form of descent traced through both females and males  Types of Multilineal Descent o Double descent – responsibilities from both sides o Ambilineal descent - you can choose the most important to you o Bilateral descent – egalitarian (un árbol familiar) Marital Residence Patterns -local=place  Patrilocal – Live with the husband’s family  Matrilocal – Live with wife’s family  Avunculocal – they live close or near their husband’s mother’s brother.  Almbilocal – They choose  Neolocal – The couple is independent Monday, March 21, 2016 Sex & Gender Development of the study of Gender in Anthropology  Anthropology of Women  Anthropology of Gender  Feminist Anthropology Defining Gender and Sex Sex as a biologically determined category  Refers to an individual’s membership in one of two biologically distinct categories—male or female Gender as a socio-culturally constructed category  Refers to the physical, behavioral, and personality traits linked to sex. Intesex A person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies. Gender: Masculinity vs. Femininity Social definitions of maleness/femaleness Gender Roles Defined as the expected ways of behaving based on a society’s definition of masculinity and femininity. Explanations for the gender division of labor  The strength theory: men’s work typically involves tasks, (like hunting and lumbering) requiring greater strength  The compatibility with childcare theory: women tend to assigned work activities that are compatible with caring for infants and young children.  Expendability theory: the loss of men is less disadvantageous reproductively than the loss of women  The economy of effort: o It may be advantageous for a gender to do tasks that follow in a production sequence o It may also be advantageous for one gender to perform tasks that are located near each other. Human Sexuality The sexual practices of humans, usually varying from culture to culture  Includes sexual thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Sexuality in Anthropological Research Sexual culture: the system of cultural meanings about sexuality and the social practices of sexuality Sexual identity: an element of some sexual cultures, the intentional sense of having a sexual desire around which you social identity is built Sexual life way: A culturally constructed expression of sexuality and gender roles. Wednesday, March 23, 2016 Sex and Gender Gender Ideology A system of thoughts and values that legitimizes gender roles, statuses, and customary behavior Exploitation Cause by gender Ideology  Male Gender Biased  Female Infanticide  Nutritional Deprivation  Infant Mortality  Honor Killings. Power to get something/ or over something Gender is competitive instead of collaborational  Hierarchy  Dichotomies  Language and culture are really embedded  Phallic symbol powerful Friday, March 25, 2016 Gender Stratification  The hierarchical ranking of members of a society according to gender  Influences work: Women, on average earn less than men with the same levels of education and years of experience Inequality at Work  Gender Segregation  Job Mobility o Glass ceiling and “sticky floor” o “Mom jobs”  Sexual harassment  Institutionalized Sexism  Discrimination Gender and Industrialism  Gender roles changing rapidly in the United States  Both men and women constrained by their cultural training, stereotypes, and expectations  The Feminization of Poverty Gender-Based Violence “Violence Against Women” (1993) Wednesday, March 30, 2016 Social Stratification What is America?  Land of Opportunity o Can anyone become rich? o Are all jobs open and equal for everyone?  Social Class can be achieved o Do Americans decide which class they belong to?  Horatio Alger: rags to riches o Work hard and you will achieve? Social Stratification  Social stratification is defined as a system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy  These categories lead to patterned social inequality—the unequal sharing of resources and social rewards  Stratification persists because it is backed up by an ideology Principles of Stratification  It is a characteristic of society, not simply a reflection of individual differences  It persists over generations  It is universal but variable  It involves not just inequalities but also beliefs Social Inequality  Saying that inequality is patterned indicates that the differences occur: o On a wide-scale basis o With regularity o And along lines of certain specific, identifiable characteristics (e.g. race, class, and gender)  Social inequality is a structured and systematic phenomenon. Dimensions of Social Stratification/Inequality Max Weber  Wealth: the accumulation of economic resources  Power: the ability to impose one’s will on others  Prestige: the respect given by others These dimensions can be interrelated or operate independently. Types of Societies  Egalitarian — few or no groups have greater access to more wealth, power, or prestige  Rank — unequal access to prestige or status, but no unequal access to wealth or power  Stratified societies — considerable inequality in all forms of social rewards (power, wealth, and prestige) o Class system: social stratification is based on individual achievement  Social mobility  Achieved status o Caste system: social stratification is based in ascription (from birth and lasts th


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