Week 3 Anthropology Notes
Week 3 Anthropology Notes ANTH 2003
Arkansas Tech University
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Week 3 Notes September 5, 2016 Eller Chapters 2 and 3 Review, Schlegel Chapters 3 and 4 Quiz Culture is an old word, derived from the Latin root cultura for cultivation and agriculture and other usages such as a bacteria culture. o The common thread among them involves raising something or growing it into a particular form. In human groups, culture refers to how people are raised and formed to become the kinds of individuals who can take their place within their group. No single human being, nor even any single human society, possesses the sum total of the heritage of humanity. Core terms and concepts of cultural anthropology: “society” “custom” “structure” “function” and “culture” Culture is the most central, but there can be no official definition of what culture is. o One approach understands culture as primarily ideas or beliefs “in people’s heads.” We can’t see culture but can infer it from behavior. o Another approach perceives culture as a set of real facts, albeit “social facts” regarding observable behavior and the products of that behavior, including the rules, groups, and institutions that shape people’s lives. o Culture can even refer to material objects like tools and houses. Ultimately culture undoubtedly encompasses all three. The most influential and widely quoted definition of culture in anthropology was given by E. B. Tylor, who helped to found modern anthro in his 1871 book called Primitive Culture. o Culture or Civilization, taken in its widely ethnographic sense, is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. Culture then can be understood as those ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, and social and material products of those ways, which are shared among a group of people not on the basis of innate or physical traits but rather on the basis of common experience and mutual learning. Key Qualities of Culture o Learned Culture is not in our genes or brain or blood or any other aspect of our body. Culture is outside of the individual, working its way in since birth. Think of culture as a great ongoing conversation. When a person is born, the conversation is already in progress all around them. Humans are not born with a culture but acquire one through a process that they must master. Anthropologists call this enculturation, psychologists call it socialization. Culture is more than a straightforward process of observation, imitation, and reward and punishment. Culturelearners are not passive recipients of cultural lessons but active constructors of their own cultural competence. The acquisition of culture consists of a guided reinvention of culture. New humans must essentially reconstruct culture for themselves from their experiences with the assistance and guidance of fully competent members of the group, who correct “mistakes.” This suggests that culture is not an option, not a superficial coat that can be put on or off at will and without consequence. Culture is necessary: humans at birth are “incomplete or unfinished animals who complete or finish ourselves through culture – and not through culture in general but through highly particular forms of it” o Shared Culture is “outside” the individual before it is “inside” and so its location is within the community that “has” it or “does” it. Such a community we a society, that is, a group of humans who live in relative proximity to each other, are morel likely to marry each other than members of different groups, and share a set of beliefs and behaviors. Culture, then, becomes the learned and shared ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving of the societal group. Culture does not mean shared by 100percent of society. Culture may not be so much shared as transmitted and distributed. Some individuals and subgroups in a society know or do some parts, others know and do other parts. Yet it is still culture if it is acquired through social experience. Universals Alternatives Specialties Individual Peculiarities Linton used the term “universals” to designate those things that all or the vast majority of a society do in generally the same way; a common language may be an example. “Alternatives” refer to things that some individuals or subgroups do in one way but other individuals or sections do in another way; different religions or cuisines within a society would qualify. Finally, some capabilities and habits are very narrowly shared; such “individual peculiarities” may be practiced by one person or at most a small number of people. Some members of the group may even perceive such practices as “abnormal” but they are still cultural. Culture need not be and often is not uniformly shared within a society. In modern Western society there are many subcultures (distinguished by unique aspect) and even countercultures (opposed to the mainstream society) that vary from often deviate from – each other and the mainstream culture. o Symbolic Humans are beings who can and must “mean.” Symbols are things with meaning. A symbol’s meaning is arbitrary and conventional, not immediate, natural, or necessary. A symbol is a “vehicle for conception.” Culture is a great meaning system – a web of significances in which we are suspended. o Integrated A culture is a system composed of many elements in some functional interrelation, known as functionalism. The method and theory that a cultural trait can be investigated for the contribution it makes to the survival of individual humans, the operation of other cultural items, or the culture as a whole. As a model it provides a way to conceptualize culture – internally, differentiated, multiply functional, and structured. Culture is a (loose) system – a set of systems, a system of systems. Cultural anthropology has analyzed cultural systems into four rough areas of functionality. o Adaptive Humans are the most nonspecialized, the most generalized of beings. Because humans come with so little genetic or instinctive preprogramming, humans can be culturally programmed in nearly infinite ways. Where most living creatures adapt to their environment with their bodies, humans adapt with their behavior. The overall creativity of humans makes it possible and inevitable that there will be many ways to be human. In a word culture is how humans get along in and with their external circumstances. The freedom of humans enables them to engage in activities that are not always rational or healthful. Culture is produced, practiced, and circulated o Individuals and groups are active, in conjunction with largerscale entities like corporations, organizations, and governments, in producing and reproducing – or altering or eliminating – aspects of culture. o Art, science, technology, law, and religion. o The production and reproduction of culture has consequently shifted focus away from “traditions” and “rules” to the practice of culture; that is, culture is presently seen less as a fixed body of knowledge or as a set of coercive rules than as socially structured action. o Geerts suggests that culture is best understood not as abstract ideas or concrete behaviors, but “as a set of control mechanisms – plans, recipes, rules, instructions, and programs – for the governing of behavior. o Human behavior is an outcome of predispositions and strategies – acquired capabilities and habits – which are produced in the individual by culture and enculturation and then usually reproduced by the individual in culturally informed and culturally situated action. The Biocultural Basis of Human Behavior o Culture is constructed on a foundation of physical characteristics which, while they do not determine behavior in detail, set the general outlines for the kinds of behavior that humans can and must perform. This feedback relationship between biology and culture makes humans biocultural beings. o Human physical traits are shared by primates and prosimians. Hands with five fingers and (usually) fingernails instead of claws, opposable thumbs, tactile pads on finger tips, come at the end of very flexible limbs. Teeth that are varied and generalized. Large brains relative to body weight Emphasis of eyes over noses on the face. Vision is acute while smell is weaker. Result is flattened face with large eye. Tendency toward spinal erectness and bipedalism. Relatively long lifespan. o Culture is not an all or nothing thing. o One particularly clear and important expression of social behavior is dominance or hierarchy. o Primates engage in distinctly political actions when they are seeking or exercising power. o One primate is no primate at all. One human is no human at all. Nonhuman primates demonstrate a range of other behaviors that are familiar and similar to humans. Among these behaviors are: o Aggression and territoriality o Communication and social interaction o Eating and hunting meat o Tool use and production Categories of Humans over Time o The most ancient welldocumented category of prehuman species is called Australopithecus. Includes the famous Australopithecus afarensis, known popularly as “Lucy.” Living 3 or 4 million years ago Upright bipedal walking, smaller teeth, small brain, no evidence of tools o Around 2.5 million years a new species, designated Homo habilis, commenced the category or genus called Homo, which would eventually include modern humans. Homo habilis Larger brain than Australopithecus, showed firm evidence of stone tool use and manufacture Home erectus First appearing around 1.8 million years ago, Homo eretcus marks another advance in brain size. First species to migrate out of Africa, eventually reaching most of Eurasia. They developed a more sophisticated stone tool technology called Acheulian Used fire and may have constructed rudimentary shelters. Archais Homo sapiens By around 600,000 years ago, the first Homo sapiens appeared. Best known population is the Neandertals, a local group that inhabited Europe and the Middle East starting about 130,000 years ago. Large bodies and brains, sophisticated behavior. Made new and better tools named Mousterian Symbolic abilities and some beliefs about death and after death Modern Homo sapiens (Anatomically Modern Humans) As long as 200,000 years ago, the first fully modern Homo sapiens appeared, probably in Africa. Migrated to rest of the world. Tools and culture were not more advanced than others, but since 30,000 years ago or so, our cultural development has been rapid. Studying Culture: Method in Cultural Anthropology o Participant Observation: truly unique and original aspect of cultural anthropology. Not just observing, but participating. o First step is learning the local language. This is critical. A language is a lens for seeing the world. o If anthropologists are like children, then anthropological fieldwork is like enculturation. The fieldworker is learning the culture from the inside. o Interviews are structured (prepared in advance) or unstructured (unplanned or free flowing) o Kinship and genealogy are central to the organization of most societies. o Cultural Anthropology is science, but it is also a personal encounter between human beings. Anthropologists don’t study villages, they study in villages. Fieldwork in a globalized world: multisited ethnography o Local cultures, or subcultures or classes or ethnic groups and so on, are affected by and implicated in wider networks of institutions and relations, including media markets, states, industries, universities from the regional to the national to the global level. The ethics of fieldwork o Participant observation by definition puts researchers skin to skin, life to life, with subjects who are living people. That fact demands a particularly selfconscious code of ethical behavior. Do no harm. Ask first. Make a contribution. Consider your impact on them. o An anthropologist should never expect to make friends with every member of the society,any more than people expect make friends with every member of their own society. o The anthropologist is an outsider, a stranger, a child. o The local people frequently know the outside world better than the outside world knows them Chapter 3: the origins of cultural anthropology The Greeks said they cremated their dead, whereas the Callatians reported ate theirs. o Darius asked the Greeks if they would ever eat their dead, which mortified the Greeks. He then asked the Callatians if they would ever burn their dead, at which suggestion the “uttered a cry of horror and forbade him to mention such a dreadful thing.” o If you were given the choice between burying and eating your dead, would it really require – or even allow – weighing the two options? Rather, our customs are often so deeply ingrained in us that the preference is automatic and strong – like “second nature” o What would you rather do: eat or bury your dead? o You have been enculturated to approve of one and be repulsed by “the other” o We have a natural preference, this is part of the culture to be studied o What would do: If you came across a human sacrifice? Scarification vs tattoos Ideal monogamous married couple vs. poly tradition (i.e. a woman marrying a man and his brothers or a man with multi wives) There is a sort of professional joke in anthropology: anthropologists are people who approve of every culture except their own. Of course, that is not true, because approval is a kind of judgment, and our disciplinary relativism discourages both approval and disapproval. Why did observation of human diversity not lead to a science of human diversity? Why was anthropology not the default response? o Indifference toward the Other o Fear and hostility toward the Other o Judgment and condemnation of the Other, either through conquest or conversion o Rejection of the Other as less than one’s own kind – and sometimes less than completely human i.e. Savages, barbarians, infidels, primitives, uncivilized, evil, racial slurs, etc. Xenophanes observed the differences and the relativity of religion across cultures: Ethiopians have gods with snub noses and black hair, Thracians have gods with gray eyes and red hair… If oxen or lions had hands which enabled them to draw and paint pictures as men do, they would portray their gods as having bodies like their own; horses would portray them as horses, and oxen as oxen. Our predecessors thus evince the two recurring obstacles to the very possibility of something like cultural anthropology: o Absolute certainty in the truth and goodness of one’s own culture (ethnocentrism). Judging other cultures by these standards and values o Lack of information about other societies, or poor or patently false information about them. Certainty in one’s own truth and goodness, a kind of “onepossibility thinking” is characteristic of most societies, traditional or modern. Cultural certainty, ethnocentrism, is a barrier to relativism and thus to cultural anthropology since only one kind of thought is permitted or at least valued highly; all others are by definition false or unacceptable. Why then would you want know more about those barbarians, those infidels, those blasphemers? Lack of information or possession of poor information poses its own challenge. If you do not know much about another society and culture, it will be difficult to say anything meaningful or useful about it, and you will naturally try to assimilate the Other into your own schemes of understanding. The reaction to the Cultural Other tends to fall along a range of ethnocentrism: violence, rejection, dehumanization, rather than Cultural Relativism. This is not unique to the west. It is common for humans to think their culture is the most human. Cultural Relativism: anthropology is a systematic attempt to use this lens when viewing “the other” The “voyages of discovery” and the rise of colonization o The most famous and prominent new factor in late medieval Europe was the “discovery” of new lands and new peoples in places where lands and people were not known or imagined. o Europeans had met other societies – Muslim, African, and Asian – but the encounter with Native Americans and the vastly greater number of African, Asian, and eventually Australian peoples encountered by European travelers was apparently too much. They could not handle their eyes being opened to such an undreamed of diversity. It presented a psychological and cultural challenge. *facepalm* Who were these people? How did they get all the way out here? Wait, were they even people at all? The Christian Bible didn’t mention these natives…. Were they descendants of Adam and Eve? How could they possibly be when they looked and acted so differently? But if they were not descendants of Adam and Eve, then what were they? Animals? Degraded humans? Creatures of Satan? Or just as bad, creations of some other god? o Within decades of Columbus’ arrival in America, there was an actual debate within the Catholic Church about the identity of the natives. Were they human or not? Did they have souls or not? If they did have souls and were to escape a life of enslavement or death, then they would need their human soul “saved” because they deserved and needed the benefits of the “true” culture and the “true” religion. o The church finally decided in 1537 that the Indians were humans and ordered that they be dealt with in a humane way, but this did not stop the ravages and abuse to which they subjected by administrators, missionaries, soldiers, traders, and settlers. Encounters with other Eurasian civilizations o “Primitive” societies could be easily ignored. Other “advanced” societies were a bigger problem. Since at least the 1300s, European adventures had been traveling to and bringing back reports rom distant civilizations like China, the Islamic world, and India. They could not help but notice that these societies were superior to their own. o The Eastern civilizations were often more urban, more literate, richer, more “cultured,” and more powerful than anything in Europe. This should not be: Europe supposedly had the “true” religion and culture. The foreigners were idolaters, infidels, devilworshippers. Yet they had things the Europeans valued and desired and would acquire and utilize – not the least of which were block printing and gunpowder. o So the experience of these travels and conflicts showed not only that other civilizations existed and were different, but that they were “better” in some ways. Otherness could not be laughed away as inferiority, there were things the Other did better and things the newcomers needed to learn from them. The “Renaissance” o The fifteenth and sixteenth centuries; rebirth of city life, literacy, longdistance trade, and widespread exchange of ideas o After the fall of Rome cities had declined and disappeared, literacy had retreated to the monasteries, agriculture was controlled, and what little art and literature existed was made for about the dominant class, culture, and religion. o The renaissance was thus a rebirth of ancient Greece and Rome culture o Europe rediscovered its ancient texts and began to familiarize itself with its own ancestry o The assumption had always been that while the Greeks and Romans could not possible be Christians, they were in some “preChristians” or “protoChristians.” They simply presumed that the Ancients were a lot like them. o However the reality was very different and disturbing. Greeks and Romans had their own distinct and nonChristian religions, political systems, kinship systems, economies, and so on. o Reading ancient texts was described living in a very different mental and cultural world. But this meant that Europe’s own ancestors exhibited the Otherness. It was deeply troubling to face the Other in one’s own family tree, it could not be ignored, disregarded, or resisted. Early modern Europeans found that own ancestors were Other to them. The Protestant Reformation o Since the establishment of Christianity as the official religion of Rome and then of postRoman Europe, there had been only one official truth about religion, which was the Roman Catholic Church. All other opinions were heresy, from the Greek word hairesis meaning “to choose” o One did not choose one’s own views and truths but received them from authority. o Martin Luther’s movement escaped that fate, claiming that the Church was wrong and actually antiChristian. o Religious wars tore Europe apart for years, until a peace was declared, allowing the two “religions” to coexist. The peace did not allow all religions to exist, only Catholicism and Lutheranism. Other nonChristian religions were still out of bounds. o When the compromise broke down, resulting in the Thirty Years War (161848) and millions of deaths, a new peace recognized three religions: Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Calvinism. Religious diversity was there to stay in Europe. o Westerners were now, and would forever be, the Other to each other. The Scientific Revolution o Scientists were going to the source, verifying the claims and beliefs of the times instead of blindly believing authority. You must base your conclusions on careful and sustained observations of external reality. o The ultimate authority is one’s own experience and observation. Trust experience over traditions and rulers. Rethinking Society: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Social Theory o Two views or models of the primitives eventually emerged: the “brutish savage” and the “noble savage” Noble Savage: the notion, often associated with Rousseau, that non western or “primitive” people are actually happier and more virtuous than Westerners. Based on the idea that humans are free and equal in “a state of nature” but that social institutions deprive them of that freedom and equality. Toward an Ethnological Science in the Nineteenth Century o The cultural certainty of Europe has been challenged, though not destroyed. The prolonged contrast between white Europe and the nonwhite colonies provided the second ground for the new science – more and higherquality observational information about nonEuropean societies. o Out of the wealth of new information came a desire to classify, arrange, and explain it. Ethnology was the project to classify peoples on the basis of their social and cultural characteristics and then to explain their distribution at the present time or in past times by the movement and mixture of peoples and diffusion of culture. o How did Culture as a whole or particular cultures or specific institutions and practices within cultures originate, and how did those things change over time into their various manifestations, including the modern Western one? Diffusionism: the early ethnological position or theory that Culture, with a capital C, or specific cultural practices, objects, or institutions had appeared once or at most a few times and spread out from the original center. This approach was expressed in the German Kulturkreis (culture circle) school of thought had envisioned culture as one or more circles emanating out from their center(s) like ripples on a pond. The greater the proximity between societies in space, the greater the similarity in culture. The other approach, especially after the middle of the nineteenth century, was evolutionism. In this view, the observed cultures descended from one or more “ancestral” cultures, passing through various stages or phases of cultural development along the way. The Australian Aboriginals were a common candidate to fill the lower and earlier spots of the most primitive societies. The aboriginals, who have totems and rituals but no gods or institutionalized practices and offices like modern Europena/Christain ones. Thus, Lewis Henry Morgan boiled the stages of cultural evolution down to three – savagery, barbarism (each subdivided into lower, middle, and upper, and civilization – characterized by certain diagnostic cultural features (e.g. bow and arrow, farming, writing). Progress was based on technological achievement (the threshold from savagery to barbarism was the invention of pottery, for instance), a standard which was important to Westerners and in which Westerners excelled. And civilization was his own society – nineteenthcentury EuroAmerican culture. The Twentieth Century and the Founding of Modern Anthropology o By the turn of the twentieth century, Franz Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski would put their stamps on the new science of cultural anthropology. o Boas (18581942) is widely regarded as the father of modern cultural anthropology. Trained originally in Germany, physicist and geographer, keen observer’s eye and a strict scientific method In the 1880s he came to the Arctic coast of North America to study the color of the sea water. Becoming acquainted with the local Inuit (Eskimo) people, he realized they were more interesting than the sea water and not at all “primitive” He soon turned his back on the 19 century comparative model as inaccurate and ethnocentric; as a scientist, he knew to judge or evaluate your subject is to not observe or understand it adequately. By this decision, HE ESSENTIALLY INVENTED CULTURAL RELATIVISM! He proposed that there are no higher or lower cultures and that all such judgments are merely relative to one’s own standards of culture. Any ranking of culture probably says more about the observer than the culture being studied. Rather than ordering culture on the basis of supposed progress or similarity, he recommended actually observing each single culture in maximal detail and each single part of a culture within the context of the whole, giving a voice to holism. He became he teacher and mentor of the first generation of American anthropologists, essentially inventing American anthropology. o Bronislaw Malinowski (18841942) insisted that the date required to make good theories was still lacking, so any proposed theory would be premature. But science cannot proceed without a theory. Theory helps to identify the question, suggest the method, and organize the evidence. Malinowski proposed a theory that would become extremely influential in the first half of the twentieth century. Trained originally in Poland, mathematics an dphysics, turned to science of humanity after reading Frazer’s ethnological classic The Golden Bough in 1910. Malinowski was one of the first to go do real anthropological research. He started his fieldwork career at age 30 with six months in New Guinea. He returned to the Trobriand Islands for 2 years of work in 191516 and 1917 18, helping establish the modern fieldwork methods of cultural anthropology. He determined that there were three general types of cultural data, each requiring its own collection technique. Description and analysis of institutions, which were to be studied by thorough documentation of concrete evidence. Creation of charts of activities and customs associated with a particular institution. This method would yield a literal visual representation of the “mental chart” that members of the society possess. Minutiae of everyday life, which filled out and deepened the analysis of general institutions. Cultural content like narratives, utterances, folklore, and other conventional sayings and activities. The other profound influence of Malinowski was his theoretical approach. Like Boas, he rejected cultural evolutionism (the early ethnological or anthropological position or theory that Culture started at some moment in the past and evolved from its “primitive” beginnings through a series of stages to achieve its “higher” or more modern form) and speculative historical reconstructions. He recommended an approach known as functionalism. Rather than pursue its history, the anthropologist can observe its function here and now. What is the function of marriage, or political systems, or religion? For Malinowski, the essence of function was to be found in the needs of the individuals who compose a society. o Functionalism became a reigning idea during the early twentieth century, but many argued against it, especially those of British tradition. The Anthropological Crisis of the MidTwentieth Century and Beyond o Maturity often entails a life crisis and a rebellion against convention in individuals. Anthropology called for “rethinking” and “reinventing.” o One of the first and most important moves in this new anthropology was the announcement by Edmund Leach that societies are not always as discrete and traditional as we think they are. Societies overlap each other without clear and permanent borders. o Reports from the field resulted in an identity crisis within anthropology, identifying clearly anthropology’s own culture and how its methods had influenced its findings and conclusions. Neoevolutionism o Leslie White and Julian Steward o The mid twentieth century revival of focus on the historical development of cultures and societies; generally sought to repair the failings of nineteenth century evolutionism by proposing specific processes and a multilinear path of change. o Grand Cultural evolution Structuralism o Claude LeviStrauss looked across at the developing discipline of linguistics for a new approach to vexing problems like kinship and religion. o Structuralism: the theory that the significance of an item is not so much in the particular item but in its relationship to others. In other words, the structure of multiple items and the location of any one in relation to others is most important. o Rather than looking for the meaning of some cultural element, he proposed that we look for it in the relations between the elements. Ethnoscience o The anthropological theory or approach that investigates the native classification systems of societies to discover the concepts, terms, and categories by which they understand their world o Also known as cognitive anthropology o The point was to bring to light the intellectual models of reality that humans have in their heads that organize their world in specific ways. Symbolic/Interpretive Anthropology o The school of thought that the main goal of anthropology is to elucidate the meanings within which humans live and behave. Rather than focusing on institutions and rules, it focuses on symbols and how symbols shape our experience and are manipulated by people in social situations. Marxist/critical anthropology o In the second half of the twentieth century especially, Marxist or “critical” theory exerted a strong pull on anthropology. o Emphasizes the material and economic forces that underlie society, relying on notions of power and inequality, modes of production, and class relations and conflicts o Economics, class, power, and combination o Mode of production lead to and shaped the relations of production Cultural Materialism o The theory that practical/material/economic factors can explain some or all cultural phenomena Feminist Anthropology o Approach that focuses on how gender relations are constructed in society and how those relations subsequently shape the society. Also examines how gender concepts have affected the science of anthropology itself – the questions it asks and the issues it emphasizes. o Does not focus exclusively on women but rather on gender diversity and gender issues broadly World Anthropologies o Perspective that anthropology as developed and practiced in the west is not the only form of anthropology, and that other societies may develop and practice other types of anthropology based on their specific experiences and interests. We are merely one pattern among many. The foundations for an Anthropological Perspective o European society around 500 years ago has begun to move past the 2 obstacles (ethnocentrism and lack of information) to anthropological cultural relativism o Five interrelated developments forced the foundation of an anthropological perspective The voyages of discovery o The bible didn’t talk about these people, oh my. o After Columbus arrived in the “new world” there was a debate about the humanity of these native American “creatures” o Church said they were inferior humans who needed saving. A place needed to be made for them Encounters with Eurasian Civilizations o Up until the 1600s European societies were not as technologically advanced, powerful, or literate as places like China o Europeans start borrowing block printing, gun powder, and other ideas from China. The Renaissance: rediscovering Europe’s Cultural Roots in Ancient Greece and Rome o Europeans recovered and studied ancient texts and discovered they were “the other” o Ancients were polytheistic in Greece and sexuality was celebrated in Rome; homosexuality was the norm. o Finally they were forced to confront the other. The Protestant Reformation o The Roman church had a monopoly on the truth. MLK revolted, posting his beliefs on the church doors. The other was abroad and also in their faces. The Scientific Revolution o Replacing authority with experience and observation o Facts may not agree with our preconceived notions, challenges us with repeated empirical observations. Maybe dehumanizing people wasn’t the truth and way. o Observe others without judgement. Five historical Developments that laid foundation for anthropology o Voyages of Discovery o Encounters with Eurasian Civilizations o The Renaissance o The Protestant Reformation o The Scientific Revolution o He went over these for days and said multiple times to remember them. Rethinking Society: 17 and 18 Century Social Theory o Questioning nature of European societies and seeking alternatives o Noble savage = Rousseau More happy than westerners o Primitive Society – Hobbes Less happy than westerners o Neither were right. o Starting to seriously reflect on other cultures instead of dehumanizing them. 16001800s: European Colonialism and the Emergence of Anthropology o Explaining nature of colonized societies through ethnology o Theories of Diffusionism and Cultural Evolutionism Neither are accepted today, both are ethnocentric But at least they tried to think about cultural diversity in a systematic way Late 1800s and Early 1900s: 1 Modern Anthropologist o Franz Boas FATHER OF AMERICAN ANTHRO Rejected Diffusionism and cultural evolutionism Began systematic and scientific observations and methods Pioneered cultural relativism, holism, and fieldwork. Father of American anthropology o Bronislaw Malinowski Pioneered longterm participant observation and ethnographic writing. 2 meanings of the term ethnography Process of research Written description of a culture Early 1900s Anthropological Theories o What is theory? A proposed and supported explanation for a naturally occurring phenomena. To predict and test. o Malinowski – Functionalism (i.e. Teduray Swidden) o RadcliffeBrown – structured functionalism Disagrees with Malinowski Culture serves to perpetuate society, not meet individual needs Late 1900s: Colonialism ends o Skipped in class Anthropological Theories in the 20 century o Ethnoscience: ex how do people in different cultures classify and categorize plants (ethnobotany) o Critical Anthropology: understanding how forces of economies, class, power, and domination have shaped culture. o Cultural Materialism: how people meet biological needs. Marvis Harris: explaining the Hindu religious prohibition against meat in terms of energy. (Turns out they’re not ignorant at all, like someone in class boldly suggested.) o Feminist: gender diversity and roles in society.
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