ANTH 202 ANTH 202
Popular in Intro to Cultural Anthropology
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This 34 page Study Guide was uploaded by Danielle Palmucci on Tuesday February 9, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ANTH 202 at College of William and Mary taught by William Fisher in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 167 views. For similar materials see Intro to Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at College of William and Mary.
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Date Created: 02/09/16
Cultural Anthropology Anthropology is comparative - Talk about concepts that apply to humanity - Consistency - Hard to understand anthropology coming from American exceptionalism - Anthropology is always a bit improper Anthropology is holistic - Take things as they are in all their inter-collectiveness Anthropology is ethnographic - Paying attention to all the details of daily life - Can be observed/reported; details matter - Through an ethnographic perspective you come to a holistic understanding Ethical Absolute: every person on the planet deserves no more or less than 1 share of the planet - 1 share of the planet because it is hard to be more specific when different societies use different resources from the planet In the real world, scarcity is produced by human beings - Food is not scarce but there are hungry people Irony: Calls attention to the difference between perception and reality (not personal or derogatory like sarcasm); calls attention to the discrepancy It is necessary to rank people - Education does this - You do not remember what you will learn in this class 50 years from now, but the grade you receive in this class will remain on your transcript forever Most radical conclusion: those at the bottom have no merit and hence deserve nothing; those at the top deserve deference Systemic function: transform incommensurable diversity into a ranking Ethnographic Projects Lave: how people learn to do math or any skill (legitimate peripheral participation) How do prep schools work to transmit ideology or merit? How do poor and working class schools produce self-exclusion and worthlessness? Schooling is based off of a hierarchy - Based off of studies - Example: 52% of black males who are 9 graders graduate from high school 4 years later Relativism Insider/Outsider view Hegemony: certain institutions that have more influence over what we have to do or say (example: a teacher must give grades or else they will be fired) Ideology: education does what it’s supposed to Systems Dependent variables Independent variables Direct and indirect relationships Processes - Self-intensification (crashes) - Sustainable (stable) Systemic Change Ethics: makes sense, certain situations are a product of continual interaction (our goals must align with theirs); help people think about the world by engaging with them in an open manner Transparency: purpose, methods, outcomes, sponsors (no deception) Plagiarize, fabricate evidence is forbidden Voluntary informed consent: minimally informed consent includes sharing with potential participants the research goals, methods, funding, etc. Make results accessible Protect and preserve records Ethical and supportive professional relationships – equitable, supportive U.S. Anthropology (4 or 5 fields) Cultural Anthropology (social anthropology) Physical Anthropology (biological anthropology) Linguistic Archaeology Applied Anthropology (All represented within the American Anthropological Association) Informant-Ethnographer Relationship is the basis for ethnography; informant is the teacher or guide - Ethics - System Grasp native’s point of view Hold system has (power) - Relationships/agency in any system are held together by mutual consent and because we’re born into what already exists; what already exists is a system where power is unequal - World-view translation (cultural relativity) - Mutual interests? Mutual understanding? Relativism/Ethnocentrism Descriptive relativism: (see ethnocentrism) Ethical: good/bad judgments not universal Epistemological: problematic; suspends the possibility of mutual translation and comparative understanding; all ways of knowing are equally valid Ethnocentrism: opposite of cultural relativity; assume one’s own categories, values, and mode of reasoning forms the basis to judge/understand others (example: economics, religion) Science and Description Validity: Are we measuring or describing what we think we are describing and can we agree on this? (Kinship) usually start with a specific ego when we determine kinship Multiple mothers Mother nature “Big mother” Reliability Would every observer and/or instrument get the same results? (Genealogical method) Science Reliable: others can see the same things you do – repeatable Valid: you are measuring what you think you are measuring – pedometer measuring distance vs steps Humanistic Science Or scientific humanism… Reliability/Validity/Evidence-based Conveys the human condition by connecting people to systems Natural Selection If you have some feature that lets more of your offspring survive and grow up to reproduce than those without it, then more and more individuals in later generations will come to share that feature; that feature is adaptive; selective advantage Skin/Hair Loss Variation (depends on cline or gradual variation from east to west); if its evolutionary there is lots of variation Pigmentation Adaptation linked to solar radiation Production of melanin (skin pigment) Race in U.S. Differs from racial or color classifications in other countries and between races in US (uses criterion of hypodescent or one drop – but inconsistently) Is not a good way to describe existing genetic variation Has real consequences for different racial groups Need to understand racism and racial thin king to pull it all together Where the sunlight is brighter the populations that evolve in those areas have darker skin throughout the world Skin color has nothing to do with racial groups as an evolutionary process Evolved as a result of populations living in particular parts of the world Where people have to worry less about solar radiation, the amount of melanin in their skin would diminish Every population in the world contains almost all of the existing human genetic variation Race is not a genetic phenomenon How Biology Becomes Society Against Reductionism (ie contra explaining society as natural underlying causes or ideas or human nature) “Naturalizing”: not being able to be understood under underlying biological realities Are social inequalities based on underlying natural inequalities? Embodiment: How we literally incorporate biological material and the social world in which we live from conception to death No aspect of our biology can be understood with absent knowledge of history and societal ways of living No genetic basis for radical division More genetic variation within “raced” groups than between raced groups Race is proxy for unspecified combinations of environmental, behavioral, and genetic factors Allows tacit assumption that racial differences are genetic in origin Racial categories correlated with incidence of illnesses – cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, certain cancers, low birth weight, preterm delivery, etc. Franz Boas (Grandfather of American Anthropology) Immigrant children to the US varied toward the US distribution rather than maintain the range of variation associated with the parent population Biology is plastic While health differences between races are measurable, if one looks at people in a single neighborhood, the difference appears Puerto Rican Study Self-related and culturally ascribed color – but not skin pigmentation – is associated with blood pressure through and interaction with income and education Self-classification may not be the same as social classification In Latin America “money whitens” Race is a “cultural construct”; it’s what other subscribe to them, it’s about socioeconomic status March 18 2th ndMidterm th st Feb 10 Wednesday 1 Midterm Populations become racialized; they become embodied in societies Genetics does not equal race but race is not a myth because there are biological differences amongst racial groups What’s not genetic is the genes of the populations associated with different races; what is genetics is the location of skin color The content of ones genes is expressed partially in who you are in relationship to a particular environment; genes never act in the absence of environment If the things that we use to mark race are not correlated with other aspects of the genomes they are just aspects we chose to distinct between different races Genetics don’t define race, individual traits do Medial Anthropologist Dr. Fuambai Ahmadu Female Genital Cutting Female Genital Modification (preferred to female genital mutilation) Rite of Passage Kono of Sierra Leone, West Africa [descendants of Mande in Mali] Bondo ceremony [pan-ethnic] - Excision (for girls) girls women by the Kono way - Circumcision (for boys) boys men by the Kono way Mission: to create socially responsible adults who are able to marry and have kids; that means having control over their own sexuality Ritual/myth/social organization Become sexually active women Nature/culture, matriarchy/patriarchy Marriage/households/lineage affiliation Ethnographic Fieldwork (from Malinowski) Organization of tribe and the anatomy of its culture Kinship, descent groups, myths, ritual, etc. Imponderabilia of actual life and kinds of behavior - Activities and emotions, technical procedures, etc. Corpus inscriptum - Stories, typical utterances, explanations, etc. International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM FGM a procedure that involves partial or total removal of the external female genetalia is often performed by untrained practitioners without anesthesia and uses instruments such as broken glass, tin lids, scissors, or unsterilized razors. In addition to causing intense pain and psychological trauma, the most severe forms of FGM lead to short and long term health risks, including hemorrhage, infection, and increased risk of HIV transmission. It can leave girls vulnerable to child marriage and early pregnancy or can affect a woman’s ability to bear childrenadn even result in death. In short, as one of the panelists put it, this practice “diminishes women”. Example Test Questions: (Code of Ethics) What are the constituents to which working anthropologists owe obligations? Which constituency takes precedence when there is a conflict of interest in an authors’ work? Answer is cultural ideals Ethic From linguistics – sounds people really make Top Pot Phonetic: means the sounds we actually make Phonemic: the sounds we hear as being the same whether they are actually the same or not Etic: the things we can know scientifically without reference to anyone’s culture – color wheel Emic: the categories people recognize and use in their culture – categories of color Intro, 13, richarson, amadu interview, AAA code of ethics (main points), gravely article, lived experience website TEST Fast food: system Ethics in anthropology: people centered research in system Education system ranking vs. achievement gap: insider/outsider Malinowski fieldwork Jablonski on skin color: clinal variation of human genetically caused traits Ahmadu interview: gender/sexuality and cultural relativism Understanding race website: race and racism Gravlee article: etic/emic (phonetic/phonemic) Kinship lineages Kinship has to exclude people The boundaries of society aren’t the boundaries of kinship but everyone is in there because they are connected by kin Kinship creates 2 kinds of classes of people: people who are apart of your group and people who you can marry – THAT’S IT Thought of in terms of space Kinship enables the relations between kin to be turned into larger groupings within a culture These larger groupings define totality In the European system, they’re all related in the same way; children of a parents sibling But in system with lineages, you have to know which side someone is related through – mother’s or father’s It makes the difference between incest and a desirable marriage Prohibition of sexual relations within a family extends to the entire lineage What is a sibling? A person with the same parent Sibling in the same lineage: It is a member of the same lineage of the same generation Matrilineal lineage – links affiliation are through females The lineage system creates people whom we cant marry and everyone in our lineage of our generation but it also creates people who are very close to us but are classified as non kin Edic emic criteria Parallel cousins: mothers same sex sibling; when the siblings are same sex in the lineage their offspring are parallel cousin; same sex and parallel are associated Cross cousins: when you have a cross sex/sibling relationship in the parental generation Anthropology Unbound Introduction Jean Lave Observations: Kids who don’t do well in school could do complex computations to figure out a number of bowling scores at the same time – how could they do that and not do well in school? People who have been to school don’t use mathematics the way they were taught She discovered by observing lots of people that what we really do is compute by ratios Example: The big jar of peanut butter is about twice as much as the small one and costs less than twice as much Why do we have schools if people aren’t actually using what is taught? In the old days people knew their place But, in democracies nobody is supposed to be better than anyone else – if this is so, then how are we to decide who gets good jobs and who gets bad ones? On the basis of merit Merit: something you earn; nobody gives it to you; you aren’t born with it You assign merit through school performance Lave argues: Schools are the way of assigning merit to individuals in democratic systems Lave argues: How well people do in school is not a measure of their worth To understand, we cannot judge Our job as individuals is to understand and explain; not judge We learn from watching our parents – it doesn’t matter what they tell us, it matters what they do People are good at learning by doing, and we’re good at learning what we’re supposed to know and say U.S. does not rank high on the Social Progress Index – although in the U.S. the economy has done better than that of many other countries, most people do not share in that success The more concentrated economic power is the more it controls legislation and in the U.S. economic power is concentrated at the top (government) Scientific Method: a method for bringing what we say closer and closer in line with what we experience; a way of keeping what we say connected to what we experience When we think we know what we’re talking about, we are obliged to check it against experience If we agree that other people are like us, then it follows that we’re the smartest and most observant people on the planet and we are compelled to agree that anyone else could see the same things we see (reliability) We have to make sense to other people (validity) Eric Schlosser Theory: Journalist who wrote the book Fast Food Nation NOT an ethnography: when anthropologists live with a people an observe everything they do an say But, Schlosser did compile a lot of information about relationships that have gone into forming our culture He wants to understand all facets of fast food Begins by talking about the American love of our cars Cars and fast food relationship: Some restaurant owners in California made the first innovations in fast food to mass-produce hot meals for people in the same way that factories mass-produce cars Automobile companies bought up the railroad systems and destroyed them so that people would have to either drive or ride the buses the car companies made When mass transit was destroyed, people bought cars and demand for fast food came as people drove more (and the interstate highway system intensified that trend) When more people had cars and there were more highways to drive on, people moved into suburbs and developers built sprawl Fast food came from cars – more highways, more cars, more sprawl Cars make sprawl possible and sprawl means people needs cars because there’s no alternative to mass transit More cars more sprawl more interstate highways More interstate highways more fast food more sprawl Each part reinforces the other parts and each part increases We were eating unhealthy food, contributing to a corporation that treats its workers unjustly and to an agricultural system that’s unsustainable, and spewing hydrocarbons into the atmosphere – we didn’t have much of a choice Agency: the idea that people act as agents on their own behalf, that they understand the resources available to them and use them in their own interests – it involves the choices you make; the resources you have and your knowledge of them Depends on your point of view, on where you are in a system, and what choices that system offers you Also depends on your past choices (example: choice to go to college); but the choices that are available depend on the choices other people have made Dependent Variable: depend on every other variable within a system; the thing we want to explain or understand Example: fast food Variable: something that can be more or less – it varies; every other thing in a system is also a variable Example: there can be more cars or few cars, more miles of highway or fewer Independent Variable: the variable that causes or has something to do with the dependent variable; a change in the value of an independent variables causes a change in dependent variables Interdependent Variables: variables that influence each other; when an increase in one variable means an increase in another and that increase means an increase in the first one we have a circle or loop Example: cars and sprawl Self-Intensifying Loop: a circular relationship between two or more variables that keeps increasing each variable; the more of the first, the more of the second; the more of the second, the more of the first – it keeps growing with nothing in the system to stop it All such processes grow or increase Not only do they increase but also the rate of increase increases – exponential: a process whose rate of increase increases There is no limit in exponential systems But, in real life there is almost some limit (unlike a math equation) No such curve of growth is sustainable: any time we see a system that contains self-intensifying loops, we are looking at a system that’s more or less doomed to destroy itself Indirect Relationships: sprawl doesn’t directly determine highways, but more sprawl means more cars, and more cars means more highways, s the relationship is indirect through cars Hegemony: when one country rules or controls others Anthropologists use this word when one group has power over another, especially by controlling the way they think In the U.S. corporations are hegemonic: they have a lot of power to control peoples culture and everything thinking patterns by telling us what’s natural, normal, and just something we have to accept From inside the system we can say what is good for whom Within a system we can make judgments Because we are citizens of a democracy we can ask what kinds of things make them more or less democratic; if we value democracy the things that make our societies more democratic are good Along with questions of good and bad we can ask questions about sustainability Wherever there are self-intensifying loops the system is not sustainable Chapter 1 4 Field of Anthropology: Biological Anthropology: focuses on the history of our species, how we came to be the kinds of animals we are, and the role of culture in the process – questions about our biological nature and its relationship to culture Archaeology: concentrates on gathering and interpreting material evidence we can use to understand the histories of our cultures Linguistic Anthropology: asks about the nature of language and how it is related to culture Sociocultural Anthropology: how contemporary cultures and societies work and how they got the way they are Applied Anthropology: the use of anthropological insights and methods to solve practical problems 3 things that make sociocultural anthropology distinct from other social sciences or humanities It is holistic It is comparative It is ethnographic Holism: seeing things as connected System: a set of elements that are connected such that if you change one of them, you also change the others Anthropologists think in terms of systems Everything may be connected to everything else, but some of the connections are stronger and more important than others Comparative: noticing and explaining similarities and differences among many different systems Ethnographic: we base our ideas of how any given system works on detailed local description; we don’t rely on data sets from the Census Bureau or the Department of Planning Ethnography: learning about the systems and people we want to understand by the closest observation we can manage; it often means living with the people and doing fieldwork Fieldwork: living with the people The goal of ethnographic field work must be approached through 3 avenues: 1. The organization of the tribe and the anatomy of its culture must be recorded in an outline 2. The imponderabilia of actual life and the type of behavior have to be filled in. they have to be collected through observations in a diary 3. A collection of ethnographic statements, characteristic narratives, typical utterances, items of folklore and magical formula has to be given as a corpus inscriptionum as documents of native mentality The goal is to grasp the natives point of view, his relation to life, to realize his vision of his world Cultural Relativity: suspending judgments and opinions and being open to understanding other ways of life; we don’t ask whether something is good or bad, we ask how the people understand and use it; we try to describe the points of view of the people we want to understand and we do this by being there with the people in our fieldwork doing ethnography Ethnocentrism: thinking that your way of doing things is either the only way or the best way Opposite of cultural relativity Example: a person only marries one other person at a time; you pay money for a product you get at the store Melford Spiro defined 3 types of cultural relativism Descriptive Relativism Ethical Relativism Epistemological Relativism Descriptive Relativism: suspending your natural ethnocentrism so that you can describe another culture from the point of view of the people in it; it allows you to understand other cultures Ethical Relativism: the idea that there are no absolute values of good and bad; ethical judgments depend on the culture This helps us understand other people because it teaches us not to judge them by different standards That doesn’t mean we have to accept their standards, but it does mean we cannot judge them Epistemology: how we know things Epistemological Relativity: all ways of knowing things are equally true People who believe in this believe that no one way of knowing is any more true than any other In this view we can never really know reality; we can only know reality as our different cultures show it to us and all those different ways are equally true Essentially means no relativity at all Anthropology needs descriptive relativity and ethical relativity to describe and understand different cultures The idea of science is that we never accept anything as really true, just as what we think we know until we find out differently by checking it over and over again; the idea is to think of things we can check Science rests on 2 important principles: validity and reliability Validity: you’re really measuring what you think you are measuring Reliability: everybody else who checks the same thing will get the same results We want to be able to understand other cultures and times and not be trapped in our own; we shall not commit to any belief, decide to try to get the story that best takes account of all the evidence we can find and then keep checking that story with every kind of evidence we can find Chapter 2 RACE The distribution of certain of our physical characteristics is not random – there are patterns If we connect all the points of the same elevation there is a cline Example: skin darkness gradually increases from Mediterranean Europe south along the Nile or across the Sahara with no sharp breaks, so the “peak” is in central Africa Example: the frequency of the fold in the eye that many Europeans and Americans associate with Japanese and Chinese people (epicanthic fold) gradually increases from west to east across Asia These distributions are the results of two processes: gene flow and natural selection In biological terms, species and races are about who breeds with whom Two populations that cannot interbreed are two different species In biology, race is a large, geographically isolated population within a species that doesn’t breed much with other populations of the same species If there are different environments or some other differences in natural selection so that members of the different races can no longer interbreed, then each race may develop into a species A race is a population on the way to being its own species Human skin is unique among mammals because it comes in a range of colors which represent adaptations to different levels of solar UV radiation Dark pigmentation provided essential sunscreen for humans living nder high UVR in equatorial Africa Our ancestors who weren’t sufficiently dark to prevent the breakdown of folates couldn’t have normal babies, and wouldn’t contribute their genes to the next generation Maintaining sufficient levels of folate is one of the keys to successful reproduction of our species The darkness of pigmentation is related to the intensity of solar UVR In Africa, people living near the equator or in very dry sunny areas have the darkest skin while those living farther away from the equator or in generally more humid and cloudy place have lighter skin The evidence of strong natural selection operating at low latitudes to maintain dark pigmentation under high UVR conditions and at high latitudes to establish and maintain light pigmentation under low UVR conditions indicates that skin pigmentation is a Darwinian adaption, which is the product of evolution by natural selection Humans are a polymorphic species Poly meaning “many” Morph meaning “form” We are a species of many forms with many partially isolated breeding populations but we kept moving and mixing, never stopping in any one place permenantly enough to develop different species This explains the variation within groups and why it is greater than the variation among groups We are a single species, a single breeding population The actual distribution of people doesn’t fit any of the archetypes of race The differences between any two people from any single category of people are greater than the differences between individuals of any two different categories Since race is not a biological reality, the idea came from ethnocentrism and from the idea that other people are different from us Doesn’t always have to do with skin color – can be the way people speak Example: British people make the same kind of racist distinctions based on dialect or accent as Americans do based on skin color People can emphasize any source of difference as a way to create categories of other people to treat well or badly This inclination to divide people into different categories comes from the culture of nation-states that developed in Europe in the 16 and 17 th centuries There aren’t any real borders among people However, the rulers of European-style states like to define certain territories and fight over them They do this because they feel there is a homogeneous group of people all alike in their language and culture that gets along pretty well together. These people live inside the border of the state and have a government that takes care of things for them and protects them from foreigners who ma try and take over “our” country. If we believe that there’s a single people with a single language, government, territory, history, culture, music, and literature, then each nation can claim to be the best one because of this ideology of nationalism – it is a powerful source of ethnocentrism If we project that ideology onto the whole species and assume that people come in linguistically and physically defined groups, we get the idea of race Racism along with nationalism belongs to the cultures of states In the U.S. the idea of biological races and biological racism is also connected to the European conquest of the Americas and the slave trade The Europeans and American descendants could use color as a handy marker for who was fair game to capture and sell into slavery Gisli Palsson on island mentality: even anthropologists think about people as if they lived on little island separated from other people Biological anthropologists are trying to work out the history of our species by comparing the genetics of different groups They prove there really are “islands” – wind up proving their own assumption She points out that the people who share features such as dark skin and hair texture are as genetically different as it is possible to be Nina Jablonski suggests that the black people of South Asia used to be white until they went so far south Even tries to define populations by language Language is one of the things that nationalist ideologies made into islands along with genes Blaming the victim: a destructive and malicious form of unlogic that says is something negative happens to you such as poverty, losing a job or rape, it is your own fault Example: A National Guardsman gets killed in Iraq. He volunteered. He was dressed for it. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time wearing the wrong clothes and looking the wrong way. Its his fault. Deficit Theory: the idea that if some group of kids doesn’t do well in school, theres something wrong with the kids in that group – there is some deficit. They may be stupid or lazy, but whatever it is, its about them not about the policies and the schools and the system they’re in . Ability doesn’t go with skin color; it goes with opportunity Provide equal opportunity and there will be equal performance The U.S. does not provide equal opportunity Black people don’t have the same chances of going to good high schools that get kids into college as white people It isn’t a question of individuals being racist but of a whole system that’s racist We can have a black president and black Supreme Court justices and still have a racist system To make a difference requires making a difference in the system not in the people in it You can change all of the people and keep the same system and you’ll get the same result You cant move from priviledges to rights unless you change the system and that night annoy the people in power and the priveledged The “brown” (half black half white) elite people helped to keep the system of racism going; they didn’t want to change a system that was working well for them The brown elite wanted to avoid any kind of confrontation with the white establishment that might threated their own priviledges Sometimes when blacks are majorities and whites are minorities, black people can do unto others what has been done unto them – be racist toward whites in what some have called the oppression of the oppressed GENDER We learn our gender roles from growing up in families where the older generation model them for us Americans and Europeans tend to think of two genders, male and female, as biologically given by the nature of our genitals This is not a universal view, however Most people form into larger groupings called lineages Lineages: came in two kinds, according to whether you can claim membership in them by virtue of the mom you have or the dad you have Some are all the people descended from the same woman through their moms; some are all the people descended from the same man through their dads Matrilineal: mother’s line Patrilineal: father’s line In foraging socities and matrilineal cultures, men and women tend to share power Culture, not biology, determines relations of gender Family values means valuing the people of your lineage, not just your household Sigmund Freud Oedipus Complex: the idea that as boys grow up, they begin to compete with their own dads for the attention and then the control of their moms. As guys grow older they want to kill their dads and possess their moms, that makes them feel guilty in all kinds of ways and that guilt makes them give up any ideas of sex with their female relatives. The same thing goes on with girls and their dads (Electra Complex) Incest Prohibition: one of the things that all people share is some kind of prohibition on having sex with certain relatives Breeders encourage incest to bring out the traits they are looking for; the incest prohibition does not have anything to do with genetics or fear of inbreeding The kind of kinship groups and the definitions of family are variable, and one of the things that foes along with those differences is differences in gender roles Anthropologists agree that there is no necessary connection between biologocail characteristics and gender roles There is no necessary single definition of marriage Several men may be married to one woman at the same time; several women may be married to one man at the same time; women and men may marry ghosts or trees or spirits Different kinds of lineages define different roles and statuses for women In matrilineal lineages, women’s influence may be very public Forms of marriage are as varied as forms of gender practices Berdache: means a slave boy that is suggestive of male prostitution in European languages; they did not fit the Euro-American categories of male and female genders; some refer to them as a “third gender” and others as male homosexuals Although it was an alternative gender role, it was not deviant nor was it a matter of personal choice The confusion and puzzlement is a consequence of transposing cultural categories to behaviors that did not fit them (ethnocentrism) “Two-Spirit People” – exhibits more than a single gender spirit Gender is a cultural construction and is therefore variable across different cultures (Oral and anal sex) Just because our culture views actions as sexual does not mean that other cultures do These practices are parts of larger systems of exchanges between age defined groups of men that also involve food, meat, and sometimes painful acts of induced vomiting and bleeding It is misleading to think of these acts as sexual in the same sense they might be to us The idea of seeing these acts as sexual is connected to the Western idea of sexual desire as something deeply personal and individualistic To think of these acts in the same cultural terms we use instead of other cultures terms of exchanges is to be ethnocentric Infibulation: female circumcision or genital cutting, the removal of all or parts of the clitoris and sometimes a more extreme form of sewing the vagina together Culture defines what is and what is not sexual, whether it’s oral or anal intercourse Like gender, sexuality is cultural and cultures change through time and across space So even sometime as “natural” as sexual intercourse becomes part of culture and people understand it differently in different times and places CONCLUSION Race and gender are two of the big categories for classifying people as similar or different; some say our experience is determined by these two things Race isn’t real biologically but it is real politically, and people experience it because the United States has a racist system that discriminates against people based on the color of their skin or their surname One thing that is more powerful than race and gender is class If we ignore class we ignore all of the casual forces that make race and gender work the way they doo The practice of categorizing and labeling is part of our ability to use language Chapter 3 Phonetics: the sounds we really make; from the outside Phonemics: sounds we hear; from the inside Aspiration: the puff of breath after a constant; after the “p” in “pit” Emic: how we define or describe something from the inside Etic: what’s observable from the outside KINSHIP Triangles represent males Circles represent females An equal sign means marriage Vertical lines equal decent – whose son or daughter a person is Acsend in the diagram means to go up Descend in the diagram means to go down Every genealogy has a reference point. An “I” that defines all of the relationships; we call that word “I” for ego Lineage: a group of people who trace descent from a common ancestor – they can be patrilineal if people trace descent in the male line or matrilineal if people stress only the female links Lineages are the important units when people think about “family’ A persons family is not just her mom, dad, and siblings; it is all of her linegage mates that are brothers and sisters as well as the women of her mothers generation whoa re the same as her mother Ego’s dad belongs to a different lineage (Y) from her mom or else it would be a brother marrying a syster (if they were in the same lineage) Because is it lineages that are families, it is lineages that have relationships with other lineages Cross cousins: the children of ego’s parent’s siblings of the opposite sexes (dad’s sisters kids and mother’s brothers kids) Parallel cousins: they are all of the children of the parents siblings of the same sex – father’s brothers and mother’s sisters kids Americans don’t have lineages, we have kindreds: the group of all relatives within a certain genealogical distance that are related by any link at all (example: all the cousins) Only siblings have exactly the same kindreds Genealogical disgrams define an etic grid: an outside view or a universal system of kin relationships Different people have different ways of organizing genealogical relationships into emic patterns that are meaningful to them It is necessary to be careful not to be ethnocentric when talking about emics and etics Ethnocentrism is thinking that your own emic system is a universal etic system Example: Whenever people get married one of the first things they have to decide is where to live If there is some pattern to it we call it a residence rule If newly weds live with husbands people they are patrilocal If they live with the wife’s people they are matrilocal If they live in a different place from the family or either mate then they are neolocal The entire etic grid for residence rules was ethnocentric Anthropologists shouldn’t use their own ideas as universal ones; we should find out how people make sense of their own worlds and not assume that they think about things the same way we do CULTURAL CODES Genealogical diagrams are etic; they tell us about relationships Kinship systems are emic; they tell us how different groups of people think about those relationships Culture Codes: not only the emic categories people use to make sense of their words but also how they use them (example: to figure out where to live after they get married) They are the assumptions people use in everyday lives, ideas about reality, meaning, how to divide things into categories (cousins, cross cousins) and how things are related to one another (a person marries a cross cousin) Industrial folks have a theory of disease that says its mechanical It is elaborate and has many branches to deal with cells, cell reproduction, genetics, bones, kids, moms, women, men, microorganisms, infections, populations, hearts, lungs, and a lot of other tihngs people can go to med school to study Lisu’s theory of disease: according to their cultural code, causes may be mechanical but may involve spirits If they are mechanical, they respond to medical treatment and they are not they do not Situation: Someone is sick and Lisu interprets the symptoms they see according to their theory of disease to figure out what to do about it. Since they know that spirits can cause people to be sick, they need information about whether a spirit is behind this instance and what might be going on. To get this information they ask a shaman: a person whom spirits can possess, to call down his spirits so that they can ask them directly The people explain the problem, the junior spirit calls on more powerful lineage spirits, these spirits get in touch with other spirits and ask who is causing this person to be sick this way People then use their theory of disease to interpret this information and conclude that they will offer a chicken or pig to a certain spirit Male relative offers animal alive; kills the animal; inspects liver to see if spirit has accepted offering; then cook the animal This keeps on going until the symptoms go away, until the people have some reason to think that spirits aren’t involved, or until the person dies (whatever happens first) If we see a Lisu person get sick, ask a shaman to call down his spirits, and then offer a chicken or a pig and we want to make sense of it There are standard ways od reading oracles; they aren’t random or personal opinions; they follow a definite system People use their theory of disease to interpret this information and decide whether more ceremonies are necessary People use their culture code – ideas – to understand the world (or data about it), they base their actions on these understandings and their actions have consequences for the world There are realities that people understand in terms of cultural codes People base their actions on their cultural understandings and those actions have consequences for the realities Culture tells us that we can fix any problem by educating people which is why we start programs to do that This has consequences too – now kids have to sit through boring discussions, but someone gets paid for those programs, and that means those resources aren’t going somewhere else, so there’s no soap in the bathrooms, etc. We try to understand what we see in terms of the ideas we have, then we base our actions on those ideas and our actions make a difference in the real world Sometimes we see a problem but instead of finding out about it we just understand it in terms of our culture and we try to fix it and things get worse than they were before Does educating people about drugs, sex, and gun violence make any difference? No. We must get inside our own cultures and understand systems for what they are To do that we must give up some ideas that we think are natural One of those is the idea of individualism We must understand not only how others understand their worlds and their cultures but also how their cultures inform their actions and how those actions affect the realities in which the people live Fuambai Ahmadu The African women in the documentary spoke so positively about female initiation and excision The Kono practice male and female initiation and excision/circumsation as complementaruy and parallel cultural and symbolic processes celebrating the transition from boyhood to manhood and girlhood to womanhood To the Kono there is a view of children being apart of nature, undefined and possessing both male and female elements In male initation rituals, the forskin of the penis symbolizes feminitity and is associated with female sexual organs (removal of the foreskin represents the masculinization of the boy) Men identify and celebrate their differences from women The exposed clitoris represents the male sexual organ or penus and its removal symbolizes the feminization of the girl child and marks her adult sexual status Women exaggerate and celebrate their differences from men (often ridiculing and belittling male sexuality and supposed social and sexual superiority) Removal of the clitoris is symbolic of matriarchal power Also symbolizes the separation of mother and son or of matriarchy and patriarchy Female elders say that this intiation is a potent emotional and psychological reminder to ment hat it is women who give birth to them and mother who are natural origins from which all human creation is derived Female sex/sexuality are not oppressed in or through these rituals; they are celebrated High levels of support for the practice But, not all women who are affected necessarily support these practices or view them and empowering The term “mutilation” presupposes some irreversible and serious harm – this is not supported by current medical research Research found no evidence on morality and rate of medical complications In fact, rate of fertility was exactly the same for those who had the surgrey and those who did not; no evidence on connection between genital surgey and prolonged labor Surgeries are incompatible with sexual enjoyment; it actually improves sexual pleasure by emphasizing orgasms reached thorugh stimulation of the g-spot which is said to be more inteses and satisfying for an experienced woman Surgrey enhances the appearance of the vulva and facilitates better sex by removing any barrier to complete, full and deep penetration The g-spot is the “secret joy” adult women possess Only possibility for small differences in infant morality rate is – the low standard of care circumcised women are receiving and fear on the part of both affected women and healthcare providers in zero-tolerance and anti- FGM environemnts Vaginal intercourse is associated with womanhood and adult female sexuality Male initiates learn not to fear this powerful female sexual organ but rather how to manipulate it for their own and their partners pleasure Ahmadu belives that women should be free to be able to decide what to do with their own bodies It is argued that the clitoris leads to build up of smegma and bacteria in layers of skin in vagina and accumulation is odorous, susceptible to infection and a nuisance to keep clean on a daily basis Why would a mother want to burden her daughter with this circumcision if she would do the same thing for her son? Carlos Londono His reaction to Ahmadu’s discussion In literature and media the practice is often represented as brutal violation of little girls rights to their bodies and sexual integrity; male domination over females Liberals believe that the worst thing oen can be is cruel: reducing cruelty is one of the good tihngs we are about when we seek knowledge and generate change Research does not support the idea that cutting has deprived women forever of orgasm and sexual pleasure and that they will have short and long term health problems Health and reproductive complications are infrequent People in socities that praise female cutting are aware that pain and some bleeding are a matter of course in their practice and that there are limited risks os infection and other health problems Still deem the practice to have positive and necessary effects There is a widespread claim that cutting is an oppressive practice of male control over the vodies and sex of women Such claims oversimplify the social relations in question and stereotype the people involved Why bother to undergo the painful procedure when nature has given women bodies endowed with clitorides? Wouldn’t it be simpler and more conductive to well being and happiness? Took for granted that our Western practices are more natural, normal, or better than those of people whose views of these matters differ from ours The idea of the “natural body” as an ideal of beauty and wholesomeness does not hold sway with them We reveal bias when we treat these practices as less artificial than female but not male genital excision For Kono women to undergo bondo makes them a kind of person that is admirable, informed, courageous, capable of dealing with pain, mature, and womanly Bondo establishes age-group and other relationships among the different women involved – relationshpis that the Kono women and men value greatly There is very little Weston protest against male mutilation but do not so easily but it when Kono women say the same about female circumsition Parents and health experts feel it is a healthy practice that enchances aesthetics and that is done for the childs benefit There are many things we do in our culture just because it is apart of our culture Perhaps Kono girls do not freely choose to find it admirable to face the cutting or to find modified vulvas prettier than ones with surgrey, but they just do What he was most surprised about was the iniquity of discourses that suggest to Kono women that they are mutilated and do not achieve orgasm She would not condemn the practices of genital cutting and would not be willing to sign a zero tolerance petition after hearing to Ahmadu Understands that undergoing bondo was an important element in Ahmadu’s definition of herself AAA Code of Ethics Anthropologists must be sensitive to the interests, differentials, power, of all relationships 1. DO NO HARM: avoid harm to dignity, well-being, and avoid causing immediate harm and potential consequences; irreplaceable nature of archaelogocial record (conserve and protect) 2. BE OPEN AND HONEST REGARDING YOUR WORK: be prepared to acknowledge and disclose to participants and collaborators the impact of their work; must not plagiarize or falsify evidence but may be minimally modified 3. OBTAIN INFORMED CONSENT AND NECESSARY PERMISSIONS: does not necessaryily imply/require written or signed form – it is the quality not the format which is relevant 4. WEIGH COMPETING ETHICAL OBLIGATIONS DUR COLLABORATORS AND AFFECTED PARTIES: obligations to research participants are usually primary 5. MAKE YOUR RESULTS ACCESSIBLE: disseminated in a timely fashion; results may not be clear cut and may be subject to multiple interpretations and unintended uses; anthropologists should not withhold results from participants 6. PROTECT AND PRESERVE YOUR RECORDS: ensuring integrity, preservation, and protection fo their work; the use of digitalization and digital media for data storage preservation is of concern due to ease of duplication and circulation 7. MAINTAIN RESPECTFUL AND ETHICAL PROFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS Gravlee Well-defined inequalities between racially defined groups for a range of biological outcomes – these patterns are often taken as evidence of fundamental genetic differences between races Race the race concept is inconsistent with patterns of global human genetic diversity There are complex environmental influences human biology Race is a cultural construct The risk of morbidity and mortality from every leading case is patterned along racial lines Poor health especially high in African Americans If race is not biology, why are there such clear differences among racially defined groups in a range of biological phenomena? Race becomes biology The sociocultural reality of raceand racism has biological consequences for racially defined groups thus biology may provide some of the strongest evidence for persistence of race and racism as sociocultural phenonmena Epidemiological evidence for racial inequalities in health reinforces race as biology Social inequalities shapre the biology of racialized groups and embodided inequalities perpetuate a racialized view of human biologu Articles states… 1. Why race is insifficent for describing human genetic diversity 2. Promote a more complex biocultural view of human biology 3. Take seriously the claim that race is a cultural construct that shapes life changes Race: a worldview; a culturally structured systematic way of looking at, perceiving, and interpreting reality There is abundant evidence of health inequalities among racially defined groups in many societies There are substancial racial inequalities in mordity and mortality across multiple biological systems Much epidemiological literature focuses on such black-white comparisons Racial inequalities in health: Socioeconomic status Health behaviors Psychosocial stress Social stucutre and cultural context Sytematic reviews in health related disciplines show that race is widely used but that it is seldom defined How we racially define people and our patients in studies is important; I think future we must get more sophisticated with identifying gene pools and not use the color of the patients skin There is this assumption that race/ethnicity means “gene pools” Findings do not warrant the conclusion that racial inequalities are genetic in origin; genetic hypotheses require genetic data Race does not equal human genetic variation Most human genetic variation is clinal – there are seldom clear genetic boundaries between populations Most human genetic variation is nonconcordant such that the traits we use to distinguish races may have no value for predicting other aspects of biology Human genetic variation is widely shared across our species with little variation occurring between racially defined groups Yet some researchers still defend race as a useful framework for describing human genetic variation The race concept is inadequate for describing the complex structure of human genetic variation Biology does not equal genetics Epidemiologic evidence shows that race is biology There are well-defined differences between racially defined groups for a range of biological outcomes (cancer, stroke, etc.) The challenge is to move beyond the past assertion that race is not biology to explain how race becomes biology Embodiment: a concept referring to how we literally incorporate, biologically, the material and social world in which we live from conception to death At an individual level, the experience of unfair treatment or interpersonal discrimination has a wide range of embodied consequences Studies show that institutionalized racism contributes to racial disparities is health, above and beyond individual factors Racial residential segregation is a fundamental cause of racial inequalities in health because it constrains opportuntiies for success (such as education, occupational status, and income) and creates pathogenic social contexts that influence the distribution of disease Inequalities across multiple levels of analysis have lingering effects across the life course and even from one generation to the next The toxic effects of exposure to racism is ones own lifetime include higher risk in health issues; these conditions in turn will affect the health of the next generation because they alter the quality of the fetal and early postnatal environment Race does not equal myth Race as a cultural construct cannot be or appear to be a wholesale dismissal of human biological diversity We are a less variable species than our closest relatives but genetic variation exists Variation is structured in such a way that there are detectable genetic differences between people who self-identify with conventional racial categories Denial of human genetic variation is false The distinction between cultural and biological dimentions of skin color requires a measurement strategy that incorporates the cultural meaning of skin color Richardson Quit highschool, joined AirForce In this background were reasons to become an anthropologist Principle reason was that he was raised a Southern Baptist His discovery was his salvation; wanted to find out why people were what they were He wanted freedom Anthropology was liberation; free him from the view of a man before a God Freedom would not come from forgetting these things but from studying them to expose their secret Being an anthropologist is being critical of yourself, society, and profession Anthropolist is an academican Anthropologists vary so their discontent varies Ethnographer must spend more time with his informant for the informant has the type of knowledge that the ethnographer needs in order to understand the community The informant (not the informer) defines and create the ethnographer The ethnographer defines the informant Informant: Not a subject; it is always a person (not an animal) who cannot exist apart from his natural surroudnings Not an interviewee; only a single strand of the interview connects them but several strands tie the ethnographer and the informant Ethnographer listens more than he talks Informant is not necessarily a friend; relationship itself is not one of friendship Informant is the teacher of the ethnographer; teach all that he knows; may be paid in favors or cash but he is not an employee and the ethnographer cannot fire him Without the informant the ethnographer cannot carry out his task Setting which the ethnographer and informant came together was through power and cultural differences Ethnographers = powerful society, literate, massive, complex; white, highly educated Informants = weak society, preliterate, delicate, direct; black, red, yellow, illiterate Informant occupied the higher dominant position; man of wisdom and schooled in the traditions of his people Ethnographer occupied the lower, subordinate one; trained student and his education had keyed him to discover, to find out, to learn the things that the informant knew Cultural relativism said that in order to understand any one particular aspect of a culture you had to see how it was related to the other aspects Cultural relativism was a significant advance in ethnography – contains core values that says to take cultures as they come, don’t prejudge them, don’t impose your own ethnocentric categories upon them; moral justification for being an anthropologist Anthropoligists: reborn by the field experience they returned from as a new breed of humans Their hope, their mission, lay in convincing other people of the validity of that experience Fieldwork began as a means of gathering data in order to prove or disprove theories of biological and cultural evolution The setting in which the ethnographer and informant work today is still polarized by cultural and power differences These differences are far less sharp than before Informants society has gain considerable power while the ethnographers society has lost some Ethnographer of today comes from a background considerably different from that traditionally associated with anthropology in the U.S. Older tradition: usually from upper class; families of solid substance; intellectual environment; family valued leanring Today: emerge from higher and lower
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