Study Guide for Exam 1 - Anthropology
Study Guide for Exam 1 - Anthropology
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Date Created: 02/09/15
Cultural Anthropology Section 1 2915 1045 AM 112 Scope of Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology Branches of Anthropology and Major Foci Physicalbiological anthropology physical evolution of the human species human evolution 0 O 0 Role of biology genetic makeup in culture human behavior The eld with the closest links to the natural and medical sciences Study how is it that the human species changed or evolved from nonhuman species without culture What changes were crucial over the course of years for us to evolve Uncover remains often bones in order to leam explain what was it that was necessary for human evolution to take place Culture and biologicalenvironmental changes occurred simultaneously for us to evolve What changes in climate food supply geography that changed prehumen species that led to what we are today Why did our immediate ancestors appear in southern Africa and not in Europe What kinds of physical anatomical changes in the human body were crucial for the appearance of culture How has culture changed the human body over time How do humans physically differ from one another and how are these differences affected by culture Archaeology appearance disappearance of societies 0 O 0 Try to understand what these societies were like Try to reconstruct social demographic makeup of these societies How and why have certain societies appeared and what is it that led to their eventual disappearance Social societal evolution transition of small societies into larger ones First human societies were small scale mobile foraging egalitarian Small societies that disappeared were replaced by larger societies that still exist today how and why did this transition occur Linguistic anthropology language and culture how and why do languages change through time o What can we learn about culture through the study of language 0 Why do some languages become extinct o What can emphasis on words in a language reveal about a society Cultural anthropology study of contemporary people and their cultures What ties together these different fields Emphasis on culture Anthropology as a holistic discipline the results of one branch helps anthropologists in other branches better understand what they re trying to uncover The Scope of Cultural Anthropology twin foci Cultural diversity go all over the world trying to understand how and why different people of other societiescultures think and behave in ways so different from the ways we and others do Cultural similarities interested in learning about why people who are so different from each other have so much in common Cultural anthropology as a comparative and crosscultural discipline Stratified inequalities throughout cultures gender division of labor class race Cultural anthropologists are constantly making comparisons between cultures What do these cultures share 114 Thinking about Culture What s the Big Deal Introduction Culture the symbolic and material repertoire o How people make sense of their world how it ought to be notions of what is right or wrong proper or improper just or unjust o Allows people to claim and assert a certain distinctiveness or sense of identity regarding others 0 Provides people with the symbolic and material tools with which to adapt to and cope with changing circumstances in lifestyle environment etc 0 Everything around us is a product of culture 0 Provides us with a moral compass how we should view ourselves and our relationships with each other Biology vs Culture Nature vs Nurture Nature Side rooted in biology o How and why members of different groups behave in certain ways in primarily due to biological characteristics and genetic predispositions 0 We are partially programmed to behave in certain ways because of our genetic makeup 0 Ex men are naturally more aggressive than women societies are more intelligent than others Nurture Side most human behavior is a product of culture 0 Most of what we do is a product of our upbringing 0 Priority on culture as a means of understanding crosscultural behavior General Proposition All humans have an equal potential and capacity for culture and behavior is largely determined by culture regardless of other differences Cultural anthropologists recognize the importance of culture and that in many ways it doesn t make much sense to try to attribute speci c behaviors in biological terms Ex baby born in Africa but raised since childhood in Squirrel Hill and offered the same opportunities as other children raised by that family will grow up to be a typical boy indistinguishable from other American teenagers Functionalism view that a culture is similar to a biological organism in which the parts work to support the operation and maintenance of the whole Holism view that one must study all aspects of a culture to understand it Cultural materialism theory that takes material features of life such as environment natural resources and mode of livelihood as the bases for explaining social organization and ideology Interpretive anthropology view that cultures are best understood by studying what people think about their ideas and the meanings that are important to them Structurism theoretical position concerning human behavior and ideas that says large forces such as the economy social and political organization and the media shape what people do and think In uenced by postmodernism asks if modernity is truly progress Agency ability of humans to make choices and exercise free will even within dominating cultures Cultural Relativism what may be accepted as normal in one societal context may not be the case in another Idea we should not judge another culture from the vantage point of our own culture Idea that we should not take our lifestyles beliefs and values as a given norm that everyone else should follow Ethnocentrism judging other cultures because they don t conform to the norms of your own culture 0 Bias Cultural Relativism vs Critical Cultural Relativism Critical Cultural Relativism idea that we can and should avoid ethnocentrism without accepting certain categories of behavior such as mass violence genocide etc 0 Should place limits on cultural relativism Major Characteristics of Culture Learned product of cultural upbringing do not inherit it Shared by at least 2 people broadly shared in speci c societal contexts unequally Symbolic what we do and think about don t have a connection Unconscious we rarely take a step back and think about why we do what we do Constantly changing Holistic different aspects of culture are tightly interrelated with each other change in one facet of culture will have other changes in other facets of culture 0 Ex changes in technology and how they re related to words in English language Adaptive allows you to cope with changing circumstances Microculture distinct pattern of learned and shared behavior and thinking found within a larger culture Based on ethnicity gender age etc Multiple Cultural Worlds Symbol object word or action with culturally def1ned meaning that stands for something else most are arbitrary Globalization increased and intensi ed international ties related to the spread of Western especially US capitalism that affect all world cultures Localization transformation of global culture by local cultures into something new Class way of categorizing people on basis of their economic position in society income or wealth Race classi cation of people into groups on basis of homogeneous and biological traits such as skin color or hair characteristics Biological determinism theory that explains human behavior and ideas as shaped mainly by biological features such as genes and hormones Behaviors that have reproductive advantages are more likely than others to be passed on to future generations Cultural constructionism theory that explains human behavior and ideas as shaped mainly by learning 121 Doing Anthropology Art Science of Both Fieldworkz Cultural Anthropology s Distinctive Approach 9 To go into the eld experience the life of the people they re studying and wish to understand once there they employ different techniques and methods Participant observation the most important method 0 Living with the people they wish to study and participating in daily life trying one s best to go native 0 Ex eating and drinking what they eat in drink working in the elds going hunting and fishing helping people being present etc o Deeply personal and lasting bond with those whose lives the anthropologist is interested in I Rapport trusting relationship between researcher and population 0 Multisited research eldwork conducted on a topic in more than one location in order to understand the culture of dispersed members of the culture or relationships among different levels of culture 0 Informed consent eldwork ethics requiring that the researcher inform the research participants of the intent scope and possible effects of the proposed study and seek their consent to be in the study Deductive and inductive research 0 Deductive approach posing research question gathering data assessing findings 0 Inductive approach avoids hypothesis formation in advance of the research and takes its lead from culture being studied 0 Etic analytical framework used by outside analysts in studying culture 0 Emic insider s perceptions and categories and their explanations for why they do what they do Talking with people 0 Interview technique for fathering verbal data through questions of guided conversation o Questionnaire formal research instrument containing a preset series of questions that anthropologists ask in a facetoface setting or by mail or email Combining observation and talking essential for a wellrounded view of culture 0 Observing what people do and what people say they do Specialized methods 0 Life history qualitative indepth description of an individual s life as narrated to the researcher 0 Time allocation study quantitative method that collects data on how people spend their time each day on particular activities relies on standard time units and labelingcoding the activities that occur within certain time segments must be adapted to fit local contexts o Texts textual material collected and analyzed by anthropologists which includes writtenoral stories myths plays sayings speeches jokes transcriptions of people s conversations 0 Multiple research methods and team projects mix of different methods for research because just one wouldn t provide all the varieties of data necessary to understand a topic Takingcoding field notes Tape recording conversations Analyzing data qualitative and quantitative Microcultures and Fieldwork Class race ethnicity gender and age all affect how the local people will perceive and welcome an anthropologist Culture Shock the feeling of uneasiness loneliness and anxiety that occurs when a person shifts from one culture to a different one o The more different the 2 cultures the more severe the shock is likely to be 0 Ex problems with food language barriers loneliness The goal of eldwork is to collect information data about the research topic Results of Fieldwork An Ethnography Ethnography results of doing eldwork picture of a particular group of people 0 Detailed description of a certain way of life behavior thinking and relating to others 0 Main way that cultural anthropologists present their ndings about culture 0 Represents anthropologist s interpretations of the life ways of a particular group of people 0 Ex What s Love Got T 0 Do With It class book Art or Science or Both Systematic Bias free Reliable Can the work be replicated Representative Can the results be generalized 126 Economic Anthropology Earning a Living What All Economic Systems Have in Common Ways of Allocating Labor Division of Labor can be simplegenderoriented or elaborate and specialized like our society Knowledge of Landscape useful resources and Technology passed on generationally includes knowledge of technology that converts environment into essential resources related to quality of life Rules on Access to Means of Production common understandings often expressed in valuesattitudes of access to land technology knowledge livestock etc Rules on How What is Produce Should be Distributed how goods will be distributed should all goods be distributed equally and if not why not Rules on How What is Produced Ought to be ConsumedUsed common understandingrules for consuming tobacco and alcohol food food taboos cats and dogs things no one in a society eats prescription drugs vs other drugs etc Never Isolated from other Domains of Culture religion politics marriage etc Major Modes of Livelihood dominant way of making a living in a culture Foraging huntergathering based on resources that are available in nature through gathering shing or hunting original af uent society 0 O Rely on tools for gathering transporting and processing wild foods Extensive strategy mode of livelihood requiring access to large areas of land and unrestricted population movement Temperateclimate foraging and circumpolar foraging two major varieties of foraging that are related to different environmental contexts Divisions of labor occupational specialization based on gender and age Property relations use rights person group has socially recognized priority in access to particular resources such as gathering areas hunting and shing areas and water holes Foraging as a sustainable system crucial resources are regenerated over time in balance with the demand that the population makes on them forager s needs are modest Horticulture based on cultivating domesticated plants in gardens using hand tools shifting cultivation O 0 Use of handheld tools rain as main source of moisture Division of labor gender and age different roles for men and women related to status Property relations use rights are important but more clearly de ned than foraging production of surplus goods allows possibility of social inequality in access to goods and resources Sustainable system fallowing allows plot to recover lost nutrients and improves soil quality by allowing the growth of weeds whose root systems keep the soil loose I Major constraints time required or fallowing and need for access to large amounts of land so that some land is in use while other land is fallowed Pastoralism based on domesticated animal herds and use of their products meat milk for 50 or more of the diet 0 Division of labor gender and age are key factors but families and clusters or related families are the basic production unit Property relations most important forms of property are animals housing and domestic goods I Private property for animals and housing materials I Use rights regulate pasture land and migratory routes Sustainable system highly successful and sustainable economic system that functions in coexistence with other economic systems Agriculture involves growing crops on permanent plots with the use of plowing irrigation and fertilizer farming 0 Intensive strategy use of techniques that allow the same plot of land to be use repeatedly without losing its fertility Relies on domesticated animals for plowing transportation and organic fertilizer Family farming production is geared to support the family and produce goods for sale much crosscultural variety I Division of labor family is the basic labor unit gender and age are important as well I Female farming systems women and girls play a major role in livelihood found in Southeast Asia and India I Property relations firmly defined and protected property rights Industrial agriculture produces crops through capitalintensive means using machinery and inputs such as processed fertilizers instead of human and animal labor I Corporate farm huge agricultural enterprise that produces goods solely for sale and are owned and operated by companies entirely reliant on hired labor I Has major social effects is seasonal Sustainability requires more in the way of labor inputs technology and use of nonrenewable natural resources than economic systems discussed earlier I Not a sustainable system it undermines the sustainability of foraging horticulture and pastoralism Industrialism nformatics goods and services are produced through mass employment in business and commercial operations and through the creation manipulation management and transfer of information through electronic media 0 In industrial capitalism most goods are produced not to meet basic needs but to satisfy consumer demands for nonessential goods 0 Unemployment is a serious problem in these societies Modes of Consumption and Exchange Modes of consumption intaking in terms of eating or outputting in terms of spending or using resources to obtain those things to intake Minimalism mode of consumption characterized by few and finite consumer demands and an adequate and sustainable means to achieve them 0 Most characteristic of freeranging foragers but also found to some degree amount horticulturalists and pastoralists Consumerism mode of consumption where people s demands are many and infinite and means of satisfying them are never suff1cient thus driving colonialism globalization and other forms of expansionism o Distinguishing feature of industrialinformatic cultures 0 Globalization is spreading consumerism throughout the world 0 Since 1970 s consumption levels in the US have been highest of any society in human history 0 In smallscale societies consumption items are produced by consumers for own use 0 Personalized consumption consumption items are produced by people with whom the consumer has personal facetoface relationship 0 Depersonalized consumption distancing consumers from workers who actually produce goods makes it possible for workers to be exploited Social organization and meaning of consumption varies crossculturally Distribution of personal goods is equal Leveling mechanisms unwritten culturally embedded rules that prevent an individual from becoming wealthier or more powerful than anyone else Consumption microcultures class gender and race 0 Men s food and women s food 0 Racial inequalities in consumption due to discrimination Modes of Exchange exchange is the transfer of something that may be material or immaterial between at least 2 personsgroupsinstitutions Balanced exchange system of transfers where the goal is either immediate or eventual balance in value 0 Generalized reciprocity transaction that involves the least conscious sense of interest in material gain or thought of what might be received in return and when I Foods and services of everyday nature cup of coffee I Main form of exchange between people who know and trust each other well main form of exchange in foraging societies Pure gift something given with no expectation or thought of a return I Extreme form of generalized reciprocity I Ex donations Expected reciprocity exchange of approximately equally valued goods or services between people of roughly equal social status I If second party fails to complete the exchange the relationship will break down Redistribution one person collects goods or money from many members of a group and provides a social return at a later time I Involves centricity I Contains possibility of inequality because what s returned may not always equal what each individual contributed Unbalanced exchange system of transfers where one party attempts to make a profit 0 O O 0 Market exchange prominent form buying and selling of commodities under competitive conditions where the forces of supply and demand determine value and the seller seeks to make a profit I Marketplace physical location where buying and selling occur I Trade formalized exchange of one thing for another according to set standards of value I Periodic market permanent market Gambling Theft Exploitation Globalization and Changing Economies Powerful market forces controlled by the core countries are the main factors affecting changing patterns of consumption and exchange Local cultures adopt and adapt globalizing products and their meanings and sometimes resist them Focus of economic anthropology The crosscultural production distribution and consumption of goods and the values attitudes belie s etc that underpin these Studying Economic Systems CrossCulturally FormalistSubstantivist Debate revolves around whether conceptscategories used for studying Western economic systemscapitalist societies actually are useful for understanding the economic systems of radically different noncapitalist societies 0 Supply and demand free markets profit maximization etc o Formalists believe that these concepts are useful for the crosscultural study of economic systems the same concepts must be used so that we can compare and advance the crosscultural understanding of economies o Substantivists believe that using these concepts are not useful crossculturally and to do so would be ethnocentrism these concepts come with speci c historical and ideological baggage I Ex members of other societies who prefer not to produce goods for the market is the idea of profit useful for studying economic systems in which people refuse to sell their goods What Does a Cultural Approach to Economics Entail o It sidesteps formal abstract reasoning and tries to convey what fundamental economic changes actually mean for real ordinary people from the vantage point of their own lives 0 What might restructuring mean to ordinary folks in their ordinary lives 0 What does downsizing mean from the vantage point of those who have lost their jobs Redistribution important aspect of cultural economics goods that come to a center and get redistributed Anthropology Feb 2 amp Feb 4 2915 1045 AM Maintaining Health amp Coping with Illness Medical Anthropology Medical System Beliefs practices and knowledge for diagnosing and treating sickness All societies have a medical system Medical Anthropology Studies the social cultural and biological aspects of health and sickness from a cross cultural perspective Different societies perceive and experience ailments and pathologies in different ways Difference societies have different explanations as to how and why illnesses and ailments occur Different societies classify illnesses differently use different labels Ethnomedicine vs Biomedicine Illness vs disease Ethnomedicine culturally speci c medical systems in nonWestern societies 0 These systems and practitioners are alluded to by a number of terms one most common as healers o Emphasize social and cultural factors in diagnosing and treating illness 0 Systems usually understand illness and ailment in a speci c cultural setting almost always is understood as a somatic bodily expression of a fundamental imbalance or lack of harmony between humans and supernatural o Illness is the perception of pathology in a speci c culture I Perceived as a social issue 0 Treatment is focused on restoring that harmony or balance between humans and the supernatural 0 Coming down with an ailment almost never is understood from the vantage point of biology Biomedicine refers to medical system dominating Western societies 0 Practitioners are doctors and physicians that attach primary explanatory power to biological pathogens physiological imbalances and diagnosistreatment of disease 0 Downplays role of culture and social relationships in diagnosing and treating illness 0 Distinction deeply rooted in Western European thought between ailments of the mind and ailments of the body Ethnomedicine Biomedicine And Inequality 1 Culture is important but poor health is not only the result of culture not a culturalist approach 2 i People are ill because they view illness from the vantage point of their culture often don t accept biomedicine Also important are the broader contexts of inequality that lead to poor health focus of critical medical anthropology o Pervade by ethnic social and economic inequalities which all lead to poor health throughout the globe ex no access to healthcare due to poverty When medical anthropologists focus their attention on speci c diseases they try to do 2 things 0 Respect and understand ethnomedical systems and how people think about disease 0 Understand how biomedicine might work in curing severe health conditions Blaming culture for medical conditions is unacceptable from vantage point of medical anthropologists Case Study HIVAIDS Sida in Haiti The context widespread poverty political instability low life expectancy highest rate of HIVAIDS outside subSaharan Africa Local understandings of illness 0 Illness sent by God easily cured non lifethreatening vs illness sent by Satan lifethreatening that will kill What to do when struck by an illness from Satan 0 Root cause is from a social relationship from another human 9 envy jealously hatred blame When biomedical and ethnomedical treatment fails and people die Haitians think it was sent by Satan or humans in alliance with Satan 24 Film AIDS In Africa Ethnomedical explanations are very plausible Questions to think about while watching this lm What are some of the ways that people in Africa are dealing with the spread of AIDS What might be some of the reasons why AIDS is spreading so quickly What might be some of the social consequences of mass mortality in subSaharan Africa Zimbabwe 1 out of 8 adults are infected with HIVAIDS This location has been hit harder by AIDS than any other country Over 15 million of Zimbabwe s population have tested positive for HIVAIDS This could lead to a disappearance of a generation Majority of those infected are parents Illness carries shame and stigma excluding them from their society AIDS orphans children who have lost parents to AIDS Most women are forced into sex protection isn t available AIDS is not warned or taught to the people Zimbabwe people must change their sexual culture and behaVior to help stop the ow of AIDS how men look at women and how women look at men 2915 1045 AM
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