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Cultural Anthropology Final Study Guide

by: Ashlee Notetaker

Cultural Anthropology Final Study Guide ANT 10

Ashlee Notetaker
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

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About this Document

Final Study Guide
Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Donner
Study Guide
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
50 ?




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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Ashlee Notetaker on Wednesday April 27, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ANT 10 at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania taught by Dr. Donner in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.

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Date Created: 04/27/16
Anthropology Final Study Guide Course Issues Anthropology: the study of human species and its immediate ancestors. Offering a cross-cultural perspective by constantly comparing the customs of one society with those of another.  A comparative and holistic science.  Holism: the study of the whole of the human condition: past, present and future; biology, society, language, and culture. Fields of Anthropology: 1. Archeology: material remains – some cultures have no writing, thus forced to sometimes look through trash. 2. Physical/Biological Anthropology: human chemistry, biology, evolution, nutrition. 3. Cultural Anthropology: human cultures in past and present. 4. Linguistics: study of language. a. Sociolinguistics: study of social context of language use. b. Sapir-Whorf: hypothesis that language determines thought. Participant Observation: the effort of an investigator to gain entrance into and social acceptance by a foreign culture or alien group so as better to attain a comprehensive understanding of the internal structure of the society.  Main method used by cultural anthropologist. Culture: traditions and customs, transmitted through learning, that form and guide the beliefs and behaviors of the people exposed to them.  Children learn such tradition by growing up in a particular society, through a process called enculturation.  Culture traditions include customs and opinions, developed over the generations, about proper and improper behavior.  A culture produces a degree of consistency in behavior and thought among the people who live in a particular society.  Critical element of cultural traditions is their transmission through learning rather than through biological inheritance.  Humans possess some of the biological capacities on which culture is depends. o These abilities are to learn, to think symbolically, to use language, and to make and use tools. Cultural learning depends on the uniquely developed human capacity to use symbols, signs that have no necessary or natural connection to the things they signify or for which they stand.  Enculturation: the process by which culture is learned and transmitted (shared) across the generations. Cultural is the way humans adapt to their environments so they can survive.  Maladaptive: cultures can do things that destroy themselves. Instrumental/Functional  Biological (Primary): satisfy basic human needs – food, housing, reproduction.  Social (Secondary): creates solidarity, social satisfaction. Normative: rules, laws, both formal and informal (etiquette). Integrated:  Core values – basic human values that affect all aspects of a culture.  Institutions such as family, economy, art, law, and business – are all integrated. Historical/Traditional: maintain tradition across generations. Levels of Cultural Influence:  International: McDonalds.  National: specific to nation – such as, NASCAR in the US.  Subculture: traits shared by a group of people that also share many traits within a large group. Often belong to many different subcultures. Adaptation: processes by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses.  Humans have biological means of adaptation, but humans habitually rely on cultural means of adaption. Ethnology: comparative study across cultures; generalization. Ethnography: holistic study of one particular society; descriptive. Ethnocentrism: occurs when a person uses his or her own culture to judge another culture. Stereoscopic Vision:  Looking at an object from different angels.  Provides death perception – distance of object.  Look at other cultures to get a new perspective on own.  “The last thing a fish notices is the water.” Race: ethnic group assumed to have a biological basis (culturally constructed). Diffusion: transfer of traits and ideas between two groups. Invention: Something new – rare compared to diffusion. Levels of culture analysis:  Universal: everywhere (almost) – varies in how it is applied.  General: widespread – belief in supernatural, marriages.  Particular: One place, subculture Agency: the actions of individuals, alone and in groups, which create and transform culture. Religion Religion: belief and ritual concerned with supernatural beings, powers, and forces. Anthropologists take functional approach – can’t tell you who is right, but we can tell you what religion does, and how it serves certain human needs. Why are people religious?  Religion explains the unexplainable – why are we here, where are we going.  Religion provides security – illness, death, success.  Religion provides solidarity – brings people together. o Communitas: intense feeling of social solidarity.  Justifies social order/laws/way things are/social control. o Religion and social control  If the faithful truly internalize a system of religious rewards and punishments, their religion becomes a powerful influence on their attitudes and behavior, and what they teach their children. Religion can get inside people and mobilizing their emotions.  Religion describes or sets standards for what is “right” and “wrong” Theories on Religion  Durkheim o Solidarity o Communitas – social solidarity  Malinowski o Individual security  Weber o Legitimate guiding values, define self Magic: use of supernatural techniques to accomplish specific ends. Witchcraft: the practice of magic, especially black magic; the use of spells and the invocation of spirits. Shaman: Individual curer, personal experience – Informal. Priest: office, body of knowledge, standardized. – Formal. Animism: spiritual essences in many objects. Animatism: spiritual force is channeled. Taboo: sacred and forbidden; prohibition backed by supernatural sanctions. Rites of Passage: rites marking transitions between places, or stages of life.  Stages in life course. o Baptism, confirmation, marriage and death.  Special ritual to mark transition, especially the transition from childhood to adulthood.  Van Gennep – all rites of passage have three phases: separation, liminality, and incorporation. o Separation: people withdraw from ordinary society. o Liminality or transition: people have left one status but haven’t yet entered or joined the next. o Incorporation: people reenter society. Max Weber: protestant ethic and capitalism.  Observed that capitalism and industrialization took place first in protestant areas of Europe.  Protestant values emphasized hard work and the accumulation of wealth as the way to salvation.  Capitalism develops as people work hard and then save and invest and reinvest their money.  Overtime, religious values become more secularized. Revitalization movements: social movements that occur in times of change, in which religious leaders emerge and undertake to alter or revitalize a society.  Steady state  Period of individual stress  Period of cultural disorientation o Caused by warfare, disease and economic problems. o Handsome lake religion arose around 1800 among the Iroquois of New York State. Handsome Lake, the founder, was a leader of one of the Iroquois tribes. Handsome lake was a heavy who started having visions from heavenly messengers. His visions offered a plan for coping with the new order. The teachings of handsome lake produced new church and religion. Syncretism: are cultural mixes, including religious blends, that emerge from acculturation – the exchange of cultural features when cultures come into continuous firsthand contact. Secular rituals: include formal, invariant, stereotypes, earnest, repetitive behavior and rites of passage that take place in nonreligious settings. Art and Expressive Culture Expressive culture: people express themselves in dance, music, song, painting, sculpture, pottery, cloth, storytelling, verse, prose, drama, and comedy. Motif:  Recurring pattern or theme in art.  Rags to riches in story telling (Cinderella).  Hero fighting powerful o Bart Simpson, Spiderman, longer fights against authority.  Artistic patterns o Impression o Abstract o Pottery design Iroquois false faces: Some bad spirits caused disease. Other caused bad behavior. The False Face Society was an Iroquois healing group. The Iroquois False Face Society knew they could not kill a bad spirit. Their job was to scare the bad spirits. They used masks and chants and rattles and dance to scare the evil spirits and to chase them away.  To make a false face – it must be carved out of a tree, the Iroquois people believed there were spirits in the tree. Graffiti: writing or drawings scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface in a public place. Airplane art: art on airplanes suggested that bombers have art that represents home, security and romance. Modern World System Rate of change: younger men know more than elders – because technology grows so rapidly. Cultural context of change: change must have some fit with cultural system.  Cultural integration o Change one thing, change everything, change technology, and change everything. o Individuals less important than cultural factors in shaping change. Colonialism: the political, social, economic, and cultural domination of a territory and its people by a foreign power for an extended time. Globalization: an intensification of global interconnectedness, suggesting a world full of movement and mixture, contact and linkages, and persistent cultural interaction and exchange. Process of Change:  Innovation: something new o Primary: invention o Secondary: application  Diffusion: monument of cultural diversity Transfer of culture through contact, most common source of all change. Ralph Linton essay: “100% American”  Show that Americans are not that inventive – everything that American’s own came from somewhere else. Acculturation: (power difference) the processes of change in artifacts, customs, and beliefs that result from the contact of two or more cultures. Assimilation: the process whereby individuals or groups of differing ethnic heritage are absorbed into the dominant culture of a society. Syncretism: blending traits from two different cultures to form a new trait. Post-Colonial (present-day): describing relations between European nations and areas they colonized and once ruled.  New period in which colonies are independent.  Also interpret their own history rather than colonial powers.  Post-socialist: fall of Soviet Union.  Neoliberal: o Expansion of market system globally. o Many anthropologists think this is a disadvantage for indigenous. Imperialism: policy to dominate, may not directly control administration. World System  Core: dominant position in the world system; nations with advanced systems of production. o wealthy nations, west  Periphery: weakest structural and economic position in the world system. o poor provide resources and cheap labor  Semi-periphery: position in the world system intermediate between core and periphery. o In-between, wealthy but not dominant. o Oil producing nations. Cheap resources in other countries:  Exploitation of resources and labor.  Malaysian factory women, Nike in Vietnam. Industrialization: the process in which a society or country (or world) transforms itself from a primarily agricultural society into one based on the manufacturing of goods and services. Stratification: arranging the members of a society into a pattern of superior and inferior ranks.  Marx (wealthy people rule) o Technology and social relations o Bourgeois (wealthy, owners) vs proletariast (poor, workers).  Weber o Stratification is complex; power, prestige and wealth. o Ideology shaped capitalism. Industrial degradation: results of industrial development. Modernization  Science: use of scientific method  Industrialization: manufacturing economies  Agriculture: shift from subsistence to cash crops o Sugar, rubber, coffee, cocoa  Urbanization: movement to towns  Structural differentiation: specialization in roles and institutions.  Revival of traditions: creations of traditions – Santa.


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