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ECU / Sociology / SOCI 2010 / What are the five basic tasks of society?

What are the five basic tasks of society?

What are the five basic tasks of society?



What are the five basic tasks of society?

∙ Anthropology

o Anthropos= “human being”

o Logos= “word, study, knowledge”

∙ Subdivisions of Anthropology

o Biological or physical anthropology

 Origins (where humans come from), development, human  


o Archaeology

 Study of the past looking at the remains of the earth and waters o Linguistics

 Study of human interaction/communication. Spoken, written  language, non-verbal.

o Cultural/ Social Anthropology  

 Human learned behavior, society (group of humans living in an  environment common share culture

∙ Five Characteristics of Culture

o Learned

Why anthropology?

o Differentially shared

o Based on symbolic communications

o Integrated or systemic

o Relates to environment

∙ Five Basic Tasks of Society

o Food and shelter- subsistence technology

o Reproduce membership - social organization

 Birth (ex. Parsees) or recruitment (ex. Shakers)

o Enculturate membership-social organization

o Maintain order- social organization

 Informal or formal law

o Define meaning of life and maintain motivation for survival- religion  and ideology

∙ Why Anthropology?

o Knowledge

o Regularities

What do you call kinship?

o Cultural relativity (tolerance and objectivity) We also discuss several other topics like Who is anthony johnson?

 Opposite of this is ethnocentrism


The Netsilik Eskimo

∙ The Inuit Eskimo

o Native to Greenland, the Artic, Canada, coast of Alaska, and eastern  Siberia

o Since there were branches of Inuit living in Asia, this is proof that they  arrived earlier than previously thought

o “Eskimo” is the nickname given by the Cree Indians meaning “raw  meat-eater”

o Hunting-gathering society with only one domesticated animal (dogs) ∙ Way of Life Don't forget about the age old question of What are the three types of media convergence?

o The Inuit people were primarily a maritime culture

 Spent part of the year on the coast using its resources

o Tundra: further inland is open country with ground cover of grasses and mosses  We also discuss several other topics like What is deviation score?

 Can be narrow or wide

o Taiga: further inland than the Tundra is forest, it is a large portion of the interior of Canada, Alaska, and Russia

o Stone Age people (wood was not very common)

 Inuit used bone, ivory, and stone ingeniously

o Related to the Aleut people from the Aleutian islands

 Inuit/Aleut look more Asian in appearance than American Indian  Language is related

 Asian blood types exclusively exist amongst these people (Type  B)

o Inuit were never isolated

 Viking voyages came to Canada

 Outside disease were a great vulnerability

∙ 1918- the flu epidemic affected the whole world; a good  

portion died

o 17 subdivisions of Inuit

 Netsilik are one located in Eastern/Central Canada

o Inuit population

 Canada- 33,000

 Greenland- 40,000

 N/NW Alaska- 23,000

 W Alaska

 Aleut

∙ The Netsilik Don't forget about the age old question of What are the two definitions of politics?

o One of the 17 subdivisions

o East central Canadian Artic  

 “central Eskimo”

o 1950s

 They were forced to give up their nomadic lifestyle

o They were divided into 6 bands (families who move/hunt together)  Each band has different territory using different foods and cycles  Resources affect the number of people in the band as well as the size of the territory

o Bands

∙ Netsilingminut= people of the seal

“Muit”= people Don't forget about the age old question of Why is evolution so important to biology?
We also discuss several other topics like What is a type of learning in which the strength of a behavior is modified by the behavior's consequences, such as reward or punishment?

∙ Kunglmiut = river people

 They live off of meat and fish (fish oil in the diet balance the  negative effects)

 Berries and Caribou in the summer

∙ Annual Cycle of the Netsilik

o Spring (June, July)

 Time of living among the shore, women make sealed skin tents  Hunting includes fishing for salmon trout using fishing leister  o Summer (end of July)

 Move south following the course of streams.

 Women and children walk, dogs are used as pack animals and  men kayak upstream (establish fishing camps by August) before  the upstream migration of trout  

 They have fishing weirs- allows the men to easily fish for salmon trout (like Stone walls), they prepare sun-dried fish for later and  cook in soapstone pots.

 Late September = Caribou hunt, large groups of men (one group of men in the back making wolf sounds, one group of men  

hunting the oncoming Caribou in front)

o Fall

 Rivers and water are frozen. The main source of food is lake  trout, obtained by ice fishing, using a fishing leister  

o Winter (6 months)

 Seal hunting, entire band gets together and moves out on the  sea ice establishing snow houses (very sociable)  

 Snow house = igloo

 Peter Freucher  

 Hunts seals by following breathing holes, using a snow probe  and breathing hold searcher.

 Ice hunting harpoon and harpoon head

Anth 2010 Week Three Notes

Family Structure

∙ Social Organizations

o Kinship

 Whom do you recognize?

 What do you call them? (kinship terminology)

 How do you act towards them?

 Diagrams  

 = ego is the point of view the diagram is drawn from

 Brother Sisters

Netsilik Kinship Terminology  

o Iktog = grandfather

o Ningio = grandmother

o Anana= mother

o Atata = father

o Akka = paternal uncle

o Anga = maternal uncle

o Arnarviq = mother’s sister

o Atsa = aunt

o Anyayoq = elder sibling

o Nuka = younger sibling

o Aliga = sister

o Naya = little sister

o Idloq = same sex cousin

o Ani = brother

Marriage and family

o Women usually marry around their mid-teens while men marry at the age of  20

o The Netsilik arranged first cousin marriage, out of fear of outsiders  o Other Inuit believe in marrying non-relatives

o No wedding ceremony, just co-habitation

∙ Nuclear Family

o Unit of mother, father, and children apart of a patrilocal extended  family (several related men, wives, and children) all live together.

o Ihumatoq

 The eldest active hunter, leader of the band

o Extra marital love affairs are ignored

o Wife-stealing

 Husband may kill the man to get back his wife

o Seal meat partners

 How food is distributed exclusively  

 Every man has 12 partners that are set up by the mothers at a  young age

 The man who kills the seal also gets the skin  

o Song partners

 Composes songs in the simmer and performs the songs in the  winter

o Joking partner

 Competitors and rivals

 Two men from different extended families with the same  strength.

o Maintaining order

 Social pressure

 Respect for kinsman and the Ihumatoq

 Joking partners (keeps hostility under control)

 The fear of sorcery

 Killing of trouble makers

Religion and Meaning of Life

∙ The only real religion is Shamans in the Netsilik societies

∙ Not sentimental towards animals, however, have practices to show  appreciation for their souls and environment

∙ Types of Spiritual Beings:

o Personal Souls

 Life force that can be strong or weak (attack from the outside) o Name Souls

 All names have meaning, past down from generations

o Animal souls  

 Animals have souls and voluntarily accept hunting  

 Most important are seal, caribou, bear

o Shaman’s Familiar Spirits

 Shaman = religious leader, healer in hunter-gathering societies  Origin: Siberia, Russian

 Chosen and trained (learning knowledge and singing medicine  songs to go into a trance to enter the spirit world.  

o Amulet Spirits  

 Brings good luck

 Can be because of how it’s made, or by someone projecting  power into it, or where it comes from

∙ Ex. Caribou ankle, or hunting objects, worn around the  


o Nature Spirits

 Various spiritual beings who live on the countryside

 Uncommon landmark = nature spirit

∙ Ex. Giant bears, invisible Netsilik, “tiny people,” etc.  

o Deities

 Narssuk  

∙ Bad weather god, looks like a giant baby.  

∙ Shaman must go into spirit world and tie him up to calm  

the weather

 Tatqeq

∙ The god of the moon and land animals

∙ Relied on in the summer (caribou), fertility god

 Nuliajuk (Sedna)

∙ The goddess of the sea mammals (walrus, whales, seals)

∙ Story of Sedna: she was a Netsilik woman who fell in love  with a spirit named Raven disguised as a handsome  

young man. After begging for her father’s blessing, she  

married him only to find herself trapped in a raven’s nest.  

Her father heard her cries and tried to save her in a umiak

(boat). Raven came after them so Sedna’s father tried to  

abandon her. He then cut off her fingers which became

the sea mammals and she drowned yet can never die and

now controls the sea.  

o Magic and Sorcery

 Spells to keep one safe, bring good luck in the form of poems  Sorcery = harmful magic

∙ When someone dies, they must be mourned for 4 days (sacred number) to  give time for the soul to travel to one of the three afterworlds or else they  come back as a ghost.

∙ Afterworlds:

o Sky

 Great souls of hunters

 Women with extensive tattooing  

o Deep under the earth

 Average hunters

 Women with some tattoos

o Just under the earth  

 Lazy hunters

 Women w/o tattoos

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