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OHIO / Sociology / SOCANTH 1030 / Give five features of anthropology.

Give five features of anthropology.

Give five features of anthropology.


School: Ohio University
Department: Sociology
Course: Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Professor: Amr al-azm
Term: Fall 2016
Tags: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Cost: 50
Name: Cultural Anthropology Final Exam Study Guide
Description: This is an all inclusive study guide for Cultural Anthropology.
Uploaded: 12/06/2016
16 Pages 52 Views 5 Unlocks

Study Guide for Anthropology Exam Braig Duck – Study Soup

Give five features of anthropology.

This study guide will encompass definitions and key information for the final exam. Good luck, lads.

Five Features of Anthropology

1. Global in Scope  

2. Bottom Up Approach

3. Ethnography

4. Structures of Power

5. Human Connectivity

Four Fields of Anthropology

1. Cultural Anthropology – Present day people, culture defined as transmitted,  learned behavior

2. Archaeology – Studies past human societies

3. Linguistic Anthropology – Studies the construction and use of language by  human societies, language a set of written or spoken symbols, subfields  Descriptive, Historic, Sociolinguistics

4. Physical Anthropology – physical or biological, evolution/primate behavior

Franz boas leads reaction against the paradigm based on what?

“Time Space Compression” – used to refer to changes in transfer of information,  Earth is getting easier to communicate and move across

“Flexible Accumulation” – ability of people to be flexible in how they get profit  (Use other countries for cheaper labor, materials)

“Uneven Development” – uneven distribution of health, wealth, etc Biological adaptations – skin color, eye form, etc

Cultural adaptations – technology, language, etc Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between the supply chain and the value chain?

Enculturation – the process by which humans encounter, learn, and produce  culture.

Four elements

- Norms – normal behavior, cultural change can arise from breaking norms - Values - fundamental belief about what is good and bad

Comparative process is called what?

We also discuss several other topics like Clay minerals are classified as what?

- Symbols – complex systems of symbols and actions

- Language – Means of communication, verbal or nonverbal

Thomas Khun: Scientific thought is the result of a series of revelations, also known as “Paradigm Changes”. 

Paradigm: Sum of the scientific view of what the object of research should be and  how scientific problems should be approached. Changes based on a cultures  perception of the world around it. Can be influenced by stigmas like racism,  classism, etc

Paradigm I – Evolution  

- 19th century school of cultural anthropology believed that all cultures had to  go through the same series of progressions, and that cultures that did not  adhere strictly to these progressions were classified as lower civilizations - from Savagery to Barbarism to Civilization If you want to learn more check out What are the two factors that control the availability of groundwater?

Paradigm II – American Historical Particularism

- Biases were not tested, i.e., “Blacks are more stupid than whites”; a refusal to test said theory

- Early 20th Century paradigm change Don't forget about the age old question of Give an example of microeconomics.

- Professionalization of Anthropology

- Represents a reaction against the single linear form of evolution discussed  earlier (Savagery, Barbarity, Civility)

- Division forms between American and British anthropology

- Franz Boas leads reaction against the paradigm based on “Cultural Natural  Selection”

Paradigm III – Structural Functionalism

- Structural Functionalism also came as a reaction to the idea of cultural  evolutionism

- Developed in the early 20th century by the British, in competition against the  American School of AnthropologyWe also discuss several other topics like What is a watershed?

- Explores how different structures function within a culture

- Includes Kinship and Marital Structures, Political structures, and Religious  Structures (NOTE: All power based structures received major focus,  English wanted to know where power was held in societies; felt this  information would be incredibly useful for colonization) We also discuss several other topics like What is the nationality of eva hesse?

Structural Functionalism

- A process by which societies are broken down and studied piece by  piece

Paradigm IV: Culture and Meaning  

- By the 50’s, the Structural-Functualism paradigm is making way for  modifications

- A shift to a more process-oriented, dynamic form of analysis - Clifford Geertz (1926-2006) studies SYMBOLIC ANTHROPOLOGY

- Material Power : Political, Economic, Material 

- Exerted through coercion or brute force (laws, punishments) - Hegemony is a shared power amongst people, through consent and  agreement (“we all agree murder is wrong. We shouldn’t do this.”)  - Hegemony influences a culture through ideas rather than direct force 

- Cosmopolitanism: an increase in the awareness of belonging to a global  community

 - Fieldwork shapes the researcher; you may begin to believe what your  subjects believe 

- This shaping, known as “Culture Shock” can bias anthropologists

- “Salvage ethnography”; studying the natives as much as possible before  they were gone

Bronislaw Malinowski

- “Father of Fieldwork”

EE Evans Pitchard

- British Social Anthropologist (Structural Functionalism)

Margret Meade

 - Studied the development of adolescent teenage girls 

 - HER BIAS AFFECTED HER STUDY – SHE GOT TOO INVOLVED  - She went out of her way to find a society that worked with her bias toward  removing sexual restrictions 

 - Margaret offered prizes to people who told her what she wanted, so  they made up the stories 

"Thick description" - detailed conclusion "which affords deeper insight into the  underlying meaning of words and actions"; advocated by Clifford Geertz

Quantitative (Numbers); Qualitative (cannot be counted; histories, stories)

- Any information gathered must be analyzed and prepared before publication - The data must also be used in cross-cultural comparisons (compare to other  cultures)

 - This comparative process is called ethnology (NOT ethnography)  (IMPORTANT!!! ON TEST!!) 

Ethnography is a DESCRIPTION of a people; Whereas Ethnology is a  COMPARISON of two groups 

“Polyvocality”, meaning the research will be comprised of several voices/speakers  instead of one.






- Communication is universal amongst all living things

- Includes autonomic (automatic, unwilling) responses to stimuli  (I.e.) Blushing, raised body hair, etc.

- Intentional Behaviors 

(I.e) Gestures, facial expressions, vocalizations

“The fear grin” in primates indicates fear or anxiety

Staring is provocative, showing teeth is a threat amongst most mammals - Displays – complicated and elaborate mixtures and combinations of  behaviours

(I.e) Mounting for dominance, Mating rituals, etc.

Displays emotional status

- Many of these behaviors are learned

- Non-human animals use a “closed system” of communication, where  vocalizations do not target specific stimuli, i.e, shout and scream  any time you are scared, but no description of what you are scared  of

Chimpanzee and Gorilla Communication Research  

- Washoe: ASL Sign Language

Acquired 132 signs

Asked for goods and services

Asked questions about world around her

- Loulis – Imitated Washoe

Washoe taught Loulis signs

Sara’s use of symbols implied symbolic thought

- Chantek – 2 yr old

150 signs

Invented signs and recombined them

Chantek seemed to understand his signs were representations of  items, actions and people

Broca’s area of brain creates speech

Wernickes area of brain understanding speech

All of the info before this line was on the first exam.

The professor has stated that the final will be a mixture of old and new info.. so its still needed

From here on, its all new information.

Concept of Race: Social

- Highly visible physical characteristics of race such as color of skin can have  immense social connotations

- Sex and Age are very important to social identity and are one of the first  factors used in the initial assessment of an individual

- Society has strong assumptions of character based off of one’s race; i.e  “Asians are smart, Blacks are dumb”

Concept of Race: Biological

- Races do not make up different biological categories (Species) - This idea is a flawed concept

Importance of Race: Forensics

- Description of physical differences, especially in bones

- Most important skeletal differences vary by sex, age, stature, racial and/or  ethnic background

- Using forensic means, population affinity (race) can be established with 80%  accuracy

- This info is then cross-examined with missing individuals

Rule of Hypodescent

- A rule of racial classification system, informally known as the “One Drop” rule - If you had even “One Drop” of African Blood, you were black.

Types of Racism: Individual

- INDIVIDUAL people have specific prejudices, I.e. “My grandfather hates the  Chinese”

- The racism can be expressed intentionally or unintentionally, actively or  passive

Types of Racism: Institutional

- Racial Inequality that is structured by the government or cultural institution - I.e. “blacks aren’t allowed to go to school”; Jim Crow Laws

- Education, Health, Legal, Etc

Types of Racism: Ideology and Current status in US

- The assumption of superiority over another race is common, but not always  deliberate

- Discrimination is illegal in the US, but Racist Ideology is technically protected  by Freedom of Speech (You can think it, but can’t act on it)


- An individual between the two sexes

- A Theory of the Five Sexes:

- Three major Groups - BIOLOGICAL

- A balance of male and female sexual characteristics (i.e., one testes, one  ovary)

- Individuals that have female genitalia but otherwise male  characteristics (muscle, bone structure, etc.)

- Individuals that have male genitalia but otherwise female  characteristics (i.e. breasts)

Alternate Genders

- Hijras in Hindu Ritual

- “Hijra” – Followers of Hindu Mother Goddess, Bahuchara Mata - Bahuchara Mata is considered a transgendered entity (half male, half female)

Discrimination against Hijra

- Outside of their ritual role, people are uncomfortable around hijras - Are discriminated against in hiring and economic transactions - Often, they must turn to prostitution and similar ways of life to survive - Basically, the society appreciates them during ceremonies, but otherwise  wants them to disappear

Gender Stratification 

- Stereotypes on how men and women are expected to behave  - In modern American culture, it is basically believed that women and men are  inherently different and should act as such

- “Boys will be boys, girls will be girls”

Innate Male and Female Traits

- Male aggression is normal and innate; was essential to promote hunting

- Female passivity is normal and innate (nesting) from staying back while  males hunt

- False assumption that, because meat is harder to acquire, hunting is more  important

- In reality, vegetation and wheats are more important for diet Mati Work

- Gloria Wekker studies women who engage in Mati Work 

- Profoundly different from lesbian relationship

- A temporary relationship to assist in financial areas or etc.

- Sex may be included

- Often, the Maki Work women will marry men


- Male-female intercourse is most common with other species

- Term “heterosexuality” appears in English language until 1892 - Introduced first by German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing in his book,  Psychopathia Sexualis 

- Used the term for people who sense erotic feelings toward the opposite sex - Richard von Krafft-Ebing claims heterosexuality is a mental disease because he felt the sex his patients wanted was only for pleasure  and not for procreation

- The key term in sexuality is “erotic”. The bond is not considered heterosexual if it does not include eroticism.

Traditional Western View

- Sex is for PROCREATION only 

- Victorian England, sex was considered disgusting and repulsive, but  necessary.

- Puritan religious groups brought similar ideas to the Americas - Sex for pleasure was condemned and seen as a sign of evil - Von Krafft-Ebing was therefore defining heterosexuality nor as a standard but  

as a mental deficiency, where one feels eroticism on a regular basis toward  the opposite sex.

Most anthropologists kinship is a mixture; a bio-cultural phenomenon.  (Likely exam question) 

Universal Features of Kinship 

- A lengthy infant maturation period where one or both adults must show a  large amount of parental attention; abnormal compared to other animals - The presence of a marital bond that creates a socially regulated sexual and  domestic relationship between two or more people

- A division of labor based on gender (hunting vs. gathering, etc) - Rules prohibiting intercourse and marriage between close kin, i.e. mother and son  

Bilateral Kinship 

- Bilateral Kinships are family trees where each individual has a socially  recognized father and mother, all the way up the family tree.  - Not all societies use this system, such as the islanders previously discussed,  where it is considered “unilateral kinship”.

Unilineal Descent 

- Emphasis is placed on one side of the kinship in many societies - I.e “Patrilineal” (male dominated); “Matrilineal” (female dominated)

Ambilineal Descent 

- Tracking through both sides, but placing some more emphasis on  one side

- I.e., Keeping husbands’s last name

Lineal and Collateral Kin 

- Lineal Kin are direct ancestors or descendants of an ego (person) - Collateral kin are composed of an ego’s (person’s) siblings and their  descendants

Matrilineal and Patrilineal 

- Matrilineal: Who is related to one’s mother

- Patrilineal: Who is related to one’s father

Lineage vs. Clan 

- Lineages: ancestry can be clearly be traced to a founding member - Clans: An ancestry that cannot be clearly traced back to a founding  member 

- ^^^^EXAM QUESTION^^^^ 

Economic theory 

- Focused on Corporate land owning patterns

- Systems that allow communities to reserve and give land depending on who  needs it most 

- Usually for farming uses

Political theory

- Focuses on need for social order in stateless societies; areas with no law  enforcement

- Under such conditions, strong and permanent family ties and  alliances are necessary to establish regulations and control  disruptive behavior


- There is no central definition of marriage that applies easily across all  societies  

In general, though, marriage tends to include. . .  

- Establishes legal parentage of children 

- Give spousal rights 

- Genitor – Biological father of child 

- Pater – Socially accepted father of child (possibly non-biological) 

Purpose of marriage 

1. Determines parental responsibility for infant care and education;  responsible for child’s survival 

2. Social regulation of sexual nature, keeping mates together;  “This way we do not need to fight a dominant male to get a mate” 3. Organizes a gender division of labor; improves infant’s chances of  survival 

4. Assigns individuals to social groups and statuses 

5. The formation of nation’s alliances and exchanges 

 (I.e., alliance between Sweden and Norway if Swedish princess  marries Norse prince) 

Endogamous group – favored group; who you are expected to be married. 

Exogamous group – People you cannot marry by taboo. Fathers, mothers,  sisters, etc 

Outsiders – Not the favored group, but culture wont care as much if you  marry from this group. 


1. Inner range; close relatives 

2. Middle range; non-relatives of same ethnic and social class 3. Far range; non-relatives outside of ethnic or social class 

Endogamy Rules

- Some marriages must be within a specific group (I.e., “You must marry a  Christian”)

- Maintains a community’s identity, uniqueness and status

Types of Endogamy 

- Village Endogam (Girl next door) 

- Lineage Endogamy (Are they Arabic?) 

- Caste Endogamy (Are they a peasant or a noble?) 

- Class Endogamy (The rich marry the rich, the poor marry the poor) “Taboo Theory: Attempt and Contempt” 

- Malinowski and Freud argued that the taboos were created to avoid disrupting the family structure (Because familiarity makes a sexual relationship more  likely)

- There is an opposite theory that states people are less likely to be attracted  to those you have grown up with (Familiarity dispels sexual relationships)

Marriage Payments and Transfer of Wealth

- “Bride wealth” – a large amount of goods or currency from the  groom or his family toward the family of the bride 

- “Dowry” – An endowment of goods, currency or land that was tied to a bride an dguven to whoever became her husband 

- In general, marriages often include the sharing of money, land and goods. Polygyny  

- Having more than one wife 

- Even in polygamous societies, monogamy still tends to be normal, usually  due to equal sex ratios

- Polygyny tends to be more common than polyandry, because where sex  ratios are not equal, there is usually more women than men


- More than one husband 

- Polyandry is rare, South Asia, India, etc.

- Polyandry is often an adaptive response to specific circumstances like men  travelling

Uncentralized Systems

- Band, Tribe, Chiefdom

- Little government or true politics

- Power is fragmentary and temporarily

- Dispersed down families, bands, lineages, etc

- Larger groups often elect a leader to achieve a goal, then take away his  leadership role once the job is done


- Smallest and simplest political organization

- Small population size

- Typically egalitarian; informal leadership

- Social power based on consensus

- Customs transmitted orally

- Formal institutions are near non existant

- Religion is based off tradition

- Usually hunter gatherers; nomads


- Larger than bands; perhaps several bands or families

- Include chiefs or elders

- Simple food domestication; horticulture and pastoralism

- Possibly use hunter / gathering

- Social organization based on kinship

- No full time authority

- Legal authority held by families for domestic matters (marriage, divorce,  theft)

- Sodalities – Volunteer.. look this up

- Somewhat egalitarian and consensus based

- Leaders may emerge, but power is limited and is achieved through status Chiefdoms 

- A more complex form of human societal organization; highly organized - Regarded as the transition toward becoming a state

- Large populations; composed of hundreds, thousands, or even tens of  thousands of individuals

- Food production must be more effective in order to sustain the population - Agriculture is a common form of Chiefdom food production

- Have a Chief or Council

- The political structures show a major step toward hereditary and hierarchical  power

- Position of chief is generally hereditary; born into chiefdom

- The political power of a chief is not as secure as a state

- Chiefs are prone to revolutions of power, overthrows and assassinations - Chief’s power is tied to how generous they are to their people - Their authority comes through religion


- An autonomous regional structure of political, economic and military rule - States are organized by a central government that makes and enforces laws - Anthropologists are interested in how they are constructed and maintained - State-organized societies are now the most common form of society - Taxation is a common method to fund public services like law enforcement  and road construction

- Political power is also tightly controlled

- Nongovernmental bodies are generally restricted from making their own rules and regulations

- Hegemonic power is commonly used (consent and agreement in a society  without force)

Sedentary: To stay in one place; not nomads

First complex urban society – Mesopotamia; Uruk Period; 4200-3000BC

Internal Conflict Theory 

- Karl Marx: “The state evolved due to class struggles”

- Engels: “The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State” (1891) - Karl Marx believed the earliest form of social organization was communistic or egalitarian in nature

- Resources are shared by all, No “personal possessions”, everyone owns  everything

- Eventually, resources are made in surplus, resulting in…

Differential Access 

- Due to surplus, some classes do not have to work but still obtain resources - This results in a class system; rich and poor, rich do not have to work - A system is created, like an army, to keep order

Morton Fried (1967)

- The evolution of political systems depends on where resources and prestige  are placed in society

- This is a variant of the class-conflict model

- Social stratification leads to state formation because the elite class tries to  concentrate power in their hands; creating a government

- Social Stratification inevitably leads to conflict. Why are the rich wealthy?  Why are the poor not? Poor groups often riot and this causes revolutions of  power

- Social Stratification is so unreliable as a state structure that either the elite  upper class must have total control or the state will dissipate into a lower-tier  of organization

External Conflict Theories

- Because states are born in blood and war, they are under Social Darwinism - Herbert Spencer was a strong supporter of this.  

- This means societies are in a sort of “Survival of the Fittest” situation,  competing to maintain survival

Theory of Environmental Circumspection 

- Robert Carniero claims that warfare is universal to all states and large  societies

- The losing group in a war must have a place to go; to disperse - There will be no “combining” of societies after war if there is space for the  losing group to go

- If there is no place for the losing group to go, the two societies will often form a state

Malthusian Checks 

- Populations are negatively affected by “checks”

- These include war, famine, and disease

- Malthusian checks also say that populations will continue to grow until it is  unable to supply enough food to sustain itself. At this point, famine will  decrease the population to fit the food supply

Negative Feedback – the process by which a system minimizes any deviation from the equilibrium  

Ex. An increase in birthrate in a hunter-gatherer society will result in higher infant  mortality to maintain the population

Religion – A system of beliefs that relies on supernatural forces or beings

Seven Core Elements

1. Belief in powers or deities whose abilities transcend the natural world 2. Myths or stories about the meaning and purpose of life; reasons provided for  how the universe was created and what role we have as humans 3. A set of ritual beliefs such as worship, prayer, ceremonies, etc 4. A symbol system; the cross, star of david, etc

5. Specialists in religion, i.e. the pope, priests, rabbis

6. An institution that preserves, explores, teaches and implements the religion’s beliefs

7. A community of believers; a church gathering

Theory of Religion: Durkheim

- Emile Durkheim: The Sacred and the Profane

- Studied Australian Aborigines

- Focused on the concepts of the “sacred” (holy) and “profane” (Earthly) - Claims religion to be “a unified of system of beliefs and practices that can  distinguish the difference between the supposed sacred and profane” - Brought attention to religious rituals


- Stylized, repetitive and symbolic acts that occur at specific times and places

Theory of Religion: Karl Marx

- Karl Marx: Religion as “The Opiate of the Masses”

- An opiate is an addictive pain-dulling substance

- Marx viewed religion within his larger framework of economy and society - Marx noted that religion is more prevalent in the working class than the  wealthy class

- Religion helps those with rougher lives to cope better, hence “Opiate” Theory of Religion: Max Weber

- Max Weber: The Protestant Ethic

- Weber believed religion drives capitalism and economic wealth - Weber was interested in the rise of capitalism in 19th Century Europe - His Book, the Protestent Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, Max Weber argued that it was religion that allowed capitalism to thrive

- Weber stated that the value of work that religion provided set the basis for  capitalism


- One of the simplest forms of religion on Earth

- No organized religion or structure

- Generally in bands or tribes

- Direct contact with supernatural powers or beings through a sort of trance - Curing, Divining, cursing

- Individual power is based on trials to prove their ability to contact with the  divine

- A shaman’s social status has to be achieved, nor inherited

Magic – “The ability to bring about change with the use of supernatural ability or  influence”


- EP found that the Azande used witchcraft in their daily life

- Virtually all misfortunes were believed to be witchcraft

- Illness, death, and misfortune are all caused by witchcraft

- Inherited from parents and carried out unconsciously

- No spells or incantations are used


- Magic is different than witchcraft in that it is deliberate and intentional - Spells, Incantations by trained witch doctors

- The witch doctor’s primary purpose was to counteract the misfortune created by Witchcraft

- Using magic, the WD would attempt to identify and destroy the cause of the  misfortune, as well as ask the individual to stop performing witchcraft

Paul Stoller

- Studies witchcraft in Africa

- His work was unusual in that he worked as a sorceror’s apprentice - Memorizes spells, eats special foods, wore magical objects

- He took the concept of participant observation to its fullest extent - He claims to have faced a magic attack

- He believed a rival sorceress attacked him spiritually and left him physically  ill

- After this he left and returned home

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