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ANTH 001: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology Dr. Syvertsen, winter 2019 Final exam guide
THE FINAL EXAM IS ON THE LAST DAY OF CLASS
The final is CUMULATIVE, but the main focus will be on the learning objectives in the syllabus and the following chapters: 7 (gender), 8 (sexuality), 9 (kinship), 10 (class), 12 (politics), religion (13), 14 (health) & 15 (arts).
Format: ~40 multiple choice questions; 882E Series scantron, #2 pencil (No Pen)
• is the study of humans, past and
present. To understand the full
∙ Course objectives
∙ Students will be able to
understand other cultures without judging them by the standards of their own culture (relativistic
∙ Students will be able to consider the whole range of crosscultural variation when formulating
research questions and
hypotheses about human
behavior and societies
∙ Students will be able to
understand that elements of
culture are interrelated and
should be understood within
context (holistic perspective).
∙ Students will be able to
understand what culture is and how it shapes how humans
experience, perceive, and act in the world (culture concept).
∙ Students will be able to
understand why and how
anthropologists study cross
cultural variation (methodological approaches). If you want to learn more check out How do you use right hand rule for cross product?
∙ Students will be able to
understand how culture shapes their lives and that of others
around them (reflexivity).
sweep and complexity of cultures across all of human history, anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences.
• 4field approaches (name and define each)
• Physical anthropology = the study of humans from a
particularly how they evolved over time and adapted to their environments.
• Archaeology = the investigation of the human past by means of excavating and analyzing Don't forget about the age old question of What is the layout of the solar system?
• Linguistic anthropology = the study of human language in the past and the present. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the criteria for panic disorder?
• Cultural anthropology = is the study of people’s communities, behaviors, beliefs, and
institutions, including how people make meaning as they live, work, and play together.
• Medical anthropology
• The crosscultural study of health and healing.
• Applied anthropology
• Anthropologists that work outside the academic setting to apply the strategies and insights of
anthropology directly to current world problems.
• Belief that own culture is normal, natural, superior to others.We also discuss several other topics like What characterizes creep as mass movement?
• Holistic perspective
• Commitment to look at the whole picture of human life – culture, biology, language, history –
across space and time.
• A primary research strategy in cultural anthropology typically involving living and interacting with a community of people over an extended period to better
understand their lives.
• Central role of individuals and groups in determining their own lives, even in the face of
overwhelming structures of
• ‘Studying up’
• Conducting research on elites by examining financial institutions, aid and development agencies, medical laboratories, and doctors. • Emic perspective Don't forget about the age old question of What is the job dendritic cells?
• Insider view – how do people understand their own experiences in the world?
• Culture – what is it? What is it not? • A system of knowledge, beliefs, patterns of behavior, artifacts,
and institutions that are created, learned, shared, and contested by a group of people. It is not a
“static” thing that can be ascribed to people.
• Components of culture (norms, values, symbols, mental maps)
• Norms = ideas or rules about how people should
behave in particular
situations or toward certain
• Values = beliefs about what is important; what makes a
good life; what is true, right,
• Symbols = anything that represents something else.
• Mental maps = cultural classifications of what kinds of people and things exist, and the assignment of meaning to those classifications. Don't forget about the age old question of What is u substitution used for?
• Major frameworks of how culture concept developed in anthropology • Early evolutionary frameworks = unilinear cultural evolution from less evolved to more evolved. • American historical
particularism = cultures develop because of unique histories. • British structural functionalism = how structures function to keep system balanced.
• Culture and meaning =
• The ability or potential to bring about change through action or influence, either one’s own or a group institution.
• Power to create consent and agreement within a population without the use of threat or force. • Human agency
• Free will, action, and/or
• Structure vs agency
• Individuals and groups have the power to contest cultural norms, values, mental maps of reality, symbols, institutions, and
structures of power.
• Epigenetics – know basic definition and that factors can influence transmission of genetic information over generations
• Examines the ways in which the environment one is born into can directly affect the
expression of genes during one’s lifetime. Epigenetic
markers may change in
response to processes that anthropologists study: nutrition, stress, disease, social
inequality, migration etc.
Chapter 3 & Dr. Syvertsen’s lectures on anthropological research methods:
∙ Basic historical development of research methods in anthropology ∙ Early accounts of encounters with “others.” 19th century
colonialism gave rise to
∙ Know the major contributions of selected anthropologists:
o Franz Boas
work among Native
Cultural relativism =
understanding a group’s
beliefs and practices within
their own cultural contexts,
without making judgments.
o Bronislaw Malinowski
as a practice.
Argonauts of the
Kula Ring = system of
social exchange and
o E.E. EvansPritchard
ethnography of the
Nuer in Sudan.
limit consideration of
historical context –
compare work across
o Margaret Mead
adolescent girls in
Gender roles not
o Zora Neal Hurston
studied with Boas and
African American literature,
anthropology, struggles in the south U.S, Haitian voodoo.
“Mules and Men”
“Their Eyes Were Watching
“Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica”
o Nancy ScheperHughes
“Death Without Weeping.”
Engaged anthropology = using strategies and methods of
anthropology to critique
power and inequality, and
address challenges in local
communities and the world at large.
Global organ trade.
∙ Ethnographic fieldwork
• A primary research strategy in cultural anthropology typically involving living and interacting with a community of people over an extended period to better understand their lives.
∙ Participant observation
∙ A key anthropological research strategy involving both
participation in and observation of the daily life of the people being studied.
∙ Running account of observations, activities, etc.
∙ The practice of using many different voices in ethnographic writing and research question development, allowing the reader to hear more directly from the people in the study.
∙ Selfreflection on the experience of doing fieldwork.
∙ What are the major differences between quantitative, qualitative,
and ethnographic methods?
∙ Quantitative focuses on
focuses on lived experiences;
behaviors, beliefs, meaning
and emotions, ethnographic
focuses on cultural context.
∙ What is an oral history interview? ∙ A qualitative research method used by some anthropologists which involves interviewing a
person or group to get an inside perspective into what it was like to live in a particular time or to live as the member of a particular group within a society.
∙ What are some best practices when conducting an interview?
o Use of probes
Use neutral agreement or
acknowledgment of the
∙ Basic definition of language
∙ A system of communication organized by rules that uses
symbols such as words, sounds, and gestures to convey
∙ Language, Culture & Thought – Chomsky vs SapirWhorf hypothesis ∙ Noam Chomsky = humans share a similar language ability and,
thus, ways of thinking. Language is essentially hardwired into the human brain. It is an innate
capability that we all have as
human beings. Thus, this
hardwiring leads to a “universal grammar.”
∙ SapirWhorf hypothesis =
different languages create
different ways of thinking.
Languages is a form of
classification for the world
Repeat back what they have said.
Ask for more information.
Ask for clarification.
o Key issues to practice
Avoid interrupting the
Don’t cut off the discussion. Follow up on topics the
Change topics if informant is visibly agitated or upset.
∙ Holmes article – what kind of data is his article based on? What did his article describe? What was the ethical decision he faced in his fieldwork and what did he decide to do?
∙ Author engages in participant observation while gathering qualitative data about his journey to cross the U.S/Mexico border with a group. He was faced with the decision of whether the
journey was worth the risk of getting captured, but ultimately went through with the process.
around us. If different languages make use of different
classifications, then they
fundamentally change how we understand the world. Native American language Hopi example has only two tenses for the past and present.
∙ Study of the ways culture shapes language and language shapes culture.
∙ Standard language vs dialect ∙ Standard language = spelling, pronunciation, and grammar are codified. Also a statement of power. Whereas, a dialect is the nonstandard variation of a
∙ Examples of how language intersects with power?
∙ Due to economic and
political power wielded
by the Western world,
Western languages have
begun to supplant other
languages around the
∙ Age, race, ethnicity,
sexuality, gender, class.
∙ Sometimes called the “one drop of blood rule” the assignment of children of racially mixed unions to the subordinate group.
∙ Individual racism vs. Institutional racism – definitions and examples? ∙ Individual racism example of microaggressions. Institutional racism examples include
education, housing, courts, and prison systems.
∙ Common, everyday verbal and behavioral indignities.
∙ Racial ideology
∙ Popular sets of ideas about race that allows the discriminatory behaviors of individuals and
institutions to seem reasonable, rational, and normal.
∙ What are some of the legacies of slavery & racism in the US?
∙ Jim crow laws. Marriage was outlawed between whites and nonwhites. Loving vs. Virginia case of 1967.
∙ Is Brazil a multiracial utopia? Anti blackness and the Brazilian
∙ NO, there is still a big divide between the black Brazilians and white Brazilians. Fear of blacks taking over and committing
∙ Race – how do anthropologists understand race? What is a
biocultural approach to
∙ Anthropologists view race as a framework of
categories created to divide human populations, but it is arbitrary. The biocultural
approach to race is
biologically separate races
DO NOT EXIST. As humans
we are more genetically
alike than we are different.
o Institutional vs individual
Institutional racism =
patterns by which racial
inequality is structured
through key cultural
institutions, policies, and
systems. Individual racism
= personal prejudiced
beliefs and discriminatory
actions based on race.
o What are the social and
health implications of
It creates or reproduces
unequal access to power,
privilege, resources, and
o Trevor Noah’s “when is the right time for black people
individual racism evolving
from NFL football players
protesting police brutality
in the United States.
∙ All the genes he or she carries. ∙ Phenotype
∙ How your genes are expressed. ∙ Dr. Jablonski’s TED talk – why does skin color vary? How is skin color adaptive?
∙ Natural selection from UVB rays and geography are the causes for skin color variation. Skin color is adaptive through the
production of melanin (vitamin D production that acts on the
destruction of folate).
∙ Colonialism – impact of slave trade ∙ A nationstate extends political, economic, and military power
beyond its own borders over an extended period of time to secure access to raw materials, cheap labor and markets in other
countries or regions.
∙ A demeaning historical term for interracial marriage.
∙ White supremacy & white privilege ∙ White supremacy = the belief that whites are biologically different from and superior to people of other races. White privilege = an invisible package of unearned
∙ Jim Crow laws
∙ Provided legal justification for segregated schools, work, and public placed on the basis of
white supremacist ideology.
∙ Ethnicity – multiple meanings, how anthropologists define
∙ A sense of historical, cultural, and sometimes ancestral
connection to a group of people who are imagined to be distinct from those outside the group.
∙ Origin myth
∙ A story told about the founding and history of a particular group to reinforce a sense of common identity.
∙ Ethnic boundary marker
∙ A practice or belief, such as food, clothing, language, shared name, or religion, used to signify who is in a group and who is not.
∙ The deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic or
∙ Melting pot vs Assimilation
∙ Melting pot = a metaphor used to describe the process of immigrant assimilation into U.S. dominant culture. Assimilation = the
process through which minorities accept the patterns and norms of the dominant culture and cease to exist as separate groups.
∙ A pattern of ethnic relations in which new immigrants and their children enculturate into the dominant national culture and yet retain an ethnic culture.
∙ An autonomous regional structure of political, economic, and military rule with a central government authorized to make laws and use force to maintain order and defend its territory. ∙ Nationstate
∙ A political entity, located within a geographic territory with enforced borders, where the population shares a sense of culture,
ancestry, and destiny as a people. ∙ Citizenship
∙ Legal membership in a nation state.
∙ Nation / Nationalism
∙ Nation = a term once used to describe a group of people who shared a place of origin; now used interchangeably with nation state. Nationalism = the desire of an ethnic community to create and/or maintain a nationstate. ∙ Imagined community
∙ The invented sense of connection and shared traditions that
underlies identification with a particular ethnic group or nation whose members likely will never at all meet.
∙ A group of people living outside
their ancestral homeland yet
maintaining emotional and
material ties to home.
∙ Welcome to Shelbyville –application
of concepts from Chapters 5 & 6?
∙ Individual racism against the
Chapter 7: Gender
• Sex vs gender
• Sex = the observable physical
differences between males and
females, especially biological
differences related to human
reproduction. Gender = is a
• Sexual dimorphism
• Phenotypic differences between
males and females of the same
• The state of being born with a
combination of male and female
genitalia, gonads, and/or
• Cultural construction of gender
• As children grow up, they learn
what kinds of behavior are
perceived as masculine vs
feminine = ideas and practices associated with man/womanhood. • Masculinity
• Practices of men.
• Practices of women.
• Gender performance
• The way gender identity is
expressed through action.
• A gender identity or performance that does not fit with cultural
norms related to one’s assigned sex at birth.
• Gender stratification
• An unequal distribution of power in which gender shapes who has access to a group’s resources, opportunities, rights, and
• Gender stereotypes
• Widely held preconceived notions about the attributes of,
differences between, and proper roles for men and women in a
• Gender ideology
• A set of cultural ideas, usually stereotypical, about the essential character of different genders that
Main ideas from Kenya lecture –
functions to promote and justify gender stratification.
Chapter 8: Sexuality
Key terms from chapter –
• The complex range of desires, beliefs, and behaviors that are related to erotic physical contact and the cultural arena within
which people debate about what kinds of physical desires and
behaviors are right, appropriate, and natural.
• Attraction to and sexual relations between individuals of the
• Attraction to and sexual relations between individuals of the same sex.
• Attraction to and sexual relations with members of both sexes.
• A lack of erotic attraction to others.
engage in same sex behavior
• More complicated than blanket
stereotypes about “homosexuality as
a western construct”
• Differences in sexual behavior vs
identity (e.g., do all people who
Chapter 9: Kinship & family
• The system of meaning and power that cultures create to determine who is related
to whom and to define their mutual
expectations, rights, and responsibilities.
• Biological, affinal, fictive kin
Biological = blood relation, affinal =
cultural rules of marriage and adoption,
identify as “gay”?)
It is import to share research with communities to engage in discussions/guide next steps
fictive kin = other social ties.
publicly recognized, formal unions that affect
the status of children and establish rights and responsibilities.
a relationship between only two partners.
marriage between one man and two or more women.
marriage between one woman and two or
Companionate vs arranged
companionate marriage = marriage built on love, intimacy, and personal choice rather than social obligation. arranged = marriage orchestrated by the families of the involved parties.
a kinship group in which primary
relationships are traced through certain
a type of descent group that traces
genealogical connection through generations by linking persons to a founding ancestor.
clan = a type of descent group based on a
to a founding ancestor but lacking
Matrilineal vs patrilineal
matrilineal = constructing the group through female ancestors. patrilineal = tracing kinship through male ancestors.
• Family of orientation vs chosen
family of orientation = the family group in which one is born, grows up, and develops life skills. chosen families = creating kinship through
Chapter 10: Class & inequality
a system of power based on wealth, income
and status that creates an unequal s
Bourdieu’s term to describe the selfperceptions, sensibilities, and
sdistribution of society’s resources.
a group based on the sharing of resources to ensure success with a relative absence of hierarchy and violence. •
the exchange of resources, goods, and
services among people of relatively equal status; meant to create and reinforce social ties. •
a group in which wealth is not stratified but prestige and status are. •
a form of exchange in which accumulated wealth is collected from the members of the group and reallocated in a different pattern. •
Marxist term for the capitalist class that owns
tastes developed in response to external influences over a lifetime that shape one’s conceptions of the world and where one fits in it. Cultural capital
the knowledge, habits, and tastes learned from parents and family that individuals can use to gain access to scarce and valuable resources in society.
an analytic framework for
assessing how factors such as race, gender, and class interact to shape individual life chances and societal patterns of
what people earn from work, plus dividends and interest on
investments, along with rents and royalties.
the total value of what someone owns, minus any debt.
the means of production. • Poverty – what are explanations for
Marxist term for the class of laborers who
own only their labor. poverty? (e.g., culture of poverty vs
the reputation, influence, and deference
bestowed on certain people because of their
membership in certain groups. structural reasons – structural
an individual’s opportunities to improve
quality of life and realize life goals. violence monopoly game); how do •
the movement of one’s class position, upward or downward, in stratified societies.
anthropologists view poverty? poverty as pathology = culture of poverty and blame. poverty as a structural problem = different people have different
opportunities and advantages (structural violence monopoly). anthropologists have argued that we need to understand poverty and class issues in context of global economy = globalization,
consumer culture, etc.
Chapter 12: Politics & power
• State – modern characteristics?
central admin that penetrates everyday social
life of citizens, army asserts control over
infrastructures define and reinforce borders, people within bounds = citizens and allegiance to the state (rather than other types of
ability of dominant group to create consent and agreement within a population without
potential to contest cultural norms, values, institutions, structures of power, etc. Social movements examples? collective group actions that seek to build institutional networks to transform cultural patterns and government
the use or threat of force. •
contested social process through which civil society organizes for the production of
military violence. • •
Chapter 13: Religion
∙ Science vs. belief systems
creation of shared meanings and definitions that motivate and justify collective action.
∙ science = is a systematic process of inquiry, a way of answering questions about the world. belief systems = ideas that are taken on faith and cannot be scientifically proven.
∙ How do anthropologists study and understand religions?
∙ they are less interested in the big religions and their tenets of faith than the day today practice of religion and how it impacts people’s lives.
∙ Major characteristics & functions of religion
∙ religion itself is a universal trait of culture, religions vary greatly but what they have in common is the supernatural, many features of the natural world can be explained by science, but many cannot since they require explanations that are beyond science, there is also the need to regulate the various levels of human interaction in order to tell us how to behave, help us deal with the unanswerable questions.
∙ Atheism, Theism, Animism, Animatism
∙ atheism = absence of belief in deities or supernatural phenomena. theism = belief in one or more deities. animism = belief in specific spirits associated with nature and natural phenomena. animatism = belief in general, impersonal spirit of power.
∙ Supernatural beings – who are they? How do we communicate with them? ∙ they created themselves and then made the world. examples include ancestors or ghosts that are recognized in monotheistic religions (single supernatural being) or polytheistic (multiple supernatural beings). We can communicate with them through: selfflagellation, prayer, sacrifice, drug use, and fasting. ∙ Witchcraft, Sorcery, Magic
∙ witchcraft = innate ability, special power, propensity for evil. sorcery = deliberate, conscious activities to affect themselves and others. magic = spells, incantations, words and actions to compel supernatural forces to act in certain ways (good or evil) magic can be imitative or contagious.
∙ How & why are religions adapted locally? Are they less “true” if they deviate from original teachings?
∙ religious practices can be flexible and innovative since they are no less complete, meaningful, or true. Globalization shapes cultural and religious change.
∙ Authorizing process (Talal Asad) – complex historical & social developments through which symbols are given power & meaning
∙ definitions are not universal; creation of western scholars based on Eurocentric ideas, may lead scholars to dismiss religions as “backwards,” need to look at historical development of religion over time.
Chapter 14: health
• Medical anthropology
• the crosscultural study of health and healing.
• the absence of disease and infirmity, as well as the presence of physical, mental, and social wellbeing.
• Disease vs illness
• disease = diagnosis of an entity/physiological irregularity made by a biomedical practitioner. Illness = culturally structured, personal experience of being unwell and can refer to a variety of conditions crossculturally.
• Health disparities
• disproportionate or excess morbidity, mortality, or decreased life expectancy and unequal access to healthcare and other healthrelated resources in disadvantaged groups.
• local systems of health and healing rooted in culturally specific norms and values. traditional use = medical systems within indigenous societies or peasant communities.
• what are its defining characteristics and is this a form of ethnomedicine? • globally dominant medical system – cultural system just like any other. it applies the principles of biology and natural sciences to diagnosing disease and treating patients. encompasses wide range of techniques such as surgery, medication, and technology. it is a form of ethnomedicine since all medical systems are ethnomedicines!
• forms of control and management over bodies.
• Institutional racism in medicine
• also points to underlying structural causes in disease distribution – the social inequalities that produce health inequalities.
• Global health disparities
• infectious diseases = important disparities. immediate cause is a pathogen which leads to new diseases such as AIDS, Ebola, hantavirus as well as reemergent diseases. spread of infectious disease is the caused by structural inequalities = breakdown of public health prevention services and health systems, megacities, migration, globalization, and environmental degradation.
Chapter 15: Art
• How do anthropologists define and understand art?
• anthropologists define art broadly as all the ideas, forms, techniques, and strategies that humans employ to express themselves creatively and to communicate their creativity and inspiration to others.
• “Fine art” vs “popular art”
• fine art = creative expression and communication often associated with cultural elites. popular art = creative expression and communication often associated with the general population.
• “Primitive art”
• Why is thinking about representation important in anthropological research? •
∙ The idea of the “beloved community”
∙ inclusive, interconnected consciousness. based on love, justice, compassion, responsibility, shared power. deep respect for all people, places, and things. radically transforms individuals and restructures institutions.
∙ How was this concept applied to inclass conduct?
∙ instead of distracting others with our devices and not paying attention to the lecture, work together as a class community and stay involved with the lecture to learn together ?