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GWU / Anthropology / ANTH 1002 / What is homosexuality?

What is homosexuality?

What is homosexuality?


School: George Washington University
Department: Anthropology
Course: Sociocultural Anthropology
Professor: Grinker
Term: Fall 2015
Cost: 50
Name: Social Anth Final Study Guide
Description: Study guide is comprised of professor lecture and discussion session. Some definitions are from google, but not many.
Uploaded: 12/13/2015
50 Pages 233 Views 35 Unlocks

Adrain Rath (Rating: )

The content was detailed, clear, and very well organized. Will definitely be coming back to Nangesian for help in class!

ANTH 1002

What is homosexuality?

FALL 2015

Study Guide- Final Exam 

Dear Students,

Please find, below, your final exam study sheet. The terms are in no particular order, and encompass themes from our readings and lectures.

Five of these terms will be on the final exam. Of these five, you will be required to write about three of your choice. Please follow the guidelines in the syllabus for how to write the strongest answers. An additional and very important recommendation is to link the term to other readings

in the course. Although the terms come from readings in the second half of the course, the strongest answers will also integrate material from the first half as well.


Cultural relativism 

● the principle that an individual’s beliefs and practices should be understood by others in the context of that individual’s own culture.

What is hasham?

● Anthropologists are expected to be culturally relative. However, it to an extreme can be dangerous because anthropologists may start justifying anything as part of the culture. Anthropologists may run the risk of withholding judgement from everything. ● as opposed to ethnocentrism

● dont judge others from our own society’s judgements

● learn the reason for practices; make the strange familiar

● see ourselves as strange

● the colonial concern with “advance” caused many to overlook the complexities as “primitive societies”

● consider: Evans Pritchard: on Azande and witchcraft

● Abu Lugod’s Veiled Sentimegnts

○ “cultural relativism is certainly an improvement on ethnocentrism and the racism cultural imperialism, and imperiousness that underlie it; the problem is that it is too late not to interfere” p. 786

What is fetishism?

● We can’t ignore consequences of past Don't forget about the age old question of What is clinical psychology?

● Farmer’s argument: it effectively leads to a lack of advocacy on the part of the poor/sick from doctors and anthropologists, who he says maintain a general ambivalence toward suffering of 3rd world

● Bourgois—most ethnographers offer sympathetic readings of culture/people they study; ethnographers never want to make the people they study ugly; by protecting people they study, they take a cultural reletavist stance (p. 15)


● Romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between members of the same sex or gender.

● Over the past, homosexuality was conceptualized differently.

● Before 1892, the concept did not exist, only sexual inversion. Sexual inversion referred to a broad range of deviant gender behavior, of which homosexual desire was only a logical but indistinct aspect, while ‘homosexuality’ focused on the narrower issue of sexxual object choice.

● Halperin - “One Hundred Years of Homosexuality”

○ explores homosexuality in ancient greece

○ constructivists point of view

Two Counter Claims: 

1. homosexuality did not exist

2. there's only one sex

● Laquer, Thomas. 1991. Making Sex:

Three Myths/Three Is 

● invisibility

● when people dont know it exists

● homosexuals were invisible

● they were hiding what they were doing.....it was shameful, taboo We also discuss several other topics like What are rows of cilia fused to form leg-like structures called?

● myth because people have been having sex for as long as it has been recorded in history ● sex exists within history and society and culture

● isolation

● when those people who have sex with the same sex are isolated

● internalization

● myth that even in society, there was shame felt or seen as immoral

● homosexuals saw themselves as flawed

● but, if you look at history and writings, that is not really the case


● Buggery Act of 1533 (Henry vIII)

● Powell v. State of Georgia (1998) sodomy= any sexual act involving the sex organs of one person and the mouth or any of another

17th century New England 

● only two en ever executed for sodomy in the 17th c; john knight and William Plaine ● clergy knew about it but there was little punishment

● preachers preached so much against lust was because most people were, in the minister's eyes too permissive

● ignored sodomy

● only few witnesses came saying that they actually witnessed the act


● Nicholas Sension(Windsor, CT, Sexually active from 1640-1677)

● Nathaniel Pond, died 1675 If you want to learn more check out What are the common aspects between mesopotamia and egypt?

● sension had sexual relations with men for decades; had a long term intimate relationship with his indentured servant named Nathaniel pond

● trial showed neighbours tolerated it for 30 yrs


● 1. Laity v. Clergy

● 2. people in same sex relationships were respected, important members of society ● 3. there was a more nuanced view of human nature sension developed a reputation that led men to fear sharing bed with him but they NEVER thought he was a homosexual ● same sex sex was something that people wrote about in the 1930s

Queer History 

● queer history and history of homosexuality is different

● queer history is denaturalizing the present....change the way of seeing ourselves ● present is not natural or fixed

● the way we do something right now is not the way it should be We also discuss several other topics like Who sculpted st. george tabernacle?

● Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed

○ 1837(Lincoln-age 28). slept together for 3 years

○ in letters, they confessed to each other that they were anxious to perform sexually with their wives

○ was Lincoln gay?

○ you couldn't call him that because the word didn't exists

stonewall era 

● Colin loved men, but when the word "gay" came out he didmc want yo usr it ● homosexuality forst appears in Oxford Dictionary - 1976

○ homosexuality; 1892

○ homosexual : 1921

○ this is because they couldn’t say that a person's sexuality could be decided in one word Don't forget about the age old question of What are the laws passed by southern states in 1865 and 1866, after the civil war?

○ this didn't come out until the word heterosexual

○ it's fair to say there was no homosexuality in ancient greece

○ men had sex with other men all the time.......it was classified as bad sex ○ there was appropriate and inappropriate sex

○ in ancient greece, sex is something that people did to another, not with each other ○ it was a performance of the social structure

○ this dynamic is not confined to ancient greece

○ if they're the dominant one, then people dont consider themselves to be having sex or commiting a homosexual act

○ even today in prisons and other areas of the world


Homosexuality: Halperin - "Introduction of Homosexuality"

 (re)define sex

● creation of sexual orientation

● stigmatizes/isolates same-sex sex We also discuss several other topics like Who wrote the poem “lady lazarus”?

● sex becomes relational(done with, not to someone)

● creation of the terms hetero and homo sexual moved it towards the idea that two people can have sex together

● "sexual inversion" - term that is used now, "sexual fluidity"

○ inversion included; women

○ wanted to be active in politics or men who liked cats

○ someone's sex was not clearly defined

○ not just about actual sex....the idea is very broad

● p.16, before idea of homosexuality, the sex you had depended on how you felt. ○ labeling it takes the sex you have and the sex you are and divides it

○ homosexuality made it two categories; you had sex with someone of the same sex or different sex

○ creation of this term created a divide- flattens it to two categories while there are more...gets rid of the grey area

● p.25, separation

○ sexual identity to matters of gender

○ sexuality as a concept and a new way of thinking about sex

○ sexuality creates a whole different part of person that might differ from other parts of their lives

○ gives people an identity by creating categories

● Ancient Greece

○ homosexuality and myth

○ homosexual didn't exist at this time but calling them so is a problem because the term didn't exist

Scandal in Brazil :Kulick - “Soccer, Sex, and Scandal in Brazil” 

● Ronaldo gets prostitutes that were men...

● travistas(transgender); anatomically men but they dress as women

● it was a thing but the idea of having sex as long as you're the dominant one doesn't seen as being homosexual

● p.38.....masculinity that says having sex with a trevista is ok because you're the dominant one

● instance of the scandal caused it to crack....

● people started talking about the issue; why did you have sex with a trevista when you could have women


● Soft, unmasculine men who depart from the cultural norm of manliness insofar as they actively desire to be subjected by other men to a feminine role in sexual intecourse. ● These men willingly adopt the dress, gait, and other characteristics of women, thereby

confirming that they suffer not from a bodily disease but from a mental and moral defect. ● There is nothing problematical about a desire to obtain sexual pleasure from contact with male - what is of concern to Caelius and other ancient moralists is the male desire to be sexually penetrated by males, for such a desire represents voluntary abandonment of “masculine” identity in favor of a feminine one.

● Caelius compares moles to tribates.

● Tribades - those who are eager to have sexual intercourse with women than with men and pursue women with a masculine jealousy.

● Caelius implies they turn to receptive sex because they are not able to satisfy themselves by mean sof more conventionally masculine sorts of activity, including insertive sex with women.

● Molles - significant because they have strong and intense desires that they are driven to devise some unusual and disreputable means of gratifying them.


Grinker: Autism and Social Labels 

● Labelling: continues to shift as time goes by and as research broadens ● recognizes that labeling serves a purpose, even tho it might be at times restrictive ● there are differences and people themselves are different

Autism and Labelling

● importance of a meaningful diagnostic term

○ clinicians will not make or record a diagnosis unless the diagnostic term is meaningful in use

● psychiatric diagnostic as "techno phenomena"

○ products of "technologies practices and pre conditioned ways of seeing" ○ products of culture and history

■ transition from 1 sex to 2 sex was not motivated by any new scientific discoveries

● DSM- Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

○ connect to Grinker/autism

● DSM I (1952): classified as a childhood schizophrenic reaction

● DSM II (1968): autism was not mentioned except under childhood schizophrenia ● DSM III (1980): some diagnostic criteria for infantile autism

● DSM IIIR (1987): specific diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder

● DSM IV (1994)/DSM IVR (2000): more specific criteria for autistic disorder ● connect to labeling theory (symptoms get objectively grouped)

● Labeling theory 

○ self-identity and behavior are often determined by labels

○ ex. self-fulfilling prophecy of black poverty in the US

○ normalizing things through categorization/trying to order people’s behavior through labelling

● Readings:

○ to Halperin (homosexuality/heterosexuality)

○ Murphy - “Psychiatric Labeling in Cross-Cultural Perspective”

■ critiques the term through her two case studies

■ “similar kinds of disturbed behavior appear to be labeled abnormal in

diverse cultures”


● Jane Murphy 

○ “These cross-cultural investigations suggest that relativism has been exaggerated by labeling theorists and that in widely different cultural and environmental situations sanity appears to be distinguishable from insanity by cues that are very similar to those used in the Western world” (1019)

○ she refers to two groups: Eskimos and Yorubas,

○ both have similar definitions of insanity.

○ For the Eskimos, “nuthkavihak” translates as “being crazy,” and for the Yorubas, “were” translates as “insanity” (1022)

○ “A number of researchers in the field of cross-cultural psychiatry take the position that the underlying process of insanity are the same everywhere but that their specific content varies between cultural groups (1023)

Murphy: Features 

1. not normal in society

2. norms vary in each group

3. they elicit disapproval from society

4. label to a person is fixed

5. person labeled as such is expected to behave that way(according to label) 6. powerless are most vulnerable

7. social agencies contribute in labelling...create more problems than helping ___CAN USE FOR LABELLING TOO


● talking to oneself, screaming at nothing, believing false things, refuse to eat/talk Were : insanity

● hearing voices, randomly laughing, hitting people, setting fires, breaking things..basically anything that’s not seen as normal to do in society

● Eskimo(thinness)- prophesy but that’s not considered weird

○ shaman can be out of his mind but not considered crazy

● so seeing and hearing things that others dont isnt always linked to insanity ● can display some of these symptoms without being considered as crazy ● can talk about labelling theory

● mental illness (cultural and not universal)

● symptoms are the same but labelling perceptions change

● could we label some behaviours and other societies not label them?

● yoruba and eskimo dont have words for neurosis

● they exist but no label both describe by stating the symptoms

● people that sometimes have these symptoms get healed and they heal others ● mental illness isnt requisited in these roles

Incidence vs. prevalence 

● Epidemiology: distribution in a population

● Prevalence: rate of cases(proportion)

● Incidence: rate of new cases over time

● includes in the equation a certain amount of time

● These are terms that medical anthropologists use study and analyse spread of diseases and how they can be better prevented in society

● validity; you're actually studying what you think you're studying

● reliability; other person to see what you're seeing. or using another method that the same scientist would use to achieve a goal

● when anthros study medicine, they study mental illnesses that are much more subjective, ambiguous and open to debate

● talk about it in the case of Autism and Cancer

● These two are important when reporting on cases. Anthropologists need to be careful when using the two words especially when reporting statistics on development of diseases


Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab

● 1979: Stuart Gunn dies of Malignant Melanoma

● 5100 employees tested (19 cases of malignant melanoma diagnosed between 1972 and 77)

prostate cancer

● between 1987 and 1992 incidence of prostate cancer increased 85%

● what happened in 1987?

● prior to that they only checked if it was large, if it was they did the TURP test ● and many people didn't want that test

● discovery that when someone had cancer, they can have the PSA test ● there were controversies on the PSA test, but it would indicate if they had antigens for prostate cancer

● because of the test, many were screened and diagnosed for prostate cancer



● estimated prevalence among 8yr olds

● 1 in 88

● higher prevalence in states with multiple data sources

● Utah; 2123 children

● Georgia; 50427

● NJ; 7082

● number of children with autism

○ need to classify to help benefit the act

○ 1992; 2 types

■ 1. traumatic brain injury

■ 2. autism

● reasons for changing prevalence for autism

○ general social changes

○ specific changes in how autism is conceptualized, identified, managed and counted

○ how stigmatizing autism was in the past

● autism -white middle class disorder

● importance of a meaningful diagnostic term

● clinicians will not make or record a diagnosis unless the diagnostic term is meaningful in use

● psychiatric diagnostic as "techno phenomena"

● products of "technologies practices and pre conditioned ways of seeing" ● products of culture and history

● prevalence increased with age

● some cohere, prevalence rose every year up until 15

● 13 in 10,000 age 6

● 21 in 10,000 9

● 33 in 10,000 age 11

● adults with autism?

● approx. 50% of intellectually disabled adults have previously been undiagnosed ASD

Structural violence 

● structural violence(inequality and discrimination based on social constructions)- cultural creates sense of inclusion and exclusion

● basic definition: violence that occurs when social institutions harms people by not meeting their needs (examples are institutionalized elitism and racism)

● political and economic organization of society that causes harm to part of its population, however( in)directly

● violence and structure are connected(for better or worse)- need to pay attention to social structure that make violence possible

● Scheper-Hughes, Farmer, Bourgois

○ -look at the larger system and includes studying up and those oppressed ○ "studying up"

○ reinventing anthro to study the colonizers rather than the colonized

○ culture of power rather than the other way round

○ difficulties:hard to convey what it is like to others because they cant understand it ○ so you use stories to better understand what suffering looks like

○ liberation theology: emerges in 70s in latin america as a response to structural violence

○ Latin A in 70s..dictatorship, communism, gov violence, increase in inequality, oppressive gov

○ religious practice saying its wrong and as catholics, they should address it as such ○ helping the poor and vulnerable is a big part of taking on the issue

○ goes beyond actual effects of structural violence in Haiti

○ gender and race; sometimes viewed as main causes in society

○ black/white, black more likely to suffer more

○ female/male,woman more

○ however, econ inequality is more of the defining factor to cause all the other structural violence

○ the poor suffer the most

○ econ inequality is the heart of the matter....it's what allows structural violence to happen

● Readings: Bourgois + Scheper Hughes + Hinton + Farmer

○ Perspective - Jane Murphy

○ Practice Theory - Bourdieu

○ Death Without Weeping - Hughes

● Societal structures (ex. capitalism) have negative impacts on certain members of society understanding structural violence requires an understanding of the history behind the society e.g. Puerto Ricans in Harlem

● Farmer - Haiti, distribution of risk, (look at the statistics, who is more at risk/more likely) what are the forces that affect peoples’ lives that are not related to individual choices ○ Paul Farmer’s definition: structural violence is the way by which social arrangements are constructed to put specific members of a population in harm’s way

Structure and Agency 

● is human action determined or the determining?

● structures shape practises but practices also shape structures. each enables the other ● structure is both verb and noun

how do structures facilitate violence? 

● the way the society is segregated

● makes it harder to get out of that space

● street culture; harlem's saving face

● p.8- emerged from seclusion from the rest of society

● a way to own what you do have

● even if life is hard working in the drug world, they dont want to be apart of the rest of society

● turns into violent culture for protection

● people dont mess with you and helps them save face

● resistance and self destructive

● Readings: Shepherd Hughes, Bourgois, Abu Lughod

● Agency: the capacity to make your own choices

○ Culturally mediated capacity to act given a structure; coping mechanism against the structural constraints acting against you

○ Agency explains the lack of emotion of mothers when they lose their child. They are free to react to the external forces (high infant mortality) in anyway they see fit

● Which creates meaning: structure or agency?

○ Marx: structures/super structures

○ Geertz: individuals create meaning

● Durkheim: structure

● - In Search of Respect

● - Bourdieu: habitus

● bridges the divide between actor and systems-based theories

● structured structures

● both produced and product of history

● Structure: the recurrent or patterned arrangements in society (constructs/limitations) which limit choices

Lifeboat ethics 

● how people adapt to contexts that we are unfamiliar of.

Shepard, Hughes, death without weeping, great one to bring in when you

talk about cultural relativism,

● Suffering and lifeboard ethics, how suffering is constructed. Paul Farmer, Phillip Bourgeois, autism

Readings: Hardin + Hughes

Definition: metaphor for resource distribution + tragedy of the commons

● Key figure: Garrett Hardin, Nancy Scheper-Hughes

● Lifeboat ethics is a term coined by Garrett Hardin. Many Schemer-Hughes employed the term to problematize the dilemmas Brazilian shanty-town mothers faced at the midst of poverty and sickness

Lifeboat analogy, we have limited space in a lifeboat, if we take a limited number of people, who gets to decide who to take

● First, we must recognize the limited capacity of any lifeboat. For example, a nation’s land has a limited capacity to support a population and as the current energy crisis has shown us, in some ways we have to choose

● Scheper-Hughes uses lifeboat ethics to describe motherhood; how do you choose which children to protect/save

○ not saying mothers don’t love children; saying that they see the kids as existing in between because it’s unclear if they will live or not; so they acknowledge them as visitor and don’t directly intervene to save child

○ bcos of poverty and health conditions, they don’t have the ability to make every child live

Hughes- Death w/o weeping

● she realized counts for infant mortality is low because people dont want to get them registered

● women havent connected with children so they dont bother counting it ● when you meet with the people; ie she met with coffin makers, number was higher ● same with autism; CDC misses all the outliers because they only check people who voluntarily come to register

● Brazil; mothers expect children to die....so they dont intervene much to take care of them ● it's common for them to die and so mothers expect some to die during infancy ● ones child passes away; mothers dont weep at all...no ceremonies

● role of the church; p.16- church encouraged mothers to detach from the dead infants refuse to baptize the babies; not recognizing them as members of society

● church; explains child death as it was meant to happen, God's plan, angel going to heaven....not seen as sad

liberation theology; catholic thought that its against church doctrine to have social inequality ● mostly associated with latin america

● women; strong religious view to accept how things are

● lack of resources; poverty is really what is killing most of these kids

● because it happens often, they dont take good care of the one that doesn't seem to want to live longer

● poverty makes things not be the way they're supposed to be becuse mothers are usually supposed to be nurturing and loving to their children

● if they were to mourn for a child that died, they would be doing it all the time. they've learnt to block them away and make it seem normal

● Hughes isn't saying that Brazilian culture doesnt value life but poverty has made it difficult to do so. infant mortality is so high and people have to adjust to that. adjusting to it has made mortality higher cos children are not taking good care of their children.

● it's something that emerges due to poverty, Brazilian society does value infancy or children

Respect and honor 


● one aspect of ideology

● authority derives from moral worth

● genealogies

● honor linked with shame(Bourdieu)

● shame(opposed to guilt) a form of social control(like gossip, witchcraft, magic, sorcery) ● shame and honor are social activities

● shame sometimes defines the way one is viewed in society

Abu - Laughod : Bedouin Society

● hierarchy : the oldest man is in charge, or first wife has more authority ● men are higher up in status

● kinship: live in Egypt but dont see themselves as Egyptians

● blood is important to them

● link themselves to Arabs, not Egyptians

● they are very concerned about their heritage

● Marriage:

● if you are married from a different tribe, you're still seen as an outsider ● you dont get rid of kinship, you're always part of it

● 56-57; father's brother's daughter marriage

● father's brother's daughter is treated better in a relationship

● women in these kinds of marriages have more power and are more secure ● purity of the family is important

● if you marry someone else and bring into the family, that can be seen sort of as a threat ● whenever someone marries outside the family, you're disrupting the whole family status


● Abu-Lughod - Veiled Sentiments

● in this case, respect comes from being male (socially constructed)

● women can gain respect through submission

● relate to labeling theory (labels can come w/ respect)

● relate to structural violence

honor and shame 

● hasham: modesty, to have moral worth, they should have modesty

○ connected to more than just wearing a veil

○ emphasizing that she's in power when they choose to be modest and control her sexuality

● Poetry: in a culture based on honor, there are some things that one is not to openly talk about

○ poetry is one way that people can express their feelings openly

○ for instance, you can talk about how much love someone in a poem but not in real life

○ Bedouin society is about autonomy, independence but at the same time with restrictions, that's where poetry comes in

Connect Honor with the “hau”-

circulation of the hau signifiers honor and power and the higher up the circulation the more honor and power

the more you give and receive, the more respected you are

Cultural Capital In Search of Respect 

● non financial social assets that promote social mobility (excluding money) ● can come in many forms--educational, social, etc.

● The lack of cultural capital in a certain social context disadvantages oneself and allows societal constraints to restrain one’s options in life. Like Ray who lacks formal cultural capital therefore all formal business ventures failed.

● habitus: lifestyle and expectations of a particular group

● e.g: Caesar gets a job as a clerk, but is told he looks like a hoodlum even when he thinks he is dressing nicely. This is because even if he had the money to buy all new clothes, he would not know what clothes to buy.

● Readings: Bourgois + Bourdieu

○ Ray didn’t have the educational capital to function in a legal habitus/start a business

■ BUT he had enough educational capital to function as a drug lord (diff. habitus)

● manners/knowledge about obscure subjects are cultural capital

○ e.g.. knowing about art = cultural capital


● French philosopher

● power is everywhere and it controls everything

● forces people to internalize discipline even when power isn't around to force them ● Mitchell Foucault-with the rise of capitalism, bodies are ordered thru clothing, organization and stripped of their wholeness

● discipline and punish 

○ power is wielded thru capillaries- exists everywhere

○ key power power isnt always repressive or recognizable or visible

○ Goes under the structure and agency

● Foucault’s readings go under the structural violence topic and capitalism ○ structural violence: political and economic organization of society that causes harm to part of its population, however( in)directly

● Michel Foucault-with the rise of capitalism, bodies are ordered thru clothing, organization and stripped of their wholeness

○ capitalism changes the way we think and rep ourselves


● German philosopher who was the father of socialism.

● His Communist Manifesto became the rallying cry for world revolution involving a class struggle between the bourgeoisie - the capitalist employers of wage labor - and the proletariat,wage laborers who had no means of production and are forced to sell their labor.

● purpose of communist revolution - Bring about the collapse of capitalism. ● Argues how human beings have been imprisoned by capitalism.

● He believed in the “dictatorship of the proletariat” - Worker’s state in which workers would abolish the class-structured society. Because human consciousness is an effect, he believes that human consciousness can be enlightened and evolve to higher stage if capitalism is removed.

● Marx: 

○ class divide is caused by capitalism

○ bourgeoisie - middle class

○ proletariat- workers

○ lumpenproletariat- marginalized

○ wants the 2nd class to stand up for themselves

○ the lumpens are very poor

● The devil and Commodity Fetichism

○ studying industrialized societies

○ how do you apply that to other societies?

○ Preface

■ if we want to understand human histo, we can do so not by looking at ideas but analizing the underlying structures of societies

■ we dont choose which society we're born into

■ in order to understand society, we have to understand how that order is imposed upon us

■ he was an evolutionists who saw history as changing

■ history is the movement from one set of production to another

■ in every society, there are different levels of structure.

■ you can distinguish each society by their structures

● economic and super stru- ideologies, laws, philosophies

● our consciousness comes from underlying force which is

economics, material relations of productions

● he was interested in how societies stayed together

○ Durkheim; distinction between science and religion was crucial

○ how was it possible that people stayed together with society more secular? ○ how does society stay together in that matter?

● Marx looks at it differently

○ interested in lack of consensus

○ friction between forces and relations of production

○ saw that contradiction as the engine of history

○ Marx-"It's not the consciousness of men that determines their existence but the existence of men that determines that consciousness"

● superstructure change: history is defined by classes

○ that's how society changes in moods

○ when you have one stage, it doesn't move slowly....it takes over the other stage ○ products aren't distributed equally

○ conflict occurs between production cos of exploitation and inequality ○ in a certain stage, a small group get most of the power

○ the Bourgeoisie will eventually collapse- "they forge the weapon that it brings to itself"

○ communism:there are no more classes

○ have to distinguish between econ structures and ideological form by which men become conscious of this conflict and fight it out

● marx turned Hegel on his head...what does that mean?

○ his intellect was different from Hegel

○ Hegel believed that ethics determined ones existence to the world

○ he completely reversed Hegel's idealism

○ "religion is the opiate of the masses"

■ he's actually the least critical of religion

■ didnt mean the masses are oblivious or unaware when he said this

■ opium- pain killer during his time, people find comfort in religion...he didn't mean it negatively

● Def value and exchange value

● fetishism of commodities

○ value in money to mask things

○ how we find value in a $

○ like ads, "money is freedom"

○ but no one has enough money, ever

○ inequalities in wealth led to malevolent actions

Commodity fetishism 

● Commodity : it is anything that satisfies a human want and is exchanged or sold and is produced.

● Fetish: an inanimate object that is worshipped for its supposed supernatural powers or bcs it is thought to be inhabited by a spirit. Considered lucky

● value in money to mask things

● how we find value in a $

● example- advertisements stating;, "money is freedom"

● but no one has enough money, ever

● inequalities in wealth led to malevolent actions


● Marx

○ capitalist society is an abstract society that consumes human bodies

○ fetishism of comm is fetishism of the invisible, the immaterial

○ fetishism had been a term of abuse, used by europeans who traded in Africa ○ he didn't object to fetishism only a certain kind

○ a particular form of feti emerged in industrial society was his concern ● Taussig - “The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America”

○ In parts of S. America, capitalism (in the form of wage labor) is seen as the Devil worship

○ Afro-American peasants who enter into wage contracts are sometimes seen as making contracts with the Devil for success


Marx and Taussig:

● Commodity fetishism is the perception of goods based solely on their exchange-value, ignoring the social relations behind them.

○ Use-value is the conception of goods based on their usefulness and utility. ○ Exchange-value is the conception of goods based on their value in relation to other goods (usually in terms of a common currency), regardless of (or in addition to) their use-value.


● Colombian peasants who were willing to help each other plant and increase yield so long as it was a peasant farm, or

● Prof. Grinker’s example: Nuer saleswoman who keeps dollar bills from Nuer customers separate from dollar bills of foreigners – these are examples of a lack of commodity fetishism, the social relations play a part in their decisions.


● Taussig refers to a functionalist “response” to capitalism and a “limited goods” argument, but he says these don’t explain everything.

● he shows that the devil was an existing idea that was used (in the peasant communities) to resist capitalist expansion and (in the mining communities) to protect miners from accidents.

● Taussig also focuses on the indigenous history and cosmology, showing that these are locally grounded ideas that emerge in response to foreign interference.


● Mitchell is trying to shed light on the relatively recent conception of “the economy” as a national entity that can grow on its own, countering the hegemony of the economy in our society.

● She also problematizes the idea of the global: consider that banks claim global reach but only have empty offices in some countries while they categorically refuse to go into others. Ho questions what exactly it means to be a global financial institution.


● Reading: “Devil and Commodity Fetishim in South America”- Taussig ● Tio is the devil

● Pre capitalist society

● people who have ambition to make money were thought to making deal with the devil ● devil is capitalism

● economic system brings about a cultural change

● Reminds me of the witchcraft reading.

○ To these societies, their way of understanding or relating to things or situations is comparing it with things that they know to already exist….for instance capitalism and the devil as in this reading.

● Tio - Taussig, context of mining, labor, commodity fetishism, historical change, change in rational, relationship between ideology and material life, resistance to power, how material objects become spiritual, use value/exchange value.


The Capitalist Economy 

● an economic and political system in which trade of goods and services are controlled by private owners for profit rather than the state for welfare.

● Value (Exchange value vs. use value) : The use value is the usefulness of the commodity while the exchange value is the amount of commodities that can be exchanged for that particular commodity

● in a system of politics and governance in which India has ultimate value, the person is often designified or devalued

● capitalism changes the way we think and rep ourselves

● Marx was aware of this because he was very poor


● One of the group land claim actions filed in the late 1960s and 1970s, a relatively favorable period for redress of Native American grievances in courts.

● Penobscot-Passamaquoddy suit - Paternalist legislation designed to protect tribal groups from spoliation by unscrupulous whites, declared that alienation of Indian lands could be legally accomplished only with permission of Congress.

● The Passamaquoddy Penobsscot suit - generally recognized Indian tribes with distinct communities and clear aboriginal roots.

● Mashpee - represented the nonwhites for what is known as the Indian town of Cape Cod; but their institutions of tribal governance had long been elusive, especially during the century and a half preceding the suit.

what is an indian? 

● mashpee suing to be able to sue

● plaintiff: Mashpee indians

● defendant; US gov

● before 1960s, town of mashie was governed by indians. but they constitute an indian "tribe"?

● many people in the courtroom, when they think of an indian, they have the same view, an american indian form a long time ago

● they dont expect someone without feathers or headdress to be indian

● p.289 - so, who speaks for cultural authenticity?

● who gets to say if you are really a "real indian"?

● authentic; pure, unadulterated, original

● mashpee; we are a tribe, but got says no

● who has a right to claim a particular identity?

● mashpees- struggle to establish authenticity "real reality"

● 1st perspective- mashpees are an artificial identity not an organically originated tribe

○ converted to christianity

○ intermarried and mingled with white society

● 2nd perspective of history

○ conversion to christianity was mandatory for changing times

○ Indians sided with the colonists to adopt to the situation

○ mashpee didn't assimilate to american society, they merely brought the society into their lives

○ mashpee article shows how complex identity politics is

Mashpee history 

● history 1-against being a tribe

● survivors of diff communities came together and formed a tribe

● that's seen as not a legitimate tribe

● assimilate into white society

● slowly integrating into american society

● assimilate into society....so no tribe

● intermarried with free blacks, whites, etc so they lose identity

● history 2- regrouping was a common response to the plague

● they came together and live in this town called mashpee

● just because they converted doesnt mean they lost identity

● as indigenous people, they had no property rights

● plantation system is close to what they had before

● marriage comes with rules and defined by indian identity


● judge: defined tribe as the example of "motonya''

○ racial purity, territory occupation, leadership

○ required jury to keep those 3 in mind while thinking about the case

○ hold land legally thru either english law or other...but there's not a reservation system

○ they had to adapt in different ways

○ whole thing about the lawsuit is to prove they have land to gain but they dont ● if they meet these criteria; there are five dates the jury needs to figure out if the tribe was in existence then

● also whether or not the mashpee constituted a tribe from beginning till now...jury says NO

● p.333-if tribe didn't exist, plaintiff would fail


● Jury finds that there was a tribe, then there wasn't one....so goes against the tribe ● these are complicated even considering the case of ethnicity, it's hard to define them ● judges definition shows specific reasons but that's not the case

● Clifford

○ less about facts but more about feelings of identity

○ harder to define in a court

○ a lot of the plaintiff's lives weren't lived in the way that it is defined in the law ○ case focusses on indian culture that's seen as organic.

○ these things are organic

● mashpee seen as people trying to create an identity

○ in some people's eyes, that's not a real identity

○ instrumentalist- created out of need

○ a lot of this stuff is very much created


● appandurai

○ decreased cultural differences; increased homogeneity; globalization of culture

● these cross and bounce of one another

● deteritorization - comes from the scapes---nothing is set in a territory

● everything is connected that territory doesnt matter much

● people settle but still identify with something else

● territory doesnt define a person

● nation state - doesnt exist as much anymore

○ people that form a nation dont all live in that state

● commodity fetishism(you no longer view things based on who made it etc...you view it as how much it costs)

● Appadurai - commodity fetishism exists but...he talks about other things ● production fet: production appears local masking the transnational nature ● fetichism of the consumer: idea that consumers have power...an illusion ● we think we have power because we can vote or boycott certain stores because you disagree with them

● appadurai says we really dont really have that much power

● we're making decisions but we're given limited choices

● Like majors....schools give you choices of what you can major in but we tend to think we get to choice. these choices are limited tho

Public Policy 

● we are influenced by the set of guidelines or rules that we're born into ● they exist and shape your experience

● every policy change has the ability to affect human behaviour

● understanding how institutions in which we create and create us are fitted around neoliberalism

● small policy changes can have dramatic effects

● neoliberalism: rationality or logic that governs non economic ways of life ○ less about political than it is about the incorporation of non economic and non political domains of its own rationality

○ silicon valley: now view philanthropy has been changed into an economic rationality

■ so there's a mentality that people aren't to give money just to give

■ they dont one to act in an emotional stance, but rather logic

■ make sure where it goes is a good investment

○ effective capitalism is increasing in the logic of giving

governmentality - self policing

● term is intended to signify importance of ruling in governance

● new + liberalism

○ liberalism- old econ concept emerging in europe in 17 and 1800s. adam smith, separation of morality and economy

○ US constitution is based on john locke's philosophy

○ under liberalism we are born equal under the law

○ liberalism- political participation

○ neoliberalism - political participation is no longer the norm but only done if its convenience, efficiency, cost benefits

● discipline- a way of exercising power

● there's an exercise of power in every discipline

● when we study institutions, we dont study them for their exercise of power but for the way they exercise power in ways that are difficult to see

● we also study the way in which knowledge is shaped

● if you want to have institutions, you need knowledge

● policy v. policing

○ policy organizes an internal order

○ and we see the same in knowledge constructed within institutions

○ with new forms of knowledge comes new type of individuals

○ focus on policy is new in anthropology

○ public anthropology is a new practise instead of applied anthro

○ applied anthros are still marginalized within the institution

○ at the beginning stages, anthros will focus on big theoretical concerns and then later do something that you feel would be more helpful in society

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