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Anthropology Basics

by: Azanay Notetaker

Anthropology Basics 15024

Azanay Notetaker
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Basics Concepts in the field of anthropology
Human Culture & Communication
Chad Huddleston
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Azanay Notetaker on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 15024 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville taught by Chad Huddleston in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Human Culture & Communication in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

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Date Created: 01/29/16
Introducing Anthropology *Green- Extreme importance Anthropology is the study of the human species (men & women) Common sense- everyday thinking Anthropological thinking- curious Introducing Anthropology Earliest anthropology information comes from Greek travelers Categorized people according to certain attributes based on European standards. The standards were savages, barbarians, and civilization. The criteria was mainly based on stuff (material objects and signs of European beliefs (politics, religion, etc.). Origins Colonial Explorers and Missionaries- Recorded tribes that came in contact with. Translated the bible. Was not anthropologist. 19 Armchair Anthropologists- Gathered the material from missionaries and tried to scientifically prove if the people were savages or barbarians. Theorized about the data. 20 Century Fieldwork- Anthropologist goes out and personally worked with the people being researched. Live their lives with them (eat, drink, live, dress, try to fit in with the culture). Anthropologist observe and participants religions but usually does not convert. Also, anthropologist usually do not marry people from kin groups being researched. Interpretive Approach- (Social Science)- Holism- Interested in the whole human condition: past, present, and future.  Have to research and learn about the past of the cultures and people.  Present is the current fieldwork study.  Future- Leave the culture better than what you find it. Ask them if you can help them (Only if they want help.) Culture- “Culture or civilization… is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other, capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.”- Edward Tylor 1871 (His definition was a checklist- must acquire the things in definition to become a culture) Culture- Shared patterns of learned behaviors.  Bounded object- Each culture have a specific set of characteristics. Everything was based in kin.  Fuzzy Boundaries- Boundaries between societies are fuzzy or there is none. (Ex. Clothing from china, listening to Kpop.) Enculturation- The social process by which culture is learned (acquisition) and transmitted through generations. Ethnocentrism- The tendency to view one’s own culture as best and to judge the behavior and beliefs of culturally different people by one’s own standards.  Good aspects Social solidarity- Combined interest with others.  In-betweenRacism, Sexism, ageism, etc.  Extreme aspects Genocide- Other groups are seen as lesser so they do not deserve to exist. Cultural Relativity- This is the position that the values and standards of cultures differ and deserve respect in their own terms. (Can never say one society is better than another.)  Good aspects Open-mindedness, Diversity,  Extreme aspects Allowing/ignoring extreme aspects of ethnocentrism. Three levels of Diversity  Tolerance  Acceptance  Promotion How do we explain human behavior? Theories in Anthropology Evolutionism- The adaptations and change over time.  Sociobiology- Idea that everything a person does is just a set of random set of chemical reactions. No free will.  Creation science (creationism) - The belief that the Christian god created earth and nothing has changed.  Evolution and creation is not the same thing. Evolution does not talk about creation. And creation cannot be science since it is not testable. Empiricism- The world is knowable. Science is the path of discovery to know the world. Functionalism- Humans have needs and society functions to satisfy those needs.  Organismic model- If all the organs work properly the body is healthy. Some organs can be removed and the body is still healthy. Essential things cannot get rid of. (Society works the same way.  Problem is it cannot account for change. Cannot adapt. Materialism-  Cultural ecology- Humans adapt to the environment through culture. The more technology the less the environment affects you and vice versa.  Cultural materialism- Everything humans do is based in economy. Structuralism- About the mind. Humans have deep unconscious structures in their mind. If we can focus on the similar structures across cultures we can learn something about humanity (etc. Good vs Evil). Interpretive- Interpretive theory states that the world around us has multiple layers of meaning. Interpretive anthropology analysis that meaning and try to decipher what something means, why we behave the way we do, and how is it different or similar? Conflict- Explaining or understanding social issues. Tries to understand how power is used in conflict. Methods Fieldwork  Ethno history- History of the area and the people you plan on studying. Comparative work- Also study the ethno-history of the people closest to the group you plan to study.  Ethnographic Fieldwork- Involves participant observation which is analyzing and asking questions about the activities. Researchers shouldn’t participate in religion acts or relationships with local (studied) people.  Analysis- It usually takes a couple of years to sift through all the data. Reflexivity- Need to be aware of your bias.  Presentation- Often would be presented in published and journals. Also can showcase work at a conference. Urban Anthropology Anthropology fieldwork is mainly based at home (own country). One major drawback is that you are studying people that are similar to you. One major plus is that urban anthropology allows you to stay connected with your own family & friends. Reflexivity and Ethics Who can speak for whom? - The groups being studied can speak for themselves more rural groups may give permission for the researcher to speak for them. Where does the relationship end?- Depends on what kind of research you do and what type of relationship you built with the people researched. Anthropology Journals Shakespeare in the bush A researcher was given the book Hamlet because it it’s a universal book and has a universal meaning which was not true. Ghost- They did not believe in ghost. They though it was an omen sent by a witch. Hamlet marrying his sister in law was the right thing to do Hamlet should not be messing with his father and his group- Age grade Ophelia dying was due to a witch because water is life giving and cause no harm. At the end (told the researcher) - Told her that she had the story wrong and that her elders gave her the wrong information. (Group and researcher experienced this) Naïve realism- The false idea that everyone is basically the same. People see the world differently. Nacirema (American) It is about Americans. - It was written in 1956 Anthropology lesson- During the time anthropology was criticized by social and political conservatist when trying to explain that different cultures are different should be recognized. So wrote this is the point of view of a person who did not know about American culture. American lesson- We as Americans are in a constant state of decay and ugliness so we do plenty of body rituals to combat that.


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