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First week Anthropology Notes

by: Michael Cruise

First week Anthropology Notes ANTHRO 1000 - 01

Michael Cruise
GPA 3.74
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These notes are from the first three class periods. The introduction covers important information about the different types of anthropology and culture. The next two sets of notes cover why Anthro...
General Anthropology
Professor Starkweather
Class Notes




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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michael Cruise on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTHRO 1000 - 01 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Professor Starkweather in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see General Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Missouri - Columbia.

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Date Created: 01/31/16
Introduction to Anthropology January 21, 2016 Anthropology:  Comparative (over periods of time, different people)  Definition: study of humankind in all times and places  Four fields of Anthropology: cultural, linguistic, physical, archaeology Franz Boas  Believed cultural and social factors directed behavior  Founder of the four fields for greater understanding of influences  Believed in a scientific approach  Wanted to prove people were the same everywhere (specifically cognitive limits) Physical Anthropology  Study of variation in human physiology  Subfields: 1. Human evolution 2. Human variation 3. Forensic science 4. Primatology 5. Growth and development Archeology  Study of material culture and history  Prehistoric and historic: tools, poetry, domestication, settlement patterns Linguistics  Comparative study of how language shapes social life  Subfields:  Historical linguistics  Sociolinguistics (gender, dialects, construction of language)  Primate communication Cultural anthropology  Study of human society and culture (religion, social organization, rites and rituals)  Ethnography- provides an account of a particular community, culture or society  Typically focuses on groups below the national level  Ethnology- analyzes and interprets the data that is gathered about a different society, sometimes through ethnography  Investigates research questions and tests hypotheses Applied Anthropology  The application of the information gained through the study of anthropology  Examples: cultural resource management, salvaging languages, advising on social policy, forensics Culture  Definition: set of learned behaviors and ideas (including beliefs, attitudes, values) that are characteristic of a particular society of other social group  Characteristics of Culture:  Must be shared by:  Society- an organized group or groups of people that share many similarities  Subculture- groups within a larger society  Pluralism- multiethnic  Symbolic  Symbols: signs, emblems, etc that are arbitrary but represent something in a meaningful way  Leaned  Not all learned behavior = culture  Enculturation: process by which societies culture is passed down  Integrated  Each aspect functions as part of an integrated whole  Subsidence pattern affects: marriage, kinship rules, politics, type of home  Change in 1 aspect often = change in another  Constantly changing  Diffusion: borrowing cultural trait from another society after contact  Acculturation: extensive borrowing from a less powerful society to a more powerful one  This type of borrowing may involve force ie. Colonialism Functions of Culture  Hold strategies for the production and distribution of goods & services  Ensures biological continuity of its members  Provides social structure for reproduction and moral support  Pass down knowledge and enculturate new members  Facilitate social interactions and provide solutions to conflicts  Maintain order among members and with outsiders  Motivates members to survive and do what's necessary  Be able to adapt under changing conditions Anthropology as Science (1/26) Monday, January 25, 2016 Review:  How many fields of anthropology? -Biological, cultural, linguistics, archeology  What makes it culture? Functions? What kinds of questions are appropriate for scientific inquiry?  Questions that:  Concern statements we are able to disprove  Contain logical relations and have internal consistency  Can be addressed with real-world, empirical data Epistemology:  Definition: a way of knowing  That something is true  How to arrive at the truth  Knowledge by acquaintance  The study of knowledge and justified belief  Belief: something we accept as true for ourselves  Truth: in accord with fact or reality  Justification: Knowledge = justified true belief Scientific Epistemology:  A way of knowing using scientific inquiry  Focuses on knowledge through empiricism  It is limited in scope  It is useful for answering some questions  It does not necessarily overlap with other epistemologies, especially those applied to metaphysical (spirituality) domains Scientific inquiry:  The search for scientific knowledge  5 features:  Engage in scientifically oriented questions  Give priority to evidence in responding to questions  Formulate explanations based on evidence  Connect explanations to previous scientific knowledge  Communicate and justify explanations Science: A method and a discourse  Method:  Making propositions about the world that are falsifiable through tests  Self-correcting  Actively looking for data that can contradict statements  Discourse:  Humans communicate through language  Perceptions are fallible  Communities of practitioners determine what is considered valid Scientific Method  Ask a question  State a hypothesis  Conduct an experiment  Analyze the results  Make a conclusion Theory:  A well-substantiated explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can incorporate laws, hypotheses & facts Hypothesis:  An idea or explanation that you can test through experimentation  Must be falsifiable Experiment:  The procedures used to detect and record facts &/or data Analyze the results:  Fact: a thing that is indisputably the case  Data:  Individual pieces of information  Measured, collected, reported & analyzed Make a conclusion based on data  Confirmation vs Falsification  Confirmation: given enough information, theories can be true  Falsification: the scientific method only shows weather or not something is false - it cannot confirm Conclusions  Summarize how your results support or contradict your original hypothesis Is Anthropology a science?  Yes- biological anthropology, archaeology  Mostly… Linguistics, cultural anthropology What makes it a science?  Uses theory to create hypotheses  Uses specific methods to collect data  Analyze data to test hypotheses  Use these conclusions to reformulate theory Anthropology (1/28) Thursday, January 28, 2016 Micro and Macro Evolution Taxonomy  CAROLUS LINNAEUS (1707-1778)  First comprehensive taxonomy of plants and animals; Systema Natura  Based on: body structure, body function, sequence of growth Analogies vs Homologies  Analogy:  Superficially similar due to similar function; NOT due to sharing a common developmental pathway  Homology:  Arise in similar fashion and pass through similar stages during embryonic development; but may possess different functions Explaining change over time  Catastrophism- series of catastrophes explains changes in fossil record  Uniformitarianism- Earth is constantly being reshaped by natural forces How is change Transmitted?  Through Units of Heredity 1 Chromosome - Lengths of DNA made up of multiple genes 2 Gene - area in a chromosome pair that determines a particular biological trait 3 Allele - Different forms of a specific gene (biochemical variants) Key Concepts  Phenotype- the evident traits of an organism (what you see)  Genotype- an organisms hereditary makeup  heterozygous- dissimilar alleles of a specific gene  Homozygous- identical alleles of a particular gene  Dominant alleles- mask the others recessive allele in a heterozygote Evolution, Individuals, and Populations  Populations: a group of similar individuals that can and DO interbreed and produce offspring  Gene Pool: genetic variants possessed by all members of a population  Microevolution: the changing of the relative proportions of alleles in a population Evolution (Micro) Defined  Change over time  Descent with modification  Change in alleles frequencies in populations 4 Forces of Evolution 1 Natural Selection 2 Mutation 3 Gene flow 4 Genetic drift Natural Selection  Natural objects may be complex but they are not improbable  Man- made objects may be complex and very improbable by natural processes  Biological adaptations may also be complex and improbable  Natural selection is a mechanism that explains biological adaptations


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