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Lecture 04/18

by: Viktoryia Zhuleva

Lecture 04/18 ANTH 10000

Viktoryia Zhuleva
GPA 3.0

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About this Document

Concepts of Self and Others
Dr. Richard Blanton
Class Notes
Anthropology, Purdue
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Viktoryia Zhuleva on Wednesday April 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 10000 at Purdue University taught by Dr. Richard Blanton in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Anthropology in Liberal Arts at Purdue University.


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Date Created: 04/20/16
Lecture 04/18 Concepts of Self and Others  Biological basis: Theory of Mind capacity  Subjective elements: experience, self-interrogation (including "inner speech"), agency  Cultural construction: the "folk theory of mind" and notions of an ideal person, this may bring a central tendency in self in a particular culture A Dualistic Scheme of Self/Other  In "individualism and Collectivism research" (cross-cultural psychological comparison)  Cultures (usually nation-states) are classified as to whether there is a central tendency in toward "allocentric" (group-oriented) concept of self or an "idiocentric" (self-centered) concept of self Allocentric (socially moral) emphasis  Most people equate personal goals with group goals and groups support is acknowledged  Serving others is valued  Standardized presentation of self  Role is an important aspect of personal identity (e.g. mother, brother, father, etc.) Individualism and Collectivism Research  Most of this research emphasizes a supposed "west-rest" dichotomy  Supposedly more idiocentric (individualistic): W. Europe, U.S., Canada  Supposedly more allocentric (more group-oriented): Asia, Mediterranean, Africa, Latin America, and small scape societies Mundugumor (New Guinea)  A highly idiocentric society  Adults are distrustful, conflictive, competitive (divorce is common) - father-son conflict is common  Warfare is endemic  Competitive reciprocal gift exchange is used to establish social dominance  Children are severely punished and rarely held by parents – this is intended to socialize children for physical toughness and emotional independence Mundgumor Child-Rearing Versus U.S.  Mindgumor: to succeed as adults, a parent needs to socialize children to make them independent and physically and emotionally strong  U.S. parents (80%): want their children to become a caring person who understands and importance and differences of dealing with each other Bali  Difference to others is common; proper etiquette is important  Avoid interpersonal conflict  is this and allocentric culture? NO – social competition and conflict bring illness caused by witches so "allocentrism" is carefully contrived to avoid the damages that witches can bring (esp. Illness)  A person's real thoughts are often more competitive and assertive (idiocentric) than is openly displayed Evaluation of the West-Rest Dichotomy : III  In cultures classified as allocentric, group orientation may be restricted only to the family domain  Away from the domestic "Amoral Familism" in Southern Italy:  Group orientation (allocentrism) is present within the family  Beyond the family, people are competitive, distrustful, selfish, and unlikely to cooperate for beneficial community projects or goals  Why is this defined as an "allocentric culture"? Evaluation of the West-Rest Divide: IV  In many cultures, as is true in the US, there is a sense that the individual should strive to be competitive and to achieve personal success (idiocentric orientation) but remain committed to others and to group goals (allocentric orientation)  Example: Mendi culture (New Guinea) Mendi:  Competitive reciprocal gift exchange brings prestige and is highly valued in the culture  At the same time, obligations to family and the community must be met  The most respected persons are able to navigate the competitive self and the group-oriented cooperator to be a "complete" person – success in these efforts is valued by others A dual Sense of Self is Also Found in Western Cultures  In most Western cultures the sense of self involves a complementarity between two philosophies that exist side-by-side: o Individualism (e.g. utilitarian individualism in economic theory – the ideal of rational but no highly socially relational person) o Civic Humanism (devotion to family, group, team, community, nation, etc.) Self in Society: The "Utilitarian Game"  One person makes an offer to another to divide a pool of wealth  The responded looks at the proposal, if they refuse the offer, neither person gets anything  When this game is administered in Western cultures, costly fair offers are made: a less than 50% split is often rejected (this punishes the offeror)  In small-scale societies, responses are not consistently fair


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