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Cultural Anthropology 104

by: y-chen9

Cultural Anthropology 104 ANTHRO 104


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Note set 5 - covers politics and power chapter
Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Falina Enriquez
Class Notes
Anthropology, Culture, Politics
25 ?




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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by y-chen9 on Saturday May 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTHRO 104 at University of Wisconsin - Madison taught by Dr. Falina Enriquez in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 48 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Wisconsin - Madison.


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Date Created: 05/07/16
Anthropology 104 Notes #5 Chapter 12: Politics and Power Elmen Service (political anthropologist) o Classified political systems into 4 types  Bands, Tribes, Chiefdoms, and States  Band: A small kinship-based group of foragers who hunt and gather for a living over a particular territory (337)  Tribe: Originally viewed as a culturally distinct, multiband population that imagined itself as one people descended from a common ancestor; currently used to describe an indigenous group with its own set of loyalties and leaders living to some extent outside the control of a centralized authoritative state (339)  Chiefdom: An autonomous political unit composed of a number of villages or communities under the permanent control of a paramount chief (339)  State: 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 (341) o States reinforce hegemony with nationalism  Egalitarianism: Believing in equality for everyone  “Vertical encompassment” o Phrase coined by Ferguson and Gupta that described the state as all- encompassing and overarching  Civil society organization: A local nongovernmental organization that challenges state policies and uneven development and advocates for resources and opportunities for members of its local communities. Frans de Waal (physical anthropologist) o Challenged the myth that aggression, competition and violence are linked to genes and hormones, which are then released in social relations  Militarization: The contested social process through which a civil society organized for the production of military violence (348) Catherine Lutz (anthropologist of militarization) o Process of war is not just making the weapons but also the glorification of war o Warned that left uncheck, militarization threatens to shape all other aspects of cultural institutions. o Studied Mozambique  Agency: The potential power of individuals and groups to contest cultural norms, values, mental maps of reality, symbols, institutions, and structures of power (351) o B/c of agency, cultures do not remain rigid and static  Social movement: Collective group actions in response to uneven development, inequality, and justice that seek to build institutional networks to transform cultural patterns and government policies o Many focused on the responses of communities to forces of globalization  Framing process: The creation of shared meanings and definitions that motivate and justify collective action by social movements (354)  Islamic Fatwa councils in Cairo, Egypt The Spectacular Favela—Introduction  Tourists perpetuate violence  “I argue that violence is locally constituted and meaningful” (10).  Peacemaking is a form of militarization (20) Lecture 15: Power and Politics What are politics? o How people organize their collective affairs o The distribution of power within and between groups o Power: the ability to bring about change  Coercion  Persuasion o Politics are everywhere:  Publically define institutions and activities  Daily informal relations Authority o Socially approved use of power o Different types of authority  Charismatic—based on popular recognition of an individual’s exceptional attributes  Traditional—based on established customs  Legal—based on formal rules Stratification o Uneven distribution of resources and privilege within a group o Along lines of race, gender, class, etc Law o The means by which members of a group regulate their behavior and settle disputes  Codified laws—formal written rules and enforcement mechanisms  Customary laws—informally known rules and enforcement mechanisms Economy o The ways in which goods and services produced by members of a group are distributed How does political organization vary? o Anarchic (egalitarian) societies  Bands, tribes  “Anarchy” = without hierarchy/authority o Hierarchical societies  Chiefdoms, states Anarchic societies—The Batek of Malaysia o Authority  No permanent forms of authority  Limited forms of temporary charismatic authority o Stratification  No stratification based on class  Limited to no stratification based on gender, age, or other factors o Law  Law is customary  Conflict resolution and decisions reached through consensus o Economy  Economic systems based on either: Sharing: giving/taking of goods from an undifferentiated group o When you’re always sharing with everyone and no one person in particular, you can’t hold power over anyone specifically o Sharing is simply a norm Reciprocity: exchange of goods with other individuals, meant to reinforce social ties Hierarchical societies—Chiefdoms o Permanent leadership position (chief) based on traditional authority o Stratification based on relationship to chief o Customary law, enforced by chief o Economy based on redistribution—chief can collect things such as taxes, and redistribute resources Hierarchical societies—States o Permanent centralized government makes decisions based on legal authority  Bureaucracy: governing tasks are divided and carried out by people in different positions o Stratification along multiple lines o Codified law, enforced by the state o Economic systems vary across states  Capitalism Profits from a business are kept by the owner, not the workers Are humans naturally anarchical or hierarchical? Have we evolved from anarchical to hierarchical through evolutionary trajectory? o Morgan and Tylor would say yes—they believed in unilineal cultural evolution  This viewpoint is ethnocentric  Anarchic societies are not relics from the past  Not isolated—long histories of interactions with states Political organization can be a choice o Many groups such as the Batek, reject the structure of hierarchical societies Political organization changes o The Kachin (kee-chin) in northern Myanmar (mee-yan-mar) (Burma) o Historically fluctuated between anarchic and hierarchical political organization based on dynamics and needs of society Forms of political organization overlap o Today, almost everyone is a citizen of a state, but  Multiple forms of political organization can exist within a state EXAMPLES Modragon o A federation of workers cooperatives in Basque region, Spain o 247 sub-cooperatives in industry, finance, retail o Established in 1956 based on principles of worker solidarity and equal participation o Workers own a share of the company, elect managers, participate in decisions o Highest paid employee can’t make more than 6.5 times the lowest employee Rojava o Autonomous region encompassing three largely Kurdish provinces of northern Syria o Don’t want a new state—an alliance of self-governing communities o Popular assemblies are ultimate decision-making bodies o Councils have ethnic and gender balance o Property controlled by worker-managed cooperatives Lecutre 16—Politics  Rio de Janeiro “River of January” o Capital of state Rio de Janeiro o Site of 2016 Olympics o Popular tourist site, Brazil’s cultural center o Approx. 6.4 million residents o High rates of crime (although murder rate is down 24/100,000) o Large disparity between rich and poor  Rocinha o Estimated 70,000 residents o In the Zona Sul (South Zone) o Near two neighborhoods o Residents are perceived as criminals, but E.R.L. estimates 1% or fewer are traffickers  Favela Inc. o Rocinha (and other favelas) are part of the tourist industry o 3,000 tourists/week o Adventure tourism & “voluntourism” o F.I. makes Rio a more visible, appealing brand o F.I. created & controlled by outsiders o Profits kept by outsiders  Favela Inc. as a product of violence o The realities of favelas and how they are portrayed are legacies of racial and class stratification  Violence in Brazil o Colonial rule/slavery create a culture of terror o Public punishment establishes pattern where violence & spectacle are central o Favela residents experience multiple forms of violence  Physical  Structural  Representational  Robb-Larkin’s main framework o Favela violence is performative and spectacular o Commodification is at the heart of this intersection o Performative: violence is a social action o Commodification: transforming goods, services, ideas, people, etc. into objects with monetary value that can be bought and sold. o Favela is commodified - tourism  Spectacles in Rocinha: Favela Pacification o Demonstrate state power through Batalhao de Operacoes Policias Especiais o Militarization makes war seem normal & hides historical, economic, & cultural conditions o BOPE are militarized police force o Pacification directly related to global capitalism  Spectacles in Rocinha: Drug Trafficker Law o Trafficker laws prohibit some crimes; maintain a semblance of order in exchange for forced reciprocity o Display power violently when their laws are breached o Conspicuous consumption: another spectacle o Traffickers date high class women to attain power/status o Traffickers fund events like bailes funk (a way to symbolically legitimize trafficker lifestyle).  The Favela as another state o Favela residents are not well-integrated into mainstream o State presence (espeicially before pactification) is lacking o Quote from Beto o Drug traffickers occupy power vacuum  Maintaining the Brazilian nation-state o Domination (force)  Military/War: Favela pacification  Police brutality—16% of homicides  Prison system  Judiciary system (state dominates through law)  Displacing people from homes o Hegemony (symbolic, normative)  Educational standardization  Infrastructure  Ceremonies and events (Olympics World Cup)  Currency  Language  Fetishization o “Fetish” originally an object endowed with supernatural/religious power o Karl Marx + other social scientists discuss commodity fetishism o Fetishizing a commodity: to see it as if it were neutral and independent from human interactions o Human labor/culture create commodities and make them valuable o We fetishize money…money has no inherent value without government o In capitalism, espeicially as it becomes more global, commodification has become more pervasive o Yet, we ignore how commodities are produced and that their value is culturally constructed o Spectacles of violence enable fetishization of favela violence  Nation-state + drug trafficking state o Even though they seem separate, they are intertwined o Drug traffickers and politicians, bureaucratic officials, the police are part of the same social/business network o Many of the pacification events were negotiated by traffickers and their elite counterparts o The nation-state enables the trafficking “state” and vice-versa o Favela violence is a commercially viable byproduct of an ongoing capitalist and political enterprise  Narco-trafficking Incorporated o Spirit of competition between drug dealing centers o Corporate identity through graffiti tags, soccer tournaments, social media o Ethic of hard work and moving up ranks o The 2 nd in command to the owner takes over if the boss is killed/jailed o Sometimes there are “hostile takeovers”  Political mobilization o Violence and inequality in Brazil is not restricted to favelas or to big cities o People are responding through protest, something much more common than in the U.S. o 2013: Protests against an increase in public transportation fares & 2014 World Cup o Protests showed Brazil is more diverse, political movements are no longer centralized, mainstream media can no longer monopolize information  Brazil 2016 o Intense corruption in all top political parties involve PetroBras & Oderbrecht constructure firm o People are protesting for and against different things o Media is biased o Protesting can work for or against the state, nonetheless an important part of political action Chapter 10: Class and Inequality  Class: A system of power based on wealth, income, and status that creates an unequal distribution of a society’s resources (265)  Egalitarian society: A group based on the sharing of resources to ensure success with a relative absence of hierarchy and violence (266)  Reciprocity: The exchange of resources, goods, and services among people of relatively equal status; meant to create and reinforce social ties (266)  Ranked society: A group which wealth is not stratified but prestige and status are (267)  Redistribution: A form of exchange in which accumulated wealth is collected from the members of the group and reallocated in a different pattern (268)  Potlatch: Elaborate redistribution ceremony practiced among the Kwakiutl of the Pacific Northwest Karl Marx (1801-1882) – Theorist of class o Identified labor as the key source of value and profit o Strict view—“middle class still working class” o With Friedrich Engels—wrote Communist Manifesto (1848) Max Weber (1864-1920) o Wrote about economics and social upheavals in Western Europe caused by expansion of capitalism during Industrial Revolution o Added prestige to Marx’s theory  Prestige: The reputation, influence, and deference bestowed on certain people because of their membership in certain groups (271)  Cultural capital—Knowledge, language, education, travel, skills/experiences, how you dress, carry yourself. Parents enculturation children. What you add to yourself. Not exactly race, gender, sexuality, etc.  Social capital—Resources based on group membership, relationships, networks of influence and support Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002)—Education o Studied French educational system to understand relationship between class, culture and power o Described habitus and cultural capital o Uncovered social reproduction in schools Leith Mullings—Intersectionality o Intersectionality in Harlem, NY Intersectionality: An analytic framework for assessing how factors such as race, gender, and class interact to shape individual life chances and societal patterns of stratification (274) Income: What people earn from work, plus dividends and interest on investments, along with rents and royalties (276) Wealth: The total value of what someone owns, minus any debt (276) o Since 1976, wealth has increased by 63 percent for the wealthiest 1 percent of the population and by 71 percent for the top 20 percent. Wealth has decreased by 43 percent for the bottom 40 percent of the U.S. population. o 2 percent of the world own more than half the wealth on the planet Oscar Lewis – Anthropologist of poverty o “Culture of poverty” o Poverty as pathology or structural economic problem? Favela chapter 2 – The Penal State  “In this chapter, I show how police, as representatives of the larger “penal state” operating in the favela, embody violent spectacle and contribute to the commodification of security” (57).  Police and FB, twitter followers  imagined community (74)  “Security is still about violent spectacle, not about rights or protection for residents” (75).  The prison brings Jose closer to traffic than it does to keep him away… (78) Lecture 17: Erika Robb Larkins – Author in the Spectacular Favela  Rocinha = “Hocinia”  Why did she choose Rocinha? It’s a HUGE favela, and also gets a lot of tourism. She was very interested in tourism.  Lots of commerce in Rocinha—lots of places to eat, shop, etc.  Transportation—motor cars and walking  No Street signs in the Favela so directions are given based on landmarks.  Traffickers are now younger—12 to 14  Favela tours are becoming institutionalized—part of just going to Rio, cruise trip for example. Some people don’t choose to go there, but do anyway. Lecture 18: Class  Egalitarianism: Inequality is neither universal nor natural  Potlatch: A general term for various redistribution ceremonies among indigenous people in Pacific Northwest  Chief/clad ritually distributes personal possessions at major events  Conspicuous giving: Potlatch shows chief’s generosity, and (re)creates hierarchy  Conspicuous destruction: objects might be destroyed (blankets, copper) to deny rivals from having them. A sacrifice to the spirits. (A sort of spectacle!)  Potlatch gift giving tied to political, economic, religious, and kinship relations.  Ranking vs. class  Egalitarian societies & Pacific NW show different ways of distributing resources/ways of ranking (or not) people  Class: A system of power wherein access to the means of production is unequally distributed which, in turn, creates inequalities in wealth, income, and status.  Capitalism is controlled by the owners of the means of production  Means of production: The “stuff” needed to make products to sell land, factories, tools, raw materials, financial capital  Karl Marx – Proletariat vs. Bourgeoisie  Bourgeoisie owns means of production  Proletariat are laborers  Ranking in spectacular Favela (SEE CAMERA ROLL)  Income vs. wealth  Max Weber talked about how prestige added to hierarchy and class  Pierre Bourdieu (French sociologist) talked about cultural capital  1. Embodied: Acquired through enculturation  2. Objectified: What you own/how you use it – you buy expensive wine…but do you now how to drink it? Do you pair it with the right foods?  3. Institutionalized: Recognition from respected institutions (college degree)  Ivy League schools are a pipeline to power – A way to gain cultural capital  The Spectacular Favela—The Penal State  Traffickers and the state are intertwined, produce violence, expand markets  These processes reinforce class stratification  In Rocinha, people have varying levels of income  But, favela residents mostly in lower-class regardless of income because few opportunities for social mobility due to:  Stigma in living in favela  Racial discrimination  The Punitive Apparatus  Police, BOPE, prison system – maintains stratification and decreases political mobilization…tiring out proletariat class  Spectacle of invasion/pacification hides collusion between police (state) and traffickers  Conventional Police  Profilling/frisking/harassment is common  Part of punitive apparatus, police protect boundaries between rich/poor  Conventional police, usually lower class, poorly paid, lots of corruption  Man’s account of being harassed by police as a teen (65)  Erika talked about how she was frisked but not nearly as much as her husband. They saw here as a harmless woman.  Militarization (BOPE): A higher class of police  Increase violence (do not prevent)  Presents itself as morally & technically superior to conventional police  BOPE de-humanizes residents, treats favela bodies as disposable war causalities within the “war on drugs”  Prison + Judicial system  An unjust system that maintains class/social stratification  Estimates suggest 40% of prison population has never been in a court room (75)  People with money and connections are less likely to be imprisoned even if guilty  Meanwhile, lower-class people not proven to be guilty are imprisoned  DOES NOT help prevent the war on drugs – Actually makes it worse (Jose)  Cycles of violence  State actors (police, BOPE, prisons) intertwine with organized crime  This creates a cycle of physical/structural violence against the poor  Jose: Imprisoned for transporting weapons  Jailed with members of same faction  Dehumanizing conditions  Released but owned money  Punitive apparatus expands markets for protection for prisons & police, for MCD (consumer goods)  Violence and commodification are connected


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