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Lecture Notes 01-06

by: Jackie Reh

Lecture Notes 01-06 ANTH 100000

Jackie Reh
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About this Document

These notes cover what the professor lectured over in her slides online during week 1 of the course.
Introduction To Anthropology (online version)
Verity Whalen
Class Notes
Introduction to Anthropology, reproduction, sex, and Kinship, Adaptation, Human Environment Interaction, fossils, Artifacts and Dating




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jackie Reh on Sunday May 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 100000 at Purdue University taught by Verity Whalen in Summer 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Introduction To Anthropology (online version) in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Purdue University.

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Date Created: 05/22/16
Beginning to Anth  ­ Ethnocentrism: the idea that our own way of life is the standard against which all others  should be measured  ­ Anthropological perspective: the idea in which we should look at the world    Module 01 ­ What is Anthropology    ­ Anthropology: the study of human biology, society, and culture in the past, present and  future  ­ Anthropologists study humans as evolving physical organisms  ­ Societies = all people, collectively regarded as constituting a community of  interdependent individuals  ­ Culture = knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities  and habits acquired by humans as member of society   ­ Four Sub­Fields  ­ 1. Cultural Anthropology  ­ Study of human society and their cultures  ­ Ethnography ­ seeks to understand what life is like for them  ­ Ethnology ­ the analysis of ethnographic data  ­ 2. Archaeology  ­ Study of human society and culture through the analysis of the material  remains of past human behavior  ­ Excavation  ­ Survey  ­ Three goals:  ­ Reconstructing past lifeways  ­ Creating culture histories  ­ Understanding culture process  ­ 3. Biological Anthropology  ­ Study of human biology and our evolution  ­ How evolution has shaped biology and behavior   ­ Our species’ biological variability   ­ Four major branches:  ­ Paleoanthropology: study of human evolution  ­ Primatology: behavior of our closest relatives  ­ Anthropological genetics: genetic variability  ­ Osteological and forensic anthropology: study of the  human skeleton  ­ 4. Linguistic anthropology  ­ Study of social uses and evolution of usually unwritten languages  ­ Relationship between people and language  ­ How language shapes cultural behavior and vice versa  ­ Anthro and other fields  ­ Anthropology is both scientific and humanistic   ­ It is holism, the study of the entire human condition... different aspects of human  society can not be studied in isolation  ­ It avoids ethnocentrism... it avoids view of another culture against one’s own  ­ Antro Today  ­ Applied anthropology  ­ Is used to solve contemporary social problems  ­ They work in health care, educational research, economic development,  advertisement, ect.    Module 02 ­ Take Home Messages    ­ Take Home Messages of Anth  ­ Relativism  ­ Cultural and biological relativism  ­ The cultural and biological characteristics of a society,  populations, or a person can only be given value relative to the  environmental and historical context in which they exist  ­ Ex: “it’s good to be a big person” vs. “it’s good to be a small  person”  ­ It’s good to be a big animal in a colder area  ­ But being small in a famine area... you have less resource  that you need  ­ Adaptations: biological and cultural characteristics that allow  people to live in a certain environment  ­ Diversity  ­ Our environmental contexts are constantly changing, and no single set of  biological and cultural characteristics can handle change  ­ Ex: Irish potato famine ­> not enough biological diversity in the potatos...  so by the time we changed our farming ways, it was to late  ­ Evolution  ­ All biological and cultural things change over time... evolution vs  “progress”  ­ Evolution... simples refers to change  ­ Progress is the change in some direction for some goal  ­ Holism  ­ People and their societies are complex, integrated entities  ­ Every facet of human society influences every other facet  ­ Nothing should be studied in isolation   ­ Biology and Culture Matter  ­ Biological evolution has equipped us with big brains  ­ Biological evolution has equipped us with big brains  ­ Biology does not go away just because we have culture  ­ Individual Agencies  ­ We are shaped by genes and culture  ­ We learn from our experiences  ­ Individuals within groups behave differently  ­ Individual's behavior can’t necessarily be predicted    Module 03 ­­> videos  ​  ­­   What is Evolution?  ​    ­­    What is Natural Selection?    Module 04 ­ Reproduction, Sex, and Kinship  Reproduction  ­ A sexual :  reproduction by division ... no distinction between parent and offspring  ­ Sexual : reproduction by combination of genetic materials  ­ Gametes(sperm and ova)  combine to form zygote  ­ DNA : chain of simple molecules in which instructions for producing substances the body  needs are coded  ­ Arranged in chromosomes  ­ Asecual ... only has one copy of each chromosome  Sexual Reproduction  ­ Meiosis ­ produces gametes  ­ Reproduction ­ combination of two gametes with full complement of 2 chromosomes  ­ Joining gametes  ­ Releasing gametes into the environment  ­ Internal fertilization  ­ Advantages :  ­ Maximizes genetic variability  ­ Disadvantages :  ­ Courtship behavior  ­ Only half genetic legacy is passed on  Consequences of Sexual Reproduction  ­ Kinship is important  ­ Not all individuals equally related  ­ It matters who reproduces  ­ Evolved behaviors to ensure as many offspring as possible  ­ Kin share some of your genes ­ inclusive fitness  ­ Biological and Cultural Prevention of Inbreeding  ­ Reproducing with kin inhibits genetic diversity  ­ “Genetic load” ­ bad genes carried but not expressed  ­ Recognizing kin  ­ Core of related females  ­ Humans often act as if neighbors are kin  ­ Psychological mechanisms for recognizing kin  ­ Strategies ensuring genes passed on  ­ R­selection  ­ Lots of offspring  ­ Little investment  ­ K­selection  ­ Few offspring  ­ Lots of investment      Module 05a ­ Human Adaptation    Adaptation  ­ A biological or cultural characteristic that allows an organism to live in a certain  environment  ­ Physiological adaptation : adaptation made through the adjustment of individual  physiology  ­ Acclimatization   ­ Cultural adaptation   ­ Most common way to adapt for people  ­ Passed on through teaching/learning  ­ Evolution adaptation   ­ Most permanent form  ­ Passed through genes  ­ Develops through natural selection  ­ Hemoglobin : component of blood that is red when carrying oxygen  ­ Carotene : yellow­orange pigment  ­ Melanin : granular substance produced by specialized skin cells called melanocytes  ­ All human have out the same number of melanocytes  ­ Different populations produce different quantities of melanin    Module 05b ­ Human Environment Interaction    Anthropological Model  ­ Physiological, cultural, evolutionary adaptation work together to allow human to adapt to  any environment  ­ Model is holistic  ­ This is an interdependent system  ­ Changes in the environment can lead to perceptional change and so on  ­ For most of human history, biological change was more important than  cultural change  Adaptation  ­ Are all adaptations equally important?  ­ Human specialize in cultural adaptations  ­ But early on we relied heavily on evolutionary adaptations  ­ We are biologically very similar but culturally very diverse  ­ Individuals can change their behavior/culture, but not their genes  ­ Cultural evolution can be fast biological evolution is slow  ­ Unlike biological traits, cultural traits get passed on from multiple people    Module 06 ­ Fossils, Artifacts, and Dating  Evidence of Past Human Behavior  ­ All animals modify the environment  ­ Including humans  ­ Site ­ location with some evidence of past human activity  ­ Fossil ­ mineralized remains of a once­living organism  ­ Artifact ­ portable object that was made by humans  ­ Feature ­ non­portable object made by human behavior  Recovering Information from Sites  1. Excavation  a. Material removed carefully  b. Record location of everything  c. To preserve CONTEXT  i. Relationship between objects and their surroundings  2. Labwork  a. Many techniques that archaeologist use to get information about artifacts  b. Formal “dating”methods to find out WHEN things placed in ground  i. Potassium­Argon Dating ­ absolute dating method.. Works up to billions of  years, only dates when rock formed  ii. Carbon 14 Dating : up to ~50,000 years ago, organic materials only  3. Interpretation  a. Develop and evaluate hypotheses about activities at a site  b. Explanation of past behavior 


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