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Intro to Anthropology

by: Jessieka Little

Intro to Anthropology AN 1103

Marketplace > Mississippi State University > AN 1103 > Intro to Anthropology
Jessieka Little
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These are the notes from our first few lectures!
Introduction to Anthropology
Professor Darcy Miller
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessieka Little on Friday August 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to AN 1103 at Mississippi State University taught by Professor Darcy Miller in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 13 views.


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Date Created: 08/26/16
Intro to Anthropology Intro to Anthropology Lecture One         Anthropology studies human society from two perspectives:         Diachronic view: stresses development through time         Synchronic view: emphasizes the contemporary state of human societies with little or no time depth         The four subdisciplines of anthropology Physical/ biological anthropology         The study of human biological evolution and variation between living populations         Human biology/ biological anthropology - contemporary studies of comparative variability (present time, synchronic aspect)         Human paleontology - paleoanthropology - comparative studies of fossil remains (past, diachronic)         Primatology - the study of both living and extinct species Cultural anthropology         Emphasis is behavior, with two approaches to the study of living societies 1.) Ethnography: descriptive study of human societies throughout the world (who, what, when, where)         Explorers, missionaries, traders, soldiers         Trained anthropologists         Participant/observer Linguistic Anthropology - Language         Structural linguistics (synchronic): the systematic study of the component parts of languages and their relationship - Phonology = sounds - Grammar = rules - Syntax = arrangements - Semantics         Historical linguistics - how languages developed, and where they developed from ex.: romance languages Archaeology - the study of the past through material remains         Provides a means to interpret past human culture and behavior that would otherwise be unknown         Can help address questions about the present Lecture 2 8/22/16         Concept of Deep Time and the Immutable Universe         Archbishop James Ussher (1581-1656) and Sir John Lightfoot (1602- 1675) argued that the world began at 4,004 BC at 9:00 am (used Bible for calculations)         Isaac de la Peyrere (1596-1676) argued that stone tools were the work of ancient people in his treatise A Theological System upon the Presupposition that Men were before Adam         He was seized by the inquisition and burned and his books were burned.         Thomas Hobbs (1588-1679)         Philosopher, Physicist         The Leviathan (1651) outlines the purpose of states and governments. Said that before this, life was nasty, brutish, and short.         Catastrophism- world shaped by punctuated events, such as floods, that were responsible for the demise of extinct species         Supported by French and led by George Cuvier (1769-1832)         Uniformitarianism- Geologic process in the present are the same that happened in the past         The English Explanation led by James Hutton (1726-1797)         Christian Thomsen (1788-1865) - Hired by the director of the National Museum of Denmark to help order their artifacts         3-age system Stone Age - artifacts were made of bone, wood, etc Bronze Age - artifacts were made of copper or bronze Iron Age - most things made of metal         Phillipe-Charles Schmerling (1791-1836)         In 1828, he found to human-like skulls (Neanderthal)         Adam Smith (1723-1790)         THE Economist         "Wealth of Nations"         Better business will continue at the expensive of lesser businesses         Laissez-Faire - "Let it Be"         Markets function best when there's no intervention         1700's and 1800's         Rise of mercantile class         Emergence of slave trade         Industrial Revolution         Continued colonial expansion         Thomas Malthus (1776-1834)         Essay on Principal of Population         As the population grows, resources become more scarce.         Positive checks- hunger, disease, war will take care of pop.         Preventative checks - abortion, birth control, celibacy, postponement of marriage (for poor people)         Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and Alfred Russell Wallace (1823-1913)         Co-discoverers of "natural selection"         Darwin saw natural selection not as a progressive march towards superior species, but as a reaction to dynamic environments         However, saw colonialism as a form of natural selection, albeit sadly at the expense of local populations.         Sir Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917)         Primitive Cultures (1871)         Social Darwinist         Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)         Influenced by Mathus         Social Darwinist         Coined "survival of the fittest"         Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881)         Early American anthropologist         Worked with Iroquois         Ancient Society (1877)         3 stage model: savagery, barbarism, civilization Lecture 3: 8/24/16         The principle of Natural Selection: (in words of Darwin)         "Struggle for existence"         "Under these circumstances, favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed"         Social Darwinism = cultural evolution         The progress of a society through successively more complex stages         Example: Morgan's "Savagery, Barbarism, Civilization"         Darwinian evolution- selection operates on individuals         Cultural evolution- selection operates on groups         Franz Boas         Founder of anthropology         German and Jewish (albeit secular)         Originally going to do a statistics dissertation, but instead looked at the optical properties of water         Post-doc: Geography- Baffin Island Inuit (1883) 1st experience with non-western people Ideas concerning Cultural Relativism- in order to understand a culture, you have to study it on its own terms         After very academic positions, became a curator at the American Museum of Natural History         Critique of Cultural Evolution         Supportive of Darwin, but critical of Tylor, Spencer, and Morgan         1st direct critique - Tylor's Matrilineal Clans vs. The NW Coast People         2nd Critique - The Organization of the Pacific/NW Expedition exhibit (pissed off boss, resigned in 1905)         Beginning in 1899, lecturer at Columbia, where he founded the first Anthropology program in the US         3rd Critique - The Immigrant Study Convinced Immigration officials to allow him to measure 17,821 first and second generation immigrants in seven ethnic groups If someone is raised in America, they will behave like Americans         Cultural Particularism: In order to understand people or cultures, you must understand the history of them         Ruth Benedict and Margaret Meade - Most famous of Boas' students         Benedict: Patterns of Culture         Meade: Coming of Age in Samoa         Alfred Kroeber (1876-1960) - Boas' student         Collected both archaeological and ethnographic data on Native American groups in Mexico, New Mexico, Peru, and other areas in the American West.         Julian Steward (1902-1972)         Founded department of anthropology at U of Michigan         Background in Zoology         Interested in cross-cultural comparisons         Worked with Great Basin Shoshone         Cultural Ecology - environment matters         Leslie White (1900-1975)         The "Anti-Boas"         "John Steel" - communist alias         Neo-evolutionary way of getting energy Lecture 4: 8/26/16         The context of Cultural History: archaeologists trying to figure out the order of things         Lewis Binford (1931-2011)         Ph.D. Michigan         Influenced by Leslie White to an extent         Energy capture - yes         Neo-evolutionary stages - no         Taught at Chicago, UCLA, UNM, SMU         Processual Archaeology - ARCHAEOLOGY SHOULD BE A SCIENCE         One of, if not the most, influential archaeologists ever         Ecology matters         The Post-Modern Critique         History Matters         Placing people into neo-evolutionary stages strips away historical context, which is worthy of exploration         Academic Discourse is messy, and oftentimes leads to strange bedfellows         Breakdown the arguments into arguments/themes         Visualize them as a pendulum (back and forth)         Trace their intellectual path Nature vs Nurture Ethnocentrism vs Relativism Stages vs Trajectories Environment vs History  


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