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by: Kadijah Hamki

ANTH2020 Anth 2020

Kadijah Hamki
GPA 3.7
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About this Document

Week one detailed notes from cultural anthropology
Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Brent Woodfill (P)
Class Notes
ANTH, 2020, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, history




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kadijah Hamki on Saturday August 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 2020 at Georgia State University taught by Brent Woodfill (P) in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Intro to Cultural Anthropology in Anthropology at Georgia State University.


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Date Created: 08/27/16
Intro to Anthropology Week 1: What is Anthropology and the History of the Discipline I. What is anthropology? a. anthropos + logos i. from the Greek: anthropos ("man" humanity); -ology (study, or science, of), from logos ("word") b. the study of humanity c. holistic i. in contrast to other disciplines, broader focus, looking at interconnectedness (holistic approach) ii. Rashomon effect—observers of the same event can have very different understandings of it. 1. Movie is about woman who is raped and husband is murdered in Japan, police officer interviews, ends up with different stories. iii. People act differently if they know they are being watched. d. Anthropological models i. Descriptive vs. explanatory—does this just say what happened or can it be used to predict similar events? 1. Simplified version of reality. 2. Explanatory: what we want to be able to do, different lessons you can learn and apply to other situations. Helps answer why things happen. Ex: election 2016, you have to have background info etc. 3. Descriptive: describes what is happening. Tries to describe WHAT is happening. Ex: candidates’ names. ii. Synchronic vs. diachronic—is this looking at one small slice of time or over a long period? 1. Synchronic: one period of time. 2. Diachronic: something over a long period of time. Multiple time periods. e. the range of human diversity i. Studying cultural differences and cultural similarities. ii. Ethnocentrism—we always think our culture is the best. iii. a critique of our own culture. II. Early ethnography a. A catalog of groups in different colonies b. Anthropologists tried to record tribes in European colonies. c. Recording “savages” who would be “civilized” or killed off for posterity d. Based on interviews (sometimes with armed guards!) III. 19 Century Evolution a. Darwin, Alfred Wallace: Theory of evolution by natural selection (species compete for resources, food, etc.). b. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)- “Survival of the fittest”. Believed that all of reality and humanity evolves and progresses and gets better. Social Darwinism ( believed that the poor were left to die out) c. Mr. Tylor’s science (Edward B. Tylor, 1832-1917) Founding father of anthropology. i. Traveled to Mexico, got interested in anthropology, took over Oxford U Museum, established framework for th anthropology coursework there at end of 19 century. ii. Culture is: “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” iii. Notions of progress and unilineal evolution (animism, polytheism, monotheism iv. Culture is the set of beliefs and traditions in a society, something that is learned. Shared among different individuals, it changes over time. d. Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) i. Lived in New York ii. Fieldwork among the Iroquois, fought to help them keep land iii. Savages (hunters and gatherers), Barbarians (horticulturalists/agriculturalists), Civilization (writing) e. Karl Marx i. Read Morgan, took notes. ii. Phases 1. Tribal ownership 2. Ancient Communal 3. Asiatic 4. Feudal 5. Capitalist 6. Socialist 7. Communist f. Multilinear Evolution i. cultures do evolve, but it’s more complicated and there are different “tracks.” ii. Elman Service modifies Marx—Band-Tribe-Chiefdom-State iii. Marvin Harris—behind their silly costumes, all are rational economists. IV. Off the Veranda a. Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942): Russian anthropologist. Came up with two new innovations. Talk to people b. Participant-observation: do what people are doing and pay attention to what they are doing. c. Informants: ask people. V. The Boasian revolution a. Franz Boas (1858-1941) - German. Interested in the arctic and ideas about color. b. 1:1:2 (1 ethnographer in 1 village for 2 years) c. Maintain distance from culture d. Transparency—you remove yourself from the ethnography e. Modern Notions of Culture i. Reaction to evolutionists ii. Historical particularism—each culture is the result of an individual history and can’t be directly compared to any other. iii. Race and Culture f. Cultural Relativity g. 4-field approach i. Archaeology > prehistoric, historical, and classical archaeology ii. biological anthropology > human evolution, human variation, bioarcheology iii. linguistics > language and thought, sociolinguistics, historical linguistic iv. cultural anthropology > ethnography, ethnology


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