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Cultural Anthropology 2410.002F16 Week 1 Notes

by: Maria Valencia

Cultural Anthropology 2410.002F16 Week 1 Notes ANT2410

Marketplace > University of South Florida > Cultural Anthropology > ANT2410 > Cultural Anthropology 2410 002F16 Week 1 Notes
Maria Valencia
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About this Document

These notes cover the first chapter of our textbook "Essentials of Cultural Anthropology- A Toolkit for a Global Age"
Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Melina Taylor
Class Notes




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maria Valencia on Saturday August 27, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT2410 at University of South Florida taught by Dr. Melina Taylor in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Cultural Anthropology at University of South Florida.

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Date Created: 08/27/16
Cultural Anthropology 2410.002F16 Chapter 1 What is Anthropology? Anthropology: the study of the full scope of human diversity and the application of that knowledge to help people of different backgrounds better understand one another. Fun Fact: Anthropology derives from Greek words: anthrops———> human logos ———> thought, reason, study Background • Came about after European colonialism with the discovery of the new worlds (Africa, Asia, South America) -With discovery of new world came discovery of what they called “savages” and “primitives” • Anthropology came from dark times; as they lived amongst the “savages” and studied them, they were thought to be less than the colonists. Wanted to teach the “savages” they ways of the white man. - NOW anthropologists are understanding towards different cultures because we all coexist. • Franz Boas (a founder of American anthropology) worked to lessen the radicalized views of immigrants during the 20th century debates when government officials saw different people of Europe to be different races; favoring one over the other. - His studies revealed a wide variation of physical forms within groups of the same national origin and physical changes in children and grandchildren as they adapted to their environment. • 60% of anthropologists today work in applied anthropology. Applied Anthropology:working outside academic settings to apply strategies and insights of anthropology directly to world problems. A Unique Approach Global and Local -Starts with: living amongst a culture——> analyze them ——> reach global community [repeat] • Move PAST ethnocentrism: Ethnocentrism:human tendency to believe ones own culture/way of life is the norm, natural, or superior to others. Global in Scope • No longer is anthropology just concentrated on far away, remote cultures. Over the last 30 years, the attention has been turned to urban communities in industrialized nations; including America and Europe. Start with People and Local Communities • Unique perspective focuses on details of human life in local communities and then examine how certain cultures connect with the rest of humanity. Ethnocentric Fieldwork: primary research strategy involving living with a community of people over an extended period of time to better understand their lives. - Particularly CULTURALANTHROPOLOGY! -Work with the ignored voiced to bring them into global conversation. Anthropologists have been studying elites in recent years but mostlsmall voices. Study People and Structures of Power • Anthologists are committed to studying both the people and the larger structures of power among them. Ex: Family, government, economical systems, education institutions, militaries, media, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexuality. Anthropologists seek to understand the agency of local people. • Agency: center role of individual and gross in determine their own lives, in face of overwhelming power. We Are All Connected Whattttt??? How??? Through biological, cultural, economy, and ecological connections! Don't be ethnocentric! Thats not what anthropology is about. Take a step back to see if you are being ethnocentric. ****Human history is the story of movement and interaction NOT of isolation and disconnection*** How to Gain Comprehensive View of Human Culture? Holism: Anthropologists are committed to looking at the whole picture of human life through culture, biology, history, language across space and time. 4 “Lenses” for Examining Humanity———> Four Field Approach Four Filed Approach: Use of four interrelated disciplines to study humanity; physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology. What is it/ what does it do? -considers life experience of people everywhere -compares and contrasts cultural beliefs to understand human similarities/differences on a global scale. -Researches contemporary world as well as deep human history. -Offers insights to nature vs nurture through its holistic perspective. Physical Anthropology Physical Anthropology: (AKA Biological Anthropology) is the study of humans from a biological perspective, particularly focused on how they evolved Fun Fact: Genetic studies reveal humans share 97.7% of DNA with gorillas and 98.7% with chimpanzees Paleoanthropology: the study of the history of human evolution through fossil records. -They excavate teeth, skulls, and other bones of our ancestors and analyze them to track changes in the humans physical form over time. -Mapping changes in key categories like cranial capacity, body size reveals developments in walking, diet, intelligence, etc. Primatology: Study of living nonhuman primates as well as primate fossils to better understand human evolution and early human behavior. -Primatologists study living nonhuman primates to see what clues THEIR biology, evolution, behavior, and social life might provide to our own. -Physical anthropologists attribute general patterns of human physical variation to adaptation to different physical environments. -Physical similarities outweigh differences shown in human biology. **Physical Anthropologists find no evidence of distinct, fixed, biological races, just ONE human race! Attempts to find biological differences are flawed** Forensics: Cold cases, body recoveries, etc Bio-cultural: (some medical) Archaeology NOT DINOSAURS! Archaeology: The investigation of human past by means of excavating and analyzing artifacts. Goal? ——————> not to recover buried treasure but to understand human life. Prehistoric Archaeology: Reconstruction of human behavior in distant past (before written records) through examination of artifacts. Ex: Campsites, hunting grounds, burials, garbage dumps Answers questions like: - What animals did they eat? -What seeds did they plant? - What tools did they use? Historical Archaeology: Explores more recent past through examination of physical remains/ artifacts AND written or oral records Ex: Houses, stores, factories, polar ice caps -Archaeology is based off of physical objects left behind (waste piles) But WHY?? To better understand recent human history and impact of humans on the environment. -Work closely with physical anthropologists. -They attempt to reconstruct cultures. -Not always distant past; contemporary archaeology also exists. Linguistic Anthropology Linguistic Anthropology: The study of human language past and present. -rapidly shrinking field -Language is flexible and innovated! How? Think how language as adapted to Skyping, and texting -Language is probably the most distinctive feature humans have. It is key to learning about a culture. Language affects our world view Ex: Think a person with a British accent is automatically smarter than one with Appalachian accent. Linguistic Anthropology has subfields: Descriptive Linguists: work to describe languages and preserve them as a written language. Historic Linguists: study how languages evolve and move across cultures. Sociolinguists: those who study the interaction between language and society Ex: “N” word and how used, to who used, when used, etc Cultural Anthropology Cultural Anthropology: (AKA THIS CLASS!) The study of living cultures (people alive now), peoples behaviors, beliefs, and institutions. How local communities interact with global forces. -Cultural Anthropologists also search for patterns of meaning within each culture and develop theories about how cultures work. -Ethnographic field work is the heart of cultural anthropology; through it we have the power to: 1) make something unfamiliar seem familiar 2) taking what seemed familiar to making it seem strange. - Through participant observation anthropologists are able to see the world through others eyes. Participant observation: research strategy involving both participation in and observation of daily life of people being studied. 6 months to 1 year+ Ethnography: Result of participant observation, after one has come back from observation to write and publish findings. Ethnology: Compares different ethnography’s across cultures. Looks at different pockets of works, comparing data from different places or times. Ex: Can be same group of people being studied at different times and thus create and ethnoLOGY from two different ethnoGRAPHY’S. What Is Globalization and Why Is It Important? Globalization: worldwide intensification of interactions and increasing movement of money, people, goods and ideas within and across national border. -NOT a new phenomenon, just increasingly growing. Globalization: Key Dynamics There are key dynamics that are reshaping ways humans adapt to natural world and vice versa. 1. Time Space Compression: the rapid innovation of communication and transportation technologies have changes how we think about distance and time. -Now it is easier to connect with the rest of the world, it is no longer as big as it once was. Ex: Able to see someone who is in Africa through a computer whenever you want. 2. Flexible Accumulation: advances in transportation and communication have allowed companies to move facilities to where its more beneficial for them. -Manufacturing has gone from local to now global. -It is more efficient and/or cheaper Ex: GM productions in Flint vs Mexico and Brazil 3. Increasing Migration: accelerated movement of people within and between countries. - Better transportation has made moving easier. -rural to urban -increased job access -has changed cultural dynamics 4. Uneven Development: unequal distribution of the benefits of globalization. -Some regions have “more to offer” than others Ex: China has more people therefore more workers who are willing to get paid less -But doesn't mean the lesser developed nations couldn't make it they just didn’t. -Developments are based on short term needs -Substantial or long term benefits are not important. 5. Rapid Change: dramatic transformation of economics, politics, and culture characters of contemporary globalization. -Technology transformation is increasing exponentially. Ex: Social media or cellphones where there never were landlines before. 6. Adapting to the Natural World -Our most distinctive characteristic is our ability to adapt, both biologically and culturally. 7. Shaping the Natural World - Humans adapt to the natural world AND humans shape it as well. Ex: We plant, graze, pave, excavate, etc -As globalization intensifies, it escalates human impact on plant and other humans, further accelerating the pace of change. Ex: Population growth puts stress on water resources. 8. Humans and Climate Change _Increasing greenhouse gases causes global warming to reshape our physical world, threatening to rapidly change modern human civilization. Ex: Changing weather patterns have begun to alter agricultural patterns and crop yields. How is Globalization Transforming Anthropology? Changing Communities Time space compression———> migration———> people mingle———> influence l local cultures———> cultures adapt Changing Research Strategies Today it is impossible to study a local community without taking into consideration the global forces that affected it, thus needing multi-cite ethnography's.


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