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Anth 1000, Lectures 1-3

by: Morgan Brown

Anth 1000, Lectures 1-3 ANTH 1000

Marketplace > Auburn University > Social Science > ANTH 1000 > Anth 1000 Lectures 1 3
Morgan Brown
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These are the notes from Lectures 1, 2, and 3.
Introduction to Anthropology
Dr. Christopher D Berk
Class Notes




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Brown on Tuesday August 30, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 1000 at Auburn University taught by Dr. Christopher D Berk in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 146 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in Social Science at Auburn University.


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Date Created: 08/30/16
Lecture #1: What is Anthropology? (8/18)  What is Anthropology? o Historically, non-industrialized people studied in their native area. o Now, examines/studies/observes all societies and cultures. o Provides a unique cross-cultural perspective on human behavior, thought, and culture. o Strives to:  Make the familiar strange and make the strange familiar.  Contest the "normal"  Kottak's definition of anthropology: o "study of the human species and its immediate ancestors"  4 Subfields of Anthropology: o Cultural: study of changes in social life o Archaeological: study of history and prehistory through artifacts o Physical/Biological: study of changes in human physical form o Linguistic: study of the changes and development of language  Anthropologists are especially interested in mankind's extreme variations as well as similarities.  Definitions: o Society: a body of individuals who live together o Culture: the sum total ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another o Enculturation: the process whereby individuals learn their group's culture, through experience, observation, and instruction. o Socialization: a continuing process whereby an individual acquires a personal identity and learns the norms, values, behavior, and social skills appropriate to his or her social position.  Holistic Discipline o Anthropology is the study of "everything" o Studies must be cross-cultural to unlock the truth to human nature  Archaeological Anthropology o Reconstructs, describes, and interprets human behavior/culture through the study of artifacts  Biological/Physical Anthropology o Studies human biological diversity in time and space.  Human Evolution  Genetics  Growth and Development  Plasticity (the capability of changing)  Primates Lecture #2: Ethnographic Fieldwork (8/23)  Ethnographic Fieldwork o Anthropology is a qualitative science. o Methods and Techniques o Ethics and Naïve Realism  Qualitative Science o Qualitative: pertaining to or concerned with quality or qualities.  In depth data rather than large sample numbers as seen with quantitative sciences such as sociology. o Ethnography: based on fieldwork, "provides account of a particular community, society, or culture." o Anthropology vs. Sociology  Anthropology's original focus was on small, illiterate, non-industrialized hunter- gatherer societies.  Sociology's original focus was on western industrialized societies, making use of large based quantifiable data. o Ethnology: (different than ethnography) based on cross-cultural comparison and "examines, compares, analyzes, and interprets the results of ethnography."  Typically, ethnography is the actual fieldwork done at a certain location, immersed in the culture whereas ethnology is the post-examination of study done back home.  Bronislaw Malinowski o Malinowski's rules for ethnography:  Cut yourself off from your own kind of people.  Immerse yourself in the world that you are studying. o Then:  Find patterns/structures of social life.  Focus on details of everyday life through close observation. "Imponderabilia" as he would call it (the things that are considered normal in a society and would take an observing stranger to notice. For example: how close people stand when conversing, greeting gestures, etc.)  Collect a set of telling examples to support the above. Malinowski called this "corpus inscriptonium." o So that:  One is able to grasp the point of view of the native peoples.  Anthropology Research: o First hand study. o Ethnography usually involves:  Long-term stay/study  Learning a new language or new dialect of same language (slang, etc.)  Developing relationships with native peoples.  Ethnography o Better seen as a reversal of views. o Things remote made to seem nearby and things nearby made to seem remote. o The odd is made to seem familiar and the familiar made to seem odd. (See: Nacirema)  Techniques: o Participant Observation o Building rapport  Better known as building relationships and a reputation. o Key Cultural Consultants ("Gatekeepers"): those befriended by the researcher who "open the gate" to their society and show the researcher around. o Genealogical Method  Family histories and lineages can be of importance to research. o Life Histories  Biography-like, these provide insight into the lives of native peoples by telling the story of a certain native persons life.  Contrasting Perspectives: o Emic: local, experienced view. The "inside" view of the native peoples. o Etic: scientific, analytical view. The "outside" view of the researcher.  Different Methods: o Problem-Oriented  Study done in attempt to solve a particular problem in the society being studied. o Longitudinal  A long-term study usually requiring multiple trips to site location over many years. o Team Research o Multi-Sited  Requiring the study of multiple locations so as to compare/contrast data.  Ethics o Informed Consent: all native participants in the study must know that they are being studied, formally or informally. o North American Anthropologists should: Include host colleagues in research planning.   Establish collaborative relationships.  Include host and country in publication of study/ results.  Ensure that something is given back to area of study/ natives.  Naïve Realism o The misunderstanding/belief that everyone from other cultures, etc. see the world the same way as you do. Lecture #3: Culture (8/25)  Human culture depends on: 1. Symbolic Communication i. Symbol: something used for or regarded as representing something else; a material object representing something, often something immaterial; emblem, token, or sign 2. Learning i. In the sense that culture is not inherent. It is learned and taught consciously as well as unconsciously. 3. The ability to live in groups i. Culture is interpersonal and interdependent. o All three of these requirements are rooted in the biology of humans, but biology cannot explain our cultural variability, functions, and evolution.  Distinctive features of culture: o It is:  Shared  Learned  Contested  Symbolic  All-encompassing  An integrated, patterned system  Changing, fluid  Inclusive and exclusive o It shapes and channels nature o It can be adaptive as well as maladaptive  Cultural Level and Scales o International Culture  That which is common to all mankind o National Culture  That which is common to certain nations o Subcultures  Cultures that are larger or smaller than nation states.  Ideal vs. Real Culture o Ideal Culture: the culture which a certain group of peoples believes to live by or share o Real Culture: the actual actions and beliefs that people of that same group share  Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism o Ethnocentrism: the tendency to view one's own culture as superior and to apply one's own cultural values in judging the behavior and beliefs of people raised in other cultures. o Cultural Relativism: to counteract ethnocentrism, any culture must be viewed in its own context, not judged by the standards of another culture.  An analytical tool to observe/think about other cultures.  Cultural Dimensions o Universality: cultural patterns that all humans share o Generality: culture pattern or trait that exists in some but not all societies o Particularity: distinctive or unique culture trait, patter, or integration  Cultural Change o Diffusion: borrowing of traits between culture either directly or through intermediaries o Acculturation: the exchange of cultural features that results when groups come into continuous first hand contact o Independent Invention: one culture's innovation to solve problems o Globalization and Mass Mediation  Internet, social media, and technology that has made the world seem "smaller" due to the increased connection with other cultures.  Both can encourage difference as well as sameness.


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