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Anthro 101

by: Vee

Anthro 101 Anth 101-1008


GPA 3.6

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About this Document

These notes summarize chapter 1 of the Textbook "Cultural Anthropology: A Perspective on the Human Condition", 9th edition. By: Emily A. Schultz and Robert H. Lavenda.
Intro to anthropology
Dr. Mark Toussaint
Class Notes
Anthropology, anthropology 101, Social Science
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Vee on Wednesday August 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 101-1008 at University of Nevada - Las Vegas taught by Dr. Mark Toussaint in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Intro to anthropology in Anthropology at University of Nevada - Las Vegas.


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Date Created: 08/31/16
Anthropology 101- Section 1008 8/31/16 • Introduction • Why Major in Anthropology? • Anthropology is a social science that utilizes a compassionate but rigorous set of tools to understand what it means to be human • UNLV Liberal Arts Anthropology Major- Where Can It Lead? • Provides skills that are important to many places of employment outside of academia Anthropology can also provide you with a portal to the world of • making a difference • It’s useful for careers in which you deal with people (teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and others) • What are the requirements for majoring or minoring in anthropology • Major: total of 120 credits (12-16 are electives) • • 46 credits worth of anthropology • Minor: • 24 credits of anthropology • Chapter 1: What Is the Anthropological Perspective? • What Is Anthropology? • Anthropology- the study of human nature, human society, and the human past • Anthropology is: • (1) Holistic • holism-a characteristic of the anthropological perspective that describes, at the highest and most inclusive level, how anthropology tries to integrate all that’s known about human beings and their activities, with the result that the whole is understood to be greater than the sum of its parts holism has long been central to the anthropological • perspective and remains in the feature that draws together anthropologists whose specialization might otherwise divided them • (2) Comparative • comparison- a characteristic of the anthropological perspective that requires anthropologists to consider similarities and differences in as wide a range of human societies as possible before generalizing about human nature, human society, or the human past • (3) Field-based • It’s data collection • Having direct contact with the people, the sites, or the animals that are of interest • connects anthropologists directly with the lived experience of other people or other primates or to the material evidence of that experience that they have left behind • (4) Evolutionary • evolution-a characteristic of the anthropological perspective that requires anthropologists to place their observations about human nature, human society, or the human past in a temporal framework that takes into consideration change over time • cultural evolution, concerns change over time in beliefs, behaviors, and material objects that shape human development and social life • Has been rejected by contemporary anthropologists, like William Durham (1991) and Robert Boyd (e.g. Richardson and Boyd 2006). • What is the Concept of Culture? • Culture-sets of learned behavior and ideas that human beings acquire as members of society. • It is used by humans to adopt to and to transform the world in which they live • cultural heritage can be both meaningful and material • material culture- objects created or shaped by human beings and given meaning by cultural practices • human are more reliant on learning as opposed to other species, because we lack strong automatic survival instincts People of a particular social group do not act a certain way • because of the way our genes are programmed, rather our behavior is learned Culture is biological and cultural • • biocultural organisms- organisms (in this case, human beings) whose defining features are codetermined by biological and cultural factors • What makes anthropology a cross-disciplinary discipline? • Traditionally North America anthropology has been divided into four subfields: biological, cultural, linguistic, and archaeology • (1) Biological Anthropology • It is also known as physical anthropology • Originally focused on race, social groupings that allegedly reflect biological differences • European scientists originally applied race to only the people of Europe • Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778): • created 4 races (American, European, Asian, and Negro) based on skin color • evolved to being determined by brain size • findings like these were used to justify the social practice of racism • racism-the systematic oppression of one or more socially defined “races” by another socially defined “race” that is justified in terms of the supposed inherent biological superiority of the rulers and the supposed inherent biological inferiority of those they rule • Johann Blumenbach (1752-1840): • known as the “father of physical anthropology” • identified 5 different races (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, American, Ethiopian, and Malayan) • Franz Boas: • founded the 1st department of anthropology in the U.S., at Columbia University • biological anthropology- the speciality of anthropology that looks at human beings as biological organisms and tries to discover what characteristics make them different from other organisms and what characteristics they share • Some anthropologists work in the fields of primatology, paleoanthropology, and human skeletal biology. • primatology- the study of nonhuman primates, the closest living relatives of human beings • paleoanthropology- the search for fossilized remains of humanity’s earliest ancestors biological anthropologists clearly share many methods • and theories used in natural science (i.e. biology, ecology, chemistry, and geology) • (2) Cultural Anthropology • also called sociocultural anthropology, social anthropology, or ethnology • cultural anthropology-the speciality of anthropology that shows how variation in the beliefs and behaviors of members of different human groups is shaped by sets of learned behaviors and ideas that human beings acquire as members of society • anthropologists distinguish between biological sex and gender roles • sex- observable physical characteristics that distinguish two kinds of humans, females and males, needed for biological reproduction • gender- the cultural construction of beliefs and behaviors considered appropriate for each sex • Sociology and Anthropology developed during the same period and share similar interests in social organization • Anthropologists reject labels like civilized and primitive • The study of kinship has become highly developed in the field of cultural anthropology • kinship- links people to one another on the basis of birth, marriage, and nurturance • Conduct research called fieldwork • fieldwork- an extended period of close involvement with the people in whose language or way of life anthropologists are interested, during which anthropologists ordinarily collect most of their data • informants- people in a particular culture who work with anthropologists and provide them with insights about their way of life • also called respondents, teachers, or friends • also called participant observation, is central to cultural anthropology • Anthropologists write about there findings in ethnographies, which are anthropologist’s written or filmed description of a particular culture • Ethnology- the comparative study of two or more cultures • (3) Linguistic Anthropology • language- the system of arbitrary vocal symbols used to encode one’s experience of the world and of others • linguistic anthropology- the speciality of anthropology concerned with the study of human languages • includes studying sign language and the way children learn language • pidgins, when speakers of unrelated languages are forced to communicate with one another • (4) Archaeology • Archaeology-a cultural anthropology of the human past involving the analysis of material remains left behind by earlier societies • helps anthropologists learn about prehistory, the long stretch of time before the development of writing • archaeologists can use dating techniques to establish ages of artifacts, portable objects modified by human beings • the human past that they investigate may be quite recent • Applied Anthropology • applied anthropology- the subfield of anthropology that uses information gathered from the other anthropological specialities to solve practical cross- cultural problems • anthropologists who work for government agencies or nonprofit organizations or in other non university settings often describe what they do as the anthropology of practice • Medical Anthropology • medical anthropology- the speciality of anthropology that concerns itself with human health, the factors that contribute to disease or illness and the ways that human populations deal with disease or illness • one of the most rapidly growing branches of anthropology • critical medical anthropology, links questions of human health and illness in local settings to social, economic, and political processes operating on a national or global scale. Biological Cultural Anthropology Anthropology -kinship & social -paleoanthropology organization -human biology & 
 -material life & technology variation -subsistence & economics -primatology worldview Applied Anthropology -Medical anthropology -Developmental anthropology -Urban anthropology Archaeology Anthropological linguistics -Prehistoric archaeology -Descriptive linguistic -Historical archaeology -Comparative linguistic -Historical linguistic


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