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ANTH 200 Weeks 1-2 Class Notes

by: Erin Mostowfi

ANTH 200 Weeks 1-2 Class Notes ANTH 200

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Erin Mostowfi

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About this Document

These are notes taken during class during the first four classes of the semester
Introduction to Anthropology
George Gmelch
Class Notes
Anthropology, Culture, history, native peoples, humans, Franz Boas
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Erin Mostowfi on Wednesday September 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 200 at University of San Francisco taught by George Gmelch in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.

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Date Created: 09/07/16
● 35 subfields of anthropology    ● Sociology ­ race, class, and gender, primarily  ● Anthropology ­ all aspects of culture    ● Society vs. culture: culture is the way people live; it is learned    ● Culture is the most important concept in anthropology  ○ Culture used to/ still does refer to “high culture”  ■ Used to refer to solely agriculture and religion    Traditional cultures:  ● Hunter­gatherers  ● Horticulturalists  ● Herders (pastoralists)    Cultural universals (out of over 70) that are found in all cultures  ● Body adornment  ● Rites of passage  ● Religion  ● Personal names  ● Marriage  ● Incest taboo  ● Calendar  ● Music/dance  ● Athletics/games  ● Trade  ● Folklore  ● Funeral rites    Culture is LEARNED, not known from birth    Culture area: geographic location where cultures share similarities    Ethnocentrism: MY culture is the most important and has the most valid beliefs  ● American exceptionalism is an example of this  ● All cultures are ethnocentric  ● 19th century anthropology was very ethnocentric    The opposite of ethnocentrism is cultural relativism.  ● What is “right” can vary from culture to culture  ● Cultures have different approaches to different things    Franz Boas  ● Completed the first real fieldwork  ● Completed an expedition to Baffin Island in Canada  ● Was interested in the Inuit people and how they related to their landscape  ○ “Anthropogeography”  ● Concluded that the Inuits were not savages, and in fact had a greater knowledge of their  environment than urban, “civilized” people    Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski: early anthropologists  ● Discovered that “savages” were actually very complex  ● Both were proponents of cultural relativism    Cons of cultural relativism: we can’t say certain cultural aspects are morally wrong  ● For example, female genital mutilation in Africa and the Middle East      Research methods in anthropology    History:  ● Anthropologists did not go out into the field  ● “Data” came from others who happened to be there  ● Anthropologists sent questionnaires with these people  ● Referred to as “armchair anthropology”    Savagery, barbarism, civilization were the original three “levels”, where Europeans were  considered civilized, many horticulturalists and herders were considered barbarians, and  hunter­gatherers considered savages.    “Psychic unity of mankind”: all humans have the same mental capacity    “Material culture”: material aspects of a culture, such as clothing, crafts, things that are tangible    In the 1960s and 1970s, urban anthropology began  ● Before this point, anthropology was mainly focused on “primitive” tribes    Anthropologists are required to participate in the life of the culture they are researching while  they conduct the research    Informed consent: all participants must know that the anthropologist is doing what they are  doing and must consent    Rapport: developing and maintaining complementary relationships with local people 


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