Anth 1000, Lectures 4-6
Anth 1000, Lectures 4-6 ANTH 1000
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Morgan Brown on Sunday September 11, 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 22 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in Social Science at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 09/11/16
Lecture #4: Language and Communication (8/30) Language o Speech and Writing: human primary means of communication. o Human capacity for language rooted in biology, yet also allows us to "transcend" biology to form culture. o This capacity to learn language is innate to humans. Distinctive Features of Language o Conventionality Arbitrary, conventionalized connections between symbols and meanings. Not permanently fixed connections. o Productivity Languages have the ability to change. People can use language to utter an infinite amount of things to be understood by other speakers. These utterances do not have to be formal to the language as long as the speaker has an understanding of how the language works. E.g. Baboonlet: not a real word, but meaning can be deduced to be a baby baboon. o Displacement Language is not bound to specific places or times. Humans speak of the past, present, future, other locations, etc. Able to communicate abstract ideas. o Cultural Transmission The passing on and acquiring of language through learning. This learning can be: Direct or Indirect Conscious or Unconscious Non-Human Primate Language o Primates use call systems Call systems employ certain sounds to mean certain things in particular circumstances. Using call systems, primates cannot show the human capabilities of productivity or displacement. Sounds can not be mixed to mean different things and only refer to things present. o Primates have the ability to manipulate symbols. Examples: Washoe the chimp, Kanzi the bonobo, and Koko the gorilla. These primates were able to manipulate symbols, showing both capacities of productivity and displacement: Swan = "water bird" A ring = "finger bracelet" Able to talk about past events and people not present at the time. o All this being said, primates still do not have the ability to speak, contrary to Planet of the Apes. Human Capacity for Language o Scientists believe the FOXP2 gene to have been mutated around 150,000 years ago, giving humans the vocal capabilities of complex speech. o Language capacity has increased and become more complex: Vocalizations more elaborate. Symbols more complex. Emergence of social environments and situations which rely on speech. Nonverbal Communication o Humans have a very complex system of nonverbal gestures. o Simple nods/shaking of head and hand gestures are examples. o Vocalizations: "uh-huh" or a sigh to represent fatigue, frustration, or relief. o Ritual Gestures: Greetings, goodbyes, etc. Bowing, shaking hands, hugs, kisses on the cheeks, etc. Four Domains of Spoken Language o In order of complexity, building on each other: Sounds used (phonemes, phonology) Phonology: study of speech sounds and what is meaningful about them. Phonemes: sound contrasts that make a difference in speech. Different sounds have different meanings. Minimal Pairs: words that are identical besides one certain sound and have completely different meanings. Meaningful combinations of sounds (morphemes, morphology) Morphology: study of how sounds combine to form words. Morphemes: words and their meaningful parts. Cats= [cat] & [s] [Cat] signifies the animal, [s] signifies plurality Systematic combination of morphemes into phrases (syntax, grammar) Syntax: arrangement of and order of words in phrases and sentences. Noam Chomsky's universal grammar: Theory that there is an in-born, pan-human set of structures that dictate language. "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously." Deep structure of sentence makes sense (there is a noun and verb, etc.) However, the sentence is complete nonsense. Meanings derived from the three previous domains (semantics and reality) Semantics: a language's meaning system. Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf The idea that language shapes the way we perceive reality. Different languages create different realities, different perceptions of the world (reality). There is no reality we could perceive that exists without/independently of language Example: differentiations in tense: English language has past, present, and future. This creates the same perception in the minds of native English speakers. Hopi language (of the Pueblo region of the Native American Southwest) only distinguishes between events that exist or have existed and events that don't or don't yet exist. These differences in language propose that speakers of the different languages perceive time and reality differently. Sociolinguistics o Investigates the relationship between social and linguistic variation. o Feature that vary systematically with social position or situation. o Style Shifts (basically, you speak differently to your sweet little grandmother than you do to your friends while hanging out late at night). o Diglossia: "high" and "low" variants of the same language. Especially evident in German culture: "High" speech for writing, conversing in the workplace, etc. "Low" speech for informal conversations with friends and family, etc. o Dialect ranking: Social judgements due to association of certain ways of speech and social rank/class. What is seen as "educated" and "uneducated" speech. o Symbolic Capital: Social value and perception solely on the way you speak. Proper speech leads people to perceive you as educated and vice versa. o Gender Differences: Ways of communication/speech that are specific to gender. As generalities/stereotypes: Women use more adjectives such as "adorable, charming, sweet, cute, etc." Men are typically more likely to use profanity. o Ethnic Vocabulary o Race African American Vernacular English (better known as "ebonics") Historical Linguistics o Studies the relationships between languages and groups over space and time. o Protolanguages of the past which have branched off into "daughter" languages. By comparing daughter languages, we can learn about protolanguages. Think: romance languages and their similarities (french, spanish, etc) o Subgroups Closely related languages. More likely to have similar pronunciations. Accents o All people have accents, no matter how subtle. o Typically, accents are stereotyped to certain regions. o Regional patterns affect how all humans speak/use language. o Regional dialects contain different phonemes. Focal Vocabulary o Certain terms that don't overlap/translate with the terms of other groups/regions. o Focal Vocab: specialized sets of terms and distinctions that are particularly important to certain groups. This can encompass the different vocabulary used in different sports, on different jobs, etc. Lecture #5: Race and Ethnicity (9/6) Ethnicity o Ethnicity: based on similarities and differences in a society or nation. o Ethnic groups often (but not always) share beliefs, values, habits, customs, and norms, and a common language, religion, history, geography, kinship, and/or race. o Ethnicity is inclusive and exclusive. This refers to the general idea of "us vs. them." Sense of "us-ness" and "them-ness/other-ness" o When an ethnic group is assumed to have a biological basis, it is called race. Race o Race is a biological concept that has been widely discredited and disputed. o Culture channels and frames nature. Although race has some biology in biology, it is not wholly based on it. o Race and ethnicity are social constructions. Doesn’t mean they're generically bad, however. Thomas Theorem o W.I. Thomas o "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." o Berk's version: "If people define a thing to be real, it is real in its consequences." Social Constructions and Real Consequences o While beliefs and classifications and race and ethnicity are social constructions, humans have reckoned them to be real and they have very real consequences. o Ideologies of difference have led to conflict and violence throughout history. Such ideologies are usually fueled by prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination. Examples: Genocide (Nazi Germany, Bosnia, Rwanda) Ethnocide (Settler Colonialism, Native American Boarding Schools) Cultural Colonialism (former Soviet Union) The Nation-State and Imagined Communities o Nation: formerly synonymous with "ethnic group" Now synonymous with "nation-state" o Where we get the idea of nationalities. o State: an independent, centrally organized political unit; a government. o Nation-states, nationalities shape our identities. o Nations as "imagined communities:" Began in the 18th century due to mass mediation Capitalism spread certain nations. Print Technology spread ideas, populations were reading the same material in the same languages. Developed a sense of connection and community between people who never would interact with each other, but read the same things. The fatality of linguistic diversity. Single national languages developed due to increased mass mediation. o The nation-state is: Imagined (we never will interact with all the people we feel connected to). Limited (not everyone can be a part of the nation-state. Inclusive and exclusive). Sovereign (independent, ideally free from other nation-states). A community (even though it is an anonymous communion of people). o Nation-states are heterogeneous. The Management of Difference o Minority: subordinate groups in a social-political hierarchy, with inferior power and less access to resources than majority groups. o Majority: dominant or controlling groups in a social-political hierarchy. o Social Stratification: Sharp social distinctions based on unequal access to wealth or power. E.g. Apartheid South Africa: Whites make up less than 10% of population yet hold most positions of power and wealth. o Rule of Hypodescent: offspring of mixed parentage are routinely placed in the less prestigious racial, i.e. minority, category. Also known as the "One drop" rule. o Assimilation vs. Acculturation Assimilation: the process of change that a minority group may experience when it moves to an area where another culture dominates. The minority is incorporated into the dominant culture to the point that it no longer exists as a separate cultural unit. Acculturation: cultural modification of an individual, group, or people by adapting to or borrowing traits from another culture due to prolonged contact. Metaphors for American society: "Melting Pot" example of assimilation. "Tossed Salad" example of acculturation. How to Live with Ethnic Diversity o Assimilation o Plural Society: society that combines groups, yet the groups don't mix. Groups maintain their specializations so that competition and antagonism between them is minimized. Diversity is merely accepted. o Multiculturalism: cultural diversity is desirable and even encouraged (e.g. USA) Race is: o Human perception o A way of constructing difference within a context of similarities. o Defined by physical inheritances. o Used to "rank" certain populations. Racial Typologies o Groupings of physical traits we use to define races are arbitrary and superficial E.g. skin color is merely an environmental adaptation. o Racial terms are symbolic and sloppy (boundaries between races are not clear and defined). o Based on phenotype (outward appearance), not genotype (genetic composition). Ethnicity o Way of constructing difference and is not universal. o Usually recognized. o Is constantly renegotiated. Lecture #6: Evolution and Genetics (9/8) Cosmologies and Evolution Our knowledge of genetics and natural selection has developed out of different, conflicting cosmologies. o Creationism: from biblical worldview, assumes that God created the universe and all living things. The variations and similarities are divinely inspired. Carolus Linnaeus: "the great taxonomer" Regnum Animale of 1735 First attempt at taxonomy. o Catastrophism: in attempt to make sense of the fossil record; perhaps floods, fires, and other natural disasters all contributed to the disappearance of ancient animals. After this, God created new species to live alongside the species still surviving. Attempted to answer the questions: Why is there no record of today's species in the ancient past? Why do so may ancient species no longer exist today? o Evolutionism: otherwise known as transformism, assumes that existing species gradually evolved out of common ancestors. Based off the idea of Charles Lyell's geological uniformitarianism: The makeup/geology of the earth is the effect of ordinary processes that are still occurring today. Charles Darwin applied this idea to biological diversity. Biological diversity is the cumulative effect of ordinary processes that are occurring today just as they did in the past. Natural Selection o Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, 1858. o Natural Selection assumes that: There is variation within a population. Populations are not homogenous. There is competition for strategic resources, which are finite. Some organisms are more likely to survive and reproduce than others due to particular variations which better fit them to do so. Over time, less fit organisms are replaced by more adaptive forms. Also assumes that there is no predetermined goal or end game; no logic in the selection process. Just fitness and survival. o Lamarckianism vs. Darwinism Lamarckianism assumes that certain acquired characteristics can be passed on to later generations (which is not true). Offspring do not inherit phenotypic changes. E.g. giraffes got longer necks by straining their necks their whole lives and then their offspring started with longer necks, which in turn got stretched, and so on and so on. Evolution and Genetics o Evolution is sped up and slowed down by environmental change. Catastrophes create harsh environments which speed up natural selection. o Darwin located the mechanisms behind biological variation, but couldn't locate its source. We now know that DNA molecules make up genes and chromosomes, which are the basic hereditary units. Genetics o Genes are located on paired strands of genetic material called chromosomes. o Each gene determines a particular trait (whether wholly or partially). o Alleles: biochemically different forms of a given gene. They occur in matching pairs on chromosomes. Heterozygous (Tt or tT) Homozygous (TT or tt) o Independent Assortment/Recombination of genetic traits provides one of the main ways by which variety is produced in any given population. Since humans have 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs (one of each pair from mom and dad), parental genotypes can produce 2^23 distinct combinations, producing 8 million types of siblings. Gregor Mendel o "The Father of Genetics" o Austrian monk. o Did work on pea plants and discovered that heredity is determined by discrete, individual units, now called genes. o Also discovered that some traits are dominant while others are recessive. This means that a dominant trait can be homo or heterozygous. Our phenotype does not always match our genotype. E.g. Blood Type: Three alleles: A, B, O Six genotypes: OO, AO, BO, AA, BB, AB Yet only four phenotypes: A, B, AB, O Due to A and B being codominant over O. Genetic Evolution o Population Genetics: the study of genetics of a population Studies gene pools and breeding populations. In this context, evolution is defined as a change in allele frequency within a given gene pool (how much a certain allele shows up) Mechanisms of Genetic Evolution Natural Selection Mutation Random Genetic Drift Gene Flow Environment, Natural Selection, and Human Biological Adaptation o Our bodies have adapted to different environments. Thomson's Nose Rule: nose length increases in colder and drier climates. Bergmann's Rule: the smaller of two bodies similar in shape sheds heat more effectively. Allen's Rule: relative size of protruding body parts increases with average temperature. o Our phenotypes (outward expression of genes) can change during our lifetime, however our genotype is fixed. o Phenotypical Adaptation: when adaptive changes occur during an individual's lifetime, and are not passed on to offspring. This is possible due to human's ability for biological plasticity, or the ability to change in response to environmental factors we encounter as we grow and mature.
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