Anthro Week 5 Monday Notes
Anthro Week 5 Monday Notes ANTH 2003
Arkansas Tech University
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Krista Lindenberg on Monday September 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 2003 at Arkansas Tech University taught by Dr. Joshua Lockyer in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views.
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Date Created: 09/19/16
Monday, September 19, 2016 Exam 1 Wednesday o Chapters 15 in the big book o Chapters 110 in the little book o All lecture materials o Bring Scantron and pencil Gender roles in America are Culturally Constructed o May become selffulfilling prophecies through enculturation Gender roles in Andalusian Culture are culturally constructed (spain) o Women have insatiable, lustful appetites and are obsessed with sex o Men need commitment and fear that their wives will be unfaithful Personality and Gender o How do we get to be how we are? o Nature (biocultural), Nurture (enculturation), Agency Personality o Do all cultures recognize the self as a separate and independent entity? No. American culture vs. Teduray culture Australian Aborigine cultures No humans, just one consciousness Nature: sex o Sexual dimorphism – the occurrence of 2 physically distinct forms of a species (including homosapiens) based on biological differences (male and female) Nurture: gender roles o Gender Roles – socially constructed expectations for what males and females (and sometimes additional gender categories) are supposed to be and do (masculine and feminine) Agency o The idea that each individual has the capacity to think freely and decide whether or not to abide by culturally constructed ideas such as gender roles. Some cultures provide individuals with more agency than others Personality and Gender are… o Cultural constructs of personality and gender provide roles for people in society to fit into during enculturation or to exercise our agency against o cultural constructs of gender place different values on these roles The Cultural Construction of Gender o All cultures recognize the differences between male and female sexes and distinguish between masculine and feminine gender roles to some extent; this is a cultural universality o Some cultures recognize additional sexes and additional gender categories and roles beyond male and female, masculine and feminine. o Some cultures also allow and encourage people to occupy alt gender roles and to switch gender roles Gender roles in Teduray Culture o The story of Uka: onewhobecameawoman o Genders were not ranked; held identitcal values Alt Gender Roles o Native American berdaches 2 spirits: reflect all the people o Hijras of India o Brazilian Travesti Self: the more or less enduring, bounded, and discrete part of an individual’s identity or personality, and the reflexive awareness of this aspect of oneself A society is a system of human individuals in some structured relationships with each other, relationships that are informed and shaped by beliefs and values and meanings. A society is a set of “kinds of persons to be”: Gilbert Herdt referred to his universe of categories and meanings as cultural ontology. Cultural ontology: a society’s system of notions about what kinds of people and things exist in the world and their characteristics and social value. Socially specific way of categorizing and valuing the physical and social world Ontology is the study of being, of what kinds of things exist. Individuals learn how to be individuals in the presence of culture and that culture assigns meaning and value to different kinds of individuals. Personality: the distinctive ways of thinking, feeling, perceiving, and behaving of an individual, shaped by enculturation as individuals internalize aspects of their society’s culture Humans are not born thinking or feeling or behaving in any specific way Humans within a group or society share certain tendencies of thinking or feeling or behaving. Personality is to the individual as culture is to society Enculturation: the process by which an individual learns their society’s culture – that is, by which culture gets “in” the individual. During enculturation, the ideas, beliefs, values, norms, meanings, etc. that exist before, apart from, and outside of the individual are internalized and become part of and “inside of” the individual. During enculturation, culture becomes part of the individual’s personality. Acquiring culture is an active and imperfect process Self or person was characterized by Geertz as “a bounded, unique, more or less integrated motivational and cognitive universe, a dynamic center of awareness, emotion, judgment, and action organized into a distinctive whole and set contrastively both against other such wholes and against its social and natural background. Self is not as certain as we like think to think; it may not even be a universal human concept. A person’s sense of self can be eroded and replaced with another more pliant one. Disrupt the constant reinforcement of the self and it will quickly collapse and can be reshaped by the right techniques. The self is not uniquely human. Chimpanzees seem to possess at least some sense of self What does it mean to be human? o Nature versus Nurture o Idealist “ideas are in us from birth” versus empiricist “experience shapes or fills our mind or personality over time o The empiricist or nurture position is associated with the analogy of the tabula rasa, the blank slate, which is inscribed by experience. The idealist or nature position would then be associated with a full slate of some sort, the “writing” already given by blood or genes or brain. o Elementargedanken: the elementary thoughts and ideas Adolph Bastian believed were found in all humans and times. One phrase to describe this notion is the “psychic unity of humanity.” o Psychic unity of humanity: the position that all humans share a single set of mental processes, even if they think or believe different things; rejects the notion of primitive mentality. o Lucien LevyBruhl argued that were two radically different ways of being and thinking among humans – the modern or rational mentality as opposed to what he called the primitive mentality o Primitive mentality: according to LevyBruhl, a way of thinking characteristic of “primitive societies” in which individuals cannot understand cause and effect and do not distinguish one object from another (e.g., they believe that an animal can be a person) The United States is where the seed of psychological anthropology took firmest roots. Margaret Mead studied enculturation and the acquisition of gender roles in Samoan children. She implied that humans are psychologically quite malleable – that there are few if any real universal – but Westerners could stand learn a thing or two from other societies Ruth Benedict concluded that a society has a culture with specific values and ideals, and it aims to construct – and generally succeeds at constructing – individuals who manifest those values and ideals. Thus she could sum up a culture with a few key personality or temperament traits. Basic personality: the psychological traits common to most or all of the members of a society (roughly synonymous with modal personality). Used to refer to the “effective adaptive tools of the individual which are common to every individual in the society.” National Character: the purported personality traits shared by an entire society or country; the terms was usually applied to modern societies/countries like the United States, China, Japan, or the Soviet Union Du Bois suggested the concept of modal personality, a statistical notion identifying “central tendencies in the personalities of a group of people” that is the most commonly occurring personality traits, although not necessarily universally shared ones. Primary institutions (family, structures, basic disciplines, childrearing practices) Basic Personality Secondary Institutions (culture, religion, folklore, arts) Ethnopsychology: the psychological “theory” or understanding used by any particularly society, including its ideas about and uses of emotions, dreams, mental illness, and personhood most generally Bonta (1997) in his survey counts a mere 25 societies that deserve to be called generally nonviolent. Dentan (1968) described the Semai of Malaysia as one of the least violent societies in the world. Their central idea of punan was similar to the Teduray’s idea of not giving anyone a bad gallbladder. The Baganda of Uganda interpret what we would call depression as a problem of “thinking too much and an illness of thoughts.” Sexual dimorphism: the occurrence of two physically distinct forms of a species, based on sexual characteristics as well as nonsexual ones such as body size Gender: the cultural categories and concepts relating to sexually distinct bodies, sexual preference, sexual identity, and sexual norms Sex is not exactly a natural fact, and gender is certainly not. Roscoe defines gender as a multidimensional category of personhood encompassing a distinct pattern of social and cultural differences. Gender categories often draw on perceptions of anatomical and physiological differences between bodies, but these perceptions are always mediated by cultural categories and meanings Maltz and Borker proposed that men and women constitute different sociolinguistic subcultures, having learned to do different things with words in a conversation” There is a recurring crosscultural theme that men are made and women are born. Man hood is an embattled quality, a struggle against boyhood and womanhood that requires constant proving and testing in the form of fighting, competition, sexual prowess, economic success, and whatever a particular society values in its males. Harold Garfinkel, the founder of ethnomethodology, referred to modified sex organs as cultural genitals, in which physical facts become cultural facts through interpretation or alteration of them. In Sambia culture, maleness was a social accomplishment and femaleness was seen as a contaminant to be removed. Thomas Laqueur asserted that until the 18 century, there was only one sex – male – and that females were regarded as incomplete or damaged males. Berdache: a third gender found in many Native American societies, in which biological men adopt some of the norms usually associated with women. Distinct and highly regarded. Two spirits, one body. Plato’s Symposium relates that in the beginning there were three sexes, each, who were split in half by the gods, sending each person to find their other half (which might be the opposite or same sex) Eunuch: a gender category in ancient and medieval societies involving nonsexual individuals (usually men) who may be castrated, or merely celibate, sterile, or lacking sexual desire. Defining feature was not absence of male parts but absence of “manliness” based on their nongenerativity (i.e. they would not or could not have children) Hijra: a “third gender” in India, in which biological men renounce their sexuality (and often their sexual organs) and become socially neither male nor female. Hijras may be born with male or hermaphroditic body parts; either way they share the quality of impotence. The ultimate mark of a true hijra is to have the genitals removed completely in a ritual called nirvana so the person becomes a third distinct type that is neither man nor woman. Hijras are most known for their musical performances at weddings and birtsh. Travesti: an alternate gender role in Brazil, in which males take on certain physical traits and sexual behaviors typically associated with females. They are not transvestites and do not claim to be women. They want to be feminine or like women. They take female hormones and get surgery to modify their bodies. They do not get sex change operations. They act as receivers of anal sex with men but never as penetrators. Often works as male prostitutes. Kulick argues that travesti do not constitute a third gender but rather represent the Brazilian dualistic view of gender identity – two genders, “men” and “not men” based not on bodies but on behavior. A “real man” could have sex with a travesty and remain a real man, as long as he was the penetrator. Lughod insists that we need to work against the reductive interpretation of veiling as the quintessential sign of women’s unfreeom, even if we object to state imposition of this form and we must take care not to reduce the diverse situations and attitudes of millions of Muslim women to a single item of clothing. Rather than thinking in terms of “saving” them she advises that we use a more egalitarian language of alliances, coalitions, and solidarity working together toward making the world a more just place.
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