Cultural Anthropology Chapter 10
Cultural Anthropology Chapter 10 ANT2410
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Popular in Cultural Anthropology
This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maria Valencia on Sunday October 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANT2410 at University of South Florida taught by Dr. Melina Taylor in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Cultural Anthropology at University of South Florida.
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Date Created: 10/02/16
Cultural Anthropology ANT2410.002F16 Chapter 9 Highlight = Important Person Highlight = Key Concept Highlight = Key Term Class: A system of power based on wealth, income, and stays that creates an unequal distribution of a society resources. Is Inequality a Natural Part of Human Culture? Egalitarian Societies Egalitarian Societies: A group based on sharing of resources to ensure success with a relative absence of hierarchy and violence. -Hunting and gathering promoted this type of structure. • Evolutionary success relied on cooperation and sharing of food, child rearing, and hunting/ gathering not hierarchy, violence, and aggression. Reciprocity: The exchange of resources, goods, and service among people of relatively equal status;meant to create and reinforce social ties. -Still done today with returning favors Ranked Societies Ranked Society: A group in which wealth is not stratiﬁed but prestige and status are. • Position of high prestige such a s a chief, are often hereditary -Social rank is set regardless of skills, wisdom or efforts. • Chiefs dont accumulate great wealth despite high prestige they redistribute gifts of tribute. Redistribution: A form of exchange in which accumulated wealth is collected from the members of the group and reallocated in a different pattern. -Chiefs rank/status reinforced by generosity and reciprocity not wealth. Potlatch: Elaborate redistribution ceremony practiced among the Kwakiutl of the Paciﬁc Northwest. -Chief would give guests all of his personal possessions and what was not given away might be destroyed as a sign of the chiefs great capacity. -The more elaborate the gift giving the more status chief gained. How Do Anthropologists Analyze Class and Inequality? Theories of Class Karl Marx: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat Marx analyzed the increasing inequalities in the emerging capitalist economy of 19th century • Europe, distinguishing between two distinct classes -Bourgeoise: capitalist class that owned means of production Means of Production: The factories, machines, tools, raw materials, land and ﬁnancial capital needed to make things. -Proletariat: Working class who own only their labor. • Marx identiﬁed labor as the key source of value and proﬁt in the marketplace. • Anthro’s today apply Marx ideas to analyze class and over in a contemporary society. -Some people recognize a middle class of professionals (white-collar) others with more strict Marx view think they are part of proletariat. • Marx wrote Communist Manifesto urging working to recognized their exploited class position and unite in order to change relations between two classes. -He noted it might be hard to do so because struggling to make ends meet. Max Weber: Prestige and Life Chances • Added consideration of power and prestige to Marx’s concern for economic stratiﬁcation of wealth and income. Prestige: The reputation, inﬂuence, and deference bestowed on certain people because of their membership in certain groups. Life Chances: an individuals opportunities to improve quality of life and achieve life goals. -Can be affected by prestige like wealth and income. -Determined by access to ﬁnancial resources and social resources; these are determined by class position. Pierre Bourdieu: Education and Social Reproduction Social Mobility: The movement of one’s class position, upward or downward, in stratiﬁed societies. -Theoretically the meritocracy of education (whereby students are deemed successful on the basis of their individual talent and motivation) should provide all students and equal opportunity. Social Reproduction: The phenomenon whereby social and class relations of prestige or lack of prestige are passed from one generation to the next. 2 factor in school that work against the meritocratic idea and instead serve to limit a persons • life chances: -Habitus: self-perceptions and beliefs that develop as part of ones social identity and shape ones conceptions of the world and where one ﬁts into it. -Taught and learned at an early age, not predetermined and emerges among a class of people as a set of common perceptions that shape expectations. -Cultural Capital: the knowledge, habits, and tastes learned from parents and family that individuals can use to gain access to scarce and valuable resources in society. -Allows kids to have high motivations and a sense of possibilities crucial for academic success. Leith Mullings: Intersectionality among Race, Gender and Class • Believes that class, in the USA and many other areas, cannot be studied in isolation but instead must be considered together with race and gender as interlocking systems of power. Intersectionality: An analytic framework for assessing how factors such as race, gender and class interact to shape individual life chances and societal patterns of stratiﬁcation. • Studied the impact of class, race, and gender on women health and infant mortality in Harlem. The observations suggested that factors other than education and social status were at work. How Are Class and Inequality Constructed in the United States? • In USA ones life chances are heavily inﬂuenced by the class position of ones family. A Look at the Numbers Income Income: What people earn form work, plus dividends and interest on investments, along with rents and royalties • Income patterns reveal the way power is distributed in a society. Wealth Wealth: The total value of what someone owns, minus any debt. • Wealth is even more unevenly distributed than income and gap is widening. -First cause is shift in US tax code having lowered. -Second is wages for most US families have stagnated since early 1970s. • Wealth is also stratiﬁed by race. Ethnographic Portraits of Class in the United States Poor Whites InRural Kentucky • Pem Davidson Buck researched intersectionality and discovered the surplus value of workers labor drains upward into the hands of successive layers of elites. • Consequences are ﬁltering into the middle class now too and witness is no longer a protection from it. Downward Mobility: The Middle Class and the Working Poor • Katherine S Newman explores economic and psychological struggles who survive to maintain their class positions in US culture. -The vulnerability to moving down the ladder is result of loss of jobs, relocation overseas and divorce. The main determined of class positions and social mobility is not ones work ethic but • structural barriers that have created an increasing gap between the life chances of well educated and highly skilled and those of high school dropouts. Wealth, Inequality and Wall Street • Karen Ho asks why in a time of record corporate proﬁts and boring stock prices, do we see rapid downsizing layoffs and dismantling of social safety net. - The beneﬁts of corporate success go to stockholders. • New cultural code for doing business rewards efforts to make money not to make goods and services. -Class stratiﬁcation is not new, historical research suggest it is also not inevitable. What Are the Roots of Poverty in the United States? • Poverty rates vary by race, and its important to note that the largest group of the nations poor are white and live in rural and suburban areas. The “Culture of Poverty”: Poverty as Pathology • Oscar Lewis suggests that certain ways of thinking and feeling lead to the perpetuation of poverty among the poor. ———> “Culture of poverty” • Daniel Patrick Moynihan submitted report titled “The Negro Family: The Case for National Action” -It attempted to trace the root causes of poverty in African American communities to cultural patterns despite the evident structural causes of inequality and discrimination suit on Jim cross and serration laws. Poverty as a Structural Economic Problem • Critics of the “culture of poverty” state that what are often considered to be characteristics of culture of poverty are really characteristics of poverty itself, nothing to do with attitudes, values and life choices of those forced to live in poverty. • Judith Goode and Jeff Maskovsky trace the roots of contemporary poverty in US to the impact of global economic process on the nations economy. -Growth of globalization have launched an eco restructuring in which high paying blue collar manufacturing jobs are shipped overseas as companies search for cheaper labor lower taxes and fewer enviro restrictions. Why Are Class and Inequality Largely Invisible in US Culture? The Role of the Media Gregory Mantsios suggests that the media play signiﬁcant role in hiding class stratiﬁcation in • the USA by largely ignoring it. -Instead media focuses on promoting the USA as meritocracy and egalitarian society. Poverty and class divisions are described as strange and abnormal. • Living in generic upper middle class neighborhood everyone on tv is a cop, doctor, lawyer etc. even those with blue collar jobs are portrayed as middle class. The Consumer Culture • Despite falling incomes people maintain at least the experience of middle class lifestyle by borrowing money in mortgages, running up credit, working more etc. • Eva Illouz suggests that even love and romance are shaped by class both by ﬁnancial capital and by cultural capital. -Dating is expensive, romance take money. • Class even shapes our choices of romantic partners. -Research shows that people are likely to marry someone in their own race. What Are the Effects of Global Inequality? • Globalization has created uneven development which is a central characteristic of the global capitalist system. • Even the richest countries have an increasing number of people in poverty why? -Although there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, it is unevenly distributed. -Preventable diseases kill millions in poor countries, more likely to die in infancy. -Access to education is also uneven. -Climate change also affect the rich and poor unequally. • Neil Smith says hurricane Katrina was an unnatural disaster because the storms most severe effects were caused by the governments failure to to adequately build and maintain the city levee system not the storm itself.
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