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Cultural Anth 001: Week 1 Notes

by: Tyler Palomino

Cultural Anth 001: Week 1 Notes Anth 001

Tyler Palomino

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About this Document

The notes cover the first official full week of notes and lecture.
Cultural Anthropology
Nida, W
Class Notes
Culture, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Anthro, UCR, Anthropology, Anth 1
25 ?




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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tyler Palomino on Wednesday October 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 001 at University of California Riverside taught by Nida, W in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 2 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in Cultural Anthropology at University of California Riverside.

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Date Created: 10/05/16
Pink­vocab Yellow­main points Red­other important info Green­ key questions Blue­ people Cultural Anthropology 001: Week 1 Notes (Lecture and Reading)  KEY QUESTIONS: o 1: What’s culture? o 2: How has the concept of culture developed in anthropology? o 3: How are culture and power related? o 4: How much of who are is determined by biology and by culture? o 5: How is culture created? o 6: How is globalization changing culture? o 7: What makes us strangers when we’re away from home?  Culture (Q1) o Guide to understand and interact with people and the world o Culture: system of knowledge, beliefs, patterns of behavior, artifacts, and  institutions that are created, learned and share by a group of people (in other  words, a way of life)  Includes: shared norms, values, symbols, mental maps of reality, material objects o No natural culture o Exchanged through language o Enculturation: process of learning culture  Happens as part of a group o Humans are all able to learn culture  Adaptive, diverse, integrated o Culture is taught  Cumulative­created over time  Share by people and institutions o Shared experience is developed as a result of living in a group o Constantly changing (dynamic) o Symbolic, material o When studying a culture look at:  Norms  Values  Symbols  Mental maps of reality o Norms: ideas or rules about how about how people should behave in certain  situations or toward certain other people  This is learned over time and woven into daily life o Exogamy: marriage outside one’s group o Endogamy: marriage within one’s groups o Values: fundamental beliefs about what is important, true, beautiful, and what  makes a good life  Aren’t fixed  Clarify cultural goals and motivate people o Behaviors: norms for how people act and conduct themselves o Symbol: anything that signifies something else  Nonverbal, action­based, and unconscious o Mental Maps of Reality: cultural classifications of what kinds of people and things exist, and the assignment of meaning to those classifications  Who gets to define realities?  Drawn from vantage point of those in power  Sorts out experiences and their meanings  Shaped through enculturation and are dynamic  Important functions:  Classify reality  Assign meaning to the classified  Become problematic when people treat cultural differences as being  biologically natural  People place values and meaning upon these maps o Carolus Linnaeus (1707­1778)  Made classifications for the natural world (phylum, class, order, family,  genus, species)  Cultures try to categorize people with mental maps o Culture creates a concept such as time o No clear line with genetic difference between races o No evidence that links certain genes with certain behaviors  o Cultural relativism: understanding a group’s beliefs and practices within their own cultural context without judging  Can call for suspension of judgement while trying to understand the  culture o Anthropologists want to:  Objectively, accurately, and sensitively represent the diversity in human  life and culture  Figure out how to apply international standards of human right to cultural  practices considered in their practices o Place where relationships of power among people are worked on  Q2 o Edward Burnett Tylor (1832­1917)  Culture= unified, complex system of ideas and behavior learned over time and passed down from generations in a particular group o James Frazer (1854­1941) o Henry Morgan (1818­1881)  Tylor, Frazer and Morgan­ wanted to organize the data about the diversity of cultures all over the world that were being accumulated through  colonial and missionary enterprises during the 19  century  Inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution  Suggested that the diversity in different cultures represented different  stages of evolution  Unilineal cultural evolution: theory that all cultures naturally evolve  through the same sequence of staged from simple to complex  Later was criticized for being too Eurocentric, hierarchical, and for  the lack of evidence supporting the claim  Believe that cultures developed through independent invention because  different cultures came to similar solutions to similar problems on their  own  Franz Boas and Bronislaw Malinowski represent 2 schools of  anthropology  Franz Boas  Kwakiutl indigenous people in Pacific Northwest of US and  Canada  Professor of anthropology at Columbia  Curator of American museum of natural history  Rejected unilineal cultural evolution  Advocated historical particularism  Historical particularism: idea that cultures develop in specific ways because of their unique histories (attributed to Franz Boas)  Believed in diffusion o Diffusion: borrowing of cultural traits and patterns from  other cultures o Explains similarities  Ruth Benedict (1887­1948) and Margaret Mead (1901­1979)­ Franz Boas’ students  Continued to put emphasis on the role of culture in shaping  human life and the need to explore the development of each  culture  Benedict explored how cultural traits and entire cultures are  patterned and integrated  Mead studied enculturation and its effects on cultural patterns and personality types o Coming of Age in Samoa (1928)  1920­1960, societies started being viewed as living organisms o Each part of a society fits together and had it purpose in  the bigger structure  Structural functionalism: conceptual framework that says each element of  society serves a particular function to keep the entire system balanced  Bronislaw Malinowski (1884­1942)  Early form of functionalism in his ethnography of the Triobriand  Islands o British structural functionalism disregarded change,  tensions, and conflicts  Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922)  E.E. Evans­Pritchard (1902­1973)  Ethnography of the Sudan  The Nuer (1940)  Max Gluckman (1911­1975)  Ritual of rebellion  Victor Turner (1920­1983)  Religious symbols and rituals  Critique earlier structural functionalists for ignoring key points  (conflict, tension, change) when studying cultures  Stuart Hall   Power in the constitution of cultural identities   Culture­power connections  Interpretivist approach: a conceptual framework that see culture primarily  as a symbolic system of deep meaning  Clifford Geertz (1926­2006)  Key figure in the interpretivist approach  Culture supplies blueprints/programs/standard  Bali and Morocco  Culture= symbolic system  Cultural concept= theoretical framework  Relation to power, agency, identity, and humanity  Understandings of symbols and symbolic actions enable people to  interact with one another in subtle, complex ways without explaining  Cultural action= symbol  Q3 o Power: the ability or potential bring about change through action or influence  Ability influence with or without force o Social scientists theorized the culture power connection o Eric Wolf (1923­1999)  Saw power as an aspect of all human relationships  Human relationships have a power dynamic  There’s power in all aspects of culture o Stratification: the uneven distribution of resources and privileges among  participants in a group or culture o Structures of power organize relationships and create framework to distribute  cultural resources o Culture includes powerful institutions that people make to encourage and  maintain their core values o Cultural institutions= place to debate and protest cultural norms and values o Antonio Gramsci (1891­1937)  Italian political philosopher  2 aspects of power:  Material: political, economic, military power (uses coercion or  brute force)  o Creations: artifacts, tools, machines, features o Things we create signify cognitive/thought processes  Hegemony: ability of a dominant group to create consent and  agreement within a population without the use or threat of force  Coercive power (institutions and force)  Authority­ exercise of legitimate power o Cultures have the power to influence what people think is normal, natural, and  possible  Influences human action and interaction o Gaze: self­discipline as a hegemonic aspect of power o Michel Foucault (1926­1984)  Discipline and Punish (1977)  Described hegemonic aspect of power as the ability to make people  discipline their own behavior so that they believe and act in certain  “normal” ways   Often against their own interest, even without a tangible threat of  punishment for misbehavior  Theorized mundane nature of power o Agency: potential power of individuals and groups to contest cultural norms,  values, symbols, mental maps of reality, institutions, and structures of power  Q4 & Q5 o Cultural beliefs and practices aren’t timeless and cultures aren’t biologically  determined  o Evolutionary psychologists argue:  Patterns of survival developed when humans were hunters and gatherers  and were selected for different physical and mental abilities with men and  women  These patterns continue to provide evidence in patterns of life today and  drive human behavior o Culture is learned from the people around us  o William Ury  Mediator and negotiation advisor in conflicts o Culture motivates and changes biological instincts o Cultural adaptions have replaced genetic adaptations when it comes to humans  adapting to their various environments  Q6 o Max Weber (1864­1920)  The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1905)  Linked emergence European capitalism to cultural ideas of Protestant  th Christianity in the 17  century  Suggests that other cultures that didn’t have the same emergence didn’t  have the necessary values o Consumer Culture   Advertising is a powerful tool of enculturation  Contemporary consumerism  Q7  o 3 Effects of Globalization:  Homogenization  Two­way transference of culture through migration  Increase cosmopolitanism o Homogenizing process will diminish the diversity of the world’s cultures o Global flows of people are transforming local cultures  o Cosmopolitanism: a global outlook emerging in response to increasing  globalization  


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