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Cultural Anthropology

by: Sandy Turcotte

Cultural Anthropology ANTH 2010

Sandy Turcotte
GPA 3.58

Jessica Chelekis

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Jessica Chelekis
Class Notes
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This 8 page Class Notes was uploaded by Sandy Turcotte on Wednesday September 23, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 2010 at Middle Tennessee State University taught by Jessica Chelekis in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 44 views. For similar materials see /class/213143/anth-2010-middle-tennessee-state-university in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Middle Tennessee State University.

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Date Created: 09/23/15
Anthropology Test 1 Cheat Sheet I Anthropology The study of humanity A 2392 Broad Spectrum 1 Human evolutionvariance 2 Social behavior 3 Human practices values beliefs etc Subfields 1 Bioanthropology 2 Archaeology 3 Linguistic Anthropology 4 CulturalAnthropology a Fundamental methods of study i Ethnography Fieldwork Living among people Talk as equals Qualitative and quantitative methods 5 Key concepts 1 Holism a Anthropology involves both biological and sociocultural aspects of humanity b Accounts for the complexity and interconnections of different dimensions of social life 2 Cultural universals and particulars a Universals i Found in every culture b Generalities i Found in many cultures Particulars I i Features unique to a culture 3 Ethnocentrism a Standpoint that your own culture is the only natural and correct way to live b Everyone is ethnocentric to an extent 4 Cultural relativism a Understanding a culture on its own terms b Methodological tool not a moral doctrine c Limitations i If taken too far crosscultural comparison ethnology is impossible ii Unrealistic stance that no behavior is immoral if accepted by the culture 5 Emic and etic a Emic i The insider s perspective b Etic i The outsider s perspective Culture Learned set of behaviors and ideas humans acquire as members of society I A 2392 Q E 3 2 Importance 1 Humans are biocultural organisms depend on culture not instinct 2 Humans adapt surroundings to meet needs 3 Culture provides comfort n Anthropology 1 No quothighquot or quotlowquot cultures Culture is learned not inherited 1 Culture is acquired through interaction and learning Enculturation 1 Process by which one learns a culture 2 Culture Shock 5 stages a Excitement b Withdrawal c Adjustment d Enthusiasm e Reverse shock when returning to original culture Culture is shared not individualistic 1 Those who share a culture can predict each other s actions to an extent 2 When outside one s own culture misunderstandings can occur U that r 39 39 1 Ability for abstract thinking and communication Culture is symbolic 39 quot 39 39 U else 2 Most fundamental aspect of culture Cultures are everchanging 1 Cultures are not isolated a Cultural diffusions external changes are seen in all societies 2 Internal changes are known as Innovations Culture versus cultures 1 Culture What humans rely on for survival 2 cultures Human ways of life specific to different groups Applied Anthropology Anthropologists working outside of academia in a variety of settings A Medical Anthropology 1 Combines Biological and Cultural anthropology 2 How we conceive health has cultural as well as biological basis 3 Examines health illness and wellness IV The Narcirema article A Views America from an Etic perspective 1 Magic potions chest a Medicine cabinet 2 Holy mouth man a Dentist 3 Latipso a Hospital 5 Listener a Psychiatrist B Goal of making the strange seem familiar and viceversa 5 Shakespeare in the Bush A Hamlet is not understandable in all cultures B Some aspects of one culture are nearly impossible to explain to another C Demonstrates the gray area between rightwrong across cultures S Human Agency A Does Culture determine everything about you 1 Humans exercise at least a degree of freewill B Many humanrights activists and journalists misinterpret anthropologists to have a view that all acts performed by other cultures are deemed quotacceptablequot In reality there are some things that are universally unacceptable and are performed only by isolated groups not representative of the culture 1 Critical culture relativism Understand different cultural beliefs and practices but also be mindful that some things are morally wrong though possibly viewed differently in other cultures VII History of Anthropology A Colonialism Cultural domination with enforced social change 1 Myths a Nonwestern peoples were before contact a llpeople without history b Expectation that colonized people would disappear or assimilate i Led to project of llsavage ethnography 2 Capitalism a The capitalist exploitation that drove the European expansion made it unique to any previous forms of colonization 5 Political economy i Use of power to protect and enhance material interests c Anthropology i Tool of colonial governments ii pg 22 B 19 h century anthropology 1 Unilateral Evolutionism Functionism a Mostly composed of llarmchair anthropologists i Sir EB Tylor British Recognized the universal similar capabilities of the human mind Culture is evident moreorless in all the world s peoples 1873 ii Lewis Henry Morgan American 18181881 fl amp e Influenced by Charles Darwin Did research among Iroquois Received all his reports in the mail Misapplication of biological evolution to societies and cultures Ethnocentric view Belief that societies go through stages Savages Barbarians Civilization This can still be seen some today C Early to Mid 20 h Century anthropology 1 Franz Boaz The father of modern anthropology a 18581942 b German academic of Jewish descent 0 d Argued that each culture has a unique history and will evolve based on its particular Opposed to unilateral evolution circumstances e Biased towards complexity i Favored inductive reasoning f Relativism 2 Margaret Mead a Student of Boaz b Psychological anthropologist C I Focused on transition from adolescence to adulthood 3 British functionalism a 1920s1970s b C amp 2 Another challenge to unilateral evolution Societies are analogous to organisms i Can be further divided into institutions like organs Social structure Bronislaw Malinowsky i 18841942 ii iii Went to Papau New Guinea for 2 weeks Exiledstranded for 4 years due to the outbreak of WWI Decided to live with and study the people while there Founded the fieldwork approach iv Saw all institutions as rooted in basic biological needs EE EvansPrichard i 19021973 ii Student of Malinowsky iii Focused on Nuer people of Sudan iv Tried to shame colonial order and praise Nuer society AR RadcliffeBrown i Every institution or aspect of culture has a function or they would be gone ii Parts of a culture must be related and the puzzle is solving how they fit D End of Colonialism 1 2 3 Occurred in most places after WWII 1960s for some parts of Africa Neocolonialism a Socialeconomic ties linking territories to their former rulers Movement towards more interpretive descriptive postmodern theories E Mid20 h Century and Beyond 1 2 3 Cold War Realities 19481989 a Categorization of First Second and Thirdworld countries Structuralism Claude LeviStrauss 19082009 French structuralism avg Studies myths kinships family configurations etc and based it on the structures of the brain amp His results could not be replicated i The approach collapsed without him Interpretivism Clifford Geertz a 19262006 b Coined the phrase llthick description i Refered to rich detailed ethnographies c Emphasized difference in cultural ideals and reality F Modern Day 2 approaches 1 Materialist a Assign primacy to material factors in shaping society and culture it s what people do that counts 2 Mentalist a Assign primacy to mental and symbolic domains it s what people think that counts V Fieldwork A Ethnography 1 llWriting Culture 2 Refers to the study andor the written report 3 Anthropologists rend to live with a family or one group 4 ParticipationObservation a Living as close as possible to the people being studied to observe and participate as permitted 5 The observer effect a The very presence of the Anthropologist affects the outcome 6 Techniques a Key informants andor collaborators i These are people who can provide the most or most useful information ii For a long time anthropologists received most of their information from only a few people b Structured and unstructured interviews Unstructured Informal Like a normal conversation Allows interviewees to respond at own pace Openended questions Qualitative ii Structured Formal Closeended questions yes or no rank 110 etc Ask same questions to multiple people Quantitative 3 Census and Survey i Quantitative ii Advantages Less obtrusive Standardized Large sample size Easier hypothesis testing iii Disadvantages Less costefficient Quality affects outcome Difficult to distinguish actual from reported Superficial responses amp Guidelines for Ethnographic interviewing i Maintain neutrality ii Obtain informed consent iii Pretest questions iv Keep recording unobtrusive v Make certain the conditions are consistent between interviews vi Use simple language vii Avoid twoart questions viii Save sensitive questions for the end B Basic Stages of Fieldwork 1 2 Select a research problem Formulate a research proposal a Apply for grants b Plan how the research will be performed Collect the data 3 Analyze the data Need a contact a Sort the notes Interpret the data i C Positivist approach 1 Traditional methods of physical sciences 2 Fieldwork is a living laboratory D Reflexive approach 1 Shifting of perspectives subconsciously 2 Thinking critically about the way one thinks 3 Engage with other members of society in the joint activities of interpretation and translation E Multicited fieldwork 1 Focuses on cultural processes not contained by social religious or national boundaries F The dialect of fieldwork ruptures in communication 1 Daniel Braburd 2 Nina Kumar 3 Jean Briggs 4 Paul Rabinow Linguistic Anthropology Study human ability to acquire and use languages and histories of languages A Diversity 1 There are about 6000 languages in the world 2 95 of the earth speaks 100 languages 3 15 people grow up in a Mandarinspeaking household 4 25 people grow up in a Hindi Spanish or Englishspeaking household 5 people speak English as a 1st or 2nd language 6 Linguistic anthropologists attempt to preserve the dying languages B The nature of language 1 Every baby will speak the languages surrounding them 2 Most humans speak more than one language a Even English speakers can speak variations 3 Ability to speak language is uniquely human a Charles Hockett s Design Features of Language i Openness productivity The potential to express thoughtsemotions is unlimited ii Displacement We can refer to things not immediately present We can lie iii Arbitrariness Sounds used to communicate are not inherent to one meaning C Language and Culture 1 Language is used to a Encode experience b Structure understanding of the world 0 2 Speech is a subset of language which is a subset of communication Engage eachother interactively Speech only refers to talking Language refers to speech signs codes any group of units used to convey a message avg Communication includes language as well as facial expressions pointing anything that gets a message across D Language Structure E 3 2 1 Everylanguagehas a Phonemes i b Morphemes i c Syntax i 2 Pragmatics Inventory of sounds Small combinations of sounds with meaning Rules of morpheme combination a Study of language in context of its use 3 Ethnopragmatics a Study of language in a cultural context Linguistic relativity 1 Every human language is an open system 2 Some things in a language are obligated 3 3 SapirWherf hypothesis Linguist Relativism Principle In English expressing quothequot or quotshequot is expected a Language shapes how you view the world Pidgins and Creoles 1 Pidgin a Language that develops in a single generation b Mixing of two groups of people speaking different languages c No quotnativequot speakers 2 Creole a Pidgin language passed downs b Stable fullfledged language 3 Many times these are viewed as inferior Language Politics 1 Language ideology a Struggle between social groups revealed in what people say 2 Stereotypes about styles between genders Women are longerwinded Men don t communicate well Men are more direct 235 Men talk less in private but more in public Men want to solve problems women want sympathy Solutions i Educate genders on why the other gender behaves how they do 3


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