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Traditional Cultures of the World

by: Elsa Carroll

Traditional Cultures of the World ANTH 304

Elsa Carroll
Cal State Fullerton
GPA 3.84


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Class Notes
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elsa Carroll on Wednesday September 30, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 304 at California State University - Fullerton taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 40 views. For similar materials see /class/217070/anth-304-california-state-university-fullerton in anthropology, evolution, sphr at California State University - Fullerton.

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Date Created: 09/30/15
Anthropological Terms and Concepts AnthropologyiThe holistic study of people in all their variety people in the past and the present our own society as well as remote societies both large and small groups both urban and rural areas in societies with advanced or simple technology and both the biological and the cultural aspects of the human experience CultureiThe behaviors values ideas and material possessions and inventions of a society Culture is the cornerstone of all anthropological endeavors Culture surrounds people from the moment they are born culture is shared learned integrated and symbo ic Culture ShockiThe feeling of psychological disorientation when confronted with a new unfamiliar culture We take our own cultures for granted and we sometimes assume that what is normal for us will be normal everywhere Even anthropologists suffer culture shock until they get used to the new culture and learn how to act appropriately Ethnocentrism A judgmental feeling that someone else s culture is inferior and that our own culture is better superior more sensible more right etc Everyone is at least a little ethnocentric because everyone can t help but feel their own culture is the best Cultural RelativismiThe attempt to set aside our ethnocentrism and try to understand and appreciate another culture in its own terms Even if we do not think some behavior is right or good we try to at least understand why those who practice it think it is important or valuable EthnographyiBoth the process of learning about another culture doing ethnography and the written work that may result from it an ethnography such as your text books Participant ObservationiA method of doing ethnographic fieldwork in which the anthropologist not only watches and takes note but also tries to participate as much as possible We think this helps us to get a better understanding of what it s like to be a part of the other culture as much as it is ever possible to do that Ethnographic PresentiA caveat to keep in mind when reading any ethnographic account of a people s traditional way of life The book is only a slice of time and in our global world today things change very quickly Also ethnographers cannot help but be somewhat subjective in their appraisal In addition ethnographers may only study eg one village out of many IndigenousiPeople who believe that they have the right of prior ownership to the land they were there first and they believe that they have always been there Indigenous people are often perceived as being in the way of the goals of the nations they find themselves a part of Native Americans are a good example Small groups of hunters gatherers and herders all over the world find their ancient way of life drastically changed because of national borders or the inroads of groups seeking to exploit natural resources Indigenous people are often perceived as backwards or standing in the way of progress and usually speak a different language than the dominant language of the nation state Ethnic Grourm ethnic group selfidentifies as sharing some cultural heritage in common such as language religion country of origin customs etc Some ethnic groups have such strong feelings of identity that they want their children to marry only within the group while others are more open It s often a very individual decision just how strongly he or she wants to identify with the group We usually speak of ethnic groups in terms of large complex societies like the US where there are many such groups Sometimes the larger society labels a group of people as belonging to an ethnic group or minority In 1998 there were 5000 ethnic groups and only 190 countries in the world Unfortunately this can result in the bloodshed we ve seen in Yugoslavia and in Rwanda EthnocideiEthnocide is the destruction of a people s culture A good example is in 193911 century United States when many Native American children were taken from their parents and forced to go to white boarding schools where they were forbidden to speak their native language This also happened in Australia with aboriginal people Essentially a dominant group decides their own culture is better and attempts to wipe out the culture that is considered inferior GenocideiThis is the literal killing of people where one group tries to get rid of another A euphemism for genocide is ethniccleansing The most famous example is the Holocaust but genocide has also occurred in Yugoslavia in Cambodia in Rwanda and many other places often when different ethnic groups become deadly enemies for some reason


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