Social Anth Week 5
Social Anth Week 5 Anth 1002( Grinker, Social Anthropology)
Popular in Intro to Cultural Anthropology
Anth 1002( Grinker, Social Anthropology)
Nangesian Lekilit Waters
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Popular in anthropology, evolution, sphr
This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Nangesian Lekilit Waters on Friday October 2, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 1002( Grinker, Social Anthropology) at George Washington University taught by Prof. Grinker in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 46 views. For similar materials see Intro to Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 10/02/15
WEEK 5 Functionalism o societies ful ll various needs most importantly the need to survive o societies are organized into systems with interdependent parts 0 systems tend to maintain themselves and resist change 0 emphasis on wholeholism StructuralFunctionalism 0 associated with RadcliffeBrown o a mind of functionalism that focuses on how societies maintain social structures primarily kinship systems 0 focus is not on con ict or change as much as consensus and reproduction of the system over time Bene ts of Functionalism o customs and beliefs are quotrationalquot or logical in context 0 helped to dismantle evolutionism o importance of kinship especially unilinear descent as social structure notjust social relationships 0 emphasis on the whole 0 kinship econ politics etc as separable only as analytic constructs Criticism o the main criticisms of functionalism are 0 1 confuses causes and consequences 0 2 functionalism explains stability but not change 0 3 lack of attention to power and agency EvansPritchard o segmentary lineage system Nuer stability and regulation in acephalousstateess societies 0 rationality and quotwitch craftquotAzande 0 these way of thinking helps people to have an explanation ECONOMIC ANTHROPOLOGY Mary Douglas 0 The Bushong and the Lele o societies that have different levels of productivity 0 economic activities are embedded in society 0 everything the Lele do the Bushong do better the Lele retire in middle age and work later the Bushong work earlier and retire later authority structures age of marriage all different we cant explain them only in terms of people always want to maximize to what extent is this economic situation better explainable in a context that people always want as much as they can or looking at values 0 Economic Anthropology substantivism Polanyi instrumentalism political econ econ dev or change household work agrarian v pastoral economics economics of gender economic system that may involve value and meaning and are local you can try to compare why Bushong and Lele differ economically might not be able to explain thru models or the land 0 the explanation can come thru their cultures were always in a sense poor because we never have enough economy doesn39t de ne us and we dont always act the way models predict economy and culture we have spears of exchange because of culture in a culture less economy we wouldn39t have them In Tiv people of Nigeria there are few things that you can trade with each other but some you cant o for instance you cant trade a goat for medicine among the Lese and Ese cultivated foods cant be traded with the farmers it39s considered bad in our societywestern there are some things you cant exchange we have a spear of exchange that is outside the spear of exchange for instance a human being is normally outside the spear of exchange economic anthropologists would say how is it that we endow a piece of paper with value so that we believe it has that value and how does it get it an economist would merely say this is a 20 bill only when its torn into pieces it lacks value not every society disembodies money from societies for instance if a nuer got money from a Dinka he would use it in a different way compare to if he got it from a Nuer Sep 30th 2015 Max Weber method called verstehen understanding verstehen emphatic understanding 0 notjust understanding the subjective view of the actor but historical events as wellWI0 interviewees 0 quotone need not have been Caesar in order to understand Caesarquot Types of Verstehen direct observational understandingthin explanatory understandingthick 0 understanding what a person is thinking Rationality Wertrational value orientaed decisions not quotrationalityquot chosen 0 captain going down with the ship 0 following prophets o attending uni for 4 yrs 0 cock ghting in Bali from a utilitarian standpoint its irrational for people to engage in it at all 0 rationality is more what makes sense to youlogical 0 yet we do irrational things that cant be explained in terms of cost and bene ts 0 Anthropologists like to give explanations based on values they give to the world Weber why was he interested in rationality wanted to understand people rationalization and secularism society was changing in europe who are elect one God one unknowable God fate pre determined Labor as an end in itself the God had pre determined who gets eternal life so they do things that honor being the elect and the more you work the more you justify that you39re the elect relationship between belief and social action and between material world and ideas traced the value people give to capitalism to the protestant ethic accumulation Durkheim v Weber Durkheim Society Weber individual and culture Durkheim Macro focus weber micro focus Durkheim eradicate your preconceptions Weber impossible to eradicate concept of culture is Amorphous social legacy life of a people way of thinking feeling believing pooled learning orientation of problems behavioral norms adaptation to environment Weber we cant know law but we can know how society changes the law Ontology and Epistemology what is the ontological status of culture 0 culture is public 0 what is the epistemological status of culture 0 we quotreadquot a quotmultiplicity of complex conceptual structuresquot1o o quotthe culture of a people is an ensemble of texts themselves ensembles which the anthropologist strains to read over the shoulders ofthose to whome they properly belongquot Balinese Cock ght read Geertz Semiotic Concept of Culture Geertz reaction against positivism o of people that think antho should explain instead of describing culture is meaning and the analysis of its therefore quotnot an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaningquot 5 Thick Description Gilbert Ryle Greertz is pushing anthropologists to consider what comprises NOT ALL THE NOTES Ethnography a form of interpretation interprets social discourse the said rescues the quotsaidquot by documenting it it39s microscopic Anthropology at its best constable re nement rather than consensus about debates open ended one never gets to the bottom of anything DISCUSSION Oct 2 2015 It wouldn39t make sense to call anything anthro of for instance economics in the beginning anthropologists like Mary Douglass called themselves anthropologists of economy but now they39ve realized its far more than that Mary D uses econ as a subject but studies their culture as a whole not just the econ Lele and Bushong Bushong and Lele live different lives making the Bushong richer than Lele Bushong are far hardworking while Lele are not at all Environmentally the Lele live in an area that has less fertile soil but there are limits to society thus the differences if you are in a small group of people there isn39t a major need to have tech development to some extent you need a large community to invent or use these tech developments How these societies are different Bushong had stronger and better made houses Bushong are better shers they invest in canoes and nets Agri Bushong have a rotation system with their plants Lele dont really care about shing and farming Lele dont harvest as much and they dont effectively farm there are a lot of ways that these people are differnt reasons why the Lele dont care 0 not much incentive to work 0 p11o Bushong move up by being successful workers so they work hard 0 p111 Lele when they get to a certain age they get status 0 there39s no incentive to do hard work because it doesn39t depend on status 0 another major factor for the Lele that gives them status is when they have lots of wives o the Bushing are monogamous and Lele polygamous Lele gain success thru success 0 success thru marriage and family doest matter how much you work 0 society in the Lele doesnt change because people want to maintain the way things are because they are in power 0 there is not an incentive to change things to remain in society 0 Lele age of marriage women are married at a young age while men marry at an older age 0 this is a part ofthe whole econ system 0 division of labour between the sexes leaves older men doing less but at a young age they work retire early marry and leave their wives to do most of the work 0 polygny as a pension systemworking people work into the system then when retired you get money WO having to work 0 how does it do that you work when young retire young then use your status thru your wives and you have an important status as a man that has a lot of women 0 because the young men dont have much to do they cause trouble 0 they39re frustrated on what39s going on 0 causes lots of inter village feuds they steal women from other villages because they do not have access to their own women 0 causes problems Lele cant develop because of constant feuds o constant feuds affects the political system always at war with neighbours o p 113 Bushong are peaceful dont have problems with neighbours o Bushong make effort on individual effort 0 Lele keep things the same Thick Description Geertz o interpretive anthro one that interprets meaning from what people do 0 moves away from just seeing it as science science and starts to view it as an interpretive science 0 gets the idea of quotthick descriptionquot from a philosopher Lists parameters to thick description 1 interpretive 2 extravertedobservable discourse 3 documents discourse as dataevidence 0 while in morocco someone told him story so he used it interpreted it and used it as data in his paper 4 microscopic o anthropology requires looking close in order to interpret well 0 he says what we need is thick description to interpret meaning o in thick description you give contextual things from back ground knowledge and includes keeping the environment in mind
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