Cultural Anthropology ANT 252
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Date Created: 10/15/15
Theory in Anthropology Early Evolutionism 0 Lewis Henry Morgan 0 Lawyer in Rochester NY 0 Iroquois Indians fascinated him 0 Most cultures pass through similar stages of development 0 Transitions occur at varying speeds in different cultures 0 Culture and biology are key factors in the speed of change 0 Morgan s Model Seven Stages of Cultural Evolution each transition identified with technological advance 0 Lower savagery 0 Middle Savagery Fire 0 Upper Savagery bow and arrow 0 Lower Barbarism pottery 0 Middle Barbarism Domesticated animals 0 Upper Barbarism iron smelting 0 Civilization alphabet literacy Problems provides not details of the process can t account for regression Romans Egyptians and Maya Diffusionism 0 Clark Wissler o Rejected unilinear evolution 0 Change due to culture contact 0 British view was that culture emerged in old world and diffused to world at large 0 American Wissler American Museum of Natural History 0 Geographical proximity encourages cultural similarity Culture Area concept 0 Wissler arranged native American collections 0 Cultural core is the place where we find most elements of a culture 0 Cultural periphery shows fewer o Neighboring cultures merge somewhat at their peripheries Historical Particularism o Franz Boas o Rejected evolutionists view of universal laws of culture and change 0 Complexity of cultural variation worked against universal laws 0 Culture must be studied in the context of the society in it occurs o Promoted eld research and data collection as necessary to theory Functionalism o Bronislaw Malinowski Cultural traits meet social needs Basic needs Derived needs Problem traits that seem to meet no need Survivals are such traits explained as relics of atime when they DID meet a need that may no longer be present or understood O 0000 Structural Functionalism o AR Radcliffe Brown RB shifted the focus from individual needs to societal needs Social institutions develop to meet individual needs Those social structures develop their own needs which must be met RB focused on issues such as social tension Navaho reduce by avoidance Americans by joking behavior 0000 More Recent Approaches o Structuralism Claude Levistrauss o Binary opposition 0 Cultural Ecology Roy Rappaport 0 Culture as part of surrounding environment 0 Interpretive Theory Clifford Geertz o Emphasis on covert emic John Bodley s Worlds Model 0 Tribal World Domestic 0 Imperial World Political 0 Commercial World Commercial Subsistence 7 Getting Food 0 Malinowski a basic need 0 Food Collecting vs Food producing Important Lesson in History Humans may have walked the earth for as long as 5000000 years Domestication of food commenced only 10000 Industrial agriculture is less than 100 years old If humans have lived on the earth for l000000 then For 94 of that time humans were hunters and prey and gatherers foragers For 6 of that time we were producers of domesticated plant foods o For less than 1 of that time we have been industrial agriculturalists Hunting and Gathering Foragers Roam and exploit a very large extended territory or range Nomadic nonsedentary Rely on human muscular energy Small group size Low population density Limited material culture Egalitarian social structure Informal leadership 7 leaders among the bushmen are like all other men In certain situations on may take the lead based on special personal qualities or experience But he leads only by example 9 Hunting and gathering is a negative feedback system 7 negative feedback systems are stable systems in which the expansion of one element is limited by the actions of another element or elements 90899 9 The story of the empty coke bottle 0 In the mid1980s a film was made about the impact of an empty coke bottle on the society of the Bushmen It was a worldwide success 10000 Years Ago Everything Changed 1 Domestication of plants 2 Domestication of animals Domestication of plants occurred simultaneously all around the world Horticultural techniques 1 Fencing 7 largely to protect against domesticated animals 2 Weeding 7 to eliminate competing nonfood plants 3 Watering 7 early horticultural societies invariably located beside waterways Consequences of Domestication 7 Horticulture Larger populations Denser populations Emergence of villages Sedentary lifestyle Emergence of craft specialization Emergence of class differentiation Slash and burn swidden Horticulture is still a negative feedback system 908994P N Consequences of Domestication 7 intensive Industrial agriculture 1 Appearance of cities High degree of craft specialization Complex political organization Differences in status and wealth Tendency for cash markets to exist Larger population sizes and densities Arti cial additives to the system a Fertilizers b Pesticides c Herbicides Heavy reliance on water technology Agriculture is a positive feedback system a Tend toward expansion b Tend toward instability 8995 509 Why Domestication 0 Hunting and Gathering was an extremely stable form of subsistence o Domestication even simple horticulture required additional labor 0 Increased population leads to increased con ict diseases and environmental degradation among other problems The worldview of agriculturalists l Humans dominate nature through technology 2 Humans can make nature more productive 3 Humans can generate the greatest crop yields per unit of land Agriculture The great Paradox Hunger and starvation of massive scale Hunger famine starvation on massive scale for rst time in Human history Decreased food security Increased population pressure Increased environmental degradation Increased productivity actually leads to decreased productivity relative to need Increased demand for scarce resource water Agriculture as practiced is unsustainable 908994P NE The Population Future 0 Agriculture is unsustainable 0 Some form of transition will be required 0 Mortality to increase due to disease and starvation Industrial agriculture globalization and ghost acreage 0 Ghost acres are extraterritorial land areas that give the mistaken impression of increased efficiency and productivity at home 0 Large scale commercial fishing is also a form of ghost acreage Factory ships process sh on board and of oad as exports without ever returning to the ships home port Advantages of ghost acreage o Corporations increase pro tability without increasing ef ciency 0 Temporarily fending off critical shortages in food resources 0 Sustaining unrealistic populations and lifestyles Consequences of Ghost acreage 0 Over exploitation of limited resources sh 0 Reinforces institutional inequality Peruvian food crops shipped to US to feed chickens 0 Higher food prices both locally and at home 0 Cheaper labor exploits local workers and deprives home country workers of jobs Local costs of ghost acreage in SE Asia Land taken from local subsistence farmers Landless peasants incur everincreasing debt Migration from rural areas to urban centers Excessive demands for urban housing and social services Entrenched poverty classes income gaps Land speculation distorts value of property Creates property bubbles that year 2050 An interesting year 0 Population will cease to expand according to all demographic predictions 0 Why Because 0 All positive feedback systems are subject to entropy they fail to sustain themselves 0 Failed positive feedback systems become negative feedback systems Interesting questions Will nature limit population by disease and starvation Or will humans limit population If humans will be the agents of population control how will they do it Will we decide who gets to be born Economics and Exchange Key points Exchange occurs in all human societies Exchange may involve goods services ideas or wealth Exchange takes on of 5 basic forms 0 O O 0 Five forms are not mutually exclusive Five basic modes of exchange 1 Generalized reciprocity often described as a gift no speci c return expected no timeframe for completion of the transaction Classic ethnographic example childrearing 2 Balanced reciprocity 0 often described as a gift 0 speci c expectations concerning returning gifts 0 George w bush preferred balanced reciprocity o eliminate Social Security 0 Replace SSI with system of corporationcreated and participant funded accounts LA Negative reciprocity o seeking to realize the greatest return for the least investment 0 Nigerian email scams are legendary 0 Common varieties of negative reciprocity 0 Theft 0 Protection rackets 0 Home maintenance Common Varieties of Negative Reciprocity 0 Theft 0 Protection rackets 0 Home maintenance 0 Lottery winnings Redistribution o Accumulation of goods or wealth at a central point with authority to collect o Disbursal of goods or wealth to various recipients Market Exchange 0 Specialization 0 Separation of production and consumption 0 Production of surpluses 0 Existence of money General purpose money 0 Definition Money that can be used in ANY economic transaction Special Purpose money 0 De nition Money that can be used in only LIMITED range of economic transactions 0 Yap Stone Money Medium of Exchange 0 Various surpluses are turned into money which is exchanged again to obtain different surpluses Standard of Value 0 Every exchange commodity can be valued in a currency amount Permits comparison of worth 0 Food 0 Fuel Store of Wealth 0 Money once created is permanent It can be accumulated without losing value General qualities of general purpose money 1 Nonperishable a General Purpose Money does not die like pigs do 2 Transportable a You could carry Yapese stone money but who wants to 3 Divisible a General purpose money comes in several denominations Wealth and Accumulation 0 Some cultures employ Leveling Mechanisms to discourage accumulation of wealth Bill Gates held 83 Billion in 2007 Q How do you spend that much money A You can t Q So why accumulate it A It s a source of pride and accomplishment It s a game 0 O O 0 But what if Mr Gates decided 83bn was enough He announces o Iwill accept no more pro ts from Microsoft or any other Explaining the incest Taboo I 0 Edward Westermarck 0 Natural aversion Theory I People who grow up in the same family setting develop a natural aversion to one another in romantic terms familiarity breeds contempt o Sigmund Freud o Oedipus Theory I Close relatives are precisely o Bronislaw Malinowski 0 Family Disruption Theory I Sex increases jealousy and tension which would disrupt the smooth functioning of small family domestic units 0 Claude LeviStrauss 0 Alliance Theory I Marrying outside a group promotes social alliances enhance cooperation and support and provide access to needed resources 0 Roy Wagner 0 Symbolic theory I A very complex theory based on the extensive ethnography of Australian aboriginal culture 0 Lots ofpeople o Biologicalgenetic theory I Inbreeding produces harmful outcomes 0 When did humans discover genes 0 Gregor Mendel I What is the evidence of harmful outcomes Roy Wagner s symbolic Theory Identity Same and different Definition of individual Symbol Totem Most likely Explanation Miriam Slater o Emergence of incest prohibition was not a conscious decision of humans 0 Emergence of incest rules was inevitable and could have happened in no other way 0 Simple demography provides the answer Ancient Demography Three key demographic Facts 1 Long period of human maturation 2 Short human life expectancy 3 Wide Birth spacing Kinship Symbols General Characteristics of Marriage 1 2 3 4 5 Marriage 1 Rules a b c d e f Links groups not individuals Entails transfer wealth and property Need NOT limit sexual access to marriage partners Need not be monogamous Is never random Exogamy Endogamy Arranged Marriages Preferential Cousin Levirate Sororate 2 Number of spouses 990 Monogamy 19 Polygamy Polygyny 70 Polyandry 1 i Mosuo walking Marriage 1 No Husband 2 Mother s Brothers act as fathers 3 Biological fathers may visit ii Kurds Turkey 7 Parallel Brides 1 Turkey 2 Arranged Marriage 3 Women Exchange system in which a man marries a woman and his sister marries the brother of that woman first man s wife 3 Economics a b c d Bridewealth Bride Price Bride Service Dowry i Dowry and Death Human Rights issue India Rapid globalization Emphasis on wealth in ation Increasing expectations Extortion Assault Woman Exchange QP39 eP N 9 4 Residence a Post Marital Residence Patrilocal 69 i Matrilocal 15 iii Avunculocal HuMoBr 4 iV Ambilocal 7 V Neolocal 5 5 Family a Nuclear b Extended i Generational extended ii Lateral extended Unilineal descent principles 0 Patrilineal 55 o This principle links living people to an ancestor through male ties o Matrilineal 5 o This principle links living people to an ancestor through female ties Unilineal descent groups Lineages 7 members trace ancestry to a known ancestor Clans 7 based on belief in common ancestor Phratries 7 linked clans actual connection need not eXist Moieties 7 dual diVision of society Corporate Nature of unilineal descent groups 1 Establishes indiVidual identity Regulates marriage Possesses property land and ceremonies De nes legal responsibility 59 Nonunilineal descent 0 Double descent Case study Yap 5 o Patrilineal tabinauw o Matrilineal genung o Ambilineal descent Case study rapa 10 o Ambilinealopu o Corporately heal named estate fenua Band systems 0 Small autonomous groups Generally hunting and gathering o No private ownership of property 0 Highly democratic with headman of limited authority 0 Leaders depending on situation 0 Decision by consensus Tribal Systems 0 Generally horticultural pastoral societies 0 Larger populations 0 Leadership informal eg Big men in Melanesia 0 Small autonomous groups which may form alliances highly independent 0 Political organization temporary and informal crisis oriented Pantribal integration Mechanisms that may achieve pantribal integration when necessary 1 Descent eg clans 2 Age sets 3 Associations eg secret societies 4 Exchange networks eg Big Men and tee or moka in New Guinea Chiefdom Systems 0 Ranked societies where ever member has a position in the hierarchy descent often the major criterion in ranking Office of chief may or may not be hereditary but he is a genuine authority figure unlike headman and big man Redistributive economic systems appear with chief as controller State Systems 0 True permanent government which allows state to use legitimate force 0 Only found in large complex societies 0 State often has central power and formal rigid system of law administered by the central power Papua New Guinea A Case study in reinstitutionalization Pre contact period ruled by custom Colonial era introductions Britist common law Queensland criminal code Australian Statutes of colonial era house of assembly Statutes of post 1975 national parliament Postindependence introductions 0 Constitution 0 Recognition of custom as underlying law Laura Nader The disputing process 1 Grievance 2 Con ict 3 Dispute Procedural modes 1 Lumping it 2 Avoidance 3 Coercion First contact 7 Hill websiteHomework Change Mechanisms l Invention a Change from within a culture b A totally new idea concept or behavior 2 Innovation a Change from within a culture b Idea or behavior that bui9lds on existing culture c First adopters generally modify a new idea to meet local culture 3 Diffusion a Idea behavior or thing moves from one culture to another Aspects of diffusion o Selectivity o Reciprocity o Modification 0 Likelihood 4 Acculturation a Change due to contact b Change is usually slow c Contact usually sustained d Change is conscious strategy of one culture to alter the character of another 5 Syncretism a Syncretism is a special case of change b Two cultures in contact are often radically different c Though culturally different the two cultures present an easy fit for the transfer of new ideas d Classic example Catholicism in the new world 6 Contact may not produce change a Change is not automatic b Change is often consciously rejected c Structural and cultural obstacles often hinder change 7 Obstacles to culture change a Cultural boundary maintenance b Relative cultural values c Culture as an organic whole Agents of Change Historical Context 1 Conquest 2 Colonialism 3 Missionization Contemporary Modern context 1 Government foreign policies 2 Education 3 Communication 4 Globalization Change and ANOMIE Loss of cultural values standards Most often due to catastrophe Sense of aimlessness and depression Commonly used to explain suicide Cultural Antropology Applied archaeology 0 CRM Cultural Resource management 0 Beat the bulldozer o Mandated by law 0 Flourishing career for professional archaeologists 0 Museums preservation 0 Restoration 0 Exhibits 0 Education Cultural Anthropology Theoretical Expertise o Malinowski o LeviStrauss Ethnographer is an anthropologist Qualitative study refers to the most commonly used research methodology in anthropology the Ethnographic Method Anthropologists are being called in to clean up the mess because the census bureau recognizes that the qualitative ethnographic method is in some ways superior to the quantitative methods largely sociological that have led to systematic miscounts Anthropological Linguistics 0 Historical linguistics Cultural Antropology o How languages are related 0 How languages have moved 0 Descriptive linguistics o How languages are constructed 0 How they work as a system 0 Sociolinguistics o How languages are used by people 0 Education and social development 0 World Bank Enga Province Papua New Guinea Applied Linguistics 0 World War H Navajo Code Talkers 0 Japanese failed to break the code 0 Irony US had earlier sought to eliminate Navajo The Concept of CULTURE A set of beliefs values and behaviors that is held by a group of people it de nes them and sets them apart from other different groups And or There appear to be others 0 In 1952 Anthropologist AL Kroeber reviewed the literature at that time and identi ed 155 different definitions of the Culture concept Those l55 definitions fell into 6 categories 0 Descriptive 7 focus on content 0 Historical 7 Focus on change 0 Normative 7 focus on rules Cultural Antropology o Psychologoical 7 focus on behavior 0 Structure 7 focus on organization 0 Genetic 7 Focus on response Key attributes of Culture 0 Learned 7 not inherited genetically 0 Shared 7 common property of a group 0 Symbolic 7 much lacks physical reality 0 Adaptive 7 Rational response to change 0 Dynamic 7 Always changing 0 Integrated 7 Fully connected internally The anthropological understanding of Culture Distinctions anthropologists recognize o Overt versus Covert 0 Ideal versus Real 0 etic versus Emic Overt Versus Covert Culture 0 GisaroCermony o Kaluli people Papua New Guinea 0 Schieffelin The Sorrow of the Lonely and the Bunrning of the Dancers 1976 Ideal versus Real Culture 0 Donald Black The Behavior of Law 0 USA Etic Versus Emic Culture Cultural Antropology o Terri Morrison and Wayne A Conway Kiss Bow or Shake Hands 0 USA and the World Obstacles to CrossCultural Understanding Human Nature 0 As people we are all the same 0 one size ts all approach to cultural problemsolving Ethnocentrism Our way is better than yours 0 Religion 0 Missionaries 0 Politics 0 Presidents o Intervention including war 0 Business 0 Tariffs and Treaties 0 World Trade Organization Cultural Relativism 1 All human cultures are worthy of respect 2 Each culture is adaptive and successful as evidenced by its continued survival 3 A culture should not be judged against the beliefs and values of another culture Anthropological Research Methods Cultural Antropology Two basic approaches 0 Ethnography 7 Description of a single culture 0 Ethnology 7 comparison of many cultures Caution o Ethnographic Present 7 describing a culture at the last precontact moment in the present tense Ethnography vs Ethnology Ethno graphy Description Single culture In the eld 0 Observation 0 New data 0 High qualitative Ethnology 0 Comparison 0 Many cultures 0 No eldwork o Manipulation 0 Existing data 0 Highly quantitative The Ethnographic Method Fieldwork Four basic forms of observation Cultural Antropology First Hand observation 0 Go to the place 0 Collect your own data 0 Utilize other data but must assess accuracy rst Naturalistic observation Long term observation 0 At least one full year in the eld the rst time with a new group 0 Repeated visits over a decade or more Participant observation 0 Live among people as they live 0 That may mean eating new and exotic foods Ethnographical Methods 0 Statistics 0 Human Relations Area les HRAF Rites of Passage Experience of signi cant events and activities 0 May change a life 0 Is marked by ceremony o Rede nes one s role in society or culture Fieldwork as rite of passage 1 0 Going Native 1 0 Going native 2 o Tests Commitment to cultural relativist position culture shock Cultural Antropology o Fieldwork is key to re exive aspect of anthropology 0 Causes anthropology to re ect on and reinterpret hisher own culture 0 Reverse culture shock Ethical responsibilities of the anthropologist 0 Code of ethics 0 Anthropology Goes to war 1 Vietnam 0 Help the people we study 0 Weigh the risks of working for a third party whose interest may con ict with local group 0 Investigate source of research funding to guarantee that it is not something other than advertised Vietnam war counterinsurgency research 0 Anthropologists often observe illegal activity 0 Anthropologists must maintain con dentiality 0 Consider consequences of publishing research ndings 0 Demonstrate sensitivity 0 People change and move on in life The Paci c Ocean 7 Oceania