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UW-Madison Cultural Anthropology

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UW-Madison Cultural Anthropology ANTHRO 104


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Covers all lecture and reading info from race and racism chapter to ethnicity chapter.
Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Falina Enriquez
Class Notes
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by y-chen9 on Monday March 28, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ANTHRO 104 at University of Wisconsin - Madison taught by Dr. Falina Enriquez in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Cultural Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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Date Created: 03/28/16
Anthropology 104 Notes #4 Chapter 5: Race and Racism  Neil Smith: “No such thing as a natural disaster” o Whether natural events  disaster = social factors – location, vulnerability of population, government preparedness, effectiveness of response, and reconstruction efforts  “Race”—scientifically not real  really just human race  Race: “A flawed system of classification, with no biological basis, that uses certain physical characteristics to divide the human population into supposedly discrete groups” (123)  Racism: “Individual thoughts and actions and institutional patterns and policies that create unequal access to power, privilege, resources, and opportunities based on imagined differences among groups” (124)  Genotype: “The inherited genetic facts that provide the framework for an organism’s physical form” (126)  Phenotype: “The way genes are expressed in an organism’s physical form as a result of genotype interaction with environmental facts” (127)  Phenotype directly relates to specific genotype o For example a gene that makes blonde hair, gives blonde hair. Neither the genotype nor phenotype relates to a person’s intellectual capabilities.  Colonialism: “The practice by which a nation state extends political economic, and military power beyond its own borders over an extended period of time to secure access to raw materials, cheap labor, and markets in other countries or regions” (128) o Racism  colonialism  Fun fact: Brazil and U.S. are two most “racially diverse” countries in Western hemisphere. Yet, America has very few “colors” to describe skin, while Brazil has hundreds. o “Brazil = racial democracy”  Miscegenation: “A demeaning historical term for interracial marriage” (130)  Fun fact: 1970 census—respondents did not get to identify their own race—census workers assigned them to a racial category based on their appearance  White supremacy: Belief that whites are biologically different from and superior than other races  Whiteness: “A culturally constructed concept originating in 1691 Virginia designed to establish clear boundaries of who is white and who is not, a process central to the formation of U.S. racial stratification” (134)  Jim Crow: “Laws implemented after the U.S. Civil War to legally enforce segregation, particularly in the South, after the end of slavery” (134)  Hypodescent: “Sometimes called the “one drop of blood rule”, the assignment of children of racially “mixed unions to the subordinate group” (135)  Nativism: “The favoring of certain long-term inhabitants over new immigrants” (136)  Eugenics: “A pseudoscience attempting to scientifically prove the existence of separate human races to improve the population’s genetic composition by favoring some races over others” (136)  Racialization: “The process of categorizing, differentiating, and attributing a particular racial character to a person or group of people” (140)  Individual racism: “Personal prejudiced beliefs and discriminatory actions based on race” (141)  Institutional racism (structural racism): “Patterns by which racial inequality is structured through key cultural institutions, policies, and systems” (141)  Racial ideology: “A set of popular ideas about race that allows the discriminatory behaviors of individuals and institutions to seem reasonable, rational, and normal” (142)  Eduardo Bonvilla-Silva: Best way to end racism is to eliminate race...or this could make it worse  Intersectionality: “An analytic framework for assessing how factors such as race, gender, and class interact to shape individual life chances and societal patterns of stratification” (147) Lecture 13: Race and Racism AAA statement on race o “Human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups” o “Genetically, there is greater variation within racial groups than between them” o “The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of human kind as a single species”  Franz Boas also argued this point. He worked to deconstruct race and show it is socially constructed The South African Pencil Test o Apartheid (1984-94)—A system of legalized, racial segregation that separated white, “colored” (mixed-race), Indian and black South Africans o Pencil Test—a way to “prove” whether someone was black or colored”: Put a pencil in your hair, shake your head—if it stayed in, you were black o Colored and black people prevented from owning land, voting, marrying whites, etc. o Only colored people could legally work in Cape town—thus, important to distinguish between “colored” and “black” People’s physical and genetic attributes exist as a dense continuum. If you walked from Africa to Russia, you would not see any specific changes in the way people looked—physical changes are extremely dense and gradual compared to geography. Race as a dehumanizing project o The idea of race began from colonialism o First capitalism—slavery o In order to profit from colonialism, Europeans had to have a large labor force: African slaves  1440s: Portuguese use African slave labor for cane cultivation on Maderia Justifying slavery and racism o Religious and legal institutions promoted slavery/racism  Rational that slavery is mentioned in the Bible o 1455: Pope Nicholas V grants kings of Span and Portugal the right to enslave “non-believers” o 1661: Virginia colonists enact law to institute African slavery and progressively expand owners’ rights. Other colonies follow. o 1857: Supreme court rules neither enslaved nor free African Americans are citizens (Dred Scott case) o 19 C: Science used to justify racism—cultural evolutionists and eugenics without acknowledging effects of colonialism Summarizing race as part of colonial project o Race is not a neutral ideal. Race = racism o In the past/present race is as a way to :  Create groups of people based on “natural” attributes  Stratify these groups  An imagined “pure” group of people of European descent serve as yardstick Preparing for midterm: o End of chapter summary questions o Review keywords in own words o Think of examples for each keyword that were not mentioned in the book or lecture  Examples on exam will not be examples from textbook or lecture o Try all of these things with your classmates Lecture 14: White Privilege  Irish people as a “race” o Potato famine pushes Irish people to the U.S. (1845-49) o Irish characterized as a separate race, as backward and dangerous o Overtime, Irish workers unify and “protect” their jobs from being “taken” by African Americas o Now, they are part of the “white race”  Racism is not only about color o If a child’s mother was a slave, then he or she was a slave as well  kinship o “Passing”: When a person presents themselves as another race  Person who’s black by “one drop rule” could pass as white in everyday life  Brazil: A closer look o “One drop rule” does not apply in Brazil o The norm in Brazil is to be mixed race o This is due to historical and political circumstances o Brazil imported many more slaves, this led to a different demographic profile o 1850s: Brazil’s slave population approx.. 40% of total population  19 C racial ideologies in Brazil o In Brazil, miscegenation was relatively accepted during colonial period o After abolition in 1888, national anxiety about lack of racial “purity” o Elites thought African heritage would be diluted (whitened)  Dark grandma, mixed daughter and white husband, white baby o Government encourages white immigration o 1900-1920: Brazilian census excludes race in part because of a sense of inferiority, the “problem” of miscegenation o Lack of racial classification does not entail tolerance or lack of racism  Brazilian ideologies change o After WWI, Americas become sites of modernization, new global order emerges o Brazilian scholars (Gilberto Freyre) re-imagined miscegenation as positive trait  His work was influenced by Franz Boas—saw race as socially constructed o Racial democracy (1930s – 1980s): An aspirational ideology promoted by the government o Tri-racial narrative o Samba/carnival become signs of RD o Brazil promotes itself as a more democratic place than the segregate U.S. o RD becomes a popular idea o RD (mesticagem) “denies the existence of blacks”  Summary o The fact that visibly mixed-race and black Brazilians consistently face more obstacles in income opportunity, healthcare, education, etc. is no coincidence o A result of slavery and institutionalized racism despite discourses of racial mixture and racial democracy o Not equivalent to the U.S., but not a racial utopia nor a place with infinite races Chapter 13: Religion  All religions have what in common? (365)  Religion: “A set of beliefs based on a unique vision of how the world ought to be, often revealed through insights into a supernatural power and lived out in community”. (367)  Martyr: “A person who sacrifices his or her life for the sake of religion” (367)  Saint: “Someone who is considered exceptionally close to God and is exalted after death” (367)  “Anthropological theories of religion have been deeply influenced by the ideas of nineteenth and twentieth-century philosophers Emile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. All three examined the connection between religion and the political and economic upheavals of their time—Industrial Revolution, rural to urban migration and high levels of unemployment, poverty and disease” (368) Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) French Sociologist o Explored ideas of sacred and profane and especially the role of rituals o Defined religion as “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things, that is to say, things set apart and forbidden—beliefs and practices which unite into one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them” o “Saw religion as ultimately social—something practiced with others—not private or individual. Through the collective action of religious ritual, group members reaffirm, clarify, and define for one another what is sacred and what is profane” (369) o “Argued that religion, particularly religious ritual, plays a crucial role in combating anomie and addressing larger social dynamics of alienation and dislocation by creating social solidarity, cohesion, and stability”. (369)  Anomie—“An alienation that individuals experience when faced with physical dislocation and the disruption of social networks and group values” (369)  Sacred: Anything holy  Profane: Anything unholy  Ritual: “An act or series of acts regularly repeated over years or generations that embody the beliefs of a group of people and create a sense of continuity and belonging” (369) Arnold van Gennep (1873-1957) French ethnographer and folklorist o First theorized a category of ritual called rites of passage  Rites of Passage: “A category of ritual that enacts a change of status from one life stage to another, either for an individual or for a group” o Religious rites of passage: birth, coming of age, marriage, death o Audrey Richards—rites of passage ex: Bemba people of Zambia, Central Africa and their coming of age ceremonies for girls  women  Victor Turner (1920-1983) o Built on Audrey Richard’s work to explore why rituals and rites of passage are important in religion/cultures o He identified 3 primary stages in all rites of passage  1) Separation—physically, psychologically or symbolically from normal day to day activities  2) Liminality  3) Reaggression/reincorporation o Believed all humans experience these rites of passage and that the experiences shape their perceptions of themselves and their community. o Believed that rituals reveal that at the root of human existence—there is a desire for community and connection, not self-preservation or material gain.  Liminality: “One stage in a rite of passage during which a ritual participant experiences a period of outsiderhood, set apart from normal society, that is key to achieving a new perspective on the past, future, and current community” (370)  Communitas: “A sense of camaraderie, a common vision of what constitutes a good life, and a commitment to take social action to move toward achieving this vision that is shaper by the common experience of rites of passage” (371)  Pilgrimage: “A religious journey to a sacred place as a sign of devotion and in search of transformation and enlightenment” (371) Karl Marx (1818-1881) German political philosopher o Highly critical of the masses: “Opiate of the masses”  “Religion is an illusion that blinds people to economic realities”  “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed” o “He believed that throughout human history, economic realities have formed the foundation of social life and have generated society’s primary dynamics, including class stratification and class struggle” (372) Marvin Harris (1927-2001) Anthropologist o Built on Marx’s analysis in which material conditions of a society shape its other components  Cultural materialism: “A theory that argues that material conditions, including technology, determine patterns of social organization, including religious principles” (373) o Cows are holy in India Max Weber (1864-1920) German sociologist, philosopher, and economist o “Considered religious ideas to be a key for understanding the unique development of societies worldwide” o Imagined evolution of rationalization in religion o Argued that ideas (religious) influenced the economy of a country as much as economics itself Shaman: “A part-time religious practitioner with special abilities to connect individuals with supernatural powers or beings” (376) Magic: “The use of spells, incantations, words, and actions in an attempt to compel supernatural forces to act in certain ways, whether for good or for evil” (377) Imitative magic: “A ritual performance that achieves efficacy by imitating the desired magical result” (377) Contagious magic: “Ritual words or performances that achieve efficacy as certain materials that come into contact with one person carry a magical connection that allows power to be transferred from person to person” (377) Lecture 14: Religion and guest speaker: Dr. L (professor of religious anthropology)  Beliefs and practices o Rituals and ceremonies: technologies of the sacred o Sacred (divine, spiritual) vs profane (secular, everyday) o Dichotomy: Sociologist Emile Durkheim  Interpretive approaches o Focuses on key symbols (Clifford Geertz) o Religious, philosophical meanings o Interpretations of rituals (of invitation or pilgrimage) (Victor Turner) o Focuses on impacts of cultural contact and cultural changes on religious belief and practice  Studying religion anthropologically, functional approaches o Explains death/ misfortune o Materialistic approaches Animism/animist beliefs o Living with spirits o World’s oldest form of religious philosophy? o The landscape is alive, animate o Animals, plants and significant parts of the landscape o Knowledge about them may be esoteric (secretive), sacred, powerful or dangerous o Certain persons are born with, or acquire through special circumstances, powers to communicate with spirits. (Being struck by lightning among Australian aborigines) Totemism (a form of animism) o An animal, plant or object that serves as an emblem of a particular clan or kin group, sharing ancestry or kinship with it o Totems are related to myths o “Totem poles” Professor L studies people on Tantianti island (east of New Guinea) Magic as practical religion o Religion and magic formally placed in separate categories by anthropologists; no longer the case o Magic is a technology for accessing spiritual power for pragmatic goals o In this way, it resembles some forms of prayer o Techniques include use of ancestral relic, spells, fasting, purging with saltwater, chewing ginger or other substances, use of personal leavings of target, firing magical projectiles Shaman: part-time religious practitioner believed to have special powers of communication with supernatural beings or forces and does so on behalf of other people, usually for divination, healing or harming enemies. Polytheism: Belief in multiple Gods. Each has different qualities, sacred origin stories or myths o Buddhism, Hinduism  Monotheism: Belief in 1 God. The first monotheistic religion was Zoroastrianism o Judaism, Christianity, Islam World religions with global or transnational influence—Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Confucianism, Taoism, Shintoism Religious pluralism o One or more religions co-exist in the same society or region o Degrees of tolerance and relative power, influence may vary o Medieval Spain, where Moroccan rulers and Islam were dominant, Christains and Jews were tolerated, had legal rights, neighborhoods, recognized religious leaders, places or worship Syncretism o Literally, believing together o Mixtures, blending of religious belief that emerged with intercultural contacts, espeicially those forced by conquest or colonialism o Syncretic beliefs often result from reconfiguring indigenous religions to accommodate a world religion introduced by colonialists or missionaries Proselytizing religions: Holy texts or revelations mandate seeking new converts o Ex—Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) Chapter 6: Ethnicity and Nationalism  Ethnicity: “A sense of historical, cultural, and sometimes ancestral connection to a group of people who are imagined to be distinct from those outside the group” o “Expansive version of kinship” o Culturally constructed  Fredrik Barth (1969)—“Ethnicity is a social organization of cultural difference” (157)  Origin Myth: “A story told about the founding and history of a particular group to reinforce a sense of common identity” (157) o One way ethnicity is taught and reinforced o “First Thanksgiving”  Ethnic boundary marker: “A practice or belief, such as food, clothing, language, shared name, or religion, used to signify who is in a group and who is not” (158)  Genocide: “The deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic or religious group” (158) o Ethnogenesis—New ethnic groups forming  Situational negotiation of identity: “An individual’s self-identification with a particular group that can shift according to social location” (159) o Sexuality and ethnicity during the India Day Parade in NY  Sexuality as an ethnic boundary marker  Mobilizing ethnic differences in Rwanda o Genocide: Hutu vs. Tutsi o Eugenics o Belgian colonial government elevated Tutsi  Ethnic cleansing: “Efforts by representation of one ethnic or religious group to remove or destroy another group in a particular geographic area” (164)  The Bafokeng of South Africa—ethnicity being mobilized for economic benefits  Melting pot: “A metaphor used to describe the process of immigrant assimilation into U.S. dominant culture” (168)  Assimilation: “The process through which minorities accept the patterns and norms of the dominant culture and cease to exist as separate groups” (168)  Multiculturalism: “A pattern of ethnic relations in which new immigrants and their culture enculturate into the dominant national culture and yet retain an ethnic culture” (168)  State: “An autonomous regional structure of political, economic, and military rule with a central government authorized to make laws and use force to maintain order and defend its territory” (169)  Nation-state: “A political entity, located within a geographic territory with enforced borders, where the population shares a sense of culture, ancestry, and destiny and a people” (169)  Nation: “A term once used to describe a group of people who shared a place of origin; now used interchangeably with nation-state” (169)  Nationalism: “The desire of an ethnic community to create and/or maintain a nation-state” (169)  Imagined community: “The invented sense of connection and shared traditions that underlies identification with a particular ethnic group or nation whose members likely will never all meet” (169) o Said by—Benedict Anderson (1983)  Eric Hobsbawn & Terence Ranger (1983)—Nations are invented. They are recent not ancient creations o France just now has a “national identity” as was forced by the French government Lecture 15: Ethnicity An ethnic group often thought of as people who share: o A distinctive culture, national origin, language, race, religion o A presumed common genealogy or ancestry o Who identity with one another o Who may share a common history Ethnicity as an anthropological idea o “A more expansive version of kinship” (Guest, 156) o Culturally constructed o Ethnicity is a relational identity category o Ethnicity (like other forms of identity) is learned, practiced, and taught Origin myths frame ethnic and national identity o Mexico’s origin myth  Based on an Aztec myth of the founding of Tenochtitlan  Aztec mythology is central to past and present ideas of Mexican-ness  This story is often repeated and taught in schools o USA: Euro-American origin myth  1620—Pilgrims landed on Plymouth rock  The Mayflower ship What is a state? o Max Weber defined state as a centralized government that monopolizes the legitimate use of force within a certain territory o States are generally hierarchical and patriarchal Nation-state o Can have nation without state o Can have state without nation Maintaining the military force o Military/war o {police} o Prison system Hegemony o Educational standard o National anthem Language/ Currency Nationality is flexible o Birth is not the only criterion for being a member of a nation o Due to globalization, nationality is flexible and can be based on choice World Cup rules o Players can only represent a nation where they, their parents, or their grandparents had been born o World Cup shows nationality is defined/practiced in various ways o Like kinship, nationality is constructed and used for diverse purposes Lecture 16: 3 cases studies—Rwanda conflict, Hmong in Wausau, Latinos in America TA Presentation – Rachel Goodman (Rwanda presentation)  Social division in pre-colonial Rwandan society  Germans claim Rwanda in 1885  Belgians take over WWI and remain control until 1962  First Germans, then Belgians viewed Hutu and Tutsi as static, fixed groups with different racial origins  Created ideal physical types for each group and made boundaries between them rigid  Hutus and Tutsis are made into ethnic groups under colonialism  Belgians CREATED different ethnicities  In 1933, Belgians issued identity cards with list ethnicity at the top, they remained in use until 1994  In 1956, Hutus pushed for independence against Belgians and Tutis  In 1962, Belgians give Hutu government  In 1973 there is another outbreak of violence when Hutu military officers takeover the government  In 1993 a peace treaty is signed between the Tutsi-led rebels and the Hutu-led government  In April 1994 a plane carrying the Rwandan and Burundian presidents is shot down o No one knows who starts the conflict  Tutsi rebels?  Hutu military to start conflict??  Hutu rebels remain in DRC to this day and occasionally raid villages  The leader of the rebels, Paul Kagame, remains in power in power  The problem is people trying to mobilize ethnicity to gain power Hmong in Wausau, Wisconsin  A nation/ethnicity, but not exclusive to one country (China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam)  JFK asked people of Laos to help fight in Vietnam war, when the U.S. pulled out of the war, the Hmong were stranded o Many were killed by Vietnamese, others fled to Thailand, and later U.S  Today, Wausau houses the greatest Hmong population in the U.S. o Racial tensions build. 12% of population is Hmong in Wausau were the population is 38 million Latinos Inc. Arlene Davila (2001)  How is advertising contributing to their production of Latino identity?  Davila shows how Hispanic marketing emphasizes o Family values o Hispanic/Latino community as a “nation within a nation” (eroticizing) o Advertising a site for creating ethnicity (for corporate clients, those who work in ad agency, those who see/consume advertised products) o Ads often rely on stereotypes  Latin culture in America o The “Latin look”  Sexy, exotic  Sofia Vergara has natural blonde hair, but dyes her hair to maintain her Latin look in Modern Family o Latinos are focused on family


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