September 24, 2012
Midterm questions will be from today’s readings on...
Review of Last week’s class
What is culture?
It is a serious concept and it comes out in the course of the culture
Ethnographic method-Don’t have to strict of a definition
Culture- the total way of life of the people (Tyler)
Geertz-sheep story-culture is a process of interpretation
Pupose of methods of needs of ethnography
Ethnography-the method of documenting a particular culture
Ethnology-comparative study of cultures one of the main ways of practicing anthropology at the time
Boas wrote-collecting many documents /reports and doing a comparative analysis and create a
theoretical piece-not the method we use today
Boas is expecting ethnology to be done and he expects himself to do it. Ethnology comes out of
producing an ethnography
His students-Mead-do not hope to be able to solve an intricate historical problem using a formula
The historical problem he is confronting is difference-a big philosophical problem for people whose
societies were founded in enlightenment
One is finding the world in which none of the institutions or history is there-perfectibility of man
Assume that the people they found were not human(racism), and at an earlier stage of development
Evolutionism that boas talks about
If you have a theory like that you will be able to find evidence
Each cultural group has its own history and therefore its own differences
His argument is that the only way you can begin to answer this question is know what’s at the heart of
What is going on-major scientific breakthrough of understanding the human condition
Boas-trains his students to learn their language and so they can understand what is happening
* Life on other planets. Why do we care? We care now because we might need to go there. And to
search for intelligent life. Would we know what intelligent life was when we found it?
Can we in our subjectivity develop a way of defining intelligent life that does not follow the subjectivity?
Would we be able to recognize intelligent life?
Boas was put on the earth to fight racism
Recognize that everyone has art
Hard to not begin with