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Lecture 2

ANTHROP 1AA3 Lecture 2: MidtermReview-2

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Andrew Wade

● Anthropology​:​ study of humankind in all times + places ○ Empirical-​ based on observations rather than faith ○ Theory​: explanation supported by a reliable body or data ○ Hypothesis​: explanation or the relation bet certain phenomena ● Holistic perspective​: equips anthropologists to address human nature (biology + culture must be viewed as broadly as possible) ● Comparative perspective​: methods of other scientists by developing hypotheses + arriving at theories (comparisons bet people + cultures past + present, fossils, etc. ○ Prevents anthrops form distorting their research with their cultural ideas + values ● Holistic + comparative perspective or anthro = many insights on human failures + successes, weaknesses + greatness ● Ethnocentrism​: belief that the ways of one's own culture is the only proper one ● Culture bound​: perspective that produces theories about the world + reality based on assumptions + values form the researcher's own culture 5th subfield ● Applied anthro​: uses anthro knowledge + methods from 4 subfields to solve practical problems ● Medical anthro​: specialization that brings theoretical + applied approaches from cultural + biological anthro to study human health + disease 1) Cultural anthro​: study or dif patterns in behavior, thought + emotions ○ Focuses on humans as culture producing + culture reproducing creatures ○ 2 main components: ethnography + ethnology 1) Ethnography​: detailed description or a culture primarily based on fieldwork 2) Ethnology​: study + analysis or dif cultures form a comparative of historical pov, using ethnographic accounts + making theories that help explain which difs/similarities occur among group's ○ Culture​: a society's shared + learned ideas, values + perceptions, that are used to make sense of experience + generate behaviour + reflected in that behaviour ○ Fieldwork​: on-location research ○ Participant observation​: technique of learning a person's culture through direct participation in their daily life over time 2) ​Linguistic anthro​: studies human languages ○ Description or a language- Structure ○ History of languages- how they change over time ○ Language in its social setting- ​discourse​: extended speech act on a topic 3) ​Archaeology​: studies remains in order to describe + explain human behaviour ○ Study tools, pottery + other features ○ Bioarchaeology​: study of human remains as a record of cultural processes ○ Cultural resource management​: branch of archaeology tied to gov policies for protection of cultural resources 4) ​Physical anthro​: focuses on humans as biological orgs ○ Analyze fossils + observe living primates to reconstruct the ancestry of the human species ○ Paleoanthropology​: study or the origins or the human ○ Forensic anthro​: identification or human skeletal remains for legal purposes ○ Primatology​: study of living + fossil primates ○ Human growth, adaptation + diversity ■ Study or the ways in which the natural + cultural envi impacts human growth + biological diversity ● Culture​: ​meanings that are shared by people + passed from gen to gen ○ Culture is about meaning + must be learned then shared by members ○ Enables human beings to make sense or their life experiences + to understand them as meaningful ○ Human beings are cultural animals; ascribe meanings or their own creation to objects, person's, etc then proceed to act as if those meanings are real ● Clifford Geertz​- human beings are compelled to impose meaning on their experiences because without meaning, the world would be “a chaos or pointless acts + exploding emotions” ○ Human beings are “incomplete or unfinished animals who complete themselves through culture” ● Ethnocentric fallacy​: idea that our beliefs + behaviours are right + true, not others ● Ethnocentrism​: tendency to judge beliefs + behaviours or other cultures from the perspective of one's own ● Cultural relativism​: no behav./belief can be judged as wrong just cuz its dif from yours ○ Poses a moral predicament ● Relativistic fallacy​: idea that it's possible to make moral judgements about the beliefs + behaviors of others ● Medicinal cannibalism​: long tradition in Europe, until 2 centuries ago “Cure for epilepsy” ● Critical cultural relativism​: anthrops engage directly with questions of inequality, ethics + power ● Anthrops have great qualitative research skills, a commitment to cultural relativism, problem solving skills, approaches unique to the discipline + a focus on cross cultural + multi cultural understandings of the world ● Grant McCracken​ explores the relationship bet consumerism, culture + taste ● Anthrops have a primary ethical responsibility to ensure their work doesn't harm their informants ​ ● Arguable: the ultimate purpose or marketing + advertising is to manipulate people into mindless consumerism ● The theorization or life transitions aka rites of passage ● Social identity​: who we are and how we stand in relation to others ● We learn everything, we are not born knowing ● Enculturation​: sociocultural forces + institutions that teach us about what it means to be a canadian citizen ● Both consciously + unconsciously individual's form various identities so they can relate to others ● Imagined community​: ​Benedict Anderson​- identities including national ones are culturally constructed through shared experiences even without face to face contact ● Nature vs nurture​: ​Sir Francis Galton​- whether or not human behaviours + identities are the result or nature (genetic) or nurture (learned) ● Margaret Mead​- 1 of the first anthrops to engage ethnographically w/ the nature vs nurture debate ● Challenged ideas on teenage rebellion caused by puberty, checked if it was the same in other cultures, she found they were completely dif., she visited 3 tribes + found that dif genders took on dif responsibilities +
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