Sep 10/12: Cultural Anthropology
1:36 PM Sep 10,
From Last Weeks Class.......
Biological Anthropology: Studies humanbeings in terms oftheirphysical characteristics, how they evolved,and why.
Archeology: studies different aspects ofthe past which is how people livebefore, within the last500,000yrs
CulturalAnthropology: Studies peoplewho are alive today.Goal is to understand why people do the things that they do.
• In any given culturewe are raised and taughtcertain things that we consider tobe natural.
• What we do may only make sense in ourcultureand not in other people'scultures
• Observe and study people and then try to understand thesimilaritiesand differences between people and differentcultures.
Basic Questionat the heart of Anthropology is "whatis humannature,what does it mean to be human?" So you have to study everyaspect ofhumanity.
• Most important concept in cultural anthropology
• Ex. When you studyother cultures there may be things you discover that they do whichyou may disagreewith.
• The pointof anthropology isn't to judge other culturesbased on what we believe is right or wrongbut to try to understand thembased on theirown
reasoningof why they do the things that they do.
• All cultures do things that they may be better offnot doing(think of behaviours)- Ex. Smoking.
There are 4 specializationshowever only 3 were included in the lecture.The 4th is ethnolinguisticOR linguistic anthropology.
Ethnography: Live with and observepeople for a longperiod oftime.
• Most of the information we receivefrom other cultures arethrough ethnography
• Best way to learn about a culture(because there's oftena differencebetween what peoplesay they do and what they actuallydo - individualsmay leave out
information for onereason or another andtherefore without longterm observationyou cannot get a full and clear picture of the culture.)
Ethnolinguistics (Linguistic Anthropology):Study of languages
• The different partsof speech(accent, syntax, etc.) can teach us about culture.
• Sometimes language can make distinctionsbetween socialclasses.