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Lecture 1

ANTHR110 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Self-Denial, Ethnocentrism


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTHR110
Professor
Brent Hammer
Lecture
1

Page:
of 1
September 1 2015
Anthropological Concepts
Bio-cultural organisms – biological species made up of all sorts of dierent things, acknowledge the link
between culture/biology
Holistic Approach – look at everything and see how it intersects to all aspects of life (eg religion, economics,
etc.)
Cultural Relativity & Ethnocentrism – relativity is that a species must be considered relative to their own life,
whereas ethnocentrism is judging a species against the viewer’s reality
Cross Cultural Research & Fieldwork – you look at dierent group in their own setting and THEN
comparing/contrasting aspects of culture/life
Human” Agency – tied to the notion of your own ideas and bias; we have the potential to aect the world
around us we are not passive beings”, we are often restricted in our choices
Gender, Age, Culture
Why do we study gender?
Changes in culture, changes in social roles, constant rapid changes in gender constructs
Women were universally subordinated by men, causing discrimination or restrictions to arise
Is Anatomy destiny? Sex is Fact?
Most commonly man or woman – one or the other
Why do we desire to know a baby’s gender?
** Biological sex and gender are DIFFERENT
Gender and Environmental Disasters
75% of the total people who died were women (Indonesian Tsunami)
Social Factors
Skills that ended up being useful to survival were only taught to boy
Men were more likely to be outdoors whereas women were inside
The burden of caring for children/elders slowed them down
Self-sacri:ce
The clothing worn (skirts/dresses) inhibited movement
The men happened to be working in locales that were out of harm’s way
Relevant Gender Issues
Based on economics, education, security
What Is Gender?
Gender is cultural, gender roles are not set, they vary with the environment
Pictures depict gender roles, not a matter of stereotypes
What Is Age?
We ascribe certain behaviors to certain ages
Act your age” – what does that actually mean?
Age, like gender, is culturally and socially de:ned
What Is Culture?
We all have culture – it isn’t determined by degrees
Culture is learned and shared, it must be shared to survive