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Lecture 3

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University of Guelph
ANTH 1150

Lecture 3: What is culture? Was used as synonym for civilization before the 20th century →important because it implied a hierarchy Learned socially acquired traditions of thought and behaviour found within human societies →socially acquired lifestyles →patterns of belief and behaviour What are the characteristics of culture? →culture is adaptive: refers to a process of adjustment that plants and animals make to their environment that increase their rates of survival, leads to improvement of that species over time →cultures are integrated: holism →culture is learned: we're not born knowing how to behave properly in the society we were born into, we must learn, adopted and modified by each generation →Cultures change and interact: cultures are not static, every culture has a history and is modified, no culture is isolated What is the difference between an emic and an etic approach to culture? Emic: describes culture from the participants POV--observer uses concepts and distinctions that are meaningful and appropriate to the participants Etic: Describes the culture from the observers perspective--observer uses concepts and distinctions that are meaningful and appropriate to the observer What are the differences between "Materialist and "Interpretive" theories of culture? Scientific/Materialist (cause-effect explanations) →evolutionism →marxism
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