ANTH 100A – Lecture 4 (September 16, 2013) Dr. Charles Menzies
• What does your prof want?
◦ how to find the right road to travel on
▪ read assigned materials
▪ compare what is discussed in class with readings
▪ highlighting particular aspects/part of reading
▪ go back to readings. what does author want?
▪ frame the readings and lecture notes into questions
▪ will do in Friday's tutorial - how to form good questions
◦ ethnocentrism and morality
◦ culture and society
◦ case studies
•Culture and Society
◦ Culture: sets of learned behaviours and ideas; things human acquire
as members of society; depends on where you live; not genetically
wired into us. ideology, values, behaviours that arise from particular
◦ Society: collective organization of a group of people; shared history
and culture; subgroups. some anthropologists use them
interchangeably, but Menzies doesn't. complex societies contain
multiple distinctive cultural groups within it
◦ models remove complexity to reveal underlying aspect, used to
expand culture and look at individual pieces; but model cannot catch
everything, or become more confusing than the society that it was
supposed to be explaining
•Ethnocentrism and Relativism
◦ Ethnocentrism - belief that only 'my' way of knowing the world is
right and everything else is wrong.
◦ ethnographic fallacy - "I'm always right, you're always wrong";
anthropology recognizes that and tries to confront it with relativism -
"don't judge, anything goes"
◦ relativistic fallacy - that it is impossible to make moral decisions. we
do evaluate right from wrong