•Patterns of thought and behaviour
•Marriage patterns, kinship, political systems, economic systems, legal systems,
religion, art, etc.
•Similarities and differences between societies and cultures
•Only tend to focus on living people
•How is anthropology different from other disciplines?
•Non-western societies and cultures are studied
•"primitive" or "third world" societies
•How people make meaning in the world
•Write interpretations on other peoples interpretations
•Comparative - less ethnocentric (our values are better than other peoples values)
•Holistic - many aspects of human experience at the same time
•Focus on typical characteristics of a society (things taken for granted) - rules,
beliefs that are shared
•Aim is to make everyday appear weird, and weird appear everyday
•What does it study?
•Culture and/or society
•Cultural anthropology - what people think
•Social anthropology - what people do
•What is culture?
•Something we learn
•Passed on between generations because it is learnt from someone
•Shared and relatively stable belief systems
•Based on symbols, and thus complex
•Informs action - the things we do are done because of the ideas we have
•It doesn't exist - a way of looking at the world that the anthropologists have to bring
things into view (a concept)
•What is society?
•General - human society (what it is to be human, nature vs. man)
•Plural - actually existing social forms on the ground (people living together in the
•Institutional form that preexists and exists after we are gone (capitalism)
•Organize ourselves into different institutions (legal, economic, etc)
•What is human?
•Both culture and society studies comes down to studying what is human
•Are we first and foremost people who are interpreters - is that what it is to be
•Don't sit and think about world but form groups - organization into groups to think
•All disciplines have different models of what it is to be human (psychology,
•People want to know whats out there
•Courtesy to know your neighbour - curiosity
•Understand ourselves better (not in a psychological way) - learning something
interesting about ourselves by contrasting ourselves with others
•To get at the question - what is man?
•Challenging the assumptions of other academic disciplines