lecture notes 10

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8 Oct 2011

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Anthropolgy, Lecture10, Modernity and Culture Change
June ,13,2011
1. Cultural persistence
2. Mechanisms of Change
3. Modernization
4. Intensification
*Modernity: post industrial world becomes more relevance??
*modernity refers to mass society
*2nd urban society represents concentration
*cultural centers
*3rd aspect of modernity is beurocersy-paper work, they have a life span of there own
Cultural persistence 1
“… most individuals, most of the time, are deeply committed to their customs.”
-Richard Barrett,
Culture and Conduct, 1991
*humans are creatures of their habit, and when life is not predicable they can experience ups and down
*ethnocentrism is a natural way to feel because if you only know one culture
*language, rituals, clothing
*people become accustom to doing things
*culture can be seen an empedment to change as it becomes harden and it takes on the quality of an
unchanging enitiy
Cultural persistence 2
1. Culture as impediment
2. Limitations of prior accomplishment
3. Integration as impediment to change- ex janpense phonetic letters, beacsue there writing system is
integrated in their culture, they would have to change labels and textbooks and machinery etc.it would
be inconvenient
Cultural persistence 3
1. Adaptation is never perfect- there is no perfect cultural system, culture is an ongoing process
2. Sudden, revolutionary change is rare- its very difficult to change because it dosnt happen over night,
also there is a certain value that is attached to change
3. The past sets conditions and limits to flexibility- really have to look at the past to see how history sets
limits, cuz you cant just go and implement change because it has to fit in with the society.
Ex- north American societies in the late17 cen., horses were introduced and they soon became bison
hunters, becasue that was in demand
*Cheyenne: modest, restrain and Comanche: permiscouse, and revealing “both bison hunters”
* Cheyenne: hoticaulte= order Comanche:=hunter gather, very flexible etc
*Another example= the Yanapi- opted for prodistentism=emphasis on Jesus
Mechanisms of change
1. Innovation- of cultural novelties, *its only an innovation if it’s adopted through culture
Ex. Advent of wheat= a process of innovation. Wild grasses lead to contemporary grains
*in order to create a stronger and non- brittle stock there was some combining of diff. grains
2. Diffusion-adopting and borrowing of cultural traits ex. Greek alphabet
Ex. Horses spreading from mexico right up to the north. Fire arms(rifles) came from the north because
now you could hunt bison
*so these people left there own cultural ways over the new tec.
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