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Detailed Lecture Notes for Chapter 1

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Heather Miller

Lecture 1 Chapter 1 Lecture Definition  Anthropology – the study of humans (all times, all places, all aspects of humanity)  Anthropologists are interested in biology and culture  Paleontologists – are not anthropologists because they focus on dinosaurs o Has many of the same techniques as anthropologists Holistic Discipline  Anthropology is a holistic discipline  Incorporating all aspects or perspectives on an issues instead of only one  Anthropology is both comparative and particularistic  Comparative - o Focus on comparing different groups of people o Past and present o Beliefs o Similarities and differences  Particularistic o Very interested in a particular group of people o How their society, culture changes or not changes over time o Interested in understanding particular systems and societies o Ie. Youth culture in North America or South Asia  Relativistic o Interested in why people in one culture/society will judge the beliefs, behaviors, practices of other societies as good or bad, right or right o Ethnocentrism is another name for this o Values of why this came about  Both advantage and disadvantage o Acquire a very diverse background 4 Traditional Sections/Divisions  Social-cultural anthropology  Linguistic anthropology  Biological (physical) anthropology  Archaeology  (Others… forensics, medical, etc.) Biocultural Approach in Anthropology  That both biology and culture are both important in understanding humans both present and past, and understanding human evolution Culture  All aspects of human beliefs, behaviors, and material culture  Material cultures are basically objects  Ie. Technology, language, social roles, family structures Lecture 1  Culture is learned and transmitted by non-biological means (ie. Not genetic) Enculturation  The process by which individuals (usually children) learn the cultural beliefs and values in their societi
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