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Lecture 2

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Victor Barac

ANT102H5S – Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology Lecture 01 – July 11, 2013 Culture: Concepts, Theories, and Methods of Study Readings: - ROBBINS: Precface and Chapter 1 - Suggested Reading – pp. xvii-xviii st Overview of the 1 Part of Lecture: Origins 1. Herodotus 2. Ibn Battuta 3. Jean de Lery 4. Lewis Henry Morgan 5. Franz Boas 6. Bronislaw Malinowski - Looking at the history and key concepts as well Herodotus (484 B.C. – 425 B.C.) - The father of history, who was a Greek writer - He wrote, The Histories, published in 440 B.C. o Shows that people wanted to know about history - History = inquiry - His inquiry was about the wars between the Greeks and the Persians - This is the first attempt in Western history, of an objective narrative was attempted to talk about people’ past o Did not make reference to the different Gods - His history was based on First Hand accoutns o He actually travelled the known World (Meditation World) The World of Herodotus - He used oral history, where he copied down the accounts of soldiers, merchants, government officials - It was believed he was a merchant, which is how he was able to travel the world - This is how the Greeks figured out there were other civilized people around the world - Herodotus is more respected now, as opposed the first half of the 20 th century Ibn Battuta (1304-1369 or 1377) - Relationship between the Greek and Arab world o Arab civilization became the preservers of the Greek culture o The main source for ancient Greek materials was though Arabic sources (for Western people) - Battuta is well known in the Arabian world who came from a family of judges ANT102H5S – Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology Lecture 01 – July 11, 2013 Ibn Battuta’s Travels - He wrote a famous book, the Gift to Those Who Con - On his pilgrimage, he went all around (what is known as Turkey) - Circled the black sea, Marraco - Second trip to Mecca, Delli (and became a diplomat), China - Southern Marraco, then to Timbacktu - Much of what we know, about cultures that are no longer here today, is becaue of Battuta and his objective narratives Jean de Lery (1532-1613) - He was a protestant pastter who worked in Brazil, but was not allow to do any missionaries of converting the Natives - Life among the Tupinamba of Brazil (in History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil, 1578) o About the Indians in Brazil o He published an account of his life in Tupinamba which became a best seller - Ethnology as semiotics o A study of symbols and by extension, the study of communication and systems o Cannobolism was a feature of Tupinamba life o What it meant to the Tupinamba culture, was basically the consecrations of the Mians where they ate portions of their enemies o It was a symbolic act to emphasize a powerful political statement to say “you are apart of us” o - Michel de Montaigne (Of Cannibals, 1580) o Montaigne – considered one of the first modern philosophers who write the book o Act of ethnology, is to compare o Says “when you compare the cannibalism of Tupinamba , you basically come to the conclusion that their culture is superior to ours o The wars of religions 1562-1598 Leis Henry Morgan (1818-1881) - Impacted the history of modern anthropology who is still a huge influence today - League of the Ho-De-No-Sa-Nee, or Iroquois (1851) o The first systematic Fieldwork/kinship in modern times o He established the centrality of kinship where we had a much greater understanding that kinship was the organizing principle in modern societies to understand how human societies operated - Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family (1871) o He created the modern day Cross-cultural comparison ANT102H5S – Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology Lecture 01 – July 11, 2013 o Established the cross-cultural method of study (which is why it has been incorporated in many disciplines) o Studied the kinship; ie. brother, sister, aunt  who you call sister is different to many people o He sent out questionnaires (as he was a politician), and received over 60 completed questionnaires  the biggest dataset ever created at that time o The underlying pattern in these kin terminologies, is a limited number; ie, dad, tata, papa, daddy, father - Ancient Society (1877) o At the time, there was no archaeological evidence of Asian origins o Establishes himself as the greatest evolutionists in anthropology o In his mind he establishes, human passes through savagery, barbism, to civilization o He was able to merge theory and practice, cultural theory with actual research The Leauge of the ho-de-no-sau-nee, or Iroquois (1851) - Look at how the 5 nations (at that time…) - Each one of these nations spoke different dialect - According to the history, these people were at war for many centuries and one day decided to have peace among them all - The confederacy itself was among all nations, but they used kinship - Morgan depicted that kinship, is the key organizing principle for that type of society Franz Boas - Boas was a German Jewish American immigrant to America - First full time professor of cultural anthropology in the USA - Made it a requirement for anthropologists to know biology, linguistics, - The Central Eskimo (1888) o Based on extensive fieldwork - Important to understand historically build his recognition based on Morgans work o Starts off by attacking Morgan saying his work is just “speculation” - Cultural particularism o Says that there is no evolutionism, you have to understand each culture’s history on its own o Boas never came forth with a valid competing theory - Holism o Just like Morgan, he supported Holism o Demanded that to study culture, you need to study geography, language and how the mind is formed with culture ANT102H5S – Introduction to Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology Lecture 01 – July 11, 2013 Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942) - The first fully modern anthropologists - First modern British fieldworkers - Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922) o Trobriand Islanders o Describes the Trobrian people and there way of life and how they go on longdistance expeditions on wooden canoes o They had a completely different kinship relationship - Emphasized you have to get the nati
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