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Karen Kus

Lecture 1 July 9 2013 Introduction to Sociocultural and LinguisticAnthropology Origins to contemporary applications ANTHROPOLOGY: OVERVIEW 1. Seven key concepts 1. Holism- take the whole picture into consideration, is there a biological approach? Agenetic component to behavior, a learnt component or ecological. Take all perspectives possible. 2. Fieldwork- anthropologists have to produce data, produce primary research which is based on fieldwork, you collect the data. This fieldwork is long term 3. Comparison- inherent in anthro and science, compare the anatomy of let’s say mammals or societies. When you compare you can highlight similarities and diff. 4. Cultural relativism & ethnocentrism- very important to anthro understand other cultures before passing judgement. Relativism is a tough thing you have to deal with, because you are bound to run into practices that you don’t deal with. But it’s their culture and you cannot do anything about it. Ethnocentrism- closely analyzed, it’s built in us, and this is normal thing, its normal for ppl to think they are better than other ppl. There are almost 6-7 thousand languages. 5. Scientific anthro- related to 6. Is anthro a science, do we have laws? No we don’t. the subject matter of anthro is different than physical sciences, anthro has to do with interpretive anthro 6. Interpretive anthro- says even science itself is embedded in a cultural concept. Try to understand what the ppl are saying first, translate their language, there is no science of anthropology. This is a branch of philosophy. 7. Basic vs. applied research- basic research – most anthropologists use this, pursuing research just for knowledge.Applied- research oriented towards reaching specific results. 2. Five subfields of anthro 1. Biological anthro 1. Paleoanthropology – looks at the fossils records, dentitions, zoology, idea of timeline of existence, physical anthropologists have evolutionary timelines. 2. Primatology- study of non-human primates, why do we study this because we are part of primates, we share an Lecture 1 July 9 2013 evolutionary history, look at comparison anatomy, let’s compare things. Comparing pelvis of chimpanzee, A.Africanus and Humans. The pelvis becomes more basin like for humans. We have the biggest brains. We have big heads because of culture. The human pelvis is becoming smaller and brain is becoming bigger. Who is going to look after the kids- this is a social issue Also we can look at reproductive behavior, primates have seasonal sexuality ex: baboons (swelling of butt), for humans the sexual cues are gone Subsistence & Locomotion- how they move around, prehensile tails (NWM), feeding and movement are interrelated in terms of anatomy. How we get food (subsistence) another major theme in anthro. 3. Contemporary human variation- map of human history 1. Cts Traits- E.g. height, skin color 2. Discrete Traits E.g. blood types, earlobe shape Anthropometry- scientific data of the measurements and proportions of the human body 2. Archeology- deals with cultural anthro a lot. Deals with human artifacts, things created by humans, they looked at tools 1. Prehistoric- Archeology of culture that left no written records, earliest artifacts- Oldowan tools (homo habilis) 2.5 mya 2. Historical- all artifacts can be put in a written context- ex: Gates of Shalmaneser- can see this was captured here, different cities conquered. This gives you a lot more context.
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