Week 1 Lecture

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15 Jun 2011
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ANTA02H3Y
INTRODUCTION TO ANTHROPOLOGY:
Society, Culture and Language
Instructor: Dr. Victor Barac
ANTHROPOLOGY: Overview
1. Key Concepts
2. Five SubFields Of Anthropology
1. Biological anthropology
2. Archaeology
3. Linguistics
4. Cultural anthropology
5. Applied anthropology
Key Concepts
1. Holism – big background
Perspective (best way to approach humanity is to look at how things interact with
culture and society and what does it mean?)
2. Fieldwork – microscopic focus (one subject/phenomenon)
Involved in data gathering (primary information)
3. Comparison – compare data
Macroscopic focus, patterns between all fieldwork accounts, gives geographic
range, gives temporal (time) depth
4. Cultural relativism & ethnocentrism
Ethnocentrism = bias (favour of one culture); normal
Cultural relativism = suspend moral judgments (understand cultures on their own
terms), respect other cultures
5. Scientific anthropology [nomothetic] – law-like patterns
Physical sciences
6. Interpretive anthropology [reflexive; postmodern] – no universal validity of science
History and theology and criticism than scientific, emphasize cultural relativism
(competing religions/discourses)
7. Basic (pursuit of academic knowledge) vs. applied research (practical outcome)
The SubFields of Anthropology
1. Biological Anthropology
2. Archaeology
3. Linguistics
4. Cultural / Social Anthropology
5. Applied Anthropology
Biological Anthropology
1. Paleoanthropology
2. Primatology
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