ANTA02H3 Lecture Notes - Gender Role, Cheerleading, Fetus

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15 Apr 2012
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ANTA02 - Lec02
Lecture #4 - January 26, 2010
The Sperm and the Egg- PDF
The Muslim Woman - PDF
Feeding Desire - Chapter 3
Reminders - FEBRUARY 5th = Think-piece assignment due
- FEBRUARY 9th = Midterm! (All Multiple Choice)
Last week - worldview: categories through which we can understand and experience the world
- Shared cultures and beliefs transmitted through language
- Time and language shaped by worldview
- Perpetuate worldviews through rituals/ rites of passage
(1) Separation
(2) Liminality - middle stage of the rites of passages
no social status
betwixed and between
“Threshold” - you are standing in between two different things
Considered the most dangerous time during a rite of passage things can go
wrong and be SOCIALLY dangerous
Would be left without a status
If you go through it with other people, you make really strong bonds with these
people
i.e. military bootcamp - separated (shave head, estranged from self)
in Communitas - close bonds that supersede the intellectual
o bring people in line with certain worldviews/ belief systems
o end up with very close ties to people (feel attached to others -
at a level of emotions and embodiment)
(3) Integration
BIOLOGY, BLOOD, and BELONGING -------------------------------------------------------------
See biology in a euro- American way
“natural” - we mean biological (i.e. acting a certain way is “natural”, meaning it is biological)
Biology defines reality and the laws of nature
Azawagh Arabs - biology on its own does not explain reality
o “natural” = what is dictated by Allah (God’s will)
Social Categories that shape our lives when we are born:
(1) GENDER
WHY DO CERTAIN PEOPLE THINK CERTAIN WAYS?
Cultural Constructionism - believe that: human behaviours and ideas are best
explained as result of culturally shaped learning
o PEOPLE DO THINGS BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THEY LEARNED IT
Spatial skills have been passed on culturally through learning and
that parents socialize their children (male/ female) differently from
birth
Social construct think about knowledge in a subjective/ situational aspect
Concept or practise that appears to be natural, obvious, common
sense, essential, timeless, god given
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Take for granted as being common sense BUT is really a cultural
invention or artefact
Example: Gender, Understanding of time (since industrialism and
capitalism)
Result of human choices over a length of time (not necessarily
intentional) -behaviour not a result of god or nature
o Allow us to answer questions about how our worldviews are constructed
(i.e. rituals, social construct)
o How are certain phenomena created, institutionalised, and then turned into
common sense?
o Seen as an ongoing, dynamic process (biology - we behave based on
biology; social construct- culture changes and that changes our behaviour;
reality is not out there just for us to understand but is reproduced by
people acting on their interpretations of worldviews and social constructs)
o Knowledge is not out there for us to receive or find; not one objective
knowledge; derived from and maintained by social interactions (culturally
situated)
Biological Determinism - gives priority to biological features (genes, hormones, etc)
and use them to explain behaviour and ideas
o I.E.: LOOK FOR CONGENITAL DEFECT TO LOOK FOR THE CAUSE OF CERTAIN BEHAVIOURS
o Spatial Skills - human males have better spatial abilities than females as a
result of EVOLUTIONARY processes
Advantages in securing food, mates, impregnate more women, and
thus pass on their skills to offspring
Most people take both perspectives into account (biology and culture)
Anthropologists fall under the cultural constructionism/ social constructionism
category
(2) GENDER
Not all cultures rely on distinctions between rank, prestige, hierarchy, castes,
classes
BUT all cultures use gender and age to categorize people and give them roles
Social construct - even though it is real/ biological, and the natural way of
categorizing people
o Sex - biological categories (males/ females) based on the genital,
chromosomal, and hormonal differences
o Gender - refers to patterns of culturally constructed and learned behaviour/
ideas attributed to men and women
men and women as social beings - what characteristics and roles
they conform to
it is “mapped on bycultural frosting” on abiological cake
gender differences - refer to people as SOCIAL beings (men/ women; not females/
males)
o i.e. men never need to ask for directions, women always need a map
o attribute social things to sex differences (but are really social) - refer back
to the sex differences to make sense of and explain reality
o gender roles are reversed in many parts of the world (therefore, are
culturally learned and not determined by biology)
o only biological differences (generally) - giving birth, breastfeeding -
everything else can be attributed to gender differences (socially)
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