Lecture Notes

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25 Mar 2011
Anthropology- March 24 Lecture
Slide 2
Today’s topic relationship between agency and structure that is characterized and
portrayed in search of respect.
Slide 3
Idea of race as distinct biological category is subjective.
Characterized as not only being different but equal.
Different policies and laws built that everything was not equal.
In Search of Respect we see how pre-existing ideas and stuff shape the new ideas and
such that people end up having.
Approach we take to get around this is not to focus on what each race does but on the
consequence of racial thinking like historical and social context.
Think of racism is plural.
Race is not always the same. Ex if u wanted to think about race during civil war you
would see that certain races had control over other race. What we need to see is how race
is different now then how it was then.
The way racism is lived and played out depends on the social and historical context.
One of the reasons they came up with this reason is to think of the overlap. Think about
relationship between race and ethnicity, and think about gender.
Book-experience racism despite being ethic group (Puerto Rican)These people are at the
bottom of social ladder (working in the underground economy).
This idea of racism as a plural allows us to think of overlap with race.
Slide 4
Talking about relationship between agency and structure.
How culture/society shapes behaviour, but we can’t focus so much on that because
people also make their individual decisions.
Each of us has a social identity and our social identity is always made up of different
parts (I am someone's daughter. I'm someone's friends) and each of those social positions
makes up our social position but also gives us different rights and identities. All of these
different social positions give us different responsibilities, identities. We all have roles
and expectations put upon us, like especially in the west, like our freewill and decision.
People with same social identity often make the same individual choices. They're
obviously shaped in some way by their social identity.
Durkheim did groundbreaking study on suicide. He studied the statistic of suicide in
France. Only you can kill yourself, it’s your choice. But what Durkheim found was that
he could see patterns based on social identity. He found that generally speaking, people
who were alienated form society were more likely to commit suicide. Alienation can be
linked up to your social identity. He found that people in cities are more likely alienated
than people in village. So city people are more likely to kill themselves. He also found
that protestants were more likely to kill themselves than Catholics and Jews. Although
suicide is an individual choice it has to do with your place in society.
Slide 5
Political economy-the fact that manufacturing was taken out it shaped the Puerto Ricans
reactions to find another thing, like dealing.
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