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ANTB19H3 Lecture Notes - Sibling Relationship

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Donna Young

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Tutorial 2
1. Who was the Nuer written for? Why?
- European colonizers
- Because the Nuer were hard to control for the colonizers, they asked Pritchard to for help
- Pritchard could be criticized for furthering the colonist motives
- Pritchard “romanticizes” the Nuer- images are used in a certain way
- He would probably not write in the same way if the audience were African people/ non-anthropologists/
2. Nuer time- ecological vs. structural
- Time in relation to the environment surrounding the Nuer
- 2 seasons/year- ecological
- Activity/event/social relations/rituals- structural ; not linear (minutes/hours/days)
- Time has a different value throughout the year
- Ex. Grade you were in when something happened (rather than the actual year/time)
3. Nuer distance- ecological vs. structural
- Ecological/ physical distance- distance from river, etc/ travel required
- Structural distance- social distance between Nuer groups
Lineage Clan Age Set
Time Village Time + Distance
4. Relation of ecology to culture/ society?
- Culture and society crafted by ecology- the ecology they live in makes them herds men
- Structure is related to ecology
- Structure-functionalism: system serves a particular function
- Ecological determinism: overemphasize ecology
5. What does it mean to be in a group? Role of conflict, opposition, context?
- Groups are for warfare/ military function
- Utilitarian group
- It is a feud system- when there is a war Fusion: they all come together
- When there is no war Fission: disperse
- Ex. “An enemy of my enemy is my brother”
“Brother/ Sister/ Sibling relationship”
- Pritchard thought it was necessary to explain this because it gives an insight to the British about Nuer
strategies and systematic ways during conflict situations
- It also shows that they are rational people, not just savage wild people
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