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Lecture 2

Lecture 2 Anthropology.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTA01H3
Professor
Chris Bovaird
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 2 Anthropology What is socio/cultural anthropology? What makes it different? Fieldwork and ethnology - What sets anthropologists apart - They often share objects of study with other disciplines (the way of studying -> go out and live with the people who are studying aka field work) - Anthropologist= field work - Ethnography is what anthropologists write up after their field work (analysis) They have to have some sort of theoretical analysis - Description is very important, so that the reader could understand and see the culture from the native point of view. - Thick description-> describing the context (makes ethnographic analysis) History of Anthropology - Young discipline, anthropology has been around 125 years. Given the shape in the early 20 th century - It’s related to history, geography, travel writing, philosophy - Barbarians - Marco polo wrote about china (anthropology) - Victorian anthropology (early 20 century) -> influenced by Darwin (Origin of Species) He defined culture in a way that it linked to Victorian ideal civilization. - Some people had more evolved culture than others. All cultures could be ranked according to him from least to most civilized (influenced by Darwin). - Victorian (most civilized) - All cultures evolved through 3 stages: magical thinking to religion thinking to scientific rational thought. - They would read other people’s accounts (explorers, travelers) - Victorian Anthropologists were not doing fieldwork - “On the Verandah” Anthropologists first stayed on the verandah. - One of the first anthropologists to come off the verandah was Malinowski. He is considered one of the fathers of anthropology. He studied near Indonesia. He wrote a classic ethnology. What he realized during his stay was this was a better way of learning about other cultures. He writes his notes based on what the people were doing. - Observer - Malinoswki compared and ranked them to British society. People liked the Turbian Islanders. They had their own complex institutions (own laws, economic system, etc) He was writing against the earlier anthropologists. “ We cannot rank them, but only compare)” Father of Anthropology - Father of American branch - Boas argued that anthropology should be studied on their own terms, rather than being ranked with other. He was arguing against the Victorian anthropologists. He argued that each culture had its own unique history. His anthropology was called Historical. He said that there are particular histories. - Contemporary anthropology-> key component - Cultural Relativism-> we can’t judge a particular culture to be primitive, irrational, etc just because it seems that way according to our own cultural. To be focused on your own culture, and not being able to focus on another one is called ethnocentrism. It’s a methological state. - Our own beliefs orient us to the world, and to temporarily to not follow them is difficult. - You can’t make judgments until you know what you’re talking about. Example: the idea of a pealth Feeding Desire: why women want to become fat as possible? What about their health? What is culture? - Culture is shared patterns of learned behavior. Culture is learned sets of ideas and behaviors that is acquired by a member of a society. Shared understanding of how to act, right and wrong, etc. - It is what makes humans human. It is what sets us apart from animals. Culture is about ideas and shared ideas, and making the world seem meaningful. Culture is what allows us to function as social animals. Allows us to share with other human beings. - Boas- his idea of culture is a useful approach. He said that culture is like eye glasses (help us to see the world around us and focus). Without the glasses, everything is a blur. Metaphorically, culture is like a lens for experience. Example, from the book ( A very short Introduction) - Culture tells some things to some people, and other things to other people (A very short Introduction) - Can cultures be defined as a whole? If cultures are whol
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