Class Notes (837,698)
Canada (510,399)
Anthropology (1,602)
ANTA02H3 (394)

ANTA02 - LEC 4 - Personhood and The Cultural Construction of Identity

3 Pages
Unlock Document

Maggie Cummings

28 January 2013 ANTA02 - Lecture 4: Personhood and The Cultural Construction of Identity 28 January 2013 From last week: Rites of Passage - Rituals that mark the transition from one life stage to another - Three stages: o Separation o Transition/liminality o Integration/reincorporation - Communitas – go through something strange and bond What is social/cultural construction? - Cultural constructionism—human behaviour and ideas are best explained as the result of culturally-shaped learning - Biological determinism—biological features such as genes or hormones are used to explain behaviour and ideas - What we do explained by culturally-shaped learning o Passed on through learning - Opposite: biological determinism o Human males – better special skills Social /cultural constructs - A social construct is a concept or practice that is seen as natural, common-sense, essential, timeless, or God-given but which is really an invention, an artifact of a particular culture. - We create social constructs through our choices; in doing so, we reinforce our own worldview - Social construct = cultural construct (same meaning) - We build these constructs - Ex. We have to register when we are born – birth certificate Gender as cultural construct - Sex refers to biological categories (male and female) determined by genital, chromosomal, and hormonal differences - Gender refers to patterns of culturally constructed and learned behaviour and ideas attributed to men and women - One of the most taken for granted constructs - Significant in all cultures - Primary way to divide people in all cultures - Biological: sex – males/females 28 January 2013 - Cultural: gender – men/women - Mothers nurture in our world - Fathers nurture in the Trobriand Islands Anthropology and gender - Early anthropologists ignored “gender”; assumed men’s lives were the cultural norm - But, a cross-cultural perspective challenges the idea that gender is natural—because gender is variable cross-culturally - Gender and sex do not correlate “naturally”, but culturally - Cross cultural aspects - Early anthropologists were men and ignored gender The Sambia of Papua New Guinea - boys do not “naturally” become men; they need help - Jurungdu—an essential masculine substance - Sambia initiation rituals suggest that sexual identity is not naturally linked to sex or gender; nor is it static over time - Live in highlands - Men have constant fear of women - Boys have to grow through various trials, steps to grow into men - Have constant fear/threat that they will lose their masculinity, or jurungdu - Based on constant maintenance - Women have no
More Less

Related notes for ANTA02H3

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.