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Lecture 04 - ANTA02

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Maggie Cummings

Week 04 ANTA02 Monday, January 28, 2013 What is social/cultural construction? - Cultural constructionism – human behavior and ideas are best explained a the result of culturally –shaped learning - Biological determinism – biological features such as genes or hormones are used to explain behavior and ideas Social/cultural construct - 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 or a particular culture o Result of human activity rather than God’s will/biological factors - We create social constructs through our choices; in doing so, we reinforce our own worldview o Thinking about how we come to share our worldview o Looking at different social constructs and how they are create  I.e. Gender – institutional (register for birth certificate) o Knowledge is built  Culturally constructed 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 behavior and ideas attributed to men and women o All cultures use gender o Gender is real (natural way to categorize people)  Matter of biological fact o Patterns of learned behavior – men and women 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—
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