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Lecture 4

ANTA02 - Week 4 - January 29, 2013.docx

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Maggie Cummings

ANTA02 – Week 4 – January 29, 2013 Assignment # 1 - No argument or thesis - Written in essay style but not an essay, should flow into each other (sentences) In class Midterm (February 12, 2013) - 50 multiple choice questions - Based on all assigned readings and lectures for weeks 1-5 - Style guide for citation is posted Personhood and the Cultural Construction of Identity Key Terms/Names - Cultural/social construction - Biological determinism - Sex versus gender - Sambia of Papua New Guinea; jurungdu - Third Gender/Berdache/Two Spirit - Emily Martin - Egg and Sperm as gendered - Biology as cultural knowledge 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  I now present graduating class of …  I now pronounce you husband and wife… - Communitas – When people go through a rite of passage together, especially the luminal stage where you no longer identity you develop strong emotional bonds and these bonds produce emotion, non-intellectual connection What is social/cultural construction? - Cultural Constructionism – Human behavior and ideas are best explained as the result of culturally – shaped learning o Not necessary the only/sole explanation o The opposite is biological determinism o Would say “spatial skills may be passed down culturally and not through genes” - Biological determinism – Biological features such as genes or hormones are used to explain behavior and ideas o Or chromosomes o They would turn to an explanation that relate to genes, hormones, body parts and etc.  Would say “spatial skills” are passed on from genes and etc. - Why do people do what they do? o Is it Nature? Nurture? Biological determinism? 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 o Constructed by our constant employment of our use of social construct o Once they are constructed, they are institutionalized into our society  Ex. Birth Certificates Gender as cultural Constructs - Sex refers to biological categories (male and female) determines by genital, chromosomal, and hormonal differences o Gender and sex are two different things o Sex – Biological categories that are determined biologically - Gender refers to patterns of culturally constructed and learned behavior and ideas attributed to men and women o Goes along with how society would want an individual to be based on their gender  Ex. Becoming a Man &Woman  People think of women as having a longing to become a mother (Natural)  Because women nurture the children (give birth, feed and etc)  However in Trobrainders the men are the ones who nurture their kids 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 The Sambia of Papua New Guinea - Boys do not “naturally” become men; they need help o Trained from a young age o Men live together in the same house regardless of having wife and children o Around 6-7 they are taken away and they live with other boys/men o They stay in the jungle for about 10 years (basically a rite of passage; no longer a boy, but not yet a men)  They run, learn how to fight, go through painful sub-rituals (getting jabbed and etc), o Possibly because men live in a constant fear of women  Women’s bodily fluids are “dangerous” to men like the plague because women’s essence can take away their mascu
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