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Lecture 2

Week 2 - Anthropological Fieldwork.docx

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Chris Bovaird

Anthropological FieldworkMalinowski Boas and the Decline of EvolutionismA history of anthropological fieldworkLong term participant observationstay with a certain people for a long period of time Age of EvolutionA unique discipline that emerged only about a century ago However this contact goes back centuries ago in the age of exploration Early explorers like ColumbusThey were send to the new world by European monarchs to look for spices slaves trade and politics in places like Africa North and South America Formed political relations with them and because of these contacts thousands of people perished because of transferred diseasesPeople were differentthey identified them an deficiency because they used western culture as the best and what everyone should follow ethnocentric Why did these sexdeprived deficiencies exist When they started reading the history of Western Europe they found that Europe did not exist the same way like it was and they were similar to people in Africa and America before They saw the other groups were more primitive because they lacked culture and religion like themUnilineal Cultural EvolutionSocial Darwinism The west opinion about 150 years agoDifferent cultural forms are not randomly different rather what they represent ate the different stages of social evolution through which every human society has either passed or would pass in the futureCultural evolution was seen to be a process in which the multiciplity of human groups developed through a series of similar stages from being simple to complexEvolutionary theorists saw their own world as the apex of civilization For them nineteenth century European capitalist society was the most advanced stage of cultural evolution yetThey thought these societies would evolve to be like Victorian England and be the best like them and be less primitiveSocieties that has not reached this level as Europeans were taken as living relics survivals of the more primitive stages that the West had already left behind
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