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Week 7.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Hollis Moore

Week 7The cultural construction of identityLast week we left of by highlighting the contributions of Boaz and Pritchardthey helped us to move from singular definition of culture to plural understanding all societies are equally systemic and functional each group has their own culture each and every society was human in its own wayremember human zoo exampleMaking a claim that we are all human was really profoundThis perspective where we insist on understanding customs in context developed into cultural relativism this differentiated from other europeans like missionaries etcWitchcraft is a primary example of a indigenous custom which was a target of intervention and civilization thEvans pritchard was the most prominent social anthropologist of the mid 20 century his goal was to combat the racism and colonialism and was committed to cultural relativism In his article he is interested in stressing the sensible side of exotic customs He demonstrated that beliefs associated with witchcraft were perfectly logical if you think of it in context He shows how accusations of witchcraft follows lines of tensions of power in society which then in turn relate to an actual existing organization of society Example woman need to ask permission from menand we also dont see women accusing men of witchcraft as much men accuse women Evans pritchard suggests this is how all societies operatethe idea that underlying functions are not open to public scrutiny Afterall the scientific method is not followed by people in day to day lives He argues that magic and science works the same way He is suggesting that they more and less co exist and operate in very similar ways This analysis helps us understand why these people think their customs are so rational We dont believe in science just because its true metaphors and etc makes us believe in sciencereaffirm it as a belief system Ways people believe in things that cant be proven1 MetaphorTextbook talks about how metaphors shape our world views check examples in textbook
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