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Lecture

ANTA02.Lec08Mar2.MS.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTA02H3
Professor
Maggie Cummings
Semester
Winter

Description
ANTA02-Lec01 Lecture # 8 - March 2, 2010 PDF -Week 8 Movie rd 3 section of Course - PROGRESS OF POWER - Notions of “primitive” cultures or peoples or practices vs. modern cultures/ peoples/ practises - Question these categories - Race and racism - Cultural and institutional power and individuality/ agency In Search of Respect  Looking at a subculture in our own culture  Will have to write an analytical essay (due at the end of march) FINAL EXAM - will not be cumulative (explicitly) - Will be based on the stuff from after the midterm - But will have to remember the things from before the midterm (i.e. what is culture, fieldwork, ethnocentrism, etc) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  “Primitive” - “Modern” o Used consciously and question their ‘cultural baggage’ and what they actually are used for o Are they justified? They are not objective labels o Question the labelling because it is not objective - it is value laden and a judgement  Judgment from your own perspective (i.e. our dominant culture) Ethnocentric  Modern vs. Contemporary o Modern = “now”; the present day  Prof. Wants to distinguish between modern and contemporary  Modern = certain type of culture or society; certain group of characteristics and ways of organizing  seen as the opposite of tradition; although the two often co-exist (VSI Chapter 3)  Contemporary - the present day; if you want to talk about ‘today’ or the present  Means: at the same time as (i.e. now)  Modern has a cultural baggage so you want to use it in the right context TIME AND TRADITION VS. MODERN - Time is a social construct o Time = money (dominant metaphor) o Relationship between language and time - we have tenses (past, present, future)  This means that we see our world as being organized in terms of linear time (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis)  time links together  Hopi don’t see time like this because they don’t have tenses  We make sense of the world: the past is behind us; use it to learn from; the future is ahead of us with the promise of something better o Sense of time for us is TELEOLOGICAL - we think we are moving through time towards a goal o Time is moving through space towards a goal; then movement of time is also seen as PROGRESS or DEVELOPMENT (everything is getting better as we move through time)  We see it as inherently good and making us better and allowing us to progress  This implies that things behind us are less progressed and less developed and worse or backwards  i.e. technology is always getting better and giving us faster, better, efficient ways of doing things  literacy - being literate is tied to the idea of progress and development through time (as people progress, they become more literate and smarter)  rationality - as we move through time we become more rational and intelligent  our lives will become even better in the future because of science and intelligence th - Pre-19 century, linear time was the product of religion (linear time was religion time) o Time started with creation, moved forward, and time will end in these religious times (an apocalypse) o Then a new time will begin in religious time o The general understanding was that the world and time as we knew it was 4000 years old; there was the beginning of time o Ancient times, Medieval times, modern time (progression of time)  This all made sense according to the religious conception o Mid-19 century  Darwin postulated that the would was 4.5 billion years old; there wasn’t a beginning of time  Life had evolved and we couldn’t put our finger on the beginning date  Maybe it was the big bang but we were not sure  There was a chunk of linear time that was unsure (the bottom of time fell out)  Now we had all this other pre-history time that we didn’t know much about  Pre-history implies non-literacy; because it was not written down and could not be read  When Europeans encountered people without written texts (but had oral history) they dubbed them as being “pre-literate”  said they were primitive because they come from a time before reading  Because they were pre-literate, they were seen as being less evolved  they have stayed pre-history (were less evolved at least culturally)  Europeans thought that these people were like our ancestors or “living fossils”  They thought these people were not the same as those of us in the ‘modern’ world  They thought we could look at these people and understand the past because these primitive people are stuck in the past and tell us about our ancestors that have died - We see that people talked about these primitive people as though they are not contemporaries o We think they have been living in the same was as they had in the past; they are stuck in the past o There was a division of: we are modern vs. these people who are stuck in the past o By labelling these people as primitive, we denied them access to the present/ modern world and see them as different o In fact, they do move through time like everyone else, but we believed that they were stuck in the past and we could understand the past o We have these moral fixations about how these people needed to be introduced to progress and development to move them into modern time (i.e. look like Europeans)  They were there to teach the Europeans about the past
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