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ANT100Y1 Lecture Notes - Enculturation, Ethnocentrism

Course Code
Christopher Watts

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Anthropology March 3rd, 2011.
Social-Cultural Anthropology
Homework: death without weeping
Theme: “thinking is a social act
Study of contemporary and recent human populations
Comparative field – interested in how societies vary and why, under what
Holistic perspective – study societies in context (historical, political, economic,
Culture (Lavenda & Schultz p. 16)
At its most basic, culture is understood to refer to learned sets of dieas and
behaviours that are acquired by people as members of society”
Like language, culture is symbolic
Much of culture consists of unspoken ‘implicit’ meanings and
Culture, Genders & 1960s Dating Dilemma
Visible proximity indicated for more intimate interaction
Conversation could modify those meanings in important ways
Gender is main axis of social difference
Now consider what could happen if driver was male employers and passenger was
his young female employee
In this case, woman much more concerned about sort of messages she may
unwittingly giving off
Expressions of cultural ideas vary depending on specific social relationships in
which they arise
Culture is not a “thing” so much as a process:
Dynamic – interactive
Historical – a culture changes over time
Changes in technology and law contributed to changes in expression of certain
cultural meanings (in gross gender communication)
Cumulative – we learn from past and add to our cultural toolkits from other
Creative – subject to human innovation
Socially produced and reproduced – recreated and modified through interaction
Socially realized – becomes evident through social interaction
Imagined – (e.g. conceptual) but not imaginary – cultural concepts have tangiable
Culture is humanity’s key biological adaptation…a biological capacity that is
completed or filled through social interaction
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