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ANTL2 Notes.docx

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Ivan Kalmar

19/09/2013 Language, culture, difference, prejudice Questions that sum up the main points of the lecture: 1. Language is universal and given by nature; languages are particular and learned in society. Explain. 2. In what ways in language an adaptive feature in homo sapiens? 3. Explain in what way “race” is not a biological but a linguistic concept. 4. Explain what might be meant by saying that if we don’t have a name for something then it does not exist for us. Language in Anthropology: • Why? → Adaptation. o Adapting to the nature and social environment. • Communication and cooperation. o Interpretation/Working with one another. o …Signification (making meanings)... o …Structuring how we see each other… o …The world. o …Ourselves. Universals and Divisions: • Language and culture are human universals. • Specific/human particulars. • Universals (language, cultures) are learned. • Particulars (languages, cultures) are learned. o Transmitted via society (largely through talk) Adaptive Value of Social Transmission:  • Much more flexible than genetic transmission. • Major changes can occur to next generations or two. • Change occurs without a change of species. Differentiation with Species: • Cope with different environment. → Specific languages and cultures. 19/09/2013 • Individuals may have a disagreement on what a word’s meaning is. → Ex. Peoples view on love. • Cultures/customs: Potlatch, bride’s wealth/dowry. o Potlatch: (among North American Indian peoples of the northwest coast) An opulent ceremonial feast at which possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth or enhance prestige. • Can cha
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