Class Notes (810,132)
Canada (493,962)
Anthropology (1,637)
ANT100Y1 (945)
Shawn Lehman (274)

ANT100Y1 March 1 Notes.doc

5 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Shawn Lehman

Part 4: Socio-Cultural Anthropology MUST READ: The article in the Selected Works, for Tutorials Social-Cultural Anthropology • Seeks to understand and explain similarities and differences between contemporary societies and contemporary cultures around the world o Unlike Biological anthro: natural and biological facts of human life andd evolution o Unlike Archaeology: ancient societies, civilizations o More like Linguistic anthropology: language and meaning, BUT o Broader, focuses on social organization and culture of which language is a part. Intellectual Focus WHY do socio-cultural anthropologists do what we do? • Ethnography challenges us to think differently. • We are commited to the intellectual (and often ethical) work of: o Decentering o Deconstructing o Denaturalizing o (Destabilizing) o (Displacement) • That which is taken-for-granted as true… (stepping outside of our world, look at it outside and use that to look at other cultures and societies) • Jacques Derrida (1930-2004): o Identified three major intellectual ruptures, revolutions in western thought. o Copernican • Scientific revolution: The Sun does not revolve around the Earth, rather the Earth and the planets revolved around the Sun. • He decentered our thinking, bringing our thought into one cosmos o Darwinian • Effect of changing the way people thought of themselves, we tend to think of ourselves as utterly different from animals, and thought of ourselves as a privileged being. • Decentering and breaking down the artificial boundary between humans and animals o Freudian • He discovered that not all of what we think is conscious, there exists such a thing as the unconscious, and that things are hidden from us - A shift in the intellectual division "Making the strange familiar and the familiar strange" (Melford Spiro) Nacirema (Horace Miner) • American spelled backwards • He gave an outsiders' view, but doesn't talk to the people about what their take on the world might be, but succeeds at making the familiar strange. Anthropological knowledge promotes and facilitates cross-cultural understanding Socio-Cultural anthropology is involved with Fieldwork • e.g. Study of the Ju/'hoansi - !Kung San people in Botswana and Namibia, Africa carried out by Professor Richard Lee, U of T • Involves learning a new language, and learning a new way of life • Conditions may be harsh, and this is long term: months or years spent on fieldwork. What do we mean by culture? - The principle tool, concept that social anthropologists use • A widely used concept, e.g.: o Chinese-Canadian culture o American culture o Popular culture, cultural studies o High culture o Corporate culture • For Socio-Cultural Anthropology, it's MUCH more broader • Anthropological concept of culture: o Not only the arts and literature o Not strictly 'bounded' ethnic or national groups • e.g. in "multiculturalism" :  Focuses on differences  Values stasis • Emphasis based on the unchanging or unbounded dimensions of a cultural identity Culture: Anthropological sense • Totality of behaviours, beliefs, value and ideals • Learned, acquired through social interaction • It is something that is shared, a vehicle for communication of the meanings which are understood by others, since we share the contexts, assumptions we bring in the interaction. IT is patterned and abstract that it has a structure; grammar. It is a sort of 'blueprint' for life's activities Culture is NOT static • It is subject to change… As well as stability Culture is Symbolic • Based on the human capacity to: o Represent abstract ideas (in language, dress, gesture, facial expression, tone of voice, etc.) o Signify objects in their absence o Imagine the non-existent (e.g. Higgs boson, ) o Anticipate outcomes (future) o Refer to the past o Categorize the flux of daily life (we do not categorize the same, different subsets) • Construct the world: endow it with meaning, frame experi
More Less

Related notes for ANT100Y1

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.