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Lecture 1

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University of Toronto St. George
Gary Coupland

ANT100Y1 SocioCultural Anthropology Thursday February 25 2010Introduction to sociocultural anthropologyWhat is sociocultural anthropology y Is the subfield of the discipline that seeks to understand and explain similiarities and differences between contemporary societies and contemporary cultures around the worlddoesnt capture the reason wy people want to study the field y Concerned with the facts of human culture and society y Focuses on contemporary present day societies and cultures y On society and culturey Lots of fieldwork y ex Prof Richard Leeresearch among the Juhoansi Kung san of Botswana huntersand gatherers y Has different types of cliqueslived in the community and lived in their ways to understand the culture tribal societies y Ex Philippe bourgeoisconducted the study on crack dealers in Harlem NYC y Lived in Harlem at a time when it was a really down and out areay Engaged in urban societies y Requires a special type of commitment where does it come fromWhat is it that sociocultural anthropologists do y If you want to know what anthropology is study what they do y Research practices fieldwork and participant observations olive in certain societies and participated in their daily rituals and lifestyles to understand and observeo Try to access the experiences and the meanings of the experiences y Analytical practices o Melord Spiro the work of sociocultural anthropology is to make the strange and familiar strange o Anthropology takes the features of other culturessocieties that are strange and seek to understand them and make them familiar o Also through studying other cultures and our way of thinking in other cultures we find a way to look back at our own cultures through a different perspective and we seek to find a deeper understanding advocacy for the marginalized and oppressedy making the strange familiar o increases crosscultural understanding o ex provide a basis of racism represent people who have been marginalized or oppressed y making the familiar strange decentering deconstructiong and denaturalizing common assumptions about human life challenges the core of what we believe y Jaques Derridaadmires Copernicus darwin and freud for decentering human life o COEPRENACANEARTH REVOLVED AROUND THE SUN TLL THEN THE GREEKS BELIEVE THE SUN WAS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE HE SHOWED DIFFERENTput into question the earth and people living in itDecentered the way people thought about the center of the universe
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