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Social-Cultural Anthropology

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University of Toronto St. George
Christopher Watts

rd Anthropology March 3 , 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 conditions Holistic perspective study societies in context (historical, political, economic, religious) 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 societies 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 consequences Culture is humanitys key biological adaptationa biological capacity that is completed or filled through social interaction
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