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Cultural Anthropology (Ch.2).docx

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Ivan Kalmar

Cultural Anthropology Lavenda & Schultz Chapter 2 – Culture  Boas (1858-1942) collected evidence that diverse beliefs and practices that distinguish different groups of h.beings from one another were due to differences in social learning (culture counteracting racism)  Malinowski (1884-1942) argued that all h.beings experience the same basic human needs o Ethnographs job to catalog variety of methods by society o H.beings can and much create culture in order for survival (including adaption to environment – “niche construction” – and natural selection)  Cultural relativism – anthropologists’ interpretation of specific beliefs and practices in accordance with their culture – defense against ethnocentrism  Social and cultural boundaries are not fixed  Concept of culture → enforcing inequality  National culture – united citizens, sense of identity (bonding factor)  Culture, “prison house of custom from which people could never escape”  Cultural hybridization – mixing and reconfiguring of elements from different cultural traditions  Indigenization – cultural features that may have originated in west  Anthropologists assume that all cultural traditions are open to change o Focus on societies who adopt element from other cultures Chapter 3 – Language  Language – system of arbitrary vocal symbols that human beings use to encode expression  Easy to observe and study in detail (in each culture)  Protolanguage – all languages may have derived from a common ancestor (language family)  Ethnolinguistics – relation between language and culture  Defining language is difficult because it’s multidimensional a. Communication doesn’t always involve language b.
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