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LECTURE 2- how do anthropologists study culture.docx

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Western University
Anthropology 1020E
Sherry Larkin

LECTURE 2 How do Anthropologists Study Culture? ETHNOGRAPHIC FIELDWORK  Armchair Anthropology – the idea that explorers, travelers would travel around the world and keep journals which were used by anthropologists to get an idea about cultures/ancient societies in these places Historical Particularism Franz Boas (1858-1942):  Salvage Anthropology – believed that First Nations People were dying out so he collected as much info as possible from/about the people there STRUCTURAL FUNCTIONALISM A.R. Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955): Structure (how did anthro contribute to providing structure for society) Bronislaw Malinowski (1884-1942): Function (believed institutions were created to satisfy society’s’ needs) Father of Anthropological fieldwork  Participant - Observation  Looking for the Native's Point of View SCIENTIFIC FIELDWORK Positivism – the view that there’s a reality out there and a scientific method to finding out that reality (through our senses) Positivist Science  Objective Knowledge Goal = discover natural laws Margaret Mead (1901-1978) Controlled Comparison Mead's Question (adolescent experiences: based on biology? Or based on socio-cultural factors?) Hypothesis Method: Went to Samoa (compared to adolescents in US) Conclusions: Socio-cultural factors do affect adolescents - Family Structure (Nuclear Family in the U.S. vs. Extended Family/Village “Family”) - Life is Simpler in Samoa (Kids aren’t given as much choice as what they will be when they grow up, would grow up to be like parents) - Life is Less Controlled in Samoa (sexual experimentation was normal) Derek Freedman went to Samoa and had a completely different experience (felt Mead got it wrong) LIFE AFTER POSITIVISM EX) Annette Weiner and Malinowski Both anthropologists had differences in: - Time - Place of conducting study
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