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Anthropology 1025F/G
Christine Kennedy

Anthropology, Culture and Ethnography Office Hours: Monday 5-6 SSC #3348 TA Office Hours: Wed 1-2 Anthro Library #3325 What is Anthropology Purpose of: Explain worldviews and the everyday social and cultural lives of people in contemporary societies including our own Greek= Anthropos (human) and logia (knowledge) -the study of humans as physical social and cultural beings in the past and present. -comparative and holistic -Edward Tyler held the first position in anthropology in 1871 (Britian) -first anthro course in NA was at U of T (1860) -first anthro department in Canada U of T (1936) Four-field approach in North America: 1. biological/physical -focus on human biolgoy -interaction btwn biology and culture -human evolution (paleoanthropology) -primatology (non-human primates) 2. archaeology - study of past material remains 3. linguistic -past and present human languages 4. sociocultural -study of humans as social and cultural beings -contemporary societies Sometimes(5). Applied anthropology -applying anthropological perspectives, data, and methods to problems outside of academia -attempt to access and solve practical problems ex. Cultural resource management, forensics -Frans Boas (cultural relativism) “making the familiar strange and the strange familiar” terms: DON’T USE Primitive: negative connotation, DO NOT USE IN PAPER Non-industrial: Non-literal: Tribal: used in a specific way, avoid term USE Indigenous: Ethnic groups: Non-Western: Culture: Culture: a system of meanings people give to experiences they share (ex. Birth, death, food consumption, child bearing) -Shared ideas, values, beliefs and behaviour Problems with the concept of culture: - do not assign boundaries - not all members of the culture share the same view 2 meanings of culture: Culture: universal among humans culture: different cultures 5 characteristics of culture: 1. learned -transferred from 1 generation to the next 2. shared 3. adaptive 4. symbolic (art, religion, money, language) 5. integrated (interrelated aspects, political, social, economic, all dependent) culture can be seen as a text of symbols that carries meaning (gestures, words) example: Balinese cockfight -struggle for status portrayed example: Canadian hockey -about success (NA success model) we gain success through hard work, sacrifice, cooperation, rules all cultures change through internal and external influences society: people in particular geographic region, interdependent, share language Canada is a pluralistic society (different culture group) Ethnocentrism: judging other societies and cultures from ones own views and standards Ex. Polygamy, arranged marriages, cannibalism, human sacrifice -relativism or cultural relativism: behavior in one culture cannot be judged by the standards of another culture -problem: moral relativism or relativistic fallacy -methodical: why people do something? and moral relativism: no judgment at all -considering our own ethnocentric biases Fieldwork: History: th 1. armchair approach (19 century) -didn’t go out into the real situation and used other peoples reports 2. veranda approach (late 19 early 20 century) -travelled to the place but didn’t live with the people 3. fieldwork ad participant observation (early 20 century) *Bronislaw Malinowski as “father” of participant observation Fieldwork: -traditional fieldwork: conducted in small scale, non western societies, single location -current fieldwork: some projects are multi-sited, western societies, team projects Methods: 1. participant observation 2. interviews -open-ended -semi-structured -questionnaires (structured) 3. life history 4. collecting “texts” 5. historical (archival sources) ex. Demographic statistics 6. kinship data, genealogies 7. drawing maps 8. visual method (photography, videos) In the Field: -gift giving -factors influencing fieldwork: gender, age, class, language -culture shock -anthropologist as “marginal” person after fieldwork (Claude Levi-Strauss) -native anthropologist and anthropology at home at home fieldwork vs abroad factors: -home blindness -language -visa -customs Movie: Cannibal Tours How did local people view the tourists? How did the tourists view the local people? Tourist says: -they don’t really live -primitive way of life -not living, but vegetating -truly living with nature -seem happy and well fed -nature provides them with the necessities of life and they don have to worry about thinking of tomorrow -says they don’t understand money Natives say: -Germans are their dead ancestors -view the anthropologists as wealthy and the people with money, because they can travel -says the tourists read about them in books -confused as to why they are here -tourists never buy their handicrafts -tourists come but they don’t really help the people -“we have nothing, white people have money” -Germans and Australians took all of their “sacred objects” -doesn’t like tourists asking for a “second and third price” on their products, because in “big stores” you cannot negotiate - they allow the tourists to come because they give them money Ethnography: 2 uses: 1. process 2. product -ethnography is an analysis Traditional ethnographies: - attempting to give a complete description of a culture - ethnographic present recent ethnographies: - specific topics - recognition that cultures constantly change Range of ethnographies: realist ethnographies: - single author in the third person reflexive ethnographies: - inclusion of fieldwork experience - highly personalized style - multiple voices Reading: Body Ritual Among the Nacirema Natgnishaw (cultural hero)= George Washington medicineman=doctor holy mouth man= dentist witch doctor=therapist shrine in the household=bathroom charm box= medicine cabinet font under the charm box= sink mouth rite=brushing of teeth bundle of hog hairs and magic powders = toothbrush and toothpaste scraping the surface of the face wit h a sharp instrument= shaving baking heads ritual= drying hair temple or latipso= hospital *our culture can be seen as weird, we are ethnocentric, just as we find other cultures strange, they find ours equally so Ethics: AAA code of ethics -principle: do not harm -no undercover research Important Points: -Anthropologists study of humankind past and present -Anthropology as comparative and holistic -Four subfields of anthropology -Applied anthropology -Culture as a system of meaning -Fieldwork and ethnographic methods -Ethnography (2 uses) -Changes from traditional to recent ethnographies -Range of ethnographies (from realist to reflexive) -Ethical consideration when conducting fieldwork Progress and Development: Movie: The Kayapo Questions: 1. why did the Kayapo oppose the building of the hydroelectric dams of Bel Monte and the construction of the BF-163 highway? -environmentally destructive -weren’t consulted and felt their rights were violated 2. What “weapons” or means did the Kayapo use in order to resist developmentalist projects? -they threatened to block the major highway -picketed agency for Indian Affairs -wrote letters -media -video cameras to record meetings and have proof 3. How does the article define “developmentalism” or a developmentalist approach? - capital-intensive infrastructure projects such that violate the legal and human rights of local populations without regard to the environmental damage and social disruption they cause Theories for cultural change: 1) Progress - evolutionary concept - easier, less dangerous - more effective to get food problems with this approach: - equating technology with progress and progress with technology - life of foragers may not have been as harsh and dangerous as assumed - cost of producing sweet potatoes in New Guinea versus producing potatoes in United States - Illness - Progress theory as ethnocentric (western ideas of progress is associated with technology) 2) Population Growth - “necessary evil” - population growth and population density as a reason for change - slash and burn agriculture to irrigation agriculture Factors responsible for hunger and starvation: -distribution of wealth and resources -greed -natural disasters -urbanization -population growth -pollution Questions to Consider: 1. why is the world divided into rich and poor countries 2 .why do poor countries not develop and modernize History of Colonialism: colonialism: a foreign power occupies and dominates a territory and its people imperialism: - powerful states control the political and economic live of other societies - establishing of colonies not necessary neocolonialism: - most former colonies in the third world are politically independent - but continue to be economically dependent on wealthier industrial countries Age of exploration (began in the 15 century) - characterized by the expansion of trade and the establishment of colonies - Europeans viewed indigenous groups as remnants of the uncivilized past Consequences of European colonialism: - use of military force/conquest - diseases and death - significant changes in the socio-cultural economic and political life of indigenous populations - trade - slavery - Europe was able to thrive because of its colonies Outcomes: - European expansion completely changed the world - Colonialism, slavery, and force in economic imports and exports started the cycle of “underdevelopment” because it created conditions of drastic inequality - Ex. British textile industry (colonization of India, trade into china, slavery in the US) Question: The idea of the “white man’s burden” was a worldview that made colonialism seem legitimate. Does anything like the “white mans burden” shape current events in politics? Answer: white mans burden (people in the British empire were seen as unable to govern themselves, seen as needing the guidance of the British to be civilized and Christianized, a way of justifying British control and colonialism) -War in Iraq, the Americans feel that it is their duty to enforce “peace” Development: - a movement from one level to another - development often seen as economic growth economic development: - view that third world countries are backward and in need of development - distinction between developed and underdeveloped or developing countries Key Assumptions of Economic Development: 1. economic growth and development is the solution to national as well as global problems 2. global economic integration will contribute to solving global ecological and social problems 3. foreign assistance to underdeveloped countries will make things better modernization theory: - premise: all societies need t become modernized - based on the classification of the world into a) modern world (first world) b) traditional world (third world) - assumptions: third world failed to transform itself and advance, it is economically stagnant and poverty-stricken Criticism: - evolutionary assumptions - blaming third world for underdevelopment - neglecting historical and political factors contributing to poverty other approaches to development: -human development: human welfare first -sustainable development: avoiding environmental destruction International Monetary Fund (IMF) - initial role: regulate currency transactions between countries, maintaining international currency stability World Bank - initial role: lending money to governments for specific projects, especially involving physical infrastructure - -IMF and World Bank began to promote structural adjustment in the 1980s Structural Adjustment - economic and social reforms - major aim: promotion of economic development - measures: minimizing the role of the state and liberalizing markets Concrete measures examples: - cutbacks in the public sector - trade liberalization, including the reduction of tariffs - privatization of state enterprises Criticism of structural adjustment measures: - increase of debt - increase of inequalities - sharp cuts in social programs - governance structure of IMF and World Bank Critical Perspectives on Development: 1) Dependency Theory - emerged in the 1960s - historical process of capitalism affected countries differently - success of independent capitalist countries has required the failure of dependent colonies or nations (Frank 1966) 2) Arturo Escobar (1991, 1992, 1995) - post development - alternatives to development (not alternatives within development) - emphasis on social (grassroots) movements Criticism: -applying Western ideas and views of modernization and development -ignoring local people’s needs, knowledge and views (top-down approaches) Resisting and Negotiating Development: Kayapo: -
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