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Lecture 31 Part 1 – Ideology- People and the Cosmos

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Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 31 Part 1 – Ideology: People and the Cosmos  What is Ideology? o How people take the world and make it intelligible o Non-subsistence/social things  E.g. religion, spirituality o Cognitive archaeology  How people think and symbolize their world  E.g. Colin Renfrew o Worldview  How to “see” ideologies? o Exist in the minds of the people in the past  Ephemeral in nature  Hard to find hard evidence o Often considered epiphenomenal and ignored by archaeologists o If something didn’t make sense it was labelled ideology o Archaeologists predetermined that ideology was difficult to see and unimportant; so there was no point in looking  Why did archaeologists change? o Rise of Post-Processual archaeology  Increased emphasis on the people-centered  Human agency: individuals (agents or actors) are important and can have significant impact on society through choices they make  Different questions being asked  Looking for meanings not laws  Acknowledgement that ideology/worldview can be a significant factor in how people live their lives  Possibly imbued in all activities  Tools Embraced by Post-Processual Archaeology o Practice Theory  Articulated by Sherri Ortner and
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