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Lecture 2

Anthropology week 2.docx

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Amali Philips

C h a p t e r 2 | 1 Anthropology Week 2 Anthropology, History, Colonial and Post-colonial Realities Monday September 17, 2012 Outline: - The pre-scientific phase of anthropology and explanations of cultural diversity - The historical contexts in which anthropology arose: colonialism, capitalism, and modernity and their impacts-colonial political economy - Influences of colonialism on anthropological approaches - Roots of Canadian anthropology - Post-colonial realities and impacts on anthropology Intellectual Lineages th - Interest in cultures pre-dated the scientific phase in the early 20 century; writings were speculative, prejudicial, “arm chair anthropologists” o Contemporary issues pre-dated the scientific phase o Belief in the psychic unity of mankind- mental capacity is the same o Idea that human perfection can be achieved through culture o Contemplating the Stages of Social evolution, change o Explaining human diversity-difference o Why do some institutions remain the same while others change th o The idea that culture is learned (not innate) enculturation ... John Locke and 17 c. phil Edward B Taylor o Social facts can be observed: positivism.... Auguste Comte o Comparison of society to a biological organism: parts, functions or parts... St Simone Robert Knox (1641-1720) - Wrote Historical Relation of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in 1681 - Sailor with Dutch East Indies company, imprisoned on Ceylon for twenty years and eventually escaped and wrote book, still highly regarded Explanations of Diversity Racial Determinism: Classifications of racial types. o Race concept was used to explain differences and diversity Physical variations: mental capacity, social/cultural differences Differences meant deficient: o Polygenesis: different origins of humans C h a p t e r 2 | 2 o Monogenesis: biblical story of creation; degeneration- fell from grace o Evolution: stages of evolution, primitive vs. Civilized ~ In the 20 century, race was replaced by the idea of culture to explain differences ~ Colonialism and Capitalism - Contexts and background for origins of anthropology Capitalism: an economic system dominated by a supply and demand, market designed to create capital and profit Colonialism: the cultural/economic/political domination of people by larger, wealthier powers o colonialism paved the way for capitalism; powers needed larger markets to sell to Political economy: economic interests underlay political control of natives and others o dominate countries political in order to dominate them economically - Transformation of land, labour, resources into marketable commodities (money, profit, sale); not for use o “production for need” vs. “production for profit” - Need for foreign markets to sell products and extract resources from foreign countries - Trading companies had state support: Dutch East India Co, British East India Co. Impacts - Altering the human-land relations of indigenous people - Loss of traditional subsistence patterns - Acculturation: loss of culture via culture contact (cultural genocide; IE residential schools) - Altering gender balance, egalitarianism - Diseases decimated local populations (genocide) - New forms of exchange: money, wages, trade - Slavery: people became commodities - ‘civilizing missions’ of missionaries (converting); residential schools - “white man’s burden”: colonial responsibilities to modernize - New social institutions: courts, schools, laws, police, family system Wednesday September 19, 2012 Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter - Research early anthropologists gathered was used by Colonial administrators o anthropologists did not always agree to do this, but their research was used any way “Anthropology was the outcome of a process which made the larger part of mankind subservient to the other” (Levi-Straus) C h a p t e r 2 | 3 - Anthropology as “the handmaidens of colonialism” - Seeds of anthropology in “colonial imperialism” (Eric Wolfe) o colonialism allowed for anthropology to take place - Colonialism and capitalism provided the opportunity, support, and rationale for anthropological research o gave financial and military support, access, and it was easy for anthropologists to study colonized countries Role of anthropologists under colonialism: - Researchers - Administrators - Intelligence agents - Educators of colonialist administrators Intellectual and Other Interests Curiosity and adventure Salvaging: preserve a culture before they became extinct -- observers finding cultures in time via writing; wilderness, borderland people became targets of research in Canada Buffers: between natives and rulers – soften the blow of political domination, sensitivity to other cultures Survivals: reconstructing the evolution of practices and institutions (search for pure cultures) Roots of Canadian Anthropology Three influences in the development of Canadian anthropology 1. National Museum of Canada 2. Academic departments (First at U of T) 3. Applied work – advocates of First Nations Three Major Schools of Thought: Influencing Canadian Anthropologist 1. British: evolutionist
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