Week 1 Lecture 1
Read first 3 chapters of the Indian book
The study of tourism.
Anthro is a inter disciplinary study
You have to understand the cultural stand points of it. Example: A
system of bartering where we can barter with a group while they came
to America they’d have to pay full price for the item. Western
stereotypes in ethnocentrism to display how even when we’re trying to
be sensitive but aren’t.
Link Ethnocentrism like an example of tourism. People going into a
country and calling them primitive
Week 2 Lecture 1
British Anthropologists something Malnofsky was born 1884 in Poland.
Decided to do a native field study. Went out to study the Mailu people
off the South coast of New Guiana. All aspects f social life was served for
basic human needs like shelter, food, and reproduction. Known as
functionalism. The satisfaction of biological needs is functionalism.
Culture creates implements, weapons, and means of transport.
Breakthrough was he when he was able to learn the Native English and
ask his own questions. Participant observation is being part of
everything and participating in it. His approach is holistic because
living their life and being apart of the tribe is being able to see the whole
picture. Sees multiple lenses of one particular practice.
Week 3 Lecture 1 Jan 21
Enculturation: When someone learns his or her own culture. Becomes
a natural behavior, but some people as they grow older lose their
culture Ethnocentrism: Believing your culture is superior. You judge other
cultures from your own standpoints and see other people’s morals and
values as strange. Anthropology wants to work against ethnocentrism
Cultural Relativism: Trying to understand a culture on their own
grounds. Believe cultures have different morals and accept and try to
Fieldwork: Working in a different place and stay there for a period of
time while learning about the culture
Participant observation: Participating and immersing yourself in
everyday life of the culture. Learned their language and values and
beliefs to experience their culture in the inside
Positivism: An approach (used for the beginning of the 20 century)
where you tried to treat a natural science as a hard science. Criticized
because it doesn’t give you the whole picture because it is human beings
that change and don’t act the same way every single time.
Reflexivity: Being aware that you come from a different culture and
being aware of how you can influence the research. For example, a
woman wouldn’t be accepted as easily to be taken hunting because its
more of a man thing to do
Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians
- Written in 1971 by a French anthropologist
- Ethnography: Based on direct observation
- First chapter: Birth process
The ethnographer compares the birth process of the Guayaki to
the one of his own culture
Holist approach: Birth process is linked to economical, political,
and religious phenomenon
Columbus and the Indians
Columbus depictions of the Indians correspond to his own
preconceptions and fantasies Christopher Columbus
- Discovered America in 1492
- Was loyal to the Spanish Crown
- Was looking for trade routs to arrive to India
Columbus First Impressions on the Natives
- Absence of clothing (Believed that meant an absence of any customs)
- Absence of law, religion, and rights
- A kind of blank page on which Spanish religion and customs could be
- The Indians are good, peaceful, and generous
- The Indians are savage,, cruel, and thieves
Columbus describes them in both way because it has a huge influence
on later philosophers.
Hobbes believed the natives lives in a state close to nature and they
didn’t have any kind of civilization. Believed the lived without law, had
no money, was brutes, etc.
Rousseau criticized Hobbes. Agreed that Indians lived in the state of
nature, but believed they are good, generous, and peaceful people
because civilization is the thing that corrupts individuals
He interprets the Natives through his own values:
- Valorizing material wealth (generosity = stupidity)
- Valorizing private property (taking = robbing)
This is the natives way of making an alliance
A culture where you can see, like their goods and social relations
Columbus Failed to Consider
- What is valuable or not is a convention - A different system does not mean the absence of a system
Projecting our own Values to try to understand the Natives
Very problematic because different behaviors are judged to be stupid or
inconsequent because they are misinterpreted as imperfect versions of
our selves (ethnocentrism). This is a way of justifying domination and
From Assimilation to Enslavement
The Natives: Are not to be considered subjects and should be treated as
resources to exploit
The Natives were not immune to European Viruses, like influenza and
- Started with the discovery of America
- It was the perfect excuse to colonize the Natives because they were
seen as not having laws or anything.
- Has a historical period. From the 15 to the 20 centuries, many
European countries have appropriated territories in order to exploit the
local people and the natural resources for their own advantage
- The political control over another country, which implies an
occupation of settlers and an economic exploitation
- Extraction of material wealth
- Imposed and maintained by force
- Emphasizes the centrality of material interest (economy) and the use
of power (politics) European countries that colonized America:
European countries that colonized Africa
Countries colonized by England
- South Africa
Canada was colonized by France and England
- The territory was considered an empty wilderness
- There was an interest in fur commerce
- The colonizers turned the land into a commodity
- They elaborated assimilation policies towards the Natives (seeking to
extinguish the Aboriginal titles to the land without violating the British
Conquered places in which colonial administrators, merchants and local
elites defended their own interest, exploiting local population as their
Impact of Colonialism
Colonialism destructed the local order.
An example: - People having to start paying taxes to the colonial power. Hunter-
gatherers (in South Africa) couldn’t pay in game. This forced local
population to find work and do jobs such as mine work.
- Destruction of the complementary aspect of the sexual division of
- The persistence of profound social and economic entanglements
linking former colonial territories to their former rulers despite being
their own countries (political sovereignty)
Anthropology was born in colonial times (19 century)
- Arm-chair anthropologists (Sitting at home making their own
judgments looking at other researcher’s information. No fieldwork)
Evolutionism of 19 century
- A problematic theory that stipulates that all human groups follow the
same stages of cultural evolution
- All human groups are aligned in a single evolution line from the most
primitive to most civilized
- Evolutionist of the 19 century
- Believed everyone went through 3 stages in human evolution.
1. Savagery 2. Barbarism 3. Civilization
How were evolutionist theories used to justify colonialism?
Why are evolutionist theories very ethnocentric, misleading and
On which grounds can we consider a culture more evolved than
another? These theories are ethnocentric since they classify different people
based on Western values
Movie: BBQ Area (Babakiuieria) Jan 25
A perspective of colonialism but opposite. The movie makes the white
How do you explain the title of the film?
The same with Canada, our name is just a misunderstanding and was
How is the film a satirical role-reversal of colonization?
It’s extremely accurate and was a complete reversal on how Canada is
with whites and blacks
How does the film make us critically think of the Native situation in
In the film we saw what it looks like to be treated as if we were the
Natives. Although it happens now a days to the Natives, seeing it in the
eyes of this was happening to us is an eye opener
The hungters- !Kung of the Kalahri
1. How does the band system work?
2. Make note of the economic system and gendered division of
3. How are young boys acculturated?
The band system: Hunter-gatherer system that is semi-nomatic (they’re
nomatic people) which means the people move to where the food is.
Don’t have distinct settlements but if there was no food systems around
they would move.
Work of the woman is to spend all day to gathering/uncovering roots,
berries, and plants from the ground. Hunting is for the men. Boys are to
start learning to hunt early in life, but they are not taught they learn
from experience. Depending on how much interest they have in hunting would show through on who would become better hunters than others.
Boys would be considered a man would be based on their hunting skills.
They’re told to bring a certain animal home, like an ox, after hunting and
that is when they get their scars that show them they’re ready for
marriage. Weapons (like spears, bows, and arrows) are all handmade.
Poison tips are made for the arrows to kill the animals easier.
Concentrate on chapters 1, 2, 3, & 7
60 multiple choice and true and false
Look at slides and complete information with the textbook
Instead of poor..
They are societies of leisure: They have a lot of free time to spend with
They are well nourished, having a balanced diet. They can be picky
about what they choose to eat.
Sexual Division of Labor
Women gather $70 of the diet
Men hunt 30% of the diet
Need in a vague concept
We can satisfy the need of hunger: By eating rice and beans or steak and
In the Western World: We valorize quantity and diversity
Among the !Kung San: Having enough o satisfy hunger and share kin
Are material possessions a universal measure of wealth and
No, material posessions are not a universal measure of wealth and
To be rich means to be well integrated in a community. To be poor is to
be isolated. Economic Anthropology
- Not all societies set he same economical priorities
- Different societies use different principles to organize their economic
- Economic processes cannot be considered apart from the cultural
institutions in which they are embedded
-Obtaining the most possible at the smallest possible cost
- Relatively recent cultural invention
-Not all societies follow his system
Making the capitalist system the prototype of human rationality is
ethnocentric and reductionist
Marcel Mauss (1872-1950)
- French anthropologist
- Gift exchange theory (give and counter given)
Contrasting different economic systems
- Gift exchange: reciprocity and redistribution
- Deeply embedded in social relationships
- Gift and market exchange: accumulation
- What links participants in cash, trading money
Gift exchange Egalitarian societies
The example of hunter-gatherers bands
- Institutionalized sharing: Giving and counter-giving
- The one who has the prestigious position is the one who gives: Giving
has more value than receiving. Why?
Because those you gave to are in debt to you Kula (Melanesia)
Cultural example of gift economy: What is important to exchange, not to
Red shell necklaces traded to the North
White shell necklaces traded to the South
These Kula necklaces and armbands cannot be sold as commodities:
- They do not have an economical value per se.
- Nevertheless they are very prestigious and valued
Question: What is the purpose of these ceremonial exchanges?
- If no one keeps the goods, these are circulating around, what is the
- To create relationships and links between people. The mutual
obligations such as hospitality, protection and assistance. The
relationships that are created are more important than the good giving
and counter-giving is more important than having.
Cultural example of redistribution:
- Potlatch means “to give away”
- Big feasts where the accumulated goods (food, clothing, etc.) are
The status of any given group is raised not by who has the most
resources, but by who redistributes the most resources
Descent allows us to form different kind of social groups and even
political organizations such as:
A descent group composed of consanguine members or blood relatives
who believe they can trace their descent from known ancestors. The dad’s lineage is passed onto their offspring. The lineage is passed on
to the son’s children but not the daughter’s. The daughter’s children
would be part of her husband’s lineage
- A social group formed by people connected by father-child links
- They recognize the patrilineal descent
- It is prohibited to marry in the patrilineage; considered incestuous
The Nuer (Sudan, Africa)
Studied in 1930 by the English functionalist anthropologist Evans-
As a political organization
- The lineage is a corporate group (Ie, has a single legal personality
- As the Ashanti put it, a lineage is “one person”
- All members of a lineage are equal in law to all others
- They control property (like land) as a unit
- Does that mean that in a matrilineage women rule over man?
- No, matrilineage is not just the inverted mirror of a patrilneage
- The most important relation in a matrileanage is the sister-brother
- The real authtority figure for a mother’s son is not his proper father
but his maternal uncle
The avunculate relationship
- The special relationship between a sister’s son and his maternal uncle
Why is the avunculate relationship so important in a matrilineage?
Because a son is not a member of his father’s lineage but only his
maternal uncle lineage
The Trobriand Islanders
Studies at the beginning of the 20 century by the English Functionalist Clan
- A descent group formed by members who believe they have a common
(sometimes mythical) ancestor, even if they cannot specify the
- We find a different kinship terminology same-gender siblings: A
father’s brother’s children or a mother’s sister’s children
- The children of a person’s parents same gender siblings. A father’s
brother’s children or a mother’s sister’s children
- The children of a person’s parents’ opposite-gender siblings; A father’s
sister’s children or a mother’s brother’s children
- It uses kinship terms that merge or equate with established classes of
- For example: A cross cousin can designate the son of the father’s
female cousin who’s position corresponds to that of a father’s sister
Marriage and Mating
- Marriage is not synonymous with mating.
- It involves a change in the social position of the participants
- Gives offspring a position in s