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ANTH 2170 - Lecture - January 17th, 2013.docx

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ANTH 2170
Sonja Mac Donald

ANTH 2170 Lecture January 17 , 2013 Brief History of Anthropology The study of humanity across time and space  Arm-chair anthropology  Early anthropology dominated by physical evolutionary perspective  Anthropometric studies  Louis Henry Morgan – social evolutionism --  Great deal of human diversity, this became a curious question to the public and a social policy question  People needed to make sense of the land and the inhabitants  There was a lot of cultural, political and social concerns with regards to non-whites and white inhabitants  Natural historians (biological diversity, geographical data, etc)  Anthro domain studies the nature of human beings o Tried to find answers to the differences of hierarchy, and social actions – this was the first through and domain that was encountered in anthropology o How can you explain the differences in which people behave, what are the proper behaviours of men and women, how can this be explained  Prior to the 1800’s = pre scientific era o How can racial and other factors be explained o The world was considered god’s creation, not a part of evolition o Science and religion weren’t different identities at the time  After the acceptance of science the questions of human diversity became a more scienfitic endeavour  Armchair anthropologist o First kinds of anthropologists – scholars, medical doctors, sat in their studies in England and Belgium, etc, and studied o They never met the people that they studied o The distance created a lack of understanding o They had a moral hierarchy over others in terms of their findings – knowledge superiority o European society as superior and that everyone is measured against them o This was considered the evolutionary perspective  Evolutionary perspective o Idea of hierarchy, European man was on top, the idea that you could rank other races based on European dominance o This fit well with the doctrine of creationism (God) o This was advantageous for colonial power to think of others as lesser then human kind o Some thought that non Europeans were not considered humans o Darwin – survival of the fittest, adaptation, reproduce the most successfully  Anthropometric studies o Great age of classification o Classifying by characteristics ANTH 2170 Lecture January 17 , 2013 o Anthropologists attempting to understand racial differences – they used this same concept o Once classified you tend to get hierarchal classification o Anthropometric: measuring humans, measuring human body parts and using that to classify people – as if measuring your body could tell someone how intelligent, criminally active, sexuality etc..  Louis Henry Morgan – social evolutionism o Father of American cultural anthropology o Trained as a lawyer, and has a great interest in social anthropology o He was a good guy – (LINKED WITH ARTICLES FOR THIS WEEK) o He disagreed with races as hierarchal different o He wanted to show that the Iroquois (whom he devoted a lot of time being involved and advocating for) o There is social evolution – primitive  civilized – (savagery, barbarism, civilization) – commenting on the fundamental rightness of the way in which people live their lives – he was trying to be helpful and say that this is what anthropology should study o He said that nature intended for everyone to reach civilization, but some didn’t make it there, and that those people can be helped to be socially evolved o What makes common sense – this gets projected onto this model and thus internalized o He believed that evolution was a slow process and that it also begins to be tied into different kinds of interventions that these dominant societies make against the primitive societies o What are the consequences of this kind of scientific thinking? o What should be done about the lower people on the scale such as indigenous people?  He thought that the dominant society should help bring them up to their level, and solve the problem of their primitiveness – mixing the two populations  I.E. residential schooling (SOCI 3630)  Assimilation  Problematic idea o The idea of the primitive other becomes prominent in European thinking o What are the implications of this mode of thinking?  It was convenient for nations that were dominating, and absorbed lesser regions  Canada was a fertile new land, new conquered territories benefited from these ways of thinking  Science has been used to justify the dominant views of today – benefited the dominant societies in terms of agriculture, technological and industrial progress o Who is to say w
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