Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (630,000)
York (40,000)
ANTH (600)
Lecture 1

ANTH 2170 Lecture 1: Evolutionary Myths and Animal Tales


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 2170
Professor
Arne Steinforth
Lecture
1

This preview shows pages 1-2. to view the full 6 pages of the document.
In#the#beginning
Cosmic#Origins
Mythical#Love#Stories
Adam#and#Eve#(Christianity)
Adam#&#Hawwah#(Judaism)
Adam#&#Hawwa#(Islam)
Eurocentric#Dichotomies
Non-ambiguous#binary
Biologically#predetermined
Behaviourally#perspective
Defining#criterion#of#sociality
Roles#in#society
How#they#connect#with#each#other#-their#interconnectedness
"According#to##[Claude#Levi-Strauss],#all#cultures#are#sign#systems#that#
express#deeply#held#cognitive#predispositions#to#categorize#the#world#in#
binary#oppositions"#(Duranti,#1997).
Structural#Anthropology
Claude#Levi-Strauss
French#anthropologist#-1908-2009
Founding#figure#of#structural#anthropology
Ground-breaking#work#on#kinship,#ritual,#mythology;#research#in#Brazil
Alliance#theory:
Society#&#Classification
Structural#Anthropology#as…#arguing#that#societies#tend#to#structure#their#
worldviews#in#binary#oppositions#(e.g.#day-night,#life-death,#scared-profane,#
wilderness,#raw-cooked,#male-female
Considering#binary#oppositions#as#basic#patterns#of#social#classification##("deep#
structure#of#the#human#mind")
Including#binary#oppositions#mediated#and/or#resolved#by#a#third#concept#
(ternary#opposition:#thesis#-antithesis#-synthesis):#e.g#day#-night#-dusk/dawn,#
etc.
You#have#an#A#and#B,#but#also#a#C
Losing#much#of#its#scholarly#influence#by#the#1980s#(no#longer#considered#
universally#applicable#theoretical#school)
Overcoming#the#Mythical#Divide
"Every#society#has#come#to#terms#with#the#dilemma#of#a#dual-sexed#
species,#finding#the#common#ground#of#humanity#through#
complementary#parts.#
Divine#beings,#neither#Male#nor#Female
Ardhanarishvara#(India)
Hermaphroditos#(Greece)
Lan#Caihe#(China)
Mahatala-Jata#(Borneo0
Nana#Buluku#(Benin)
Nibur#(Simur)
Chromosomal#Binaries
Biological#Determinism
Sexual#Asymmetry
Simone#de#Beauvoir
French#philosopher#and#social#theorist,#1908-1986
Significant#work#in#feminist#theory;#feminist#existentialism,#gender#roles,#
activism;#'myths#about#women'
Sexual#asymmetry#as#universal,#based#on#pattern#of#binary#oppositions:#
female#acceptance#of#'passive,#alienated'#role#(male#'active#subjective#
demands')
Sex Gender
Biological Social
Objective Subjective
Universal VS. Specific
'Natural' 'Cultural'
Body Mind
Structure Agency
Sex#vs#Gender#as#fundamental#analytical#distinction,#introduced#by#feminist#
scholarship#in#1960s#and#1970s
About#Sex
Clarifying#Basic#Concepts#(Mascia-Lees,#2010)
Sex#as#categorization#of#a#person,#largely#by#characteristics#of#the#body,#
as#male#or#female#(or#both/neither)
Sex#difference#as#"those#features,#usually#of#anatomy,#that#a#society#or#
group#assumes#distinguish#females#and#males.#Although#physical#sex#
differences#form#the#basis#of#society's#ideas#about#gender,#gender#is#not#
biological#reality"
Sexual#Diversity#as#"term#used#to#acknowledge#the#multiple#ways#in#
which#individuals#experience#their#sexuality"
Concerning#Gender
More#conceptual#Clarifications#(Mascia-Lees,#2010)
Gender#as#"The#socially#and#culturally#produced#ideas#about#the#
differences#between#females#and#males#in#a#particular#society
Gender#Identity#as#"the#very#idea#of#what#it#means#to#be#a#man#or#a#
woman#in#a#particular#society.#[…]#Because#gender#is#social,#not#
biological,#individuals#can#contest,#negotiate,#shift,#and#change#gender#
ideals#and#identity,#although#this#is#often#a#difficult#and#painful#process
Gender#satisfaction#as#"a#system#of#institutionalized#inequalities#that#
differentially#grants#access#to#resources,#power,#prestige,#and#
opportunities#on#the#basis#of#whether#a#person#is#female#or#male"
Different#kinds#of#Normal
Gender#Role#Expectations
"[]#arise#from#society's#ideas#about#the#social#skills,#abilities.
Norm#&#Normativity
What#(or#who)#is#Normal?
Social#Norms#as#prescriptive#behavioural#patterns#that
Occur#frequently#and/ora.
Are#socially#regarded#as#desirable#b.
Normality Difference
What#society#considers#as#default,#
statistical#average
What#society#considers#as#other#than#
normal
Normativity Deviance
What#society#considers#as#morally#
right,#acceptable,#or#appropriate
What#society#considers#as#apposed#to#its#
norms,#as#immoral,#or#unacceptable
The#Dawn#of#Evolution
Charles#Darwin
Monogenism,#opposition#to#scientific#racism
Controversy#of#humans#being#descended#from#animals
Evolutionism#as#Quest#for#Origins
Evolution#goes##social
Social#Evolution#as…
Comparative#approach#to#the#study#of#human#societies#and#their#development,#
c.1860s#to#1940s
Postulating#a#common#origin#of#human#societies#and#their#universal#
development#from#'simple/primitive'#to#'complex/civilized'#forms#(unilineal#
evolution)
Later#devalued#as#speculative,#selective,#ethnocentric,#and#ideologically#
charged#(colonialism,#scientific#racism);#no#longer#considered#universally#
applicable
Revived#by#present-day#neo-evolutionism#focusing#on#modes#of#human#
adaptation#(multilinear#evolution);#residue#of#evolutionist#thought#in#(non-
critical)#development#theory
Sociobiology
Sociobiology#as#systematic#study#of#biological#basis#of#social#behaviour#(animal#
and#human)
Critiquing#Evolutionary#Perspectives
Evolutionary#Psychology
Dominating#discussions#of#evolutions#in#the#public#sphere,#often#defining#
'popular#science'
Providing#explanations#for#emergence#of#supposedly#universal#human#
characteristics
Considering#alleged#difference#between#sexed#as#outcome#of#long#evolutionary#
selection#process#"in#which#men#hunted#and#women#gathered,#in#which#
families#we#formed#in#certain#ways,#and#through#which#certain#dispositions#
thus#acquired#a#genetic,#hormonal,#and#neural#cast.
De-Naturalizing#Difference
Human#nature#ties#to#the#specific#developments#over#time
The#concepts#of#nature#can#be#scrutinized.
Differences#between#groups#of#people#(including#sex,#genders)#as#often#
explained#by#natural#reasons
Naturalization#of#Difference#as#serving#to#justify#inequalities#(one#being#deemed#
'naturally#inferior')
Naturalizing#Power#as#declaring#inequalities#(e.g.#unequal#access#to#privileges#or#
resources)#to#be#inevitable#and#based#on#supposedly#inherent#differences
Feminist#scholarship#(and#social#anthropology)#as#engaged#in#questioning#
arguments#of#'natural'#difference#(e.g.#in#behaviour,#motivation,#aptitude)
Beyond#the#myth#of#'Man#the#Hunter'
Considered#that#Male#'nature'#to#be#aggressive,#a#warrior,#violent,#etc.
The#Agta#of#the#Philippines#are#often#cited#as#evidence#that#women#can#
hunt#just#as#good#as#men,#despite#encumbrances#of#childcare.#Many#
women#(In#Paraguay#and#Venezuela)#participate#in#hunting#activities.#
They#engage#in#activities#that#help#man#successfully#since#cannot#kills#
medium-large#scaled#animals
No#Natural#Order#of#Things
No#'Natural#(i.e#universal)#Mode#of#sex-specific#Division#of#Labour
Man-Made#'Nature'?#
"What#we#see#in##nature,#in#the#world#and#in#human#bodies#is#very#caught#up#in#
questions#of#social#and#political#order,#that#is,#in#what#we#want#to#see"
Born#that#way#or#become#that#way?
Biology#vs.#society#in#Sex#and#gender
The#Nature#vs.#nurture'#Debate
Human#Behaviour#as#primarily#defined#by
One's#inherent#nature#(biology:#'born#that#way')?
One's#specific#nurture#(society:#'become#that#way')?
Beyond#Biological# and#Social#Determinism
Recognizing#multiple#factors#of#Genetic#Gender#(genotype),#Somatic#
Gender#(phenotype,#sex#characteristics),#Psychological#Gender#(self-
perception,#behaviour),#Social#Gender#(cultural#categories,#perception),#
etc.
What#gene?
The#gene#is#this#important#piece#of#research#which#is#receiving#more#attention#
that#requires#more#scientific#analysis
Genetic#Basis#of
Male#Infidelity?
Pedophilia?
Sexual#Violence?
Gender#Inequality?
All#these#issues#have#been#looked#at#how#they#are#related#to#the#
genetically#make-up#as#males,#the#societies#that#make#these#
structures.#
§
"Human#behaviour#is#the##complex#outcome#of#both#biological#and#social#
factors.#Them#problem#with#'nature#versus#nurture'#debate#is#that#
proponents#on#both#sides#often#do#not#take#this#complexity#into#account"#
(Mascia-Lees,#2010)
Evolutionary,Myths,and,Animal,Tales

Only pages 1-2 are available for preview. Some parts have been intentionally blurred.

In#the#beginning
Cosmic#Origins
Mythical#Love#Stories
Adam#and#Eve#(Christianity)
Adam#&#Hawwah#(Judaism)
Adam#&#Hawwa#(Islam)
Eurocentric#Dichotomies
Sex#as#females#vs.#males
Non-ambiguous#binary
Biologically#predetermined
Behaviourally#perspective
Defining#criterion#of#sociality
Roles#in#society
How#they#connect#with#each#other#-their#interconnectedness
"According#to##[Claude#Levi-Strauss],#all#cultures#are#sign#systems#that#
express#deeply#held#cognitive#predispositions#to#categorize#the#world#in#
binary#oppositions"#(Duranti,#1997).
Structural#Anthropology
Claude#Levi-Strauss
French#anthropologist#-1908-2009
Founding#figure#of#structural#anthropology
Ground-breaking#work#on#kinship,#ritual,#mythology;#research#in#Brazil
Alliance#theory:
Society#&#Classification
Structural#Anthropology#as…#arguing#that#societies#tend#to#structure#their#
worldviews#in#binary#oppositions#(e.g.#day-night,#life-death,#scared-profane,#
wilderness,#raw-cooked,#male-female
Considering#binary#oppositions#as#basic#patterns#of#social#classification##("deep#
structure#of#the#human#mind")
Including#binary#oppositions#mediated#and/or#resolved#by#a#third#concept#
(ternary#opposition:#thesis#-antithesis#-synthesis):#e.g#day#-night#-dusk/dawn,#
etc.
You#have#an#A#and#B,#but#also#a#C
Losing#much#of#its#scholarly#influence#by#the#1980s#(no#longer#considered#
universally#applicable#theoretical#school)
Overcoming#the#Mythical#Divide
"Every#society#has#come#to#terms#with#the#dilemma#of#a#dual-sexed#
species,#finding#the#common#ground#of#humanity#through#
complementary#parts.#
Divine#beings,#neither#Male#nor#Female
Ardhanarishvara#(India)
Hermaphroditos#(Greece)
Lan#Caihe#(China)
Mahatala-Jata#(Borneo0
Nana#Buluku#(Benin)
Nibur#(Simur)
Chromosomal#Binaries
Biological#Determinism
Sexual#Asymmetry
Simone#de#Beauvoir
French#philosopher#and#social#theorist,#1908-1986
Significant#work#in#feminist#theory;#feminist#existentialism,#gender#roles,#
activism;#'myths#about#women'
Sexual#asymmetry#as#universal,#based#on#pattern#of#binary#oppositions:#
female#acceptance#of#'passive,#alienated'#role#(male#'active#subjective#
demands')
Sex
Gender
Biological
Social
Objective
Subjective
Universal
VS.
Specific
'Natural'
'Cultural'
Body
Mind
Structure
Agency
Sex#vs#Gender#as#fundamental#analytical#distinction,#introduced#by#feminist#
scholarship#in#1960s#and#1970s
About#Sex
Clarifying#Basic#Concepts#(Mascia-Lees,#2010)
Sex#as#categorization#of#a#person,#largely#by#characteristics#of#the#body,#
as#male#or#female#(or#both/neither)
Sex#difference#as#"those#features,#usually#of#anatomy,#that#a#society#or#
group#assumes#distinguish#females#and#males.#Although#physical#sex#
differences#form#the#basis#of#society's#ideas#about#gender,#gender#is#not#
biological#reality"
Sexual#Diversity#as#"term#used#to#acknowledge#the#multiple#ways#in#
which#individuals#experience#their#sexuality"
Concerning#Gender
More#conceptual#Clarifications#(Mascia-Lees,#2010)
Gender#as#"The#socially#and#culturally#produced#ideas#about#the#
differences#between#females#and#males#in#a#particular#society
Gender#Identity#as#"the#very#idea#of#what#it#means#to#be#a#man#or#a#
woman#in#a#particular#society.#[…]#Because#gender#is#social,#not#
biological,#individuals#can#contest,#negotiate,#shift,#and#change#gender#
ideals#and#identity,#although#this#is#often#a#difficult#and#painful#process
Gender#satisfaction#as#"a#system#of#institutionalized#inequalities#that#
differentially#grants#access#to#resources,#power,#prestige,#and#
opportunities#on#the#basis#of#whether#a#person#is#female#or#male"
Different#kinds#of#Normal
Gender#Role#Expectations
"[]#arise#from#society's#ideas#about#the#social#skills,#abilities.
Norm#&#Normativity
What#(or#who)#is#Normal?
Social#Norms#as#prescriptive#behavioural#patterns#that
Occur#frequently#and/ora.
Are#socially#regarded#as#desirable#b.
Normality Difference
What#society#considers#as#default,#
statistical#average
What#society#considers#as#other#than#
normal
Normativity Deviance
What#society#considers#as#morally#
right,#acceptable,#or#appropriate
What#society#considers#as#apposed#to#its#
norms,#as#immoral,#or#unacceptable
The#Dawn#of#Evolution
Charles#Darwin
Monogenism,#opposition#to#scientific#racism
Controversy#of#humans#being#descended#from#animals
Evolutionism#as#Quest#for#Origins
Evolution#goes##social
Social#Evolution#as…
Comparative#approach#to#the#study#of#human#societies#and#their#development,#
c.1860s#to#1940s
Postulating#a#common#origin#of#human#societies#and#their#universal#
development#from#'simple/primitive'#to#'complex/civilized'#forms#(unilineal#
evolution)
Later#devalued#as#speculative,#selective,#ethnocentric,#and#ideologically#
charged#(colonialism,#scientific#racism);#no#longer#considered#universally#
applicable
Revived#by#present-day#neo-evolutionism#focusing#on#modes#of#human#
adaptation#(multilinear#evolution);#residue#of#evolutionist#thought#in#(non-
critical)#development#theory
Sociobiology
Sociobiology#as#systematic#study#of#biological#basis#of#social#behaviour#(animal#
and#human)
Critiquing#Evolutionary#Perspectives
Evolutionary#Psychology
Dominating#discussions#of#evolutions#in#the#public#sphere,#often#defining#
'popular#science'
Providing#explanations#for#emergence#of#supposedly#universal#human#
characteristics
Considering#alleged#difference#between#sexed#as#outcome#of#long#evolutionary#
selection#process#"in#which#men#hunted#and#women#gathered,#in#which#
families#we#formed#in#certain#ways,#and#through#which#certain#dispositions#
thus#acquired#a#genetic,#hormonal,#and#neural#cast.
De-Naturalizing#Difference
Human#nature#ties#to#the#specific#developments#over#time
The#concepts#of#nature#can#be#scrutinized.
Differences#between#groups#of#people#(including#sex,#genders)#as#often#
explained#by#natural#reasons
Naturalization#of#Difference#as#serving#to#justify#inequalities#(one#being#deemed#
'naturally#inferior')
Naturalizing#Power#as#declaring#inequalities#(e.g.#unequal#access#to#privileges#or#
resources)#to#be#inevitable#and#based#on#supposedly#inherent#differences
Feminist#scholarship#(and#social#anthropology)#as#engaged#in#questioning#
arguments#of#'natural'#difference#(e.g.#in#behaviour,#motivation,#aptitude)
Beyond#the#myth#of#'Man#the#Hunter'
Considered#that#Male#'nature'#to#be#aggressive,#a#warrior,#violent,#etc.
The#Agta#of#the#Philippines#are#often#cited#as#evidence#that#women#can#
hunt#just#as#good#as#men,#despite#encumbrances#of#childcare.#Many#
women#(In#Paraguay#and#Venezuela)#participate#in#hunting#activities.#
They#engage#in#activities#that#help#man#successfully#since#cannot#kills#
medium-large#scaled#animals
No#Natural#Order#of#Things
No#'Natural#(i.e#universal)#Mode#of#sex-specific#Division#of#Labour
Man-Made#'Nature'?#
"What#we#see#in##nature,#in#the#world#and#in#human#bodies#is#very#caught#up#in#
questions#of#social#and#political#order,#that#is,#in#what#we#want#to#see"
Born#that#way#or#become#that#way?
Biology#vs.#society#in#Sex#and#gender
The#Nature#vs.#nurture'#Debate
Human#Behaviour#as#primarily#defined#by
One's#inherent#nature#(biology:#'born#that#way')?
One's#specific#nurture#(society:#'become#that#way')?
Beyond#Biological# and#Social#Determinism
Recognizing#multiple#factors#of#Genetic#Gender#(genotype),#Somatic#
Gender#(phenotype,#sex#characteristics),#Psychological#Gender#(self-
perception,#behaviour),#Social#Gender#(cultural#categories,#perception),#
etc.
What#gene?
The#gene#is#this#important#piece#of#research#which#is#receiving#more#attention#
that#requires#more#scientific#analysis
Genetic#Basis#of
Male#Infidelity?
Pedophilia?
Sexual#Violence?
Gender#Inequality?
All#these#issues#have#been#looked#at#how#they#are#related#to#the#
genetically#make-up#as#males,#the#societies#that#make#these#
structures.#
§
"Human#behaviour#is#the##complex#outcome#of#both#biological#and#social#
factors.#Them#problem#with#'nature#versus#nurture'#debate#is#that#
proponents#on#both#sides#often#do#not#take#this#complexity#into#account"#
(Mascia-Lees,#2010)
Evolutionary,Myths,and,Animal,Tales
You're Reading a Preview

Unlock to view full version