ISS 210 notes anthropology and culture

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Integrative Studies Social Sci
ISS 210

Tuesday, February 25, y ISS SOCIETY AND THE INDIVIDUAL Anthropology- the study of human diversity across time and geographic space. The four fields: Biological- human evolution, human biological differences,primatology Archaeology- material culture, pre historic civilizations, garbalogy Cultural- cultural meaning, shared practices, most common,but least well known, individual vs. shared Methods: ethnography- and in-depth interpretive description of a cultural or cultural practice. Participant observation is a must Linguistic- human language, historical,structural,cultural Creating language of inclusion, structural aspect of language, grammar, speak it and understand it, understand cultural import if the language practice Methods: formal analysis of sound, sociolinguistics, ethnography, thinking of how groups of people and styles connect, how cultural beliefs come about Frank Boas The father of American anthropology 1900 Native Americans communities in Pacific Northwest Holistic approach- the "whole" thing Research teams studied every aspect of a cultural, biological, cultural, etc. Early anthropology Focus small "isolated" "exotic" societies Scientific endeavor to gain larger truths or laws of human cultures and behaviors Goal: the monograph Anthropology and sociology Exotic vs. western societies. Methods: qualitative vs. quantitative New trends Anthropology vs. psychology Group dynamics and shared beliefs vs. inner cognitive and mental processes But some overlap Margret Mead- freedom, consumption, diversity, equal, open, naive Methods in anthropology- archaeology, biological, linguistic, cultural 1 Tuesday, February 25, y More key definitions Informants or consultants Key consultants Etic Outside perspective Emic Inside perspective Ethnographic methods: In addition to participant observation: -interviews Structured and open ended -life histories -genealogies -longitudinal research -individual vs. team research Benefits of individual Easier to mesh with culture Adopted into the community Benefits of team Other peoples ideas The father of field work, Bronislaw Malinowski 1920 Trobriand islands, near New Guinea How to record observations? Field notes Detailed vs. brief notes Negatives of detail Time consuming Takes away from other observations Audio recording Video photography Mapmaking Observers paradox: when you observe something you change it. New ethnography Knowledge shaped by observers culture and status Many partial truths 2 Tuesday, February 25, y Role of history and unequal power relations Doing ethnography Ethics of research with human subjects "informed consent" Gaining access Building trust Finding your roles and contributions Becoming an insider, but how much? Linguistic anthropology Focus on communicative event Demonstrate insider knowledge Create social and linguistic contexts for relationships Relevance for adolescent peer groups Name taboos highly disrespectful North African influence Process of doing ethnography Ethnographer learning curve Miscommunication--- new interpretation and competence Parental name calling as insider communication among peers Integrative: science systematic study that uses experiments, observations, and deduction Humanities: The cultural concept Cultural: art, language, tradition, belief, customs, history, how people interact, food, clothing, religion A complex whole: including, Knowledge Belief,custom,morals/laws Arts Enculturation Learning culture Direct instruction Observation Conscious and unconscious Unique to humans Knowledge not perceived directly Based on symbols - verbal and non-verbal Culture is symbolic Definition 3 Tuesday, February 25, y Anything used to represent another thing Language Arbitrary relationship not a natural relationship Culture and nature Humans interact with nature through culture Culture converts natural behaviors into cultural customs Culture is shared Groups Common experience Common understanding of events (interpretation) Culture is all- encompassing Includes all aspects of human group behavior Everyone is cultured Culture is integrated A system Changes in one area--- changes to another Core values Set of ideas, attitudes, and beliefs basic to the whole culture. Levels of culture - subculture - National culture - International culture - How do
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