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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTHRO 4300
Professor
Shenk
Semester
Fall

Description
Comparative Social Org 01/31/2014 Two New Perspectives Cultural or biological? Both Parallel to and following Schneider, two new perspectives have emerged  Each taking a different direction Evolutionary anthropologists have theoretically reinforced the biological basis of kinship and work to explain  cultural diversity scientifically Postmodern anthropologists have focused on non­biological aspects  Sociocultural  “for the social anthropologist the biological aspects of kinship cannot be denied; but, being uniform, they  cannot explain cultural variation and are therefore uninformative in relation to the issues that concern social  anthropologist the most” Evolutionary “of course, kin and marriage relationships are culturally codified according to a symbolic system expressed  in human language. Nor is it wrong to assert that these cultural symbols determine behavior…”  Sylvia Yanagisako Follow Schneider in pointing out that gender has been studied in Anthro in a way that reflects Western  biologically­based notions of sex Argue that gender is constructed differently in different cultures, much like systems of relationship/kinship Studies of kinship and gender should be studied together and emphasize local/indigenous models  Janet Carsten  Major work focuses on Malaysian concept of relatedness as a process that emerges through the sharing of  food, house, and heart space Partible notions of personhood Suggested using the broader concept of ‘relatedness’ instead of ‘kinship’ to avoid an a priori biological  focus in the study of human constructions of social relationships Part of her motivation for this reformulation was to ‘rescue’ the study of kinship, both in individual cultures  and comparatively  Robin Fox Explains human kinship by analogy to primate behavior and human evolution  Links the avoidance of incest to m
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