ANT 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Cognitive Anthropology, Enculturation, Subculture

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30 Aug 2018
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CHAPTER 2: Culture Counts
Vocab
Symbol- something that is used to reference something else; essential tenet of linguistic culture
Anthropological Theory- a set of propositions about which aspects of culture are critical, how they should
be studied, and what the goal of studying them should be
Enculturation- the process of learning to be a member of a particular group
Culture and Personality- a theoretical position in anthropology that held that cultures could best be
understood by examining the patterns of child rearing and examining their effect on social institutions and
adult lives
Ethnoscience- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on recording and examining the way in
which members of a culture use language to classify and organize their cognitive world
Cognitive Anthropology- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on the relationship between
the mind and society
Symbolic Anthropology- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on understanding cultures by
discovering and analyzing the symbols that are most important to their members
Interpretive Anthropology- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on using humanistic
methods, such as those found in analyzing literature, to analyze cultures and discover the meaning of
culture to its participants
Functionalism- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on finding general laws that identifies
different elements of society, showing how they relate to each other, and demonstrating their role in
maintaining social order
Ecological Functionalism- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on the relationship between
environment and society
Norms- shared ideas about the way things ought to be done; rules of behavior that reflect and enforce
culture
Values- shared ideas about what is true, right, and beautiful
Subculture- a group within a society that shares norms and values that are starkly different from those of
a dominant culture
Dominant Culture- the culture with the greatest wealth and power in a society of many subcultures
Historical Particularism- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on providing objective
descriptions of cultures within their historical and environmental contexts
Postmodernism- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on issues of power and voice; holds
that anthropological accounts are partial truths reflecting the backgrounds, trainings, and social positions
of their authors
Adaptation- a change in the biological structures or pathways of an individual or population by which it
becomes better suited to survive and reproduce in a particular environment
Plasticity- the ability of humans to change their behavior in response to a wide range of social and
environmental demands
Cultural Ecology- a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on the adaptive dimensions of culture
Innovation- an object or way of thinking that is based upon but is qualitatively different from existing forms
Diffusion- the spread of cultural elements from one society to another
Swift used the life of Peter to criticize the shortcomings of English society
Defoe wondered if Peter was even a human being. If so, to what degree?
The lives of Peter and Victor brought forth the notion that many things we deem to be “natural”
human characteristics are learned behaviors through culture
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