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Anthro Lecture Notes (1-22-14)

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University of California - Irvine
James Egan

Anthro 2A Notes – 1/22/14 *****Scantron F-288 for 1 midterm***** 1. Critique of Unilinear Social Evolutionism A. Empirical Problems – poor secondhand accounts and over speculation 1. Boaz and students found out that societies were mixing things up every where B. Sociocultural Evolution is Multilinear 1. All societies change but they don’t change in the same ways C. Histories of Societies are interdependent 1. Cultural diffusion 2. Things totally new and spreading D. “Progress” is a Value Laden Term 1. Culturally specific criteria – ex. Which rank order to use in society? a. serious problem of perspective 2. Ethnocentrism – take own cultural achievements and bias it to be the best (natural way in their perspective) 3. Problem of Perspective – ignoring cultural achievements of others ex. Using technology as criterion of ranking – western countries look advanced (locomotives, gas lamps, theaters, etc. but Australian aborigines – still using bows and arrows to hunt.. so? BUT, Australian aborigines have complex kinship system though while US/Europe is simple 4. Misrepresents and ignores cultural diversity a. so busy basking in own achievements, ignoring diverse achievements 5. But what about survival of the fittest? What about domination? -Dominance is ephemeral (transient – there one moment and gone the next) E. Ralph Linton: The 100% American 1. The Study of Man – we are all each a part of each other 2. Culture & Human Nature A. Common View 1. Our human biology, developed to a certain point, and once developed to that point from that point on, we develop culture and then from there, culture takes over; biology is fixed 2. Underneath the culture, there is a biology B. Nature v. Nurture debates 1. Coming from biology or coming from what we learned th th C. 17 & 18 century Political Theory 1. Thomas Hobbes – huma
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