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Anthro 2A - Jan 10 Notes.docx

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Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTHRO 2A
Professor
Shin Lin

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Thursday, January 10. Subjects and Methods
READING:
George Stocking. 1987. Victorian Anthropology. New York: Free Press, pp. 1-6.
Prologue: A Precipice in Time
1851 - Crystal Palace symbolized a “precipice in time” : first world fair celebrated
symbolized many great things: power, wealth, prestige, the liberal entrepreneural spirit
even went so far as to include the materials it’s made out of (glass, iron girders...)
also had great political impact: came a few years after Engel’s discourse on the Conditions of
the working class of England
According to Dr. Whewell - the real symbolism lay in the actual material objects that were
confronted by the audience::
The classification system of the Crystal Palace
there was obviously still some national divide
China - snubs them by requesting 300 of the 5000 square feet offered to them
US - asks for more square feet to show off
Though Prince Albert tried to make the organization system include all nationalities, in
actuality each arrangement did become nationally-influenced
It was hard for “less advanced aboriginals” of certain countries to participate
*The best expression of European spirit of civilized industry was in the west wing:
filled with pumps, power looms, “a thousand iron monsters snorting and clattering” - it
overwhelmed foreigners and made Britain look awesome in comparison to everything
else
What we learned from the Exhibition:
According to Prince Albert, who used a ton of lofty words to express his ideas:
Exhibition meant to foster “unity of mankind” , emphasize “divison of labor” which helps
mankind fulfill its “great/sacred mission” and use his God-given reason to “conquer Nature to his
use”. Basically to show how far mankind has come and how we can go even further to greater
and better things
According to anthropologists/cynics: Exhibition showed the vast disparity between countries.
Not everyone had advanced at the same rate, and it was pretty obvious who were the “winners”.
The East was considered “stationary” while the West was considered “progressive”, particularly
Britain
Others: basically proved the “industrious poor instead of idle rich” were the ones to be
respected, and that British Labour was awesome for even making the Crystal Palace at all
Great Exhibition, of course, did not result in a time of amicable industrial competition nor
international peace, or transform factory laborers into artists
marked opening of “age of equipoise” - temporary balance between powerful and conflicting
forces remodeling Britain
Agricultural prosperity, growing industry, and rising prices and profits resulted in higher incomes,
decreased political tension, and brought relative social tranquility. it made people happier.
This happened in Australia and California due to Gold rushes
Lord Palmerston - Britain = “example of a nation, in which every class of society accepts with
cheerfulness the lot which Providence has assigned” and at the same time every person is
trying to “raise himself...not by injustice and wrong...but by preserving good conduct”

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Description
Thursday, January 10. Subjects and Methods READING: George Stocking. 1987. Victorian Anthropology. New York: Free Press, pp. 1-6. Prologue: A Precipice in Time 1851 - Crystal Palace symbolized a “precipice in time” : first world fair celebrated symbolized many great things: power, wealth, prestige, the liberal entrepreneural spirit even went so far as to include the materials it’s made out of (glass, iron girders...) also had great political impact: came a few years after Engel’s discourse on the Conditions of the working class of England According to Dr. Whewell - the real symbolism lay in the actual material objects that were confronted by the audience:: The classification system of the Crystal Palace there was obviously still some national divide China - snubs them by requesting 300 of the 5000 square feet offered to them US - asks for more square feet to show off Though Prince Albert tried to make the organization system include all nationalities, in actuality each arrangement did become nationally-influenced It was hard for “less advanced aboriginals” of certain countries to participate *The best expression of European spirit of civilized industry was in the west wing: filled with pumps, power looms, “a thousand iron monsters snorting and clattering” - it overwhelmed foreigners and made Britain look awesome in comparison to everything else What we learned from the Exhibition: According to Prince Albert, who used a ton of lofty words to express his ideas: Exhibition meant to foster “unity of mankind” , emphasize “divison of labor” which helps mankind fulfill its “great/sacred mission” and use his God-given reason to “conquer Nature to his use”. Basically to show how far mankind has come and how we can go even further to greater and better things According to anthropologists/cynics: Exhibition showed the vast disparity between countries. Not everyone had advanced at the same rate, and it was pretty obvious who were the “winners”. The East was considered “stationary”
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