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Lecture 3

ANTH 2 Lecture 3: Lecture #3

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The Birth of the Discipline From Evolution to Ethnography ● 19th century anthropologists worked on the topic of evolution ○ All groups evolve overtime; constantly being pressured by the conditions that they live in ● Franz Boas founded US anthropology on different concepts: ○ Have to do ethnography ○ Historical particularism - anthropologists should study particular groups of people; recognize that those people are existing at particular moments of time ■ Don’t take groups and cultures from widely separated places; don’t treat them as if they’re all the same ■ Focused on diversity ○ Cultural relativism - don’t make this huge story (story based on your own ideas); trying to understand the diversity; right vs wrong “Armchair” Anthropologists ● Little field research ->Did not go out and meet people, but just told a story about the people in their armchairs ● Grand explanatory theories -> trying to link everyone in one big theory ● Mixed pre-historical, historical, and present-day evidence -> flattened out the differences in the data; disregard the vast historical differences; did not respect the historical particularity ● Evolutionary schema ○ Lewis Henry Morgan ■ Ethnography of Iroquois ■ Ancient Society (1877) ■ Unilinear Social Evolution: ● Not very accurate or explanatory ● All humans were propelled to march the same path of development ● The most evolved/advanced were those like Lewis Henry Morgan; others have not gotten there yet ○ Have technology, fossil fuels, etc. ● Categories: Savagery (lived off the land) > Barbarism > Civilization ● Technology - used to understand the differences ○ Morgan’s Evolutionary Schema Periods: Conditions: 1. Lower Status of Savagery From the Infancy of the Human Race to the commencement of the next Period 2. Middle Status of Savagery From the acquisition of a fish subsistence and a knowledge of the use of fire to etc. 3. Upper Status of Savagery From the invention of the Bow and Arrow, to etc. 4. Lower Status of Barbarism From the invention of the art of pottery, to etc. 5. Middle Status of Barbarism From the Domestication of animals on the Eastern Hemisphere, and in the western from the cultivation of the maize and plants by irrigation, with the use of adobe-brick and stone, to etc. 6. Upper Status of Barbarism From the invention of the process of smelting from ore, with the use of iron tools, to etc. 7. Status of Civilization From the invention of a phonetic alphabet, with the use of writing, to the present time. Franz Boas (1858-1942): ● Career: ○ PhD in Germany ■ Understand how others saw light; interested in the differe
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