Class Notes (811,481)
United States (314,602)
Anthropology (122)
ANTH 1102 (112)
Gonzalez (3)
Lecture 1

ANTH 1102 Lecture 1: Test 1 Notes - Antropology

26 Pages
Unlock Document

ANTH 1102

Anthropology Test 1 Fall 2015 August 19, 2015 Reading: Pages 57-63 Anthropology • The study of the human species and its immediate ancestors • The study of human nature, human society, and the human past o Holistic and Comparative What is Anthropology? • Anthropology is not the only academic field that studies humans • It is a holistic perspective meaning it is all facets of shared human behavior. • Try to study all aspects without being culture-bound to try to obtain a more objective understanding. This is for a comparative purpose. • Anthropology and science o It is scientific and uses the scientific method • Anthropology and Humanism o Cultural process to look for a logic of rationality meaning that they try to understand why and how people do things. Anthropology Concepts • Culture: about shared human behavior. o A society’s socially transmitted ideas, values, and perceptions. It’s how individuals and groups make sense of their own experiences. It’s a shared understanding of how things work. It is learned. o There are both modern and historic/prehistoric culture practices. • Evolution: about human biological change. o Scientific theory that species arise through a long, gradual process of genetic transformations. o Both modern biological variations, as well as change in species. • Environment: about ecological interconnectedness o It’s the idea that humans are shaped by their environments including social and physical environment. We in turn shape the world we live in. o Past and present in terms of modern biological and cultural diversity as well as biological and cultural origins. Four Fields of Anthropology • Biological Anthropology o How people have changed over time and why people look the way they do. • Archaeology o Look at culture and the culture process and human behavior • Linguistic Anthropology o Interested in studying the relationship of language in culture and society. Thinking about how culture impact language and vice versa. Think about how language has changed over time • Culture Anthropology o Think about culture and are most commonly studying modern societies. Unity of General Anthropology • In Europe they are not connected. Only in the US do we combine the fields and make them connected because no one branch can survive on it’s own. • Historical Reasons we combine: North American native people, Cultural biology, People trying to understand their past without having a written background on it, History of racial categories, Franz Boas (German immigrant who came up with the idea of a “four field anthropology umbrella). • Topical Reasons: All branches are focusing on human variation in time and space, and culture and evolution. One cannot exist on it’s own. • Fieldwork: All anthropologists engage themselves in the field that they’re working in and first hand go out to experience the cultures that they’re studying. Anthropology’s purpose • American Anthropological Association (AAA) recognizes two dimensions o Academic Anthropology: Grant and university research. As a field of study they ask research questions and try to gain a better understanding of what people are doing and why they are doing it. Have a proposal and ask for grants to explore that question. Federal government, state government, and private funding all fund academic research, however amounts vary. o Applied anthropology: Practical application of anthropology research. Think about it as people who are given problems that they need to solve. They don’t come up with questions themselves but rather apply what other anthropologist have done. Academic vs. Applied Anthropology • Historically always mixed: It is more recent that the two fields have been separated. Pre-World War II anthropology was applied. Academic anthropology grew after WWII because the GI Bill put so much money into universities and therefore there was an explosion of research in all kinds of fields, especially anthropology. But the 1970’s, college populations increasing and money put towards research was decreasing so started to decline a little. About equivalent to where things are today. • Thought of as two kinds of anthropology but really the same field. It used to be mostly applied and the WWII came and put more money into research and then it became very academic. • Theory and Practice: Anthropologist study societies firsthand. They engage with them and generate theory and descriptions of why certain people do the things they do. Academic researches why and applied apply these theories first hand. Theory aids practice and application fuels theory. People who apply theory have impact on that theory. As people interact sometimes the things they do change which in turn would change theory. A cycle. Therefore, application has created new fields for practice and study such as education, urban and rural areas (migrations and movements, ect.), medical fields, business, politics and public policy, and developmental fields (developed vs developing countries). • Crosscuts all four subfields: o Cultural anthropologist  corporations, NGOs, governments ▪ Besides the government, Microsoft hires the most people and therefore they hire and anthropologist to research the work environment o Archaeologist  CRM Firm, corporations, governments ▪ Hired to research the culture impacts of the corporations and the environmental impact. o Linguistic Anthropologist  Corporations, State and Local Governments ▪ Smallest field. Hired to think about the differences in linguistics and what meanings same words have in different cultures o Physical Anthropologist  NGOs, State and federal governments ▪ Many sent to Vietnam to excavate for US soldier remains for the war that were never returned August 21, 2015 Anthropology Methods: • Fieldwork: o is on location research for an extended period of time. It is our primary source of collecting information through data collecting; it could be from talking to people or physically digging in the ground. o It is incredibly personal. They live their research first hand. o All field work is problem oriented. They are researching very specific questions. o Longitudinal means that it’s an extended period of time. It could take multiple seasons, months, and years. It often depends on repeated visits to the site that you are studying. o Team research! While it is very individualized and based on your specific questions, it is pretty much always coordinated research by multiple people. Either too big of a project to take on alone or because related questions that everyone could benefit from each other. Archaeological Fieldwork • Systematic Survey and Excavation: Excavation is the longest part but it is the last part because you have to do so much before o Provides a regional perspective by gathering information on settlement patterns over a large area. Have to know where we can find the answers to the questions. How are people distributed across the land that you are studying? o Site Identification: Survey large areas, find and locate sites (which is often for future excavation), and once they understand all the various aspects of the survey, they use this information to answer some research question and protect or describe cultural resources. Have to create their of topographical maps to make sure that they are as detailed as needed. Shows a better space relationship. o Excavation: Need excavation to show how things have changed over time. Systematic removal of soil and other materials. Have to have straight lines for systematic measurements. Have to use the sited map and surface collected to decide where the best cultural resources are located for a better excavation site. Then they subdivide the site and basically create a grid where the square would be a good site to excavate. Then you start to dig. Very systematic. Excavate very slowly as they go down. Look at the soil and changes of the soil. Mark wherever they find something, both artifacts and features. Then they use this information to answer their research questions and protect or describe cultural resources. August 24, 2015 Read Chapter 13, 2 Ethnographic Fieldwork • Ethnography: the fieldwork in and about a particular living culture. Generally what an anthropologist is doing to collect their data. o Multiple techniques: ▪ Participant-observation: learning a culture through social participation and personal observation over a long period of time. It is about literally participating in another society and culture, looking at it and thinking about what they’re doing. (David Mayberry Lewis  went as far as being adopted into another family to fully understand and observe the culture) ▪ Interviews: Conversations that maintain rapport and provide knowledge. Conversations can be very formalized and for a specific purpose or can be very informal just to gain day-to-day knowledge. ▪ Genealogical Methods: Procedures to understand kinship, descent, and marriage. Have to understand how people view relationships in their own culture. ▪ Key Consultants: Experts on particular aspects of local life. Depending on the research process, there could be a reason you have to talk to an expert in the local life. May be about healing, religion, etc. A lot of the knowledge you gain often comes from interacting with one person. ▪ Life Histories: A personal cultural portrait of existence or change in a culture. Often can gain lots of knowledge from studying one person and listening to how the culture has changed over their life span. ▪ Emic vs. Etic: Comparison of local beliefs and perceptions to the ethnographer’s. Compare what the locals say about means and values to what the outsider perceives to be true. • Survey Research: o Survey research design: Sampling, impersonal data collection, and statistical analysis ▪ Looking for patterns in the data, which often requires you to select a larger population to randomly select from and sample. However, it’s only going to give you a more etic (outsider) perspective. • Anthropology’s Responsibility o Relevance and impact o Anthropology, ethics, and responsibilities ▪ American Anthropological Association Code of Ethics (2012)- a code that anthropologist are supposed to follow while on site. Do not have to be a part of AAA to be an anthropologist. There is no certification process to become and anthropologist, which makes the code of ethics really just a suggestion. • Do no harm • Be open and honest- the work they do is often relevant to people and can have an impact on the society you’re studying. Need to be honest about the work you’re doing. Often it will require you to gain permission to interact with the civilization. • Obtain informed consent and necessary permits • Weigh competing ethical obligations- who are you obligated to? The local community, employers, governments, etc. • Make results accessible- once you do the research; make sure that it’s available for others read about. • Protect your records- protect sites from vandalism and theft • Maintain professional relationships- maintain proper, respectable relationship with people around you August 26, 2015 Fieldwork and Ethics A set or system of moral principles • Problems involving contrasting systems • Issues with applying anthropology: Sometimes it’s not always your choice because if your employer wants something done then you may have to do it and not be able to share those results (which is part of the code), if you work for the military as an anthropologist you cannot publish your results. • Solution: Anthropologists have to decide what their primary ethical obligation – which is almost always the object you are studying, both people, species, and materials they study. o Informed consent: ▪ Peoples agreement to participate: purpose, nature, procedures, and potential impact. Culture Concept • Anthropological use: o Culture: the set of learned, shared behaviors and ideas that humans acquire as members of societies. ▪ Everyone has a set of behavior therefore everyone has culture. ▪ Consists of the abstract values, beliefs, and perceptions of the world. – knowledge, beliefs, morals, laws, customs, traditions, etc. ▪ Use culture to survive in and transform the world in which we live. o Cultures: the different sets of learned behavior between societies o : the process by which culture is learned and transmitted across generations. o Non-anthropological uses of this term (don’t get confused): referring to a specific behavior – media culture, college culture- they are very specific subsets of a behavior. OR as in “cultured.” Anthropologists don’t use it in this sense. • Attributes of culture: o Learned- passed between generations, everything that we do o Shared- located in groups, associated with a society o Symbolic- Something that comes to stand for something else, both material objects (American flag means a very different thing to us Americans compared to outsiders) and symbols (family/clan/tribe crests, etc.) o Culture and Nature: Converts natural urges and acts into cultural customs (eating- a natural urge however how or what you eat is very cultural o All-Encompassing: Culture is a model that includes all aspects of human group behavior o Integrated: Patterned systems of customs that are related o Levels: Different levels of culture exist- international level (shared by multiple groups and societies), national (shared behaviors that tend to be divided by political boundaries), subcultures (smaller groups that get defined by specific sets of rules, aka the Bulldawg nation) o Adaptive/Maladaptive: Culture is an adaptive strategy (international space station) but it can be maladaptive for the species overall (war- shouldn’t kill species, global warming- harming the animals) o Individual Practice: Humans have the ability to avoid, manipulate, subvert and change. August 28, 2015 Complexities of Culture • Boundaries between cultures are usually unclear o They are often unclear because cultures often overlap. Can define culture vs. set of behaviors, yet not everything in that boundary will be black and white. • Beliefs can be contradictory within itself o Not everyone in a culture thinks the exact same way. For example, while we are all Americans, we have a variety of thoughts on how politics should go. Often times the beliefs within a culture can be very contradictory. • We still understand specific cultures as coherent wholes to explain the world, shaping individuals and social behavior. o How people act and believe are often shaped by the coherent whole of the culture. Aspects of Culture • All people have equal biological capabilities to learn. o Thus, everyone has the same ability to learn, have, and understand culture. There are different levels of sharing cultural traits and how they differ between groups. • We share some cultural traits but not all: o Universal- behaviors shared by all humans. We see these show up in all societies and all groups everywhere. They live in social groups, have families, share food, and have incest taboos. o Generalities- behaviors found in most cultures. They are often life-cycle events such as births, puberty, marriage, parenthood, and death. Concept of descent. o Particularities- specific “exotic” behaviors that often identify a culture. For example, sweet tea is a southern thing. Culture Change • Independent Invention- the one way a practice can change a culture. For example, someone comes up with something that solves a problem they’ve been having in a culture- like someone coming up with GMOs which allowed for the innovation and domestication of societies. • Diffusion- the spread of culture traits from one culture to another. For example, sushi. It’s from Japan that we here have adapted it. • Acculturation- The exchange of multiple features when groups came into continuous contact for long periods of time. It’s like diffusion but on a more extreme. For example, tacos. We aren’t Mexican because we eat them… • Globalization- Expansive global culture change resulting from connectedness of production, communication, and technologies. Today, cultures can change much faster. Cultural Variation: Understanding and Explaining Differences • Ethnocentrism o Opinion that one’s own way of life is natural or correct. Thought that one’s culture and habits is better than another. The only true way of being fully human, using own cultural values to judge another. • Inhibit cross-cultural understanding? o Anthropologists have to think about this all the time. Is your own culture influencing the way that we view another? o Can anthropologist study compare culture? • Cultural Variation o Grand Pitcher festival- (India) 100,000,000+ people go, Happens ever 12 years, Ritual to bathe yourself in the Ganges River to was away not just your sins now but in the future too. o Catholics in Cuba o Muslins praying 4 times a day • Cultural Relativism o The idea that when you try to explain another culture or society you need to explain it independently. o A technique to understand the incomprehensible. Comprehend why behavior appears meaningful to some societies and yet is so strange for us. o Pretends to presume an equality among all societies, saying that something we consider bad may not be bad to that society, it does not have anything to do with moralism. o Does not mean making justification! Whether cultural atrocities or idiosyncrasies NOT to assign cultural vales o Cultural behaviors can be classified in different ways. ▪ Emphasize local contexts and meanings NOT morals ▪ Internal understanding and meaning o Method to understand other cultures and to explain a behavior that seems unexplainable. Way to explain things that are otherwise unexplainable September 2, 2015 Ethical Uncertainty • Balancing understanding with ethical responsibility o Such as the Holocaust Anthropologist who study why they killed everyone, and therefore it’s hard to think of it as not right • Cultural Rights and Human Rights o Cultural Rights: The rghts for groups to believe and act free from persecution, restrictions, torture, etc. o Human Rights: Inalienable individual rights to speak and believe free from persecution, murdered, tortured, etc. • Cultural relativism is a method for data collection o Individual anthropologist make the ethical choices and they are the ones who determine if it’s right or wrong and they are the ones who determine if they can do anything about it Linguistic Anthropology Language • Sounds with gestures put togeth
More Less

Related notes for ANTH 1102

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.