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midterm review

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ANTH 1001
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Midterm review CDNS3700 Herder’s definition of Society: • Talks about herder’s definition of society. o What does society mean? o Argues that society is an integrated social union. o It is not unlike a family. Looks like a clan. Everyone has a role within society. o The idea of society responds to every human’s need for some sort of connection with those around them. Our need for interdependence. • The key thing that herder says about society is that society is not an abstract concept. It does not exist at the level of government discourse or in a philosophical way. Not socially constructed. • Argues that society is a very concrete idea. He argues that it is in our nature to belong to a society. No one needs to nurture the idea. It is in our nature that we need to belong. • No difference between us and the people that surround us. • Herder argues that society is a natural, concrete thing. Not something we arrive at through negotiation or compromise. • Herder says that the most natural state that we can exist in is to belong to a unique community. o Belong to a community with its own national character. • The idea of uniqueness always comes from the presence of a language. The rationale behind uniqueness is language Flaws with Herder’s definition, as pointed out by Barnard: • Barnard points out flaws in herder’s ideas. o It doesn’t address that people live outside of their group yet maintain their language. o People inside the state speak other languages other than the dominant language. Immigration o Herder overlooks that there are nations that exist that do not have a distinct language. Canada is one of them. Does not have its own unique language. o Nations have multiple languages. India and Switzerland are examples. Does this mean that these people do not have the claim to a unique nation? Not really. Herder vs. Hobsbawm ideas about tradition: o What is the way that herder argues about tradition and the way that hobsbawm argues about tradition. Herder argues tradition is something passed down organically, in a stable way, rejuvenates our relationship with tradition. It is authentic. Passed down in a stable way from person to person. Hobsbawm argues that tradition is not passed down in a stable way. It is something we invent, construct. Something that we do on purpose. Tradition is passed down very purposefully. Herder disagrees. In some ways they are talking about the same thing and arrive at similar conclusions. In some ways they both make the assumption that tradition can be organic. It can be organic when we are not self -conscious about it. They both have this assumption that we have on one hand, authentic tradition and the other has inauthentic tradition. Authentic is organic. Inauthentic is something that is constructed/self- conscious. For example. The practice of going to Vegas. In the past decade, Vegas have turned into a family oriented tourist attraction. Vs. the previous what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. o Herder, tradition is transmitted in a stable way. o Hobsbawm, tradition is invented. • Why do we invest value in the idea of tradition? o Our relationship with the past is strange. o We overlook the fact that things were uncomfortable in the past. There is a reason that things change. The Aura: • The idea of an aura: o Brown talks about the aura. • Benjamin argues that every object that we have has an aura. • The aura is the level of value that we attach to that object. o The amount of authenticity we attach to that object. o The amount of spiritual value we attach to it. o Consider them to be sacred. • Benjamin argues in a world of technology and reproduction. The aura of cultural texts starts to diminish. The more it is reproduced the more diminished the aura becomes.
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