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Anthropology 1AA3 Midterm Exam Review.docx

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McMaster University
Sandra Preston

Anthropology 1AA3 – Winter Midterm Exam Review Material Required: - Chapter 1 (pg. 1-17, 24-34) - Chapter 4 (pg. 166-197, 202-208) - Film: ‘Hold Your Breath’ - Lectures up to, including next Thursday What is Anthropology? - Four subfields: 1) Physical Anthropology a. Concerned with humans as a biological species b. Human evolution + modern human variation 2) Archaeology a. Examines material traces of past societies b. Artifacts provide clues to the past c. Prehistoric Archaeologists: study the artifacts of groups d. Historical Archaeologists: work with historians in investigating the artifacts of societies of the more recent past 3) Linguistic Anthropology a. The study of language, focuses on the relationship between language/culture b. Seek to discover the ways languages are different from each other c. Structural Linguistics: explores how language works: compares grammatical patterns/other linguistic elements d. Sociolinguistics: interested in both how language is used to define social groups and how belonging in groups leads to specialized language use e. Historical Linguistics: concentrates on comparison and classification of different languages to discern historical links among languages 4) Cultural Anthropology a. Examines various contemporary societies and cultures throughout the world b. Unique research strategy: Participant Observation i. Learning the language and culture of the group being studied by participating in the group’s daily activities ii. Ethnography: a description of a culture within a society The Scientific Method - Inductive Method: scientist first makes observations and collects data o Data collected referred to as variables - Deductive Method: begins with a general theory from which a testable hypotheses is developed o Hypotheses tests through experimentation and replication o Contrasts with inductive method because inductive method tests and retests - Hypothesis: Testable proposition concerning relationship between sets of variables in the collected data - Theories: statements that explains hypothesis and observations about natural or social phenomena o Eg. The theory of evolution Perspectives on Illness Health Systems: - Ethnomedicine: study of cross-cultural health systems - Western Biomedicine: based on modern Western science, emphasizes technology in diagnosing and treating health problems - Community Healing: social context is crucial to healing o Solidarity and group sessions support mental health and physical health - Humoral Healing: based on a philosophy of balance among certain elements within the body and within the person’s environment o Food and drugs have different effects on the body: “heating” or “cooling” o Diseases are the result of bodily imbalances Illness vs. Disease - Disease: refers to a biological health problem that is objective and universal o Bacterial, viral infection, broken arm - Illness: refers to culturally specific syndromes, perceptions and experiences of a health problem Culture-Specific Syndromes - Health problem with a set of symptoms associated with a particular culture (see page 168, Figure 4.2 for full list) Humans and Diseases - Three epidemiological transitions: 1) Emphasizing the importance of the environment in shaping health problems and how they spread a. Research focuses on gathering information about environmental context and social patterns that affect health b. Yields findings relevant to public health programs, provides information about groups that are at risk of specific problems 2) Highlighting symbols and meaning in people’s expression of suffering and healing practices a. The Interpretivist Approach: examining health systems as meaning b. Study how people in different cultures label, describe, experience illness and how healing systems offer meaningful responses to individual and communal distress 3) The need to look at structural factors as the underlying causes of health problems and examines Western Biomedicine as a cultural institution a. Critical Medical Anthropology: analyzing how structural factors affect the prevailing health system and access to health care - Modern Diseases: th
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