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1AB3 Midterm: Anthropology 1AB3 Midterm 1 Review.docx
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Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTHROP 1AB3
Professor
Karen Mc Garry
Semester
Winter

Description
Anthropology­ the systematic study of humankind  Historical­ how did we come to be the way we are; what forces in the past have shaped us  Comparative­ what do all humans have in common; how do we differ; reasons for differences   Contextual­ what circumstances, environments and beliefs shape human behaviour  Holistic­ how can we understand the entire picture of the human condition (biological/cultural) Subfields  Physical o All aspects of the biology and behaviour of the human species  o Certain diseases common in certain areas and cultures  Archeology o Study of past societies and their cultures using material remains (tools, pottery) o Material culture: anything that is made or modified by humans  Cultural o Study of contemporary cultures and societies o Methodology: participant observation, interviews o Ethnography: description of an aspect of culture within a society  Linguistics o Studies the construction and use of language by human societies o Studies documents, vocabularies o Structural linguistics: how language works o Sociolinguistics: relationship between language and social behaviour in different cultures o Historical linguistics: how is language related to each other?  Applied o Application of anthropology to solve real world problems o Marketing and business o Law o Environmental assessments o Forensics Ethnocentrism­ believing that your way of life or beliefs is right or superior to others; primarily in western  cultures it is common to see non­western cultures as strange Cultural Relativism­ attempt to understand a group of people from their point of view Fieldwork­ defining quality of cultural anthropology  Long term field work­ living within a village; necessary to gain trust of informants; very detailed stories  about peoples experiences   Need to get government consent, the societies consent; inform them (informed consent) Culture Shock­ sense of disillusionment/home­sickness, overwhelmed Qualitative Data­ data that is not amenable to number crunching, can’t formulate statistics; formal or informal  interviews, understanding their feelings on a personal level Quantitative Data­ number crunching; surveys; useful in understanding broad patterns in a culture­ won’t tell  you a detailed perspective on feelings  Surveys are very general; they leave out the true feelings of the person taking the survey; people might  be biased; answer what they think they should answer not how they truly feel Participant Observation­ interacting closely with people on a daily basis, sometimes living with or near them,  and often participating in activities or aspects of their daily lives Three Sources of Data  People’s own understandings of the rules they share (cultural ideals, taboos)  The extent to which they believe they are obeying those rules   Behaviours directly observed by an anthropologist Armchair Anthropology­ describes the earliest anthropologists  Anthropologists didn’t do fieldwork, they would research other people’s interactions  It was considered ungentlemanly to do field work; felt it was beneath them  Used the comparative approach; compared and contrasted similarities and differences across cultures;  most data was very biased Verandah Anthropology­ anthropology on your front porch  Many went and starting living among indigenous groups from colonial house front porch; invited a live  of people to get interviewed; short interactions; no development of relationships; didn’t learn language  1915­ development of modern fieldwork; made use of participant observation; anthropology is not like a  science, you can’t reproduce the same results/data (positivism) Bronislaw Malinowski­ first to come out of the verandah; went to tribian islands during WW1 Fieldwork at the Turn of the Century  One location  Long­term  “bounded” societies  non­west
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