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McMaster University
James Stinson

Topics covered include Week 8: The Basics of Social Organization: Age, Gender, Race, and Ethnicity Week 9: Kinship, Family and Marriage Week 10: Political Economy: Making a Living and Governing Society Week 11: From Colonialism to the World System Week 12: Globalization The format of the exam is the same as the mid -term. 50 multiple choice questions and one essay question worth 15 marks (total = 65 marks). For the essay, there will be a choice between two topics. One will deal with the topics of political and economic systems. The other will deal with the world system and globalization. All lecture material (including videos shown in class), a nd readings are considered testable material. Readings: Mirror for Humanity, “Chapter 8: Gender” • Sexual dorphism: differences in male and female biology besides the contrasts in breasts and genitals • Gender refers to the cultural construction of whether on e is female, male or something else • Gender roles: the tasks and activities a culture assigns to the sexes • Gender stereotypes: over simplified but strongly held ideas about the characteristics of males and females • Gender stratification: an unequal distribution of rewards between men and women • Domestic public dichotomy or private public contrast is strong differentiation between the home and the outside world • Patriarchy: a political system ruled by en in which women have inferior social and political status, including basic human rights • Transgender: individuals whose gender identity contradicts their biological sex at birth and the gender identity that society assigned to them in infancy • Sexual orientation: refers to a persons habitual sexual attraction to andsexual activities with, persons of the opposite sex (heterosexuality) and the same sex (homosexuality) or both sexes (bisexuality) • Gender roles are the tasks and activities that a culture assigns to each sex and to the genders it recognizes. Gender stereotypes are oversimplified ideas about attributes of males and females. • Cross cultural comparison reveals some recurrent patterns involving the division of labor by gender, as well as gender -based differences in reproductive strategies. Gender roles and gen der stratification vary with environment, economy, adaptive strategy, etc. • When gathering is prominent, gender status is more equal than when hunting or fishing dominates a foraging economy. Gender status also is more equal when the domestic and public spheres aren’t sharply separated • Women in many societies, especially matrilineal ones, wield power and make decisions. • Americans attitudes about gender roles has varied with class and region, and historically. A declining need for female labor promotes the i dea that women are unfit for many jobs. Countering the economic gains of many American women is the feminization of poverty. This has become a global phenomenon as impoverished female-headed households have increased worldwide • There has been a recent tende ncy to see sexual orientation as fixed and biologically based, but to some extent at least, all human activities are preferences including erotic expression are influenced by culture. Mirror for Humanity, “Chapter 11: Ethnicity and Race” • Ethnic group: members of the same ethnic group share certain beliefs, values habits customs and norms because of their common background • Ethnicity: identification with and feeling part of an ethnic group and exclusion from certain other groups because of this affiliation • Minority groups are subordinate—they have inferior power and less secure access to resources than do majority groups who are superordinate, dominant or controlling • Race is when an ethnic group is assumed to have a biological basis (distinctively shared blood or genes) • Racism is discrimination against such a group • Racial classification: the attempt to assign humans to discrete categories based on common ancestry • Species is a population whose members can interbreed to produce offspring that can live and reproduce • Phenotype refers to an organisms evident traits —its manifest biology, anatomy and physiology • Natural selection is the process by which the forms most fit to survive and reproduce in a given environment do so • Descent: assigns social identity on the basi s of ancestry but a sort that is are outside the contemporary US. It is called a Hypodescent because it automatically places the children of a union between members of different groups in the minority group (hypo means lower) • Nation was once synonymous wit h tribe or ethnic group. All three of these have been used to refer to a single culture sharing a single language, religion, history, territory, ancestry, etc. • Nation-state: refers to an autonomous political entity, like the United States • Nationalities: ethnic groups that once had or wish to have regain political status in their own country • Assimilation: the process of change that a minority ethnic group may experience when it moves to a country where another culture dominates —i.e. adapting a new language when moving to another country • Plural society: combing different cultural elements into one society • Multiculturalism: the view of cultural diversity as something good and desirable • Prejudice: devaluing, looking down on, a group because of assumed behaviour, values, capabilities, or attributes • Stereotypes: fixed ideals, often unfavorable, about what the members of a group are like • Discrimination: policies and practices that harm a group and its members, discrimination may be de facto —practiced but not legally sanctioned OR de jure—part of the law • Genocide: the deliberate elimination of a group (i.e. the holocaust) • Refugees: forced or voluntarily leaving your own country and moving to another country usually to escape war • Cultural colonialism: internal dominati on by one group and its culture or ideology over others • Ethnic distinctions can be based on language, religion, history, geography, kinship or race—usually race and ethnicity are ascribed statuses; people are born members of a group and remain so all their lives • Because of a range of problems involved in classifying humans into racial categories, the study of human biological diversity now focuses on specific differences and attempts to explain them • Human races are cultural rather than biological categories , such races derive from contrasts perceived in particular societies, rather than from scientific classifications • Japanese define themselves by opposition to others, such as Koreans and burakumin, these may be minority groups in Japan or outsiders —anyone who is not us Mirror for Humanity, “Chapter 7: Families, Kinship and Marriage” • Family: a group of people who are considered to be related in some way for example by blood or marriage • Family of orientation: the family in which one is born and grows up versus a family of procreation: formed when one marries and has children • Neolocality: married couples are expected to establish a new place of residence, a home of their own • Extended family household: when a family household includes three or more generations • Descent group: a permanent social unit whose members claim common ancestry • Patrilineal descent: people automatically have lifetime membership in their fathers group • Matrilineal descent: people join the mothers group automatically at birth and stay members throughout life • Matrilineal and Patrilineal are types of unilineal descent, meaning the descent rule uses one line only, either the female or the male line • Descent groups may be lineages or clans, a lineage uses demonstrated descent, and members recite the names of their forebears from the apical ancestor through the present. Clans use stipulated descent • Patrilocality: the rule that when a couple marries, it moves to the husbands community so that their children will group in their fathers village • Matrilocality: married couples live in the wife’s community, and their children group up in their mothers village • Marriage is a union between a man and a woman such that the children born to the woman are recognized as legitimate offspring of both partners • This definition is not valid because marriages could unite more than two spouses, or plural marriages and also same -sex marriages exist • Exogamy: custom and practice of seeking a mate outside one owns group has adaptive values because it links people into a wider social network that nurtures, helps, and protects them in times of need • Incest refers to sexual contact with a relative, but culture define their kin and thus incest differently • India’s caste system: marriages being ascribed at birth and a life long commitment • According to Leach, marriage can but doesn’t always, accomplish the following: 1. Establish the legal father of a woman’s children and the legal mother of a man’s 2. Give either or both spouses a monopoly in the sexuality of the other 3. Give either or both spouses rights to the labor of the other 4. Give either or both spouses rights over the others property 5. Establish a joint fund of property, a partnership, for the benefit of the children 6. Establish a socially significant relationship of affinity between spouses and their relatives • Bridewealth: a customary gift before at or after the marriage from the husband and his kin to the wife and her kin • Dowry is a marital exchange in which the bridges family or kin group provides substantial gifts when their daughter marri es • Polygamy: being married to more than one person —polygyny: a man has more than one wife, and polyandry: a woman has more than one husband • Kinship and marriage organize social and political life in nonindustrial societies, one widespread kin group is a nuclear family—consisting of a married couple and their children • The descent group is a basic kin group among non industrial food producers and unlike families, descent groups have perpetuity, lasting for generations. • Most societies have incest restrictions, because kinship is socially constructed, such restrictions apply to different relatives in different societies • As the bridewealth’s value increases, the divorce rate declines —Bridewealth customs show that marriages among nonindustrial food producers creat e and maintain group alliances. So do the Soroate, by which a man marries the sister of his deceased wife, and the levirate, by which a woman marries the brother of her deceased husband • Many societies permit plural languages and polygyny is much more commo n than polyandry Mirror for Humanity, “Ch. 5: Making a Living” • Foraging economies have relied on nature to make their living • Horticulture is cultivation that makes intensive use of none of the factors of production: land labor capital and machinery • They use simple tools such s digging sticks to grow their crops • Horticulture is also called shifting cultivation • Agriculture requires more labor than horticulture does because it uses land intensely and continuously • Domesticated Animals—many agriculturalists us e animals as means of production, for transport as cultivating machines, and for their manure • An irrigated field is a capital investment that usually increases in value • Pastoralists are people whose activities focus on such domesticated animals as cattle, sheep, goats, camels, yak, and reindeer • Pastoral Nomadism: the entire group —women, men and children moves with the animals throughout the year • Transhumance: part of the group moves with the herds, but most people stay in the home village • Economy is a system of production, distribution, and consumption of resources: economics is the study of such systems • Peasants are small scale agriculturists who live in nonindustrial states and have rent fund obligations—they produce to feed themselves, to sell produce and to pay rent • All peasants have two things in common: they live in state -organized societies, and they produce food without the elaborate technology —chemical fertilizers, tractors, airplanes to spray crops, and so on—of modern farming agribusinesses • Market principle: governs the distribution of the means of production —land, labour, natural resources, technology, and capital • Redistribution: operates when goods, services, or their equivalent move from the local level to career • Reciprocity: exchange between social equals, who normally are related by kinship, marriage, or another close personal tie • Reciprocity continuum: generalized to negative range of reciprocity • Generalized reciprocity: someone gives to another person and expects nothing in return • Balanced reciprocity: exchanges between people who are more distantly related than are members of the same band/household • Negative reciprocity involves the attempt to get something for as little as possible, even if it means being cagey, deceitful or cheating • Potlatch: a festive event within a regional exchange system among tribes of the North Pacific Coast of North America • Cohen’s adaptive strategies include foraging (hunting and gathering), horticulture, agriculture, pastoralism, and industrialism. Foraging was the o nly human adaptive strategy until the advent of food production 10000 years ago, food production eventually replaced foraging in most places • The pastoral strategy is mixed. Nomadic pastoralists trade with cultivators. Part of a transhumant pastoral populat ion cultivates while another part takes the herds to pasture Mirror for Humanity, “Ch. 6: Political Systems” • Power is the
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