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Anthro Midterm.docx

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Karen Mc Garry

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Anthro Midterm
Anthropos: human kind
Anthropology: the systematic study of human kind
Historical, Comparative, Contextual, Holistic
Four Subfields:
Four subfields of anthropology:
1) cultural -> study of contemporary cultures and societies, studied through participant
observation -> provide an ethnography : a description of an aspect of culture within a
-Modern cultural anthropology is vast: can be seen in local, regional or global settings
2) Archaeology -> study of past societies and their cultures using material remains (ex.
tools, ceramics, sites), different types of archaeologists: classical, historical, prehistoric
-Archaeology is misconceived in pop culture: ex. Indiana Jones
3) Linguistic -> studies the construction and use of language by human societies
-Structural linguistics: how language works => grammatical patterns, language and
thought patterns
-Sociolinguistics: the relationship between language and social behaviour in different
cultures ex. regional dialects in USA, Cree dialects in Canada
-Historical linguistics: how are languages related to each other, and how have they
changed over time?
4) Physical -> studies all aspects of the biology and behaviour of the human species (and
closest relatives) in the past and present
ex. Jane Goodall studied chimp behavior
Plus applied anthro: marketing and business, law indigenous claims, environmental
assessments, forensics.
Key Terms:
Ethnocentrism – the belief that your way of life or beliefs are “right” or superior to those
of someone else.
Cultural Relativism – the attempt to understand a group of people from their point of
Feildwork: sets cultural anthropology apart from other disciplines.
-long term, a year or more with a community of people to gain rapport (trust)
-eg. Homeless shelters: would hang out 24/7 with these people
Preparing for fieldwork
Financial- apply for money from organizations, governments grants, and other
non-government organizations
Languages- need to know the language before entering the field
Background knowledge- usually a year before entering the field doing course
work; reading about your topic
Informed consent: consent of subjects to publish findings, protects rights of informants
Culture Shock- sense of anxiety or homesickness when in a new place
Qualitative Data- interviews, and discussions rather then
Quantitative which is percentages and graphs and numerical facts statistics
-better for looking for patterns in a society
Problems with surveys and statistics: limited to certain answers, get no background info.
Participant Observation: Interacting closely with people on a daily basis, sometimes
living with or near them, and often participating activities or aspects of daily life
Three sources of Data:
1) people’s own understandings of the rules they share
2) the extent to which they believe they are observing those rules
3) behaviors directly observed by an anthropologist
Armchair anthropology: no practical experience. Picks out info from readings. 2nd hand
Verandah Anthro: interviewed natives. Anthropologists were men, or only interviewed
Method: the practical study and application of different fieldwork methods
Methodology: epistemology; the critical interrogation of methods
Bronislaw Malinowski: shows the difference in what informants say, and what actually
happens. The importance of participant observation
- No relation to the metis being in awe of spirits.
- You cannot rely on what they say they do.
Sterks Article:
-Anthropologists as students and informants as teachers
-Goal to obtain INSIDER perspective
-Sterk questions the OBJECTIVITY of fieldwork. She argues that we must be aware of:

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Anthro Midterm Anthropos: human kind Anthropology: the systematic study of human kind Historical, Comparative, Contextual, Holistic Four Subfields:   Four subfields of anthropology: 1) cultural ­> study of contemporary cultures and societies, studied through participant  observation ­> provide an ethnography : a description of an aspect of culture within a  society ­Modern cultural anthropology is vast: can be seen in local, regional or global settings 2) Archaeology ­> study of past societies and their cultures using material remains (ex.  tools, ceramics, sites), different types of archaeologists: classical, historical, prehistoric ­Archaeology is misconceived in pop culture: ex. Indiana Jones 3) Linguistic ­> studies the construction and use of language by human societies ­Structural linguistics: how language works => grammatical patterns, language and  thought patterns ­Sociolinguistics: the relationship between language and social behaviour in different  cultures ex. regional dialects in USA, Cree dialects in Canada ­Historical linguistics: how are languages related to each other, and how have they  changed over time? 4) Physical ­> studies all aspects of the biology and behaviour of the human species (and  closest relatives) in the past and present ex. Jane Goodall studied chimp behavior  Plus applied anthro: marketing and business, law indigenous claims, environmental  assessments, forensics.  Key Terms:  Ethnocentrism – the belief that your way of life or beliefs are “right” or superior to those  of someone else. Cultural Relativism – the attempt to understand a group of people from their point of  view Feildwork: sets cultural anthropology apart from other disciplines.  ­long term, a year or more with a community of people to gain rapport (trust)  ­eg. Homeless shelters: would hang out 24/7 with these people Preparing for fieldwork  • Financial­ apply for money from organizations, governments grants, and other  non­government organizations • Emotionally* • Languages­ need to know the language before entering the field • Background knowledge­ usually a year before entering the field doing course  work; reading about your topic Informed consent: consent of subjects to publish findings, protects rights of informants  Culture Shock­ sense of anxiety or homesickness when in a new place  Qualitative Data­ interviews, and discussions rather then  Quantitative which is percentages and graphs and numerical facts statistics  ­better for looking for patterns in a society  Problems with surveys and statistics: limited to certain answers, get no background info.  Participant Observation: Interacting closely with people on a daily basis, sometimes  living with or near them, and often participating activities or aspects of daily life Three sources of Data:  1) people’s own understandings of the rules they share 2) the extent to which they believe they are observing those rules 3) behaviors directly observed by an anthropologist  Armchair anthropology: no practical experience. Picks out info from readings. 2  hand  knowledge  Verandah Anthro: interviewed natives. Anthropologists were men, or only interviewed  men  Method: the practical study and application of different fieldwork methods  Methodology: epistemology; the critical interrogation of methods Bronislaw Malinowski: shows the difference in what informants say, and what actually  happens. The importance of participant observation  ­ No relation to the metis being in awe of spirits.  ­ You cannot rely on what they say they do.  Sterks Article:  ­Anthropologists as students and informants as teachers ­Goal to obtain INSIDER perspective ­Sterk questions the OBJECTIVITY of fieldwork. She argues that we must be aware of: Positionality: Reflexivity:  Identity: learned personal and social types of affiliation that help us learn how to belong  in society  Natu
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