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ANTHRO 101 Entire Term Notes

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University of Alberta
Francois Larose

Anthropology 101First Midterm Material Dylan Feist IntroductionWhat is Anthropology Anthropology is the study of human kind in all times and places The time period is one major difference between anthropology and other disciplines Itapproach Ie the study of al aspects of humanity in is unique in its holisticrelation to each other For example food is a universal need However not all humans eat the same food Anthropology may be interested in the factors that depict which foods humans eat Anthropology uses the comparative perspective to understand similarities and differences within and between human groups Subdisciplines of Anthropoogy y Biological Anthropology is the study of humans as biological organisms and includes o Paleoanthropologythe study of human evolutiono Primatologythe study of extant and extinct primateso Human biological diversitythe study of genetics and population geneticsy Archaeology is the study of the human past by studying material remains left by earlier human societies The scope of archaeology goes back to the first signs of material evidence left behind by early human ancestors The main focus of archaeology however is the study of homo sapiens prehistoryy Cultural Anthropology is the study of living peoples and their culture primarily through their behaviors and beliefs It tries to explain and understand similarities and differences within and between human culturesthe idea that cultures should It is based on the concept of cultural relativismnot be judged according to ones own cultural biases It includes ethnography first hand observation and ethnolinguistics the study of human languages Culture and the AnthropologistHistorically Speaking y Early definitions of culture emphasize it as a uniquely human attributey Culture is a behavior belief and a product of the human mind Biological Anthropology y Is culture a uniquely human trait Studies of living primates suggest otherwise There are many similarities between the two If early humans had a culture could primates y Primates are said to have a protoculture They have learned behaviors that are transmitted from generation to generation with local variationsy From a biological perspective the definition of culture is not a uniquely human trait Evolutionarily Speaking y Learned and flexible behaviors evolved through natural selectiony Indirectly culture the ability to learn is genetically inherited It is important to note that culture is defined as the ability to learn and modify behaviorsy It is the primary means by which humans adapt to their environment Archaeology and Culture y Archaeology begins with the first material culture tools Tools provide insight into adaptation and behaviory Culture is a relatively arbitrary unit of time and space defined by similar assemblages of artifacts Culture vs Cultures y Cultural anthropologists are more interested in variations in human culturesy Culture is a mental phenomena and it is also influenced by the environment physical and social What is Culture y Culture can be defined as socially transmitted knowledge shared by a group of peopley Culture is learned y Culture is symbolicwhat we do has a meaning attributed to those actionsy Culture is shared y Culture is always changingchange occurs at different ratesy Culture is adaptive Culture and Behavior y Norms are shared ideals about how people ought to act in certain situationsy Values are beliefs about the goals or way of life considered desirable by societyy Collective understanding are behaviors that do not need to be explained to members of ones own culture They are symbolicy Classification of reality are shared ideas about what kind of things and people exist This allows for categories of thingsy Worldwide views are peoples way of interpreting the universe and how they fit into it Natural SelectionDarwinian Evolution y Species are capable of producing offspring faster than the food supply increases Malthusy All living things show variation No two individuals of the same species are the samey Because there are more individuals than can possibly survive individuals with a favorable variation in size strength etc will possess an advantage over the othersy These favorable variations are inherited and passed on to the next generation y Over many many generations these successful variations produce great differences that result in new species The Evidence y Domesticated plants and animals have had traits selectively chosen This has over time resulted in radically different organismsy Geographical distribution of life forms isolation Darwins finches for example speciated on the Galapagos Islands based on beak sizey Geological and Paleontological RecordFossils assembled from latest to earliest depict the macroevolution that has occurred as a result of natural selectiony Comparative AnatomyOften species have homologous features This indicates natural selection and a common ancestory Vestigial Organsorgans that no longer have a function Why do we have them Because a common ancestor had these organs
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