Anthropology 1500 Midterm Review:
1. What are the 5 sub-fields of Anthropology?
- Biological/ Physical: study human conditions by focusing on biological and physical aspects of
the human (height, weight)
- Archeological: study human condition by studying material remains from the past (bone
- Linguistic: study human conditions by studying on how language is used in context (metaphor)
- Social/Cultural: present cultures in society, understanding diversity
- Applied: looks to improve human conditions
2. What is holism?
- Interested in aspects of human behaviour, interrelated aspects of human condition (religious
practices, health, social aspects)
3. What are the common problems during fieldwork?
- Culture shock, cultural misunderstanding
4. Anthropologists often conduct a year-long study by using the language of their
informants, making personal contacts with them, and observing their ways of life. Why did
these characteristics of anthropological research develop?
- Historically, interested in groups of people who didn’t have writing systems, the only way to
get information was to integrate themselves into society, learn the language and customs and
connect with the people.
5. What is participant observation?
- When the researcher participates in the study.
6. What might an anthropologist write down in his/her feildnotes?
- Environment/setting, material objects used (tools in setting), dress, patterns of
communication/interactions, status/role differences
7. When should a researcher employ participant observation rather than interviews?
- When you’re interested in behaviours, as opposed to a person’s experience in what happened
8. When do anthropologists use life history?
- When they want to tell the experience of someone, to get a picture of a person’s life,
chronologically, very personal account of culture or change in culture.
9. Why is genealogical method important in cultural anthropology?
- Learn about rights and how duties are divided, how kinship is used in society, marriage
traditions, organization of families, relationships with parents, siblings, tells about a society.
10. What kinds of ethical responsibilities do anthropologists have? - Responsibility to scholarship and science: can’t make up or distort data
- Responsibility to people and animals studied: do no harm
- Responsibility to the public: presentation to the people, must debrief after study
11. What is culture? (example)
- Learned: growing up in a particular place, (language depending on where we grow up)
- Shared: death, sorrow, mourning period
- Includes repetitive patterns of behaviour, thought and feeling (body weight in Fiji)
12. Anne Becker found that Fiji women are not interested in attaining culturally preferred
medium-weight body shapes, why? What values do they see in overweight body shapes?
- Positive idea that this person has received high quality care, ties with other people, feasts are
expression of care, body belongs to the collective group, honor in hospitality
13. What is cultural materialism?
- Material conditions shape ideas
- Who is associated with cultural materialism?
- Marvin Harris
- What is infrastructure?
- Mode of production and reproduction
- What is structure?
- Domestic and political economy (organized groups)
- What is superstructure?
- How the world looks (religion, art)
- Which is most important?
- Infrastructure is the most important layer since it determined the other two
14. According to Harris, why are cattle sacred in India?
- They take little and give lots, they are cost effective and livings were made from farming
15. What are the Cultural meanings of Circumcision among the Hofriyati people?
- Virginity, purity, morality, fertility
16. How does colonialism affect the culture of the colonized?
- Assimilation, genocide, ethnocide (loss of culture, adapt to colonies ways)
17. Who introduced cricket to the Trobrianders?
- British missionaries in the 20 century
18. How did the Trobrianders change English cricket?
- Didn’t specify numbers of players, changed rules, form of kayasa, use of magic, fertility ritual,
ceremonial costume, gift exchange
19. Trobraind cricket can be seen as an indigenous response to colonialism, why?
- Illustrates that people can indigenize a foreign practice introduced by the colonizers 20. Who is Bronislaw Malinowski?
- Father of func