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14 Pages

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ANTH 1150
Shawn Lehman

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Lecture 1  imperialism - people from the western world were traveling to the nonwestern world in order to administer the territories that they have conquered; in order to covert people there into their dominant religion - Christianity and to describe those populations to the people back at home  in 1900 the most important imperial powers were Britain and france  modern anthropology developed during this period in the context of west colonizing the rest  during this period the west knew much about non west more than ever before -> anthropologists were among the professionals that were creating and communicating this knowledge to the west; a lot of info also came from nonacademics (ie soldiers)  there were 3 kids of differences that both the public and the anthropologists used to understand the nonwest  1. linguistic diff btw west and nonwest - people were curious about how people outside of the familiar world speak  2. social cultural anthro - to explain cultural diff  3. physical and racial description - race is not scientific concept but it was considered to be a scientific concept th ambivalent in 19 century  4. material - what have these people produced -> studied by archeologists  people were interested in archeology to discover the great civilizations of the past that have disappeared  4 subdisciplines of anthropology have developed out of curiosity  there were prejudices at play - looked at which culture, which lang or race is developed and which is degenerative (lost its greatness)  it was considered that west was the most advanced -> white people, west technology and language  even scientists believed that western culture was the most advanced  the conclusion was that there were primitive races and cultures and others were more advanced -> hunter gatherers  barbarians - intermediate civilizations btw uncivilized and civilized  civilized - the most advanced; believed that for civilization you need agriculture; only those who had agriculture were considered to be truly civilized; some believed that only those who can write are civilized  ethnocentrism - thinking that own culture, language and physical type is superior; seeing everything from the perspective of own people  a lot of anthropologists have contributed to ethnocentrism but other anthropologists were fighting it  from late 19 century on modern anthropologists were critical of ethnocentrism, some were unable to escape it but they were trying  know the names - will be on exam  malinowsky thought that every culture is as good as any other culture and if there are diff is bc they fill their own niche - special environment  boas - said that no culture is inferior to any other; he was critical of racism but he wasn’t free of it; a culture that is higher is the one that recognizes that we are not superior  Margaret mead - student of boas; believed that each culture has its own system of customs that you need to uncover; talked about diff psy types but none than any other; antiracist bc said that shouldn’t evaluate people in your terms but in their terms  lang is one way of signifying -> to signify is to make sense  language is a system for making sense  pictures are also one way to make sense; signs are also a way of making sense (if you see a sign it will make you stop)  there are other systems for making sense and all of them have3 functions - communication; identity formation and representation  language and other signifying systems make sense and they function to communicate  have a certain number of actors in communication - have speaker (also known as sender; can call an artist a sender - > if send a msg than you are sender); receiver; the channel through msg is sent could be spoken language or it could be written; or could be written electronically or spoken (radio); another channel - body language; illness symptoms are also communication system  medium - the channel  when have tv your culture will change regardless of whats on tv; regardless of the content, just bc that channel exists it will make huge changes in the world  he coined the term global village - through tv people were able to see instantly what was going on in other parts of the world  every channel creates diff kind of experience and addition of new channel changes the world  a new way of communication means a new way of organizing people regardless of whats on it  differentiation is one of the aspects of signifying systems  one function of language is identity formation  the differences may or may not exist but the language crystalizes the diff  sometimes we form the identity for other people and then they learn it from us and accept that identity  the way you speak helps to create identity; people are differentiated based on the languages that they speak; language has differentiating function  positive and negative don’t mean good and bad  positive - not comparing anything; positive content for Canadian could be - you are a Canadian if you love hockey; can define a German person by them speaking german  negative - makes comparison with others; stressing the difference; what we are not; Canadians are more polite than americans; neg definition of dutch - Germanic language which is not german (saying that your language is not like others, comparing it to others)  so defining Canadians as loving hockey is positive and defining Canadians as more polite than Americans is negative  difference can create conflict btw the groups  when groups compete for the same resources they can come into conflict  diff human groups, like diff animal groups, can compete for the same resources -> they adopt themselves to diff niches; in humans it leads to development of diff languages and diff cultures (diff behaviours)  other special would develop into diff species but humans don’t develop into diff species but become very varied in terms of diff that we have  prejudice may accompany the diff but prejudice is not caused by the diff (there are many diff btw the people and they don’t cause prejudice - some people have bigger ears than others); its not the case that diff creates hostility, it depends on the context in which these diff are created and understood  physical types are associated with prejudice but not all physical types; race is a concept that is involved  we call race a folk notion  green terms - will not be tested on definition but will be tested about something involving that word  members of the society participate in the construction of race  races are not distinct genetically in terms of genetic pools; race is not genetic classification; people of certain race may have some genetic characteristics in common but there is no gene for black or white people  there are more genetic traits that are shared btw the people across races than within  its socially and linguistically conditioned how we classify people  differences in appearance are given by nature but its people who turn them into racial classification  its correct to say that Obama is black but its not correct to say that he is white even though he is half and half  what black means in our language is governed by one drop rule -> if youre a little black than youre black  if the person is a little not white than they are not at all white  racial classifications are not given by nature; if it was by nature Obama would be just as white as black -> these classifications are made through language and they are made in the context of power relations  black and white race - concepts that were invented before slavery in Americas  sharespere has characters that are dark skinned; but there is no mention of black race; doesn’t mean that there was race called black at that time, some people were prejudiced against people who dark skinned  people were not divided into black and white until slavery  if the family acquired even one drop of African blood -> might not necessarily be enslaved but would not have all the privileges that white people have  whineness became socially and politically in the context a valued characteristic of human being  one drop rule was the law in at least one American state  first arabs were considered to be white people; then they were brown; then middle eastern (**don’t find that term before 1960); today arab became a race  the terminologies are not given by nature, they change historically, they depend on the political and social circumstances and they are created by language  races are constructed using language *****  races are real difference but not natural differences  how do you free yourself from prejudice?  malinowsky, boaz and mead -> believed that you should judge each culture on its own terms  extreme position is cultural relativism - any behavior or action is okay is it belongs to that culture (?)  no culture is more advanced than another and no culture is more ethical  there are no universal standards of morality, there are cultural standards  this can be exploited - if say that it’s not true that society with internet is more advanced than society without internet -> wouldn’t introduce internet in that other culture  cultural relativism might deny universal rights  burning of wives is traditional in india; its not okay bc indian custom allows it  cultural relativism is not a position that anthropology advocates  representation - presenting again  semiotics is about representation but not only  of all the representational systems, language is only one  we can represent dog through a word, image, spoken word, written word  when we communicate we represent items such as dog through diff kids of sign systems; lang is one of them lecture 2  LISTEN TO THE POPCAST (?) assigned, will be on the exam  language is also a system of signs  the idea of a dog could be conveyed with the picture or with a word  anything that represents something else is a sign - the sounds of a dog, picture of a dog, sign that says something about a dog, the words as it is spoken, the smell of a dog  when you walk into the room and it smells like a dog - signifies to you that there is a dog  signifying means using signs; signs don’t reflect reality they make reality, they construct the human world  the ability to use signs is distinctive characteristic of homo sapiens  signification means to make sense, it also means to make signs  what does this signify? means how does this makes sense  when you signify something you make a sign for it, you cant signify anything without making a sign, saying a word is also making a sign; if want to signify that its cold outside - can say it, can shiver (physical sign) etc  linguistic signs - signs that have to do with language; other signs are non linguistic  there is signifier and signified - two aspects of signs  symbol icon and index are three kinds of signs  connotation and denotation - two types of meaning that the signs convey  language helps us to make sense of ourselves; babies are not born with the knowledge that they are a separate human being; this knowledge is acquired through the use of language and signs  human being is the kind that can make sense of things; to make sense is to signify  study how signs work in discipline called semiotics  the study of language - linguistics; linguistics is not about knowing languages its about analyzing languages  linguistics is part of semiotics is bc language is one system of signs  we can divide semiotics into study of language (which is linguistics) and other signs (which is semiotics proper) WILL BE ON EXAM  Ferdinand de Saussure - swiss scholar, responsible for the terms signifier and signified  according to saussurean theory every sign has these two aspects - signifier and signified  traffic sign that shows that the road ahead is curvy -> has two aspects; the signifier is the physical sign and signified is the meaning (curving road ahead); signifier is the physical object and signified is what it stands for; two aspects together they are the sign  this sign doesn’t always mean curving road ahead; if the stop sign is in the closet it doesn’t mean the same thing as on the road; the object by itself doesn’t have the meaning, the object signifies only in the context  the picture and the sign of moose are both icons  icons resemble the physical form of what it stands for  any picture is an icon; by looking at the picture of someone we can say that its that person bc it resembles the person in physical form  index - something that doesn’t represent directly what it stands for, but it indicates it (index = indicate); ie sign for poison -> don’t see poison but a skull; another pic - poo of moose; don’t see moose but it represents moose; indexes don’t share the form with the referent, don’t look the same as the referent; there is something in the picture that indicates what it stands for; smoke is an index of fire, it indicates fire  smell of food is an index bc directly in its form desnt represent food but it indicates food  symbols have nothing to do with what they represent in terms of form  ie; red cross stands for England; there is nothing about the form or smell of the cross that represents England; it’s a conventional association, arbitrary relationship; arbitrary relationship is when signifier and signified are connected only through the system of signification  ie barber pole doesn’t look like a barber or barber shop  picture of mouth with white teeth -> index; not an icon bc the sign would have to show you the dentist or the office; the mouth indicate the dentist  barber pole has nothing to do with barber (in contrast to mouth which indicates dentist)  summary - there are three kids of signs; icons look or sound like what they stand for; index doesn’t look or sound like what it stands for but there is some connection, symbols - there is no connection, have to learn through convention what the meaning of the sign is  when the relationship is not arbitrary its motivated (***know everything in green)  motivated relationships we find only in icons and indexes; symbols don’t have motivations, they are arbitrary  unlike pictures, language is mostly arbitrary system  ie by looking at the picture of ta steve we can later identify him even if don’t know him; if just say steve we don’t know who that word stands for; word doesn’t help us picture what it stands for  if say find girl with glasses - can do that bc glasses is visual  words are arbitrary for the most part  cat - is it signifier or signified of sign? - signifier  the signified - furry animal that is kept as a pet -> but doesn’t help us to identify what cat is  difficult to say what is signified; depends on the context  there is nothing in the letters or the sound that resembles the cat; its an arbitrary relationship; in diff languages cat will be called something else  happy - signifier are the letters or sound but whatever it stands for it doesn’t have to be expressed as happy  some words are not pure symbols and they resemble what they stand for; these words are called onomatopoeia  onomatopoeia - words that are not arbitrary, they are somewhat iconic they represent what they stand for  onomatopea are icons to the extent that they resemble what they stand for, they are like a sound picture  islam - arbitrary relationship  tao - the whole world is divided into two opposites but in each half you find a little bit of the other; the symbol for islam is not related to islam in any way tao symbol is related to the religion of tao  some signs are not only index or icon but can have more than one characteristic  index bc indicates where airport is but doesn’t show it, but also icon bc shows airplane  icon bc shows which way you turn  icon for a window; for Microsoft windows its an index (it indicates something about what the company wants you to believe)  prime minister is holding beer - connotation that he is a regular guy  denotation is the icon, a picture of harper holding a glass  signs don’t just have a denotation but also connotation which means that it suggests or means something nd  2 picture - denotation is that harper is at some Chinese restaurant; also
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