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ANT1101 notes.odt

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SocialCultural Anthropology IntroductionSubdisciplines of anthropology in North AmericaSocioculturalLinguisticArchaeologyPhysicalSocioCultural AnthropolgySocial systems in the worlds societyPeoples understandings of the world how these shape peoples behavioursImpacts and mechanisms of sociocultural changeWhat do anthropologists doAttempt to understand multiple realities and ways of perceiving the world indepth studies typically focus on small scale societies and communitiesHelp us better understand ourselves and othersApply understanding to real world problemsEmergence of Anthropology as a Distinct DisciplineCulturebound theories typical European theories thought as the norm were being questioned People realized that these theories were only culturebound not all cultures are the same diversityFoundations of Human SocietiesSociety interdependent group of people who live in the same region can communicate and interact with each other and are interdependentSocial structure relationships among groups within a society that bind it togetherCulturehelps produce a predictable social environment and behaviour what people do and think material products they produceshapes world view the explicit and implicit conceptions an individual or group has of the limits and workings of the worldLevels of cultureMacroculturenational and internationalMicrosubculturepopular cultureCharacteristics of Culture1Culture is shared allows for predictability and functioning sets of norms values rulesThere are subcultural variations ethnicity gender age social classDistinctions in age and gender what is expected from a manwoman or from a childadultGender learned sociocultural constuct which provides guidelines for behaviour social identity and status2Culture is learnedEnculturation being taught how to behave the reason why culture is predominately a human traitWe are enculturated by direct teaching observation and unconscious absorption3Culture is based on symbolsCulture is transmitted via language and other symbolic systemssymbolic meanings varycomplexity of the human languagesprimate studies on language and cultureallows for accumulation and sharing of experience4Culture is integratedinterrelated partschange in one area results in changes in otherscore values bind but also changecomplete harmony of parts is not requiredholistic perspective5Culture is dynamic and adaptivehelps fulfill physiological and emotional needsallows humans to adapt and to utilize a wide variety of environments ex technologies and social systemsresponds to changing social political economic and biophysical environmentsnot all cultural practices are adaptive over time ex technologyUnderstanding Cultural DifferencesEthnocentrism seeing other cultures from your own cultural perspectiveCultural relativism the belief that cultures should be described objectively without bias understanding the differences in culturesNoble Savage the thought that simplistic ways of life are better than modern day technologies this is ethnocentrismHuman Rights vested in individualmethodological vs moral issueinvokes the idea of universal values ex freedom of speech religion prohibition on murder enslavementCultural Rights vested in groupsgroups ability to preserve its cultureTypes of ResearchEthnography descriptive case studiesEthnology comparativeEthnohistory focus on illuminating unrepresented cultures
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