ANT102H5- Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 26 pages long!)

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ANT102H5
FINAL EXAM
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Lec 01: Anthropology and the Study of Culture
Anthropology: the study of humanity through time
Four fields:
archaeology (prehistory)
biology (physical anthropology)
linguistic anthropology
cultural anthropology
debate about an integrated fifth field (applied anthropology)
Archaeology: the study of past human cultures
two major areas (prehistoric and historical)
specialties based on context
archaeology of contemporary life (i.e. “Garbage Project”)
Physical Anthropology: the study of humans as biological organisms
nonhuman primates (primatology)
human evolution (paleoanthropology)
contemporary human variation
Linguistic Anthropology: the study of communication
three major areas (historical, structural, sociolinguistics)
trends in communication/information technology
Cultural Anthropology: the study of the life ways of contemporary people
examples: making a living, reproduction, marriage, family, politics, religion, etc
Key contributors to cultural anthropology...
Malinowski functionalism, holism, participant observation
Boas cultural relativism, historical particularism, advocacy
Levi-Strauss symbolic analysis, French structurialism
Culture has many definitions...
to cultivate
high culture (la culture, arts)
to anthropologists...
Tylor: “A complex whole...”
Harris: “lifeways... and patterned ways of thinking...”
Geertz: “symbols, thoughts...”
Culture: learned and shared ways of behaving and thinking
focuses on behaviour (cultural materialism) and belief/thought (cultural interpretivism)
Characteristics of Culture:
1. Not the same as nature
- taste variation among different cultures
2. Based on symbols
- culturally defined, arbitrary
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3. Is learned
- formally through school, informally through surroundings
4. Is integrated
- holism, studying intertribal warfare in Papua New Guinea
5. Interacts and changes
- clash of civilizations, McDonaldization, hybridization, localization
Cultures contain microcultures (class, ethnicity, age, gender, etc).
Race is a social construct based on physical traits.
Ethnicity is culture, language, history, etc.
Distinctive features of cultural anthropology:
fieldwork, ethnography, ethnology
cultural relativism and sustaining diversity
“Make the strange familiar and the familiar strange” (Spiro) – example is Nacirema culture
Cultural relativism: culture must be understood in terms of its own values and beliefs
Ethnocentricism: judging another culture by the standards of your own
Absolute C.R. is total acceptance (i.e. Holocaust, female circumcision/genital mutilation)
Cricial C.R. is critical acceptance (recognizes oppressors/victims)
Cultural anthropologists support the survival of indigenous peoples.
Three Debates:
Biological determinism vs Cultural constructionism (nature vs nurture)
Interpretive anthropology vs Cultural materialism
Individual agency vs Structurism
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