Ant 102 Exam Study Terms for midterm.doc

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Andrea Muehlebach

ANT 102 – Study Terms Relativism argues that truth and moral standards are not fixed and absolute for everyone but vary according to time, place, and context. Socio-cultural anthropology holds/suggests that variations in human behaviour must be understood within the cultural or social frameworks which contain them. Ethical relativism is the notion that the business of making universal, cross-cultural, ethical judgements is both incoherent and unfair because moral values are a product of each culture’s unique developmental history, and can, therefore only be judged in relation to that history. Eurocentrism - universalizing judgements of other people’s moral values and ethical behavior Linguistic anthropology: Language consists of symbols. Socio-cultural anthropology: Culture, like language, operates through symbols (i.e. meaning is constantly conveyed in our every-day actions). Symbol:A word or object or behaviour or action that represents another abstract or concrete thing. Objects with symbolic meanings might include flags, Christian crosses, royal crowns, all forms of dress and adornment, but also every-day things like consumer goods Meaning is highly context dependent - you need to know layers and layers of (culturally specific) context to understand the meaning of a wink. You also need to know when to wink and when not to wink, whom to wink at and to what effect. Hermeneutics - The practice of interpretation: originally of religious texts, later of social situations, focusing on the meanings those involved ascribe to an event. Ethnography, in short, is an act of interpretation. The hermeneuticcirclerefers to the idea that one's understanding of the text/meaningful practice/ cultural action as a whole is established by reference to the individual parts and one's understanding of each individual part by reference to the whole. Neither the whole text nor any individual part can be understood without reference to one another, and hence, it is a circle. All of this means that the meaning of a text (or any social phenomenon) must be found within its cultural, historical, and literary context. Questions: What is ethnographic fieldwork?
What is the anthropological method?
 What kinds of knowledge do we produce?
 “Ethnology has introduced law and order into what seemed chaotic and freakish. It has transformed for us the sensational, wild, and unaccountable world of “savages” into a number of well- ordered communities governed by law, behaving and thinking according to consistent principles ... Ethnographic Fieldwork - consists of collecting concrete data of evidence Ethnography - he practice of anthropological research based on direct observation of and reportage on a people's way of life. For the ethnographer there are two stages, the first of which is fieldwork, which is the process of observing and recording data. The second stage is the production of a written description and analysis of the subject under study. Its place in post-colonial studies has not always been as straightforward, and has on some level contributed to our colonial assumptions Ethnography is the process of recording and describing a culture of a specific people, such as the Dani, and its traits, patterns, and principles of coherent integration. Anthropologists produce ethnography on the basis of firsthand field observation of the people who are being studied. – Website Term Ethnology covers the theoretical aspect of anthropology. Ethnologists ascertain how cultures differ or exhibit similarities through comparison and generalization, suggest reasons for cross cultural regularities observed, and use these explana tory inferences to formulate new research hypotheses. Holism – any approach that treats the whole greater than the SUM OF ITS PARTS Methodological Holism – aims at understanding social life through social and cultural patterns Methodological Individualism – the individual is the basic and IRREDUCIBLE unit of explanation in social analysis. QUESTIONS for exam What are the principles of anthropological method?
 Statistical ----- Theory of Evolution - holds that species of living things develop from previous versions of themselves, as opposed to being created. The term was made famous by Darwin, though the term had this meaning from at least the 1830s. Social evolution” is the - anthropological concept of directional change in a society. In late-nineteenth-century studies it was supposed that “primitive” societies gradually evolved to greater levels of complexity Malinowski rejected human evolution Neoevolutionism (or neo-Darwinism) - generally applies to modern revivals of evolutionism; in sociology it is associated with the theories of Talcott Parsons. Talcot Parsons Theory – attempted to establish a balance between two major methodological traditions: the utilitarian-positivist and hermeneutic-idealistic traditions *look up for more in depth and clear detail* Diffusionism - is the appearance of elements of one people’s culture or practices in another. Example: th media, internet etc it is now happening more than ever - an example could be the way British English is now using a lot more American slang, pronunciation etc due to exposure to US films and TV. Reflexivity - The process of turning in on oneself; of “reflecting” on oneself and the conditions under which knowledge is produced. Production of Knowledge - always linked to power and the particularities of context. If we understand that all knowledge is voiced from a particular location or position, then perfect objectivity and neutrality are not possible. On the other hand….Scientific Knowledge - is always forged from particular vantage points and from within a field of power relations. Perspectivist-Knowledge - is not as much non-objective: it is partial. It reflects an external reality but only an aspect of it, the one visible from the particular spot, social and individual, where the anthropologist was placed. The Multiplex Identity Explained… * A person may have many strands of identification available • Different aspects of one’s identity become highlighted or relevant at different times; • Gender, race, class, generation • Location, brokerage, or being an academic Kinship Lecture Comparative Method in Anthropology WAS - a way of using ethnographic information to place societies within an evolutionary scheme. But now it is something that deals with - specific values, sentiments, purposes, will, reason, choice, as well as with historical circumstances AT most - cultures as units of comparison can at most be compared with reference to specific traits, themes, or institutions (for example, material goods such as pottery or technology; kinship relationships such as mother’s brother or sister’s relationship; rituals such as national celebrations; forms of government; kinds of religion). Things to know about Zumbagua Kinship • there is absolutely no privileging of the relationship a child has with the genitor (biological father) or genitrix (biological mother) over other who are called parents • people of Zumbagua don’t discriminate between children born to women of the family and those born elsewhere and incorporated later • Even mothers, who so often are thought of as naturally tied to the child (even more naturally than fathers), are in Zumbagua very similar to men in that children can be given up (to one’s mother, for example) or adopted by someone else (one’s brother, for example) in unproblematic ways. Things to know about Euro-American Kinship – they regard “ Natural Mothers and Natural Fathers” • Natural mothers/fathers = biological mothers/fathers • Biological family = natural family • Natural family versus fictive kinship? – mixed families where there are mixed lineages and races involved ← Consanguinity – is the kinship through the bloodline. Usually opposed through affinity, which refers to relations through marriage. ← • Consanguinity (especially in its heternormative form) is treated as the “real,” “normal,” “modern” kind of kinship. Consanguinity however is not the basis for kinship in many parts of the world. Nor is is the way relations are necessarily organized for all families in Canada. ← This assumption [that Blood is Thicker Than Water] makes biological kinship unlike any other social bonds, it has especially strong binding force and is directly constituted by, grounded in, and determined by the imperatives of biology. ← • Kinship is therefore thought to primarily consist of biological bonds on which kinsmen can depend and which are more compelling and stronger than, and take priority over, other kinds of bonds. ← • Kinship is therefore often considered to be largely innate, a quality of human nature, biologically determined, however much social or cultural overlay may also be present. REMEMBER: Kinship systems are cultural systems and not mere responses to biological facts. Temporality - refers to how Time is culturally relative in so far as people exhibit different senses of time; they apprehend time differently and exhibit variably modes of time consciousness. ← • There are always multiple forms of social time present within socio-cultural groups. ← • In Euro-American though, temporality is suppressed in the sense that natural or biological parenthood occurs only at a single, specific moment - at the very inception of the relationship between parent and child ... It denies the impact of history on the physical [and relational] self (697). ← • MAIN POINT: NATURE, IN SHORT, IS PRIVILEGED CONTRA CULTURE AND HISTORY. ← Possible multiple choice - In Los Angeles as in Latin America, poor and marginalized communities have had to create strong, flexible kinship systems in order to survive. ←Gender Hermaphrodite - an organism that differs from what is usually defined as standard male or female. • may have an unusual chromosomal makeup (male babies can be born with two X chromosomes), hormonal differences, or a range of configurations and combinations of genitals and reproductive organs. What is sex? – a biological categorization based primarily on reproductive potential What is gender? – it is the CULTURAL expression of the gender definition. is therefore always performed according to culturally specific norms and possibilities. Scholars call this the performativity of gender. Question for midterm/exam – what are the GENDER NORMS or GENDER IDEOLIGIES ? our lives and our relationship with one another IDEOLOGY - a shared, tacit set of perceptions and feelings people have for explaining, interpreting, justifying, and judging the world - including the people inhabiting it. Ideologies often justify (and reproduce) inequalities. Gender Ideology - often hold that men and women and boys and girls are fundamentally DIFFERENT from eachother. consists of the shared, tacit set of perceptions and feelings people have for explaining, interpreting, justifying, and judging the people in relation to their gender (“She sits like a man”).A gender ideology often justifies gender hierarchy. Gender is an extension of sex NOTE – biology textbooks use hierarchies and stereotypical language that heirarchiizes gender Example: Ovulation: wasteful, debris, degenerative Sperm: remarkable, amazing, SHEER BUT – why aren’t SPERM looked at as wasteful? • BIOLOGY IS THE CORE INFLUENCING FACTOR FOR MALE/FEMALE DIFFERENCE • THEREFORE SEX “CAUSES” GENDER • OR: “GENDER” IS A NATURAL EXTENSION OF SEX ARE WOMEN “NATURALLY” PASSIVE AND MALES “NATURALLY” ACTIVE? Questions: Does Sex cause Gender? Answer: GENDER IDEOLOGIES (in this case of productivity and wastefulness) that create the language through which we think about “nature.” But is it plausible that sex does not determine CULTURE? Or PERHAPS – CULTURE determines the way we see culture TERM – Naturalization ~ how stereotypes come to appear as natural. Where we see the implementation of cultural stereotypes into biology. Actually speaking however: Culture turns to biology to naturalize relations between people. In the case described above, it is culture that trumps biology, not biology that trumps culture. QUESTION FOR MIDTERM How does kinship relationship share differences between the zimbagwa case? *Watch movie Emotions Terms: Ethnologist Are emotions universal?
 Happiness, surprise, fear, anger, disgusts and sadness etc are universal emotions which aer expressed with the same distinctive configurations Anthropologists say: even though emotions might be expressed similarly from an anatomical point of view, cultures are really what influence whom, how and in what context we can express emotions Conclusively: *look at the first slide of this lecture What do EMOTIONS MEAN?
 How are they EXPRESSED depending on cultural CONTEXT LOVE • is love a human universal or globally understood emotion?
 • Is motherly love innate?
 OR DEFINED by social and cultural context?
 Answer: shaped by social context Question: why do mothers in Alto seem different than others?
 Answers: women had come to expect their children to die, it was natural and that survival was a miraculous feat. A high expectancy of child death was a powerful shaper for maternal thinking and feeling --- Question: What does “culture of feeling” look like?
 Answer: A maternal feeling and practice can articulate itself through “DELAYED ATTACHMENT” to infacnts are somethings thought of as temporary household ‘visitors’. The cultural expectation of child death led to the differentiation between infants who stood a chance to live versus infants who were born to die GRIEF – is something that you do not feel but would rather just feel for particular children Term: Anthropomorphize: attribute a human form or personality to something that is non human. Example: infants are just angels on their way up to their heavenly home Mortal Selecti
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