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ANTA02H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Linguistic Anthropology, Cultural Relativism, Cultural Anthropology

Course Code
Bianca Dahl
Study Guide

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Key Concepts For Midterm
(Please feel free to comment on the missing terms by defining them)
armchair anthropology (lecture): a person who has book knowledge but has
never had practical experience. He/She might know the theory but has never tried
it out by him/herself. sad
Participant Observation: . A technique of field of research, which an investigator
(participant observer) studies the life of a group by sharing in its activities
Ethnography: The study and systematic recording of human cultures; also a
descriptive work produced from such research.
“Othering”: 2 purposes: reflect on North American cultural differences, and
reflect on dangers of othering” too much.
4 fields of Anthropology: biological anthropology, cultural anthropology,
linguistic anthropology, and archaeology
Denaturalize: Denaturalized things we take for granted as normal or as objective
truths (makes them seem less “natural”)
Ethnocentrism: The often implicit idea that your culture or group or lifestyle is
the center of everything. Entails limited tolerance of other cultures.
Cultural Relativism: The values or practices of one culture or society cannot be
perfectly translated into the terms of another cultural group. (Opposite of
Moral Relativism: The belief that all moral/ethical positions are equally valid and
can’t be judged.
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Culture: The system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviours, and artifacts
that the members of society use to cope with their world and with one another, and
that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning
Metalanguage: the ability to think about language, to be aware of how language
works also the relationship between language and other cultural factors
“metalinguistic commentary” is commentary about how language works, that
reflects a self-conscious awareness of language
Language Prescriptivism: The practice or belief held by some people that certain
ways of speaking are better or more correct than others. Think of this as the camp
of “language purists” – who don’t like innovations in language (like “textspeak”)
very much.
Language Registers: A particular style of language that is used in certain social
settings or with particular groups. For example, you all speak and write in a
different “register” or style with your friends than you do with your professor. At
least, I’m hoping you do. ;-) [ß see what I just did there?! Lol]
Diglossic: A situation in which two languages are used by the same community.
Codeswitching: when you switch between one “register” (way of speaking) to
another bilingual people often code switch between both languages when talking
with their family, for example, or young people might codeswitch between
formal/informal registers.
ethnographer as a positioned subject:
Reflexive-reflecting upon yourself
Reaching on culture, influencing it, in change of their own emotions
Writing yourself into research (1st person)
The cultural “logic” or rationale of a practice: At times, you have to feel
something yourself in order to truly understand it. We shouldn’t assume a symbolic
depth to cultural practice. ( Week 3 slide 6 and 7)
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