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Midterm

ANTA02H3 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Uee, Neoliberalism, Cockfight


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTA02H3
Professor
Maggie Cummings
Study Guide
Midterm

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-the written description and analysis of an anthropologists experiences and interactions with a group of people
Ethnography- the writing of culture
-example: death, food,
-description /details of the culture (to things, events, activities, and people)
-culture enables people to make sense of life experiences and to understand the experiences as meaningful in
specific ways
Culture: the system of meanings about the nature of experience that is shared by a people and passed from one generation to
the next
Cultural text: a way of thinking about a culture as a text of significant symbols- words, gestures, drawings, natural objects- that
carries meaning
-he also says that humans are “incomplete or unfinished animals who complete themselves through culture
not culture in general, but specific forms of it”
Clifford Geertz suggests that humans impose meanings on their experiences so they can comprehend experience or the world
would seem like “a chaos of pointless acts and exploding emotions”
-“emic” perspective (insiders)
-culture from “the native’s point of view” (Malinowski)
Salvage anthropology: by boas; documenting oral stories, songs, histories and other traditions of native groups before they
disappeared
-oldest of the 4 sub disciplines
-some specialize in paleoanthropology, primatology,
-the newest branch is forensic anthropology (study of human remains and cause of death)
Biological anthropology: focuses on human beings
-tools, and other artifacts offer clues about the social and cultural lives of societies
Archaeology: studies human history and its artifacts (look at material remains to learn how people lived)
4 SUBDISCIPLINES
-how language is used to communicate, and how much it has developed over years
Linguistic anthropology: examines the relationship between language and culture
-look for similarities and differences in how people think it means to be human
-both do fieldwork among the societies and cultures they study
-explore both the universal and particular
Sociocultural anthropology: how societies are structured and how cultural meanings are created
Humanity or science?
-incorporates both the methodological and analytical aspects of the sciences and interpretive insights of the humanities
-“the most scientific of the humanities, and the most humanistic of the sciences.” –Eric Wolf
-Michel Foucault referred to the shaping of the human body as a “political anatomy” (people’s bodies are controlled by others to
operate with the necessary speed and efficiency
-conduct interviews and surveys, taking photographs, recording songs and oral narratives
Fieldwork- living for an extended period of time in the environment you are studying (observing and participating in everyday
tasks)
Lecture 02
January 29, 2015
7:27 PM
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-everything humans do currently or have in the past
-collecting evidence of how and when we became humans
-sociocultural anthropologists get their knowledge by spending time with people, talking to them, observing what
they do and trying to understand their lives
-comparing humans to other organisms in the world
Anthropology: the study of human beings
-fathers of anthropology: Malinowski and Boas
Proto-anthropologists: philosophers and various explorers
Victorian anthropology (Tyler and Frazer): evolutionary, hierarchy of “civilization” (19th century)
-did work from their offices with colonial officers and got their info from the explorers (colonial period of the
world)
Do their research from their “verandah” on the porch watching the culture but not fully engaged in the culture
-eventually went off the verandah and into the culture environment (participant observation)
-eventually Malinowski didn’t agree with his colleagues with ranking groups on civilization
-have to be involved but still be separate and take observations
Armchair anthropology: comparative, second-hand accounts
-didn’t emerge as a formal discipline until 1883 when Edward Tylor was 1st position of anthro in Britain
-Anthropology began during “the Age of Exploration” when Christopher Columbus arrived in Americans in 1492, also the
Europeans started to encounter people of different cultures
Ethnographic method: investigators put themselves in the lives of the people they are trying to understand and get their info that
way
Participant observation: active participation of observers in the lives of their subjects
-Malinowski was the first participant-observer and did fieldwork (social)
-believed in participant observation
-reacted again cultural evolution and Victorian anthropology
-All cultures a product of own unique history
Don’t judge specific cultures to be disgusting from our cultures comparison but look from their perspective
-ethnocentrism: your own belief
Etic: analytic outsider’s perspective
Avoid ethnocentrism, strive for cultural relativism
Relativist fallacy: method for studying cultures that are unfamiliar to us (understand the context for a belief before
judging
-understand how any given culture has become what it is (historical particularism)
Franz Boas (cultural)
Culture - shared patterns of learned behaviour
Boas- culture as a lens for experience
-Frazer believed that all livings things went through 3 stages: magical, religious, and scientific thinking
Multi-sited ethnography when you can go to other places other than the original location of the culture
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Multi-sited ethnography when you can go to other places other than the original location of the culture
Multi-sited fieldwork- connecting the localized events and experiences of a community with broader regional, national or global
processes
-can be created my anthropologists, media or by informants themselves
Representation: the way a group of people is depicted in writing or through images
Essentialism: act of creating generalizations or stereotypes about the behaviour or culture of a group of people
-sociocultural anthropologists find it intellectually and methodologically intolerable
Ethnocentric fallacy: the idea that our beliefs and behaviours are right and true, while those of others are wrong and misguided
Ethnocentrism: the tendency to judge the beliefs and behaviours of other cultures from the perspective of one’s own
Cultural relativism: states that no behaviour or belief can be judged to be odd or wrong just because it’s different from our own,
but we should try to understand the culture on its own terms
Relativistic fallacy: the idea that it’s impossible to make moral judgements about the beliefs and behaviours of others
Ethnography at home staying at home and studying own cultural groups
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