Key Concepts for Midterm

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Maureen Murney

1. Culture: knowledge that is learned, shared, n used by ppl to interpret experience n generate behaviour 2. ethnography: process of discovering n describing a particular culture 3. Edward Tylor: (1832- 1917): o Culture that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, custom, n any other capabilities n habits acquired by man as a member of sociarty (1871) 4. Ethnocentrism: belief n feeling that ones own culture is best 5. Pre-modern era: World thought of metaphysical hierarchy - Reliance on tradition as a source of authority o Ex: Christianity - View of humanity as being center of universe o Ex: sun arnd the world - This is the concept of gr8 chain of being - Impo: idea that ur born into unchanging set of relationships - Concept of class mobility wudnt make sense - These relationships r organic n static 6. great chain of being: way of thinking abt ppl in a way that everything established by God or nature belonged somewhere - provided a model - used ideal or race 2 justify slavery th 7. modern era: Modern era (more was in 16 century) a. Copernicus (1473- 1543) b. Galileo (1564- 1642) c. Descartes (1596- 1650) - Major ideological changes o Shifting power relations - Ex: Roman Catholic Church decreased in authority (by a lot) - Copernicus: Earth revolves arnd the sun - Galileo: jailed by Catholic church, church apologized 1992 - Descartes: I think, therefore I am o If u can wonder whether or not u exist o Concept marks a radical turn to the self - If we relive on own perceptions of the world rather than sum authority like church, wut emerges is a concept of self-contaminated isolated person who can b independent of the world but can observe the world n deduce how it works - Characteristics: o Notion that we no ourselves thru cognitive n reflexive activity o World constructed as composed of objects that can b known Ex: world is sum kind of break machine [fundamental concepts] - All of this lead to 18 century enlightenment in Western philosophy - This period was characterized by faiths over what we no n how we no it - 2 main orientations emerged here o 1. Rationalism/ idealism o 2. Empiricism/ materialism - 1. focus on process of learning - central question was affect of mind on reality - interest in humans as agents - 2. refers to idea of collecting knowledge thry experience o Ex: statement thought to b TRUE only if can be verified thru senses - considers with the rise of scientific evolution - idea that nature has objective reality apart from us n we cum to know it thru empirical analysis - knowledge starts getting divided up into categories o Beginnings of specialization: economics, philosophy 8. Post-modern era: Agents in flux/ action - Began to see ppl rejecting dualistic models of the world - rejecting modern definitions of self - rejection of idea that we can have universal theories that explain everything o ex: mind vs brain o modern vs traditional o mind vs body - humans r continually changing; they r not static o reality is constantly revolving (changing) o reality is socially constructed how we observe reality will b affected by the meanings we have abt the world o ppl r not thought of being self-contaminated by as being relational o in acedenia u get new emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches o attack on modern notion of authority ex: argument abt nature of authority for ethnographers agency: humans r not passive objects by can influence on their surroundings 9. agency: the power of individuals to choose what to do, how to act, based on intention (there must be alternatives in order to have agency) 10.Franz Boas: founder of American anthropology - 4 field approach - Historical particularism o German immigrant to US o Very impo research among Kwakiutl Indians n Eskimo/ Inuit - Emphasized importance of gathering data in person
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