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AN100 Study Guide - Final Guide: Transhumance, Tomboy, Louis Dumont

Course Code
Elaine Clark- Rapley
Study Guide

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AN100 Review
Ethnography: the task of discovering and describing a particular culture,
“Insider’s viewpoint”.
The anthropologist will move into a community, watch people’s daily
routines, attend rituals, and spend hours interviewing informants.
Learning the meanings of actions from the informant’s point of view.
Anthropologist’s don’t tell informants what their world should really be
Rather than
people, ethnography means
learning from
Naive Realism: Unconscious belief that reality is same for everyone
regardless of their culture.
Assumes that love, snow, marriage, worship, animals, death, food, etc.
all have the same meaning to all human beings.
Culture: The knowledge, art, law, morals, and customs acquired as a member
of a society. It is
shared, integrative, symbolic.
When ethnographers study other cultures, they must deal with 3
fundamental aspects of human experience:
What people do:
cultural behaviour
oe.g., reading on a train
oEthnographers observe behaviour and inquire about the meaning
of that behaviour.
What people know:
cultural knowledge
oe.g., knowing how to read (the alphabet, grammar, vocabulary)
oEthnographers observe emotional states then discover the
meaning of fear, anxiety, anger, etc.
Explicit Culture
(what we know), or
tacit culture
(outside our
The things people make and use:
cultural artifacts
oe.g., books, newspapers
oEthnographers see artifacts and discover the meaning people
assign to these objects.
Symbolic Interactionism: a theory that seeks to explain human behaviour in
terms of meanings.
Folk Taxonomies: The Avocado is an edible plant, American’s see it as a
vegetable but Brazilians see it as a fruit.

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Refugee: Leaving home country based on a well-founded fear of persecution
based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political
Substantive Law: legal statutes that de4nes right & wrong.
e.g., “It is illegal to bring liquor across the state line", “he broke
the law”
Not all cultures had written law nor are all rules written
Violation can lead to di8erence procedures (sentencing) based on
class, repeat o8enders.
Unwritten Rule: more tramps are arrested for being drunk in
public than high class
Procedural Law: Agreed on ways to settle dispute
Written or Unwritten.
First-time o8enders get a lower sentence than repeat o8enders”
Anthropology: The study of all humankind at any time and place. Aims to
broadly describe what it means to be human. The study of di8erences and
Race: a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.
Status: the relative social, professional, or other standing of someone or
Non-Verbal Communication: Kinesics: body language, Proxemics: Use of
space, Body art, communication technology, symbols.
Ethnicity: A social classi4cation based on common cultural heritage
(language, religion, history).
Egalitarian: All people deserve equal rights, part of Uncentralized political
system (bands/tribes)
Hierarchical / Strati4ed Societies: Centralized political system, di8erent levels
of authority.
Ethnocentrism: the opinion that one’s own way of life is natural or best, the
only way of being human. --> Denial of common humanity.
Enculturation: The gradual acquisition of characteristics of a culture.

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Acculturation: Loss of culture through culture contact or colonial domination
(Residential Schools in Canada for indigenous peoples)
Holism: Studying culture in the broadest way possible, then 4nding
interconnections between them. Assumes that
mind and body
person and
humans and their environment
interpenetrate and de4ne one
Intersectionality: interconnected nature of social categorizations such as
race, class, and gender
Class: a ranked group within a hierarchy whose membership is de4ned in
terms of wealth, income, occupation, and/or access to power or Means of
Caste: a ranked group whose membership is based on inherited social roles.
Ch. 36 – Peace Corps in Botswana – Hoyt S. Alverson
PCVs felt cross-cultural discomfort, isolated themselves
Considered the Tswana lazy because they shared di8erent cultural
E.g., long greetings, lots of socializing, work comes second, no concept
of time.
oTime is based on events and isn’t seen as linear. Nothing can be
late because the event is its own time.
o“taking the news”; just saying ‘hello’ is not enough.
oTswana would rather hear a lie to maintain smooth face-to-face
oNot very trusting, lots of gossip, shouldn’t confess weaknesses.
Ch. 37 – Milk Goats for Nutrition in Malawi – Sonia Patten
Malawi mostly Chewa ethnic group, with matrilineal descent system
(men move to women)
Medical Anthropology studies cultural di8erences in healing, human
adaptations to disease, and applied medical anthropology.
U.S. Agency for International Development 1990s:
Bread meat goats with milk goats to give to women, to feed their
malnourished children.
Ch. 39 – Using Anthropology – David W. McCurdy
Ex. Chief engineer of container ship, community organizer, television
producer, etc.
Instead of a focus on particular human institutions (law, politics,
economics) anthropologists are interested in cross-cultural di8erences
and similarities among the world’s many groups.
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