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AN100 Study Guide - Final Guide: Cultural Ecology, Nanny, Serendipity

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Amali Philips
Study Guide

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Anthropology Matters
What is Anthropology?
Study of Human culture
The study of all mankind in all times (temporal) & places (spatial)
Portrayal of the endless cultural variations humans are capable of
Aims to describe, what it means to be "human"
"Science of culture seen from the outside" - (Levi Strauss) {act
dumb leaving your bias ideas outside}
too much focus will lead to..
Naïve realism (Denial of Diversities) -> the unconscious belief that reality is
the same for everyone no matter what their culture
Ethnocentrism (Denial of common Humanity) -> the belief and feeling
that one's own culture is the best
Prevents intercultural understanding & accommodation
Why Anthropology Matters?
Acquire knowledge about the 'human condition'
Acquire a particular perspective on the same
Appreciation of cultural diversity; tolerance, accommodation
Promotion of cross cultural understanding to reduce
Recognition of the logic underlying all culture- how culture works
Enables cross cultural communication
Apply knowledge and perspective to:
oImprove understanding
oResolve problems

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oMake positive changes/contributions
Anthropology matters more today because…
Live in multicultural contexts
different cultural origins
Have relatives from different cultures and countries
Canada is a microcosm of the world
Countries may protect their borders but borders are porous
Pre-scientific phase -> Interests in cultures pre-dated the scientific
phase… why?
Need to know about other cultures
Speculative (no real collection of scientific facts)
Prejudicial (first impressions, pre-conceived notions_
Non- Scientific (no use of scientific method)
Culture-bound -> seeing other cultures through "ones cultural
armchair anthropology -> sit and speculate but not actually going
out and discovering cultures, distance, "being there"
Political & cultural domination
"Anthropology was the outcome of a process which made the larger
part of mankind subservient to the other" - (Levi Strauss)

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Anthropology is the "handmaiden of colonialism"
Anthropology was a type of applied colonialism i.e. how to rule
economic system dominated by a supply and demand market
designed to create capital and profit
Involved in commodity production
Economic interests underlying colonial control
Political Economy -> government having certain economic interests
under political agenda
provided the opportunity, support and rationale for anthropological
Worked as researchers. Administrators, intelligence agents,
educators of colonialist administrators
Savage Slot ->
Anthropologists study
Local manifestations of global changes
Bet. Rich and poor nations
Climate change
Impacts of our consumption patterns
Local on global
Impacts of transnationalism (migrants, refugees)
Civil war, economic insecurity
Hybridity (mixing) of cultural practices, ideas
Inequalities of class, gender, race etc.
New sites of research: multi-sited (several sites at the same time
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