Anthropology Final Study Guide
Final: Monday, May 1 @ 10:30
Chapter 2: Culture
• What is culture? ideas based on cultural learning and symbols
▪ Verbal – language
▪ Non-verbal – e.g., flags, totems, etc.
o Humans create, remember, and deal with ideas and apply specific systems
of symbolic meaning
o Characteristics/aspects of culture
• Enculturation: process by which a child learns their culture
o Conscious learning – direct teaching
o Unconscious learning – transmitted through observation
• Cultural relativism
o Inappropriate to use outside standards to judge behavior in a given society
o Anthropologists must be unbiased, objective
o Involves an effort to remain unbiased in one’s observations
o Acknowledges that cultures are DIFFERENT, but NOT RANKED
o To view the beliefs & customs of other peoples within the context of their
culture not one’s own.
• Ethnocentrism: Tendency to see one’s own culture as superior and to use one’s
own standards and values in judging other people and cultures
o The measure or standard against which all other lifeways are evaluated.
• Mechanisms of culture change
o Diffusion: borrowing of traits between cultures
▪ Ex: Celebrating Cinco de Mayo in America, taking Africans from
their homes to be slaves
o Acculturation: exchange of cultural features that results when groups
have continuous firsthand contact
▪ Parts of the culture changes, but each group remains distinct
o Independent invention: process by which humans innovate, creatively
finding solutions to problems
Chapter 3: Applied Anthropology
• Applied Anthropology: The use of anthropological data, perspectives, theory,
and methods to identify, assess, and solve contemporary problems.
• Differences between Applied and Academic Anthropology: Applied refers to the
use of the discipline to address societal problems and to facilitate change (also
referred to as practicing anthropology). Academic refers to teaching the subject of
anthropology and adding to the overall knowledge base of the field. • Medical Anthropology: Both applied and academic. Includes anthropologist
from all four subfields. Examines questions such as which diseases and health
conditions affect particular populations (and why) and how illness is socially
constructed, diagnosed, managed, and treated in various societies.
• Cultural Resource Management: Documentation, management and preservation
historic places of archaeological, architectural, and historical significance in
compliance with environmental and historic preservation laws
• Federal Recognition: A tribe being recognized by the United States federal
government, or to a person being granted membership to a federally recognized
• Forensic Anthropology: The application of the science of physical anthropology
and human osteology (the study of the human skeleton) in a legal setting, most
often in criminal cases where the victim's remains are in the advanced stages of
Chapter 6 Human Variation and Adaptation
• Two approaches to biological diversity:
o Racial classification: The attempt to assign humans to discrete categories
based on common ancestry
o Explanatory approach: Focuses on understanding specific differences
and try to explain them
• Human Biological Variation: or human variation, is the range of possible
values for any measurable characteristic, physical or mental, of human beings.
o Clines: Gradual shift in gene (allele) frequencies between neighboring
o Skin color/melanin: Skin color is a complex trait influenced by several
genes. Melanin, a chemical substance, is the primary determinant of
human skin color manufactured in the outer skin (epidermis). “Natural
sunscreen” produced by skin cells responsible for pigmentation.
o Bergmann’s rule: Summarizes the relationship between body mass and
temperature. Larger bodies are found in colder areas and smaller bodies in
• Causes of Human Variation: Selection, mutation, drift, gene flow and plasticity
all govern adaption, variation, and evolution among life forms.
• Race & Ethnicity: Race is an ethic group assumed to have a biological basis.
Ethnicity is identification with, and feeling a part of, an ethnic group and
exclusion from certain other groups because of their affiliation.
o Ethnic group: Group distinguished by cultural similarities (between
members of the group and differences (between group and others). Share
beliefs, customs, and norms, and often a common language, religion,
history, geography and kinship. Chapter 11 First Farmers
• Neolithic: New Stone Age, coined to describe techniques of grinding and
polishing stone tools; the first cultural period in a region in which the first signs of
domestication are present
• Broad spectrum revolution: Period beginning around 15,000 B.P. in the Middle
East and 12,000 B.P. in Europe during which a wider range, or broader spectrum,
of plant and animal life was hunted, gathered, collected, and fished; revolutionary
because it led to food production
• The First Farmers and Herders: First villages pre-date farming (at c. 14-
15,000 years ago), in rich areas for hunting and gathering. Believed that human
population may have become too large to be supported by hunting and gathering
alone, and farming emerges relatively resource rich areas. Once farming appears,
population increases which make it impossible to abandon. May also emerge from
abundance - areas where it was easy to farm may have encouraged people to
settle. Politics may play a role, as leaders require surplus food to buy loyalty.
Farming may also emerge to supply ritual foods used in religious ceremonies.
Climatic instability may have encouraged people to settle so that they could tend
to plants to ensure food supplies. Gathers naturally engage in some tending of the
plants they get food from. This may have led to a gradual development of
• Sedentism: Settled (sedentary) life
• Genetic Changes & Domestication
o Main differences between wild and domesticated plants
▪ The seeds of domesticated cereals, and often the entire plant, are
▪ Domesticated plants lose their natural seed dispersal mechanism
• Ex. Cultivated beans have pods that hold together, rather
than shattering as they do in the wild.
▪ Wild plants produce a higher yield per unit of area.
• Other Old World Producers
o Areas in the world where food production was independently invented
(primary centers of food production)
▪ Independently invented in seven world areas. At least three were in
the Americas and at least four were in the Old World.
• Middle East: Wheat, barley, sheep, goats, cattle, pigs
• Andean region: Squash, potato, quinoa, beans, camelids
(llama, alpaca), guinea pigs
• Southern China: Rice, water buffalo, dogs, pigs
• Mesoamerica: Maize, beans, squash, dogs, turkeys
• Northern China: Millet, dogs, pigs, chickens • Sub-Saharan Africa: Sorghum, pearl millet, African rice
• Eastern United States: Goosefoot, marsh elder, sunflower,
• First American Farmers
o Differences between old & new world food production
▪ Animal domestication was much more important in the Old World
than the New World
• The animals that were hunted during the early American
big game tradition either became extinct before people
could domesticate them or were not domestic-able
▪ Neither herding nor the kinds of relationships that developed
between herders and farmers in many parts of the Middle East,
Europe, Asia and Africa emerged in the precolonial Americas.
▪ The New World crops were different, although staples as nutritious
as those of the Old World were domesticated from native wild
• Explaining the Neolithic
o Why have some large animals not been domesticated?
▪ Of the 148 large animal species that seem potentially domestic-
able, only 14 actually have been domesticated.
• Finicky eaters (e.g. koalas)
• Refusal to breed in captivity (e.g. vicunas)
• Too nasty to domesticate (e.g. grizzly bears)
• Tendency to panic (e.g. deer)
• KEY FACTOR: Animal social structure. The easiest wild
animals to domesticate live in hierarchical herds due to
being accustomed to dominance relations allowing humans
to assume superior positions.
• Whether a wild animal typically shares its range with
others. Animals with exclusive territories (e.g. rhinos) are
harder to pen up with others than animals that share their
territories with other species.
• Costs & Benefits of Food Production
o Advantages: Discoveries and inventions. They developed trade and
commerce by land and sea. Increased economic production led to new
social, scientific, and creative forms.
o Disadvantages: Food producers have to work harder than foragers do, and
for a less adequate diet. Herds, fields and irrigation systems need care.
Trade takes men and women away from home, leaving burdens to those
left behind. More children. Public health declines as diets based on crops
and dairy products tend to be less varied, less nutritious and less healthful than foragers’ diets. High population concentration. Social inequality and
poverty increased. Crime, war, and human sacrifice became widespread.
• What date did people first begin to domesticate plants & animals? 10,000
Chapter 12 First Cities and States
• The Origin of the State: As food-producing economies spread and became more
productive, chiefdoms, and eventually states, developed in many parts of the
o State: A form of social political organization that has a formal, central
government and division of society into classes
• When and where did the first states develop?
o The first states developed in Mesopotamia by 5500 B.P. and in
Mesoamerica some 3,000 years later. Chiefdoms were precursors to states
with privileged and effective leaders, chiefs, but lacking the sharp class
divisions that characterize states.
o By 7000 BP in the Middle East and 3200 BP in Mesoamerica, there is
evidence for what archeologist call the elite level, indicating a chiefdom or
• Explanations why the first states developed
o Food production could support larger and denser populations. Also the
complexity of the division of social and economic labor tended to grow as
food production spread and intensified.
▪ Hydraulic Systems: Need to regulate hydraulic (water-based)
agricultural economies; labor demands and ability to feed more
people, thus irrigated agriculture fuels population growth.
▪ Long-Distance Trade: Strategic locations in regional trade
networks. These sites include points of supply or exchange, such as
crossroads of caravan routes and places situated so as to threaten or
halt trade between centers. Long-distance trade has been important
in the evolution of many states, including those in Mesopotamia
▪ Population, War & Circumscription: Multivariate Theory
(involving multiple factors, causes or variations).
• Empire: Mature state that is large, multiethnic, militaristic, and expansive
• Attributes of States:
o A state control a specific regional of territory (e.g. Nile Valley)
o Early states had productive farming economies, supporting dense
populations. The agricultural economies of early states usually involved
some form of water control or irrigation o Early states used tribute and taxation to accumulate at a central place
resources needed to support hundreds or thousands of specialists. These
states had rulers, a military and control over human labor.
o States are stratified into social classes. In the first states, the non-food-
producing population consisted of a tiny elite, plus artisans, officials,
priests, and other specialists. Most people were commoners. Rulers stayed
in power by combining personal ability, religious authority, economic
control, and force.
o Early states had imposing public buildings and monumental architecture,
including temples palaces and storehouses
o Early states developed some form of record keeping system, usually a
• Social Ranking & Chiefdoms
o Egalitarian society: Society with rudimentary status distinctions. Status
distinctions are not usually inherited.
o Ranked societies: Society with hereditary inequality but lacking social
o Stratification: Presence of social divisions—strata—with unequal wealth
o Chiefdom: Ranked society with two or three level settlement hierarchy
• Why States Collapse
o Factors that explain decline and fall of states
▪ Invasion, disease, famine, or prolonged drought etc could threaten
their economies and political institutions
▪ Citizens might degrade the environment, usually with economic
costs (e.g. cut down trees)
▪ States may collapse when they fail to keep social and economic
order or to protect themselves against outsiders
Chapter 13 METHOD & THEORY IN CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY
• Ethnography: Emerged as a research strategy in societies with greater
cultural uniformity and less social differentiation than are found in large,
modern, industrial nations. Ethnographers adopt a free-ranging strategy for