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8 Dec 2010
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Topic: What is culture and how do anthropologists investigate it?
Reading:
Chapters 1 (Fieldwork and Ethnography) and 2 (Culture) [VSI]
Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese cockfight, Clifford Geertz (PDF)
The main concepts for today:
Fieldwork
Ethnography
Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism
Culture
Interpreting Cultures
Other key terms/names:
Fieldwork as rite of passage
Participant observation
Armchair anthropology
Thick description
Edward Tylor and James Frazer
Bronislaw Malinowski
Objectivity/Positivism/Subjective knowledge
Franz Boas
Culture as lens
Interpretive (or symbolic) anthropology (Clifford Geertz)
Stories they tell themselves about themselvesthe Balinese cockfight as cultural text
Summary: Fieldwork and ethnography are what make anthropology anthropological;
anthropology is holistic, and is also characterized by a focus on (relativistic) comparison
and on context; culture is learned and shared; culture is not static nor bound, but dynamic
and interrelated. One of the most popular approaches to culture today (even among
anthropologists who do not explicitly identify as symbolic anthropologists) is to see
culture as something to be interpreted—and the anthropologists job is to interpret it, to
make it legible to his or her audience.
Topic: Ways of Knowing: Time, Language, and Ritual
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Reading:
Chapter 7 (VSI)
The Rituals of American Hospital Birth”, Robbie Davis-Floyd (PDF)
Feeding Desire: Prologue, Chapters 1-2
The main concepts for today:
Worldview
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Metaphors we live by
Time as metaphor and as worldview
Ritual, rites of passage, and worldview
Religion, worldview, and the Azawagh Arab culture
Other key terms/names:
the Bima and Dou Donggo peoples of Indonesia
Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf
Adamic” view of language
Metaphors we live by (Lakoff and Johnson)
Time as objectified and spatialized
Benjamin Franklin
Protestant work ethic
Max Weber
Ritual (secular versus religious)
Rites of passage: segregation, transition, integration
liminality
Summary: Worldview is part of culture; but cultures can be comprised of more than one
worldview; worldview is what tells us how to perceive reality; language can shape and
reflect, construct and perpetuate worldview; dominant metaphors shape/reflect our
worldview as well; time is both metaphorical and part of our worldview; cultural beliefs
are transmitted to members of a society/culture at a symbolic level through ritual; rites of
passage move members of a culture from one time/stage in their lives to another.
Topic: Gender and the Concept of Cultural Construction
Readings:
The Muslim woman: The power of images and the danger of pity”, Lila Abu-Lughod
(PDF)
Feeding Desire: Chapter 3
Key terms/names:
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nCultural/social construction
nBiological determinism
nSex versus gender
nSambia of Papua New Guinea; jurungdu
nThird Gender/Berdache/Two Spirit
nEmily Martin
nEgg and sperm as gendered
nBiology as cultural knowledge
nAbu-Lughod—the intersection of gender and ethnocentrism
Topic: Relatives and Relations
Readings:
Chapter 4 (VSI)
The Meaning of Paternity and the Virgin Debate” by Carol Delaney (PDF)
Feeding Desire: Chapters 4 and 5
Key terms/names:
nEgo
nEtic versus Emic
nEskimo and Iroquois kinship classification
nMatrilateral versus patrilateral kin
nBilateral versus unilineal descent
nCross-cousins versus parallel cousins
nEndogamy versus exogamy
nPatrilineal/matrilineal descent
nConsanguine versus affinal kin
nFictive kinship
nBrideprice
nProcreation as symbolic and paternity as cultural construction
Tutorial
Cultural capital is when one has understanding of culture for example primo in search for
respect lacks cultural capital to work in a office because unaware of dress code for office
and does not communicate in a office type of manner. Also, another example of this is
that Bourgois did not have enough cultural capital when he was talking to the police who
thought he was a drug dealer or a under cover police because he tried to explain
everything to the police in proper English then later, he learned from street culture that
when talking to police he has to talk like primo and them. Bourgois at the end had some
knowledge of street culture.
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Document Summary

Chapters 1 (fieldwork and ethnography) and 2 (culture) [vsi] Deep play: notes on the balinese cockfight , clifford geertz (pdf) Fieldwork: ethnography, ethnocentrism and cultural relativism, culture. Stories they tell themselves about themselves the balinese cockfight as cultural text. Topic: ways of knowing: time, language, and ritual www. notesolution. com. The rituals of american hospital birth , robbie davis-floyd (pdf) Sapir-whorf hypothesis: worldview, metaphors we live by, time as metaphor and as worldview, ritual, rites of passage, and worldview, religion, worldview, and the azawagh arab culture. Topic: gender and the concept of cultural construction. The muslim woman: the power of images and the danger of pity , lila abu-lughod (pdf) The meaning of paternity and the virgin debate by carol delaney (pdf) Bourgois at the end had some knowledge of street culture. www. notesolution. com. Example for structural agency: for primo and cesar street culture is their structural agency.

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