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Anthropology (211)
Terry Webb (22)
Chapter 1

Ch. 1 Anthropology.docx

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Anthropology 1025F/G
Terry Webb

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Anthropology:  Study of human kind in all times and places  Studies the behaviour of people  Distinguishes between cultures, as well as finds similarities.  Attempts to offer scientific explanations for human diversity. Different kinds of Anthropologists: Biological:  Trace evolutionary development of humans as biological organisms.  Investigate biological variations  Also study nonhuman primates.  Involves fieldwork.  Often conduct excavations of sites that have evidence of human activity Archaeologists:  Study material culture  Often conduct excavations of sites that have evidence of human activity Linguistic:  Study how language is used for practicing/developing/transmitting culture.  See how people use language to relate to one another by living with different cultures for brief periods. Sociocultural:  Focus on contemporary cultures  Anthropologists immerse themselves within different cultures by living/participating with them and observing how they live. Colonialism:  When one nation dominates another through occupation, administration, and control of resources, thereby creating a dependency. Cultural Imperialism: - Promoting one nation's values, beliefs, and behaviours as superior to those of others. Cultural Progress:  An early theory that all cultures passed through evolutionary stages until they reached the technologically advanced level of Western societies. Franz Boas  Empiricist who argued that every culture is unique and is neither superior or inferior to another  Rejected racism  Cultural Relativism: All cultures are equally valid and must be studied on their own terms Radcliffe Brown  Culture as a whole functions to maintain itself Bronislaw Malinowski  Anthropologists should consider how the various systems of a culture work to meet the needs of its members (Both Radcliffe Brown and Malinowski focussed on the functions of economic, social, religious and political institutions) Leslie White  Culture changed in response to technological progress. Julian Steward  Societies evolve to fit an ecological niche and that the environment influences the way of life. Materialistic Approach:  The environment is exploited using technology to meet the basic human needs..  Cultural change comes from numerous forces including population density, trade networks, diffusion and warfare. Claude Levi-Strauss  Free will and the ability to make choices based on ideas and desires influenced culture.  Believed that there was a universal pattern of thinking. Clifford Geertz  Studied the uniqueness of each culture and the actions that have meaning for them.  Canadian applied anthropologists have advocated strongly for the rights of first nations peoples as well as Quebec nationalism. (Including Harry Hawthorne) Diamond Jenness  Provided insight to our understandings of the Inuit and Indian cultures of Canada Davidson Black  Conducted an extensive excavation at Zhoukoudian Cave, where fossils had recently been unearthed.  A mass of fractured bones were discovered (rare remnants of Chinese Homo erectus)  Black used medical procedures of archaeological preservation which were to thank for the survival of the precious casts (the originals were lost at sea) Marius Barbeau  Best known as the founder of Canadian folklore studies.  Recorded voices of the First Nation peoples, attempting to understand their world  Collected several folktales, songs, artifact and books. Regna Darnell  Studied interdependence and dynamics of language and culture of the First Nations. 4 Fields of Anthropology: Biological Anthropology:  Concerned primarily with humans as biological organisms  Paleoanthropology: The study of fossil remains of our ancient ancestors. Used to reconstruct the course of biological evolution.  Primatology: Study of the biological and social nature of our closest relatives (human primates) Focus on their biology, adaptation, and behaviour.  Bio anthropologists trace human ancestry in order to understand how, when and why we became who we are today.  Forensic Anthropology: Field of biological anthropology and archaeology with an applied concentration. Specializes in the identification of human skeletal remains for legal purposes.  Also study present day human variation (skin colour, nose shape, blood types, susceptibility to disease) Sociocultural Anthropology:  Deals with humans as cultural animals  Examines behaviour in contemporary cultures.  Concentrate on the study of human behaviour as it can be seen, experienced, and even discussed with those whose culture is to be understood.  Sociology is often Culture bound: has theories about the world and reality based on the assumptions and values of one's own culture.  Seek to understand characteristics of diverse, cultural groups.  Explain the differences and similarities found among human groups.  Examine the interrelatedness of sociocultural systems/organizations (ex. Religion, economy..)  Study cultural change.  Promote cultural awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity.  Ethnography: Descriptive study of cultures  Ethnology: Comparative study of cultures Archaeological Anthropology:  Reconstructs the lives of people from the past by using material remains.  Excavate sites with cultural activity (tools, pottery, other artifacts that remain a legacy of the past that reflects certain aspects of human behaviour.  Prehistoric/pre-contact Anthropology: Study of ancient culture that didn't possess writing systems to record their history.  Historic Anthropology: Study of past cultures that possessed written records of their history.  Archaeological remains can tell historians much about people that is not apparent from written re
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