ANTH 1002 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Brain Size, Prehistoric Archaeology, Sociolinguistics

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19 Jun 2018
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Guest, Chapter 1: Anthropology in a Global Age
I. What is anthropology?
A. Anthropology: the study of the full scope of human diversity, past and present, and the
application of that knowledge to help people of different backgrounds better understand one
another
B. As transportation and migration improved and increased in the age of colonization, people began
asking questions about why different groups were different for what reasons
C. Influential people
C.1. Franz Boas (1858-1942): one of the founders of modern anthropology →
involved in early 1900s immigration and distinguishing between the Europeans of
different regions, studied physical variations of physical forms within groups
C.2. Audrey Richards (1899-1984): studied Zambian people’s health and nutrition,
bringing nutrition to forefront of anthropology
C.2.a) Her ethnography studied coming-of-age rituals of young Zambian
women and established new means for anthropological research
D. Social issues and anthropology
D.1. Anthropologists trace the spread of disease, promote economic development,
conduct research, and analyze things to help decipher issues like HIV, immigration,
ethnic conflict
D.2. Applied anthropology: working outside of academic settings to apply the
strategies and insights of anthropology to current world problems → over half of
anthropologists
E. Ethnocentrism: the belief that one’s own culture or way of life is normal and natural; using one’s
own culture to evaluate and judge the practices and ideals of others
E.1. Anthropology strives to look beyond this → work to understand and appreciate
the diversity of human cultures
F. Anthropology is a global scope, but starts with local communities
F.1. Anthropologists examine how particular cultures connect with the rest of
humanity through patterns and details on human life
F.2. Ethnographic fieldwork: a primary research strategy in cultural anthropology
typically involving living and interacting with a community of people over an extended
period to better understand their lives
F.3. Historic that the field focuses on non-Western and nonelite people
G. Studies people and structures of power → families, governments, economic systems, educational
systems, militaries, the media, and religions; race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality
G.1. How do these structures empower or constrain people? How do they discover
their role?
H. Believe all humans are connected culturally, biologically, economically, and ecologically
II. Through what lenses do anthropologists gain a comprehensive view of human cultures?
A. Four-field approach: the use of four interrelated disciplines to study humanity; physical,
archaeology, linguistic, and cultural; common and holistic in the US anthropology studies
B. Holism: the anthropological commitment to look at the whole picture of human life - culture,
biology, history, and language - across space and time; past, present, and future perspective
C. Physical/biological anthropology: the study of humans from a biological perspective,
particularly how they have evolved over time and adapted to their environments
C.1. Evolution of humans over genetic and fossil lines; about 98% DNA similarities
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