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Flashcards in Chapter 1: Introduction Deck (17):

What do medical anthropologists do?

Medical anthropologists work to understand the diverse factors influencing variability and universality in health and disease experiences across human populations and across time.


What is anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humans past and present.
Anthropology is a discipline that investigates the nature and causes of human variation and those aspects of life that are common to all of humanity. Anthropologists seek to understand similarities and differences in behavior and biology across cultures and populations and how these dimensions change over time...

The spectrum, source, and meaning of cultural diversity.
The study of humanity, from its evolutionary origins millions of years ago to its current worldwide diversity.


Cultural relativism?

It means that NO behavior or belief can be judged to be odd or wrong simply because it is different from our own.

Cultural relativism means that cultures must not be evaluated in relation to another that is judged superior, but rather understood or "made sense of" on their own terms.
One must not of you cultural change as a progression from primitive to civilized or inferior to superior.
Each culture is uniquely adapted to their own particular circumstances, a concept that applied to biology, culture, and language.


What are the four sub fields of anthropology?

Cultural, linguistic, biological/physical, archaeological

Across these subfields, they are united by a comparative perspective.


What do cultural anthropologist study?

Cultural anthropologists study human behavior in the context of societies, their traditions, and their institutions.

The study of different patterns in human behavior, thought, and feelings. Focuses on humans as culture production and culture reproducing creatures.


What do linguistic anthropologist study?

Linguistic anthropologists focus on the ways in which language reflects and influences social life.

Study the way language changes over time.

People who speak languages that weakly distinguish the present and future are better prepared for the future.


What do archaeologists study?

Archaeologists study the behavior of past populations are there historic or prehistoric based on material remains.
The study of material culture through the recovery and analysis of material remains.


What do biological/physical anthropologists study?

Physical/Biological anthropologists are concerned with human biology and ask how and why humans are biologically similar or different across groups and in relation to other species and how humans have changed biologically over the past hundreds, thousands, or millions of years.
The relationship between evolutionary processes, human genetic variation, and the different ways that humans are sometimes susceptible, and other times resistant, to diseases and others environmental stressors.
Focuses on humans as biological organisms, evolution, and human variation. Reconstruct the ancestry of the human species.


What is ethnomedicine?

Ethno medicine includes formal medical systems with written treatises and training institutions and those of smaller scale or tribal groups that were passed down through oral traditions


Define medical anthropology

The use of insights from cultural anthropology, linguistic, archaeology, and physical anthropology of understand the relationship between human health and cultural behaviors.

Medical anthropology is the study of health, illness, healthcare, and related topics from a broad anthropological perspective.

For larger, specific definition, see Wiley page 5.


Define culture.

Culture is: patterns of behavior that are common to a group.
Culture includes the beliefs, values, practices, and traditions of behavior of a group.
Culture is not static. It is dynamic and creative, changing and reforming in a historical and geographic context


What is ethnographic fieldwork?

Ethnographic fieldwork is when anthropologists engage in long term fieldwork in a society. Ethnography refers to the systematic description of human culture.


What is participant observation in (ethnographic fieldwork)?

Participant observation is the active participation in social and cultural life along with open-minded, detached observation of a groups behaviors. It gives an insiders and outsiders perspective.


What is emic perspective?

What is an etic perspective?

An emic perspective is an insider's view, the members of the society.

An etic perspective is that of an outsider, observing behavior as if from a distance and with no prior knowledge about its emic meaning


To understand the full stroke and complexity of cultures across all of human history...

Anthropology draws and builds upon knowledge from the social and biological sciences as well as the humanities and physical sciences.



The idea that our beliefs and behaviors are right while those of other peoples are wrong or misguided.
Ethnocentrism observes, compares, and judges without finding out the reasons different people give for doing what they do.



Helps us to find out the meanings informing peoples everyday routine actions.