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Flashcards in Cultural Anthropology Deck (22)
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Rites of Passage are events that:

mark important transitional periods in a person's life.


How many types of cultural anthropology are there?



List the five types of cultural anthropology.

- Anthropological linguistics
- Applied anthropology
- Archaeology
- Ethnology
- Ethnography


What are the warning signs of a cultural collapse? [4]

- Human impacts on the environment (wasted resources, deforestation, eroded soil)
- Climate change
- Relations with neighbours
- Political, economic, and social instability


Who would study different cultures from around the world?

Cultural anthropologists


Ethnocentrism is...

...the tendency to judge another cultural by your own cultural values.


Name important aspects of an agricultural culture.

- Had an assured food supply and a higher population, so not everyone had to be involved with food production.
- Began to see a divide in social classes
- New living arrangements, occupations, and social institutions began to appear.
- Kinship is no longer the sole basis for social ties.
- Social bonds form between those working in the same occupation, which allows for further advancement.


Name the three layers of culture.

- Body of culture: shared language, tradition, and beliefs.
- Sub-culture: complex diverse societies in which people have come from different parts of the world who retain their original traditions, but are part of an identifiable sub-culture.
Cultural universals: Learned behavioural patterns shared by everyone.


What is the basis for cultural relativism?

Cultural anthropologists can't compare two cultures because each has its own internal rules that must be accepted.


Cultural relativism was developed in a response to...



What is the Functional Theory of cultural anthropology?

- Every action, belief, or relationship in culture functions to meet the needs of individuals


What is cultural materialism in cultural anthropology?

- Materials or conditions within an environment influence how a culture develops.


What are the three structure within the path of materialism school of thought in cultural anthropology?

- Infastructure: material resources
- Structure: society's family, political, economic, and social systems.
- Superstructure: society's ideas, values, symbols, and religion.


What is the feminist anthropology school of thought in cultural anthropology?

- Studied cultures dominated by men, women, egalitarian
- Determine gender roles, debunk gender myths, and show how gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation is constructed.


What is the postmodernism school of thought in cultural anthropology?

- It's impossible to have any true knowledge of the world
- Reject the idea of subjective truth, deconstruct what a society believes to be true.


What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?

The belief that culture can't exist without language, and that language is the key component of all culture.


What are the main characteristics of Hunter-Gatherer cultures? [4]

- Hunting and gathering
- Nomadic by nature, as they follow their food source
- Made up of small family units, as it makes decision making and travel easier.
- Decision process is largely informal, based off the suggestions of elders.


What are the main characteristics of Pastoral cultures? [5]

- People were nomadic, travelling with herds of domesticated animals to greener pastures.
- Further stabilized food source, the population grew, decision-making became more complex, and trade and bartering began.


What are the main characteristics of Horticulture cultures? [4]

- Areas with lots of plants domesticated plants and by returning to the same campsite every year, they noticed which plants were growing and where.
- Characterized by slash and burn cultivation, start to see humans manipulating environments to suit their own needs.
- More complex decision-making, decisions, and cultural norms.


What are the main characteristics of Agricultural cultures? [5]

- Continuously working the land through irrigation, fertilizer, and non-human energy
- Not everyone had to be involved in food production, population exploded.
- Dominant culture until the industrial revolution 1000 years later.
- Increased population led to more conflict and more complex decision-making.
- Start to see rise of class differences and occupations.


What are the main characteristics of Industrialized cultures?

- Shift in focus from the production of food to the production of goods
- Sees the rise in urbanization
- Massive movement of people to cities make jobs scarce, and lots of poverty and social problems.
- Creates more complex social structures, reinforced class structures, and has mass environmental degradation (pollution).


List the three common threads that run through all cultural collapses.

- The rapidity at which the collapse occurs after the peak (rapidity of collapse is linked to resource supply and consumption).
- There are many subtle environmental factors of a given place that make it more susceptible to collapse
- We tend not to see what we're doing until it's too late (conflicts of interest between short term interests of elite and long term interests of society).