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1

4 Fields of Anthropology

Biological/physical
Archaeology
Linguistics
Cultural
Applied

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Biological/Physical Anthropology

the study of humans as biological organisms, within framework of education

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Archaeology

the study of earlier cultures and ways of life; specializes in analysis of material remains of past cultures

4

Linguistics

Study of communication, especially language in sociocultural context

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Cultural Anthropology

Study of living people and their cultures; focus on cross-cultural version of practical problems

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Applied Anthropology

Application of method and theory of anthropology to the analysis and solution of practical problems

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Culture (formal)

civilization; the complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man or society

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Culture

ways of acting, recognizing the world, and valuing the world as they are socially learned and transmitted

acting = speaking, ornamenting, or dressing
recognizing the world = beliefs

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Five characteristics of culture

culture is...
learned, adaptive, related to nature, based on symbols, cultures change and interact

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Society

life organized in groups, how a group of individuals relate to one another

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Role

a part to be played by an individual in a society

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enculturation

the acquisition of culture through learning

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Culture related to nature

culture is valued over nature; culture has a wider impact on how humans see the world

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Cultural Change

Diffusion, Acculturation, Independent invention

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Diffusion

gradual spread of cultural features between groups of people

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Acculturation

Assimilation into another culture, typically by the dominant one

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Independent Invention

the process by which humans innovate, creatively finding solutions to problems; a mechanism of cultural change

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Cultural Shock

deep feelings of uneasiness when shifting from one culture to another

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Ethnocentrism

belief in the superiority of ones own ethnic group/culture

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Cultural Relativism

all cultures should be understood in terms of their values and beliefs; should not be judged by the standards of another culture

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Absolute Cultural Relativism

point of view that one culture should not be judged by viewpoint of another culture

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Critical Cultural Relativism

Should strive to understand behaviors and beliefs for functions or meanings that they have to people in societies in which they are found; should pose questions about cultural practices, does not take a homogenized view of cultural complexity, recognizes that there are many internal diffferences in cultures; sometimes powerful groups exploit less powerful groups

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Discourse

ways of talking, thinking, or representing particular subject; produces meaningful knowledge about that subject, and pow operates in relations of power

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Power

dominant discourses/classes reinforce "knowledge as truths", methods of control, power produces knowledge

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ethnography

the qualitative study and systematic recording of human cultures, the descriptive work produced from research; realist and reflexive

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Realist view of ethnography

ethnography can and should strive to document sociocultural processes, structures, and situations as existing independently of researcher

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Reflexive view of ethnography

researchers aim to explore the ways in which the researchers involvement with a particular study influences, acts upon, and informs such research

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Ethnographic Techniques

participant observation, in-depth interviewing, narratives/life stories, genealogical method, surveys, questionnaires, archival work

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Father of Ethnography

Bronislav Malinowski: obtained by studying primitive culture threatened by westernization

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Proper Conditions of ethnographic fieldwork

living with the natives, dont passively observe, be persistent, write down everything, create a synoptic chart with code for human life

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Layers of "real" ethnographic" account

skeleton - outline of tribal constitution
flesh and blood - data of daily life and ordinary behavior (cultural practices)
spirit - natives views and opinions and cultural beliefs

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Reflexivity in anthropology/ethnography

researchers awareness of the analytical focus; the way that cultural practices involve consciousness and commentary on themselves

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Borgois & Schonberg

righteous dopefiends; follow drug addicts in san franciso living by edgewater blvd

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Violence continuum

relationship between three types of violence (physical, structural, symbolic)

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Physical violence

domestic abuse, police abuse, genocide, most visible form

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Structural violence

SYSTEMIC WAYS A SOCIETAL STRUCTURE PREVENTS PEOPLE FROM MEETING BASIC NEEDS. SEXISM, RACISM, NATIONALISM, POVERTY

societal rules/laws tailored to certain groups of people, oppressing those who don't have the same capabilities as others (financial, social)

example: healthcare. name didn't show up from showing up on list for treatment in time, structure is keeping him from going to clinic

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Symbolic violence

embodiment of structural violence -- an internalized norm. "thats just how it is"; deserve to be treated a certain way in society. acceptance of domination

most pervasive and damging
kids treated as less smart get worse test grades

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Book examples of violence in san francisco

physical -- actions of alledged serial killer on capp street

structural -- relaxed law enforcement in bad neighborhoods allows easy access to harmful drugs as well as guns

symbolic -- internalizing their position in society and the harm that is done to them by structural issues. tina make self depricating statements.

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achieved identities

membership through action

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ascribed identities

membership determined by birth (race)

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adaptive significance of skin color

pigment in skin absorbs UV light and protects from overexposure to UV

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why race is not a meaningful biological concept

very little genetic variation between racial groups, physical variation often does not correspond to race categories; no clear boundaries

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whiteness as a norm

normal, origin free, acultural, individual, ahistoric, power WHITE PRIVILEGE

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Forces of production

means of production (tools, plants, equipments, raw materials) and labor power (productive faculties of men such as skills, knowledge, imagination)

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Relations of production

economic systems, legal and property relations

property relations-- socialism, capitalism, slavery, feudalism

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social and politcal relations

form of government, repression and false consciousness (culture religion family ideology)

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Base of society

forces of production and relations of production

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Superstructure of society

social and political relations

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commodities

objects that satisfy human needs that both give use value and exchange value

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value of commodities

labor time necessary for production

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capitalism labor commodity

labor value -- labor time needed for labor to reproduce itself

surplus value -- labor is magical -- produces more value than it needs to reproduce itself

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exploitation

capitalist appropriates surplus value that labor produces because they own the means of production

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surplus value

the difference between the value that labor produces and the value that labor needs to reproduce itself

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capitalism alienates people from

production of their labor, each other, surplus value

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Bordieus forms of capital (3)

economic (money)
social (social networks)
cultural (status -- institutionalized; education, intellect, resources available due to prestige)

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Sex

genitalia youre born with

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gender

learned behaviors and beliefs associated with masculinity and femininity

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Hijra

India; physically male, dress like women, socialized into Hiza Family, marginalized, identify as other gender

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Two Spirits/ Berdache

native american; 3rd gender; male bodied; had access to male and female activity (war); accepted as a gift

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Kathoey

lady boy; male sex, act feminine; accepted in thai culture

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Bugis

Indonesian; 5 genders
makkunrai. calabai, calalai, oroane, bissu = embodiment of both male and femal = shaman