Flashcards in FINAL EXAM Deck (164):
-comparative study of common sense
-study of human nature, human society, and the human past
-makes the strange familiar, and the familiar strange
Anthropology "study of humanity"
1. Human society
2. Human nature: it has two parts. Mind/matter
3. Human past (history)
Addresses the question of human biological and cultural evolution.
-Cross cultural comparison; being able to compare one culture to another culture.
-Being able to examine commonalities and differences between cultures; aviods making generalizations based on one social group.
-always us to create ethnographies
-taking into a variety of factors; "looking at the big picture"; context
-can be represented through many sub disciplines (ex. Archaeology, linguistic, cultural, etc.)
-"more than a sum of its parts"
Study of human culture (globalization, gender and sexuality, urbanization)
Study of past societies through the analysis of material remains
Study of language in its relation to culture; in its social uses
Study of human origins and/or biological diversity
Application of the techniques and theories of anthropology to solving real-world problems:
1. Forensic anthropology
2. Applied medical anthropology
3. Corporate and consumer anthropology
Subfield of anthropology that is often hands on; investigates recent to semi-recent crimes
Applied medical anthropology
"Wanting to understand a type of disease in 2 places; determining patterns from both places"
Corporate and consumer anthropology
Working for a company that tries to sell things to individuals
Is a process which is constantly being redefined; it is dynamic. The broader perspective of culture includes the aspect of learned behaviors, and the aspect that ideas that we aquire as members of society.
Six characteristics of culture
6. Culture organizes the way people think about the world
Based on assumptions/inferences/conscious and unconscious observations.
-culture is not innate. Learned from birth instead.
Process of learning one's culture through observation and formal instruction
Rites of passage
A space in which people within culture get exposed to certain kinds of knowledge
A period when the individual experiences pain/endurance. By inflicting pain toward the individual, this displays that society has some form of higher power, hence portrays the individual to be submissive to society
Habit that is ingrained, but you are not fully conscious of it; an everyday social activity rooted in habitual behavior
Culture is meant to circulate; culture is a system of meanings which places individuals in the same plane that enables us to interact with one a other and sets a sense of cohesion (togetherness).
Ex) we share norms and taboos; culture is negotiated/contested
Symbols; something that stands for something else.
Sums up a whole range of different meanings through the expression of one image
Ex) cross (Christianity and crusades)
Cultures organizes the way people think about the world
Naturalized concepts (ideas and behaviors that are deeply embedded that are usually regarded as universal or natural in a culture); it shapes our 'culture lenses,' our perspective of the world.
Ex) peace flag
Summary of how culture is defined
It is learned, adaptive integrated, symbolic; it is a shared and negotiated system of meaning.
This relates to the acceptance of another cultural system (beliefs/values); acceptance of surrendering one's own cultural values/system; the abandonment of one's own culture.
Ex) residential schools
A process whereby a group adjust to the influence of dominant culture; a group may adopt some elements of the dominant culture while at the same time also maintaining their own identity/culture
Lewis Henry Morgan proposed that culture/humanity go through these stages:
Savagery and Barbarism
Were also subdivided into Lower, Middle, and Upper categories and were defined by technological features, in particular food acquisition techniques
Civilizations striking feature which is mostly kept for Europeans alone is the use of phonetic alphabet
Idea of superiority of one particular culture amongst other cultures
-study of cultures in their own historical contexts
-coined by Franz Boas; diversity is based on different histories
FRANZ BOAS is the father of this; this means that every cultural system can only be judged against itself; doesn't make sense to compare cultural systems with a "standard" system.
-every culture must be understood under its own terms.
Idea that every belief/practice within a society serves a purpose; every belief and practice functions to meet basic human needs
Theory that all cultural practices function to uphold unity and harmony within a society
Margaret Mead and her research on adolescence
"How does society and psychological aspect affect culture?"
-is adolescence something experienced in western Europe and North America?
-Mead determined that the adolescence stage is influenced by culture.
-Mead believed that culture influenced who people are.
Interpretive (symbolic) anthropology
(Opposite of cultural materialism)
-culture as a system of symbols: culture is determined through symbols
-multiple layes of meaning: each symbol can have different layers of meaning which can have different associations
Idea that there are two forces/energies/components to the human experience. These energies are seen in a state of struggle, conflict, or friction.
Ex) mind/body dualism
The mind is thought to have supremacy over the body; the mind is thought to be nore valuable. The privacy of thinking processes that don't pertain to the body.
Ex) "I think therefore I am"
Any activities in basic bodily needs would define human nature and has a critical impact on culture.
-"after moderism" and "against modernism"
-modernism: certain ideas articulated around knowledge
-the quest for "objective" knowledge if futile
Anthropologists/researchers acknowledge their bias and explains on what bias they recognize in terms of religion evidence, personal views, etc
-thinking about or reflecting on one's thinking
Collecting and analyzing info about culture (collecting info in the field)
Living and interacting with the people or group under study
-an extended period of close involvement with the people whose language or way of life an anthropologist is interested. Anthropologists usually collect most of their data during this period.
Collection of physical and mental symptoms when we realize that our doxa doesn't work for us anymore
Anthropologists need this person; local person who has insight into local practices. A person who has knowledge about the cultural system.
-a person who has reflected on their own cultural heritage; someone with a different perspective of their culture
Selecting certain groups in a way that ensures that it is a representative of these groups.
-targets certain categories within society
Intensive engagement of everyday routines such as gaining knowledge of culture by watching someone complete a task while the individual also does the same activity.
The perspective of inside; the native's point of view
The perspective from an outsider
To evaluate other ways of life according to one's own standards.
To evaluate people's way of life relative to its own standards
Rules (usually unwritten) for behavior assumed to be typical within a specific social or cultural group
"A mode of communication which achieves common understanding"
-a system of sounds that when put together according to certain rules conveys meaning to its speakers
Allows us to make things up through language such as the projection of ourselves in past and present, fantasy, and lying.
-lots of ways to create combination of words and recombination of sentences; the flexibility to make sentences out of words/concepts that are grammatically correct, but may not be coherent; gives us liberty to make meaningless sentences.
Ex) "Put this Babel fish in your ear."
Duality of Patterning
-language is patterned in two levels: level of sound + level of meaning. Language is essentially built upon different sounds and different meanings.
Ex) CAT and ACT
The study of sounds in human language
Study of how words are put together
Ex) "inactivity" in+act+iv+ity
Study of sentence structure
Study of meaning
Ex) metaphor "life is a journey"
-making a connection between a particular concept from one domain of meaning to another concept with a different domain of meaning;
-a form of thought and language that asserts a meaningful link between two expressions from different semantic domains
-some gestures could have many meanings like doing a thumbs up
-does not have same meaning cross-culturally!
Belief that people everywhere see the world in the same way; "common sense/common ground"
-words and grammatical structures shape our reality
-language has an impact on our thought processes and perception, worldview/culture, and behavior
Politically correct language in North America
Ex) changing names/labels such as "women= chicks." If we were to ban the word 'chick' or any word (theoretically) that is demeaning to women, would this result to more dignity for women?
-No. Not necessarily, this would only proliferate more words against women.
"Code=language" "switching=switching between 2 or more dialects/languages according to the context in which one is speaking."
Ex) code-switching in the middle of a conversation
-brings together 2 elements of language
-simplified language that communities use to communicate when there is need to do so (trade or colonization)
-learned as a second language
Learning pidgin as their first language
-not a product of assimilation. Rather better described as acculturation
Study and classification of speech sounds
Study of the distribution of sound systems in human languages
Study of language in relation to social factors, including differences of regional, class, and occupational dialect, gender differences, and bilingualism
Particular form of a language that is peculiar to a specific region or social group
The social aspects of learning one's culture.
-process of being a member of the group through interacting with people to learn about taboos and inhibitions that is established by the group.
Process (formal or informal) by which children aquire the culture of their society
-could be learned through communication, imitation, observation, inference
A social recognition of the transition to personhood.
-different from biological birth
Rite of passage
A ritual that marks the transformation of an individual from one social position to another.
Involves 3 phases:
Disregarding/disobeying rules; behavious that violate cultural norms and expectations
Relative integration of an individual's perceptions, motives, cognitions, and behavior within a sociocultural matrix.
Rite of passage. 'Reborn' into a new role
-economic system determines the way of life (ie culture and capital system); it develops values within society
-methods of allocating resources, and the production, distribution, consumption, amd exchange of goods and services.
Means of production
Marxian point of view: idea that the elite and capitalist owns the means of production. (Tools, skills, knowledge, technologies, organizations that are involved in the production of goods.
"Pure gift" giving a gift just because you want to
Ex) parents giving to their kids
A return of equal value which is also expected within a particular time frame.
Ex) Christmas card
An expectation of an exchange for nothing
-food and other goods collected by an organizer
-distributed to community members at large public gatherings- "a ritual redistribution"
-exchange of products in which one person gives one type of product in exchange for another.
-having a surplus of something which can be used to exchange for something else.
Systems for determining relatives and relationships.
1. Bilateral descent
2. Unilateral descent
People that are related by blood (based on descent/lineage)
Relatives that are connected to you through marriage (spouse, in-law)
Type of kinship based on care/nurturance or other attributes
Pattern of descent that involves both parents' relatives as our relatives
-usually found in industrialized and small-scale societies
A pattern that involves tracking descent of one lineage. Patrilineal and matrilineal.
Only considers descent through the father; associated with males having a form of dominant/social role in society
Track descent through the mother
Patrilineal descent group
-all of the children (both male and female) of the male ancestor will be part of the patrilineal lineage
-in third generation, if there exists a female her children will not be part of the patrilineage (part of the husband's patrilineage)
A pattern that assumes social power is vested in women; a rule by women; the rule of women over men
The tensions in the relationship between a woman's husband (not part of her lineage) and her brother (part of her lineage).
The matrilineal Na of southern China who live "without fathers or husbands"
-no pater (social father)
-no genitor (biological father)
-no recognition of paternity
-problem: some parts of China favoured patrilineal descent. Lots of STDs
Prohibitions to have sexual relations between people that are considered relatives (universal prohibition)
Four explanations for the incest taboo
1. Avoid inbreeding: fear/belief of producing weaker offspring
2. Familiarity breeds avoidance: being familiar with someone would produce a natural aversion
3. Preventing family disruption: Freud and competition inside of the family
4. Forming wider alliances: makes society possible. Within the taboo, people are able to make larger connections/expansion of kin members
Endo: marriage within a group
-marriage within the lineage
Exo: marriage outside the group
-"marriage is possible outside the lineage"
Child of the parent's same-sex sibling
Child of the parent's opposite sibling
-considered ideal for marriage because they are not part of the lineage
A (married) couple or other group of adult kinfolk who cooperate economically and in the upbringing of children, all or most of whom share a common dwelling
(Parents + unmarried children)
A form of family found in industrialized and nomadic foragers
(Single parent + children)
-a family that expands generationally
-ex) grandparents, parents and children sharing a household or an elder parent and their unmarried children, married children, and their own children living together
-found in pastoral communities
A family that extends horizontally (compromise of the same generation) - one generation, but expanded across
Ex) brother+sisters+children sharing the same household; same sex marriage and their children
A family created by previously divorced or widowed people that remarry and bring along their children from their previous families
Marriage between one man and one woman (one woman and another woman etc)
Having more than one spouse over the course of your lifetime; having one spouse at a time
Multiple people in the marriage
A man having many wives.
-hard to achieve cause expensive
-occurs in communities with high density of women
-commonly seen due to factors of warfare
A woman that has many husbands
-usually occurs when population growth needs to be kept down.
-occurs in Tibet
The Toda of Southern India
-polyandry: woman is married to a man and any brothers that he may have. Arranged marriage
-unrelated men can also join the marriage
-pater is declared. Actually paternity not important
Obligation of the dead man's next of kin (one of his brothers) to marry the widow
-first child (from the dead man's brother and widow) would be considered to be the dead man's first offspring
-child would continue the dead man's lineage
A pattern where a widower (a man who loses his wife or she is barren) would marry the first wife's sister or cousin.
-first child born from the second marriage would be considered to be the offspring of the first wife
Type of marriage that existed for many centuries
Ex) gay marriage, male mentorships among the Azande (Africa), and female marriage among the Nuer (Africa)
After marriage the couple would live or near the wife's family. Associated with matrilineal descent.
-can create problems for a man who lives away from his sisters in matrilineal society
Couple lives near the husband's relatives. Can sometimes lead to abuse from mother-in-law towards the husband's wife
-creates divided loyalty for the husband
Couple lives alternately with wife's relatives and husband's relatives. Degree of flexibility
Couple would live near or with the brother. Found in matrilineal descent
Couple establishes a new (independent) household.
Transfer of goods from the family of the groom to the family of the bride (occasion of marriage).
-compensates for the loss of labour and child bearing capacities
Occurs in societies with no accumulation of wealth. Fiance would perform labour for wife's family. Can last for many years and be done before and during marriage. Children do not belong to the man until he fufills his labour
Gifts given by the wife's family to the married couple or to the husband's kin/family on the occasion of the couple's marriage.
-to ensure the wife has standing in the husband's family
Lineal descent from an ancestor; ancestry or pedigree
Spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe
-a social grouping that "allegedly" shares a set of biological characteristics
-may be based on phenotype
Idea that one can control how people can reproduce
Forced upon a person at birth ("a person born into this status")
Franz Boas and Critique of Race
He explained that every culture should be understood in its terms (own history) rather than being evaluated in its universal standards like its civilization.
-he viewed the concept of "savage, barbaric, civilization" as ethnocentrism
Ethnicity is seen as stable, internalized, clearly bounded; it gives us one perspective
Flexible view on ethnicity; emphasizing one aspect and deemphasizing another, if you have more than one descent, you choose which one to emphasize on depending on context
A principle of social classification used to create groups based on selected cultural features such as language, religion, or dress
Society in which there is a permanent hierarchy or structured inequality whereby some members of society are accorded privileged access to wealthier occupation.
Social position that we choose or achieve on our own through effort and skills
Simple type of society; does not strive for stratification (complex government). Values egalitarianism.
No permanent form of leadership.
Ex) Big man
("Stateless" or egalitarian societies). No centre of power found within these societies. We would expect bands and tribes to have no leader
There exists a permanent figure of authority.
-chiefdoms (ranked societies)
-states (stratified societies)
Permanent figure of authority. Settlements are larger and there is more than one permanent community
4 attributes of state
1. Head of state. Ex) queen
2. Specialized bureaucratic departments
3. Formal systems of taxation
4. Monopoly over the use of force
Domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society, so that their imposed worldview becomes the accepted cultural norm
Way the state exercises control/governs the body of the population
Set of beliefs and practices around supernatural beings and supernatural forces and their connection with every day
Functions of religion
1. Help explain the world
2. Solace and healing
3. Social solidarity
4. Social control
Set of beliefs and practices aiming to control the natural world for specific purposes
Two forms of magic
1. Imitative magic: magic that operates on the principle of "like causes like"
Ex) boiling bark during birth creates a slimy substance
2. Contagious magic: magic that operates on the principles that positive and negative qualities can be transferred through proximity or contact. Ex) voodoo doll
Blending of 2 religious traditions to form a new one. Ex) Haitian voodoo
Witchcraft among the Azande
1. Not gender specific
2. Exercised from a distance
3. May not be intentional
4. Resides in body
5. Transmitted through patriline
Child witches in Africa: problem and possible
-children, usually boys, aged 0-15
-children who lost parents and live with other relatives
-behaviour considered "abnormal"
Belief that spirits can enter a person's body and take over their thoughts and actions.
Ex) people should not go to the edge of the woods. That's a place of "in betweeness"
Set of rights that should be accorded to all human beings everywhere in the world
Rights vs. Culture
Culture is an obstacle to the respect of human rights
Rights to culture
All people have a universal human right to maintain their own distinct culture
Rights as culture
Law itself is a worldview of culture
Intensification of global interconnectedness
Cultural intermixing. People will appropriate new things as a part of one's culture