Flashcards in Midterm 1 Deck (66):
The study of humanity.
Characteristics of anthropology
Four subfields of anthropology
1. Cultural anthropology
2. Linguistic anthropology
4. Biological anthropology
Study of human culture
Study of language in relation to culture
Studies of past societies as evident of material stuff
Study of human origins/biological diversity
The application of the techniques and theories of anthropology to solving real-world problems
Characteristics of culture
6. Organizes the way that people think about the world
Process of learning one's culture through informal observation and formal instruction
Shared characteristic of culture
Culture is negotiated, contested, culture is dynamic, and culture is more like a process- constantly being redefined
Integrated characteristic of culture
The cultural elements fit together to create a more harmonious totality. Not fully meshed together though. At the same time there are many pardoxyl elements that don't fit together
Adaptive characteristics of culture
Not set in stone. Culture has the ability to evolve to new situations
Symbolic characteristic of culture
Every society has a set of key symbols that can be associated with their culture
What is culture?
Cultures are fluid, dynamic, they diffuse etc
Critique of "culture"
1. Culture is not an airtight container
2. Cultures are not as coherent as we think
3. Cultures are not impediments to change
4. Cultures are not inherently homogeneous
Responses to new challenges
Models of change
Spread of ideas, material objects, cultural practices from one society to another through direct or indirect contact
Acceptance of another cultural system, and simultaneously the surrendering of one's own cultural values
A process where a group adjusts to the influence of a dominant culture
How have anthropologists explained human cultural diversity?
2. Historical particularism
4. Structural functionalism
5. Culture and personality
6. Cultural materialism
7. Interpretive (symbolic) anthropology
Morgan took this and said that every society goes through stages: savagery, barbarism, civilization.
-this model allowed anthropologists to classify and compare societies
Unilineal cultural evolution
Idea that there's only one tract/path for societies.
-equal opportunity. No society was stuck at any level
-indig societies were viewed as "fossils"
-creates universal standard against all societies are evaluated. Cause Europeans to want to "civilize"
-idea that every cultural trait should be looked at by the historical way that it developed
Idea that any cultural system can only be judged in relation to itself. Completely different from unilineal evolution
Idea that every belief and practice within a particular society serves a purpose, and functions to meet basic human needs
Theory that all cultural practices function to uphold unity and harmony within a society
Culture and personality
-every culture is thought to have it's own personality
-culture also has an impact in determining personality (Margaret Meads idea)
Dominant personality type
Set of psychological characteristics with a high incidence in the population
-each society has a dominant personality type
Material conditions are going to create culture.
1. How people organize themselves
2. Their ideas and activities
Interpretive (symbolic) anthropology
-culture as a system of symbols
-symbols are a means of communication
-shape the way they feel and act towards others and to themselves.
-idea that anthropology is an interpretive exercise
Idea that 2 forces/energies/components to the human experience that're in a state of struggle/conflict.
Mind is thought to be above the body
Any activities around basic bodily needs would define human nature and have a critical impact on human culture
Post: both after and against modernism
Modernism: show up and describe what is actually going on
Anthropologists make their bias known. "Thinking about your own thinking"
Many voices. Principle by which anthropologists try to get as many different voices as possible in their ethnogony. Ensures that a variety of views are expressed
Collecting and analyzing information about culture
-living and interacting with the people or group under study
-an extended period of close involvement with people in whose language or way of life an anthropologist is interested
Collection of physical and mental symptoms when realization that our doxa does not work for us anymore
Rules and expectations of our own culture
Inside (native) perspective
To judge other ways of life according to one's own standards
To evaluate a people's way of life relative to its own standard
-System of sounds that when put together according to certain rules conveys meaning to its speakers.
-any form of communication that involves symbols, displacement, and productivity
-duality of patterning
Characteristics of Human language
4. Duality of patterning
5. Open vs closed systems
Past, present, fantasy, lying
-ability to talk about things that don't exist
Can combine words infinitely to create different meanings
Duality of patterning
Language is patterned at 2 levels (sound and meaning)
Smallest unit of sound
Smallest unit of meaning
Components of language
Study of sounds in human language
Study of how words are put together
Study of sentence structure
Study of meaning
Does not have the same meaning cross-culturally
Words and grammatical structures shape our reality.
Language has an impact on our:
-thought, processes and perception
-worldview and culture
Live in a world where objects, ideas, phenomena, etc are preexisting and that we label these things
Moving back and forth between 2 or more languages
Simplifies 2 languages when there is a need.
Brings together 2 elements of a language so people can communicate together
When lingua franca/pidgin is taught to children as their first language
The social aspect of learning ones culture