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Flashcards in Midterm 1 Deck (66):
1

Anthropology is

The study of humanity.
-human society
-human nature
-human past

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Characteristics of anthropology

-evolutionary
-comparative
-holistic

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Four subfields of anthropology

1. Cultural anthropology
2. Linguistic anthropology
3. Archaeology
4. Biological anthropology

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Cultural anthropology

Study of human culture

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Linguistic anthropology

Study of language in relation to culture

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Archaeology

Studies of past societies as evident of material stuff

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Biological anthropology

Study of human origins/biological diversity

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Applied anthropology

The application of the techniques and theories of anthropology to solving real-world problems

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Characteristics of culture

1. Learned
2. Shared
3. Integrated
4. Adaptive
5. Symbolic
6. Organizes the way that people think about the world

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Enculturation

Process of learning one's culture through informal observation and formal instruction

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Shared characteristic of culture

Culture is negotiated, contested, culture is dynamic, and culture is more like a process- constantly being redefined

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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

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Adaptive characteristics of culture

Not set in stone. Culture has the ability to evolve to new situations

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Symbolic characteristic of culture

Every society has a set of key symbols that can be associated with their culture

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What is culture?

Cultures are fluid, dynamic, they diffuse etc

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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

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Neotraditionalism

Responses to new challenges

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Models of change

1. Diffusion
2. Assimilation
3. Acculturation

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Diffusion

Spread of ideas, material objects, cultural practices from one society to another through direct or indirect contact

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Assimilation

Acceptance of another cultural system, and simultaneously the surrendering of one's own cultural values

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Acculturation

A process where a group adjusts to the influence of a dominant culture

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How have anthropologists explained human cultural diversity?

1. Evolutionism
2. Historical particularism
3. Functionalism
4. Structural functionalism
5. Culture and personality
6. Cultural materialism
7. Interpretive (symbolic) anthropology
8. Dualism

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Evolutionism

Morgan took this and said that every society goes through stages: savagery, barbarism, civilization.
-this model allowed anthropologists to classify and compare societies

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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"

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Historical particularism

Franz Boas.
-idea that every cultural trait should be looked at by the historical way that it developed

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Cultural relativism

Idea that any cultural system can only be judged in relation to itself. Completely different from unilineal evolution

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Functionalism

Idea that every belief and practice within a particular society serves a purpose, and functions to meet basic human needs

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Structural functionalism

Theory that all cultural practices function to uphold unity and harmony within a society

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Culture and personality

-every culture is thought to have it's own personality
-culture also has an impact in determining personality (Margaret Meads idea)

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Dominant personality type

Set of psychological characteristics with a high incidence in the population
-each society has a dominant personality type

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Culture materialism

Material conditions are going to create culture.
1. How people organize themselves
2. Their ideas and activities

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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

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Dualism

Idea that 2 forces/energies/components to the human experience that're in a state of struggle/conflict.
-binary opposition

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Idealism

Mind is thought to be above the body

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Materialism

Any activities around basic bodily needs would define human nature and have a critical impact on human culture

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Postmodernism

Post: both after and against modernism
Modernism: show up and describe what is actually going on

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Reflexivity

Anthropologists make their bias known. "Thinking about your own thinking"

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Polyphony

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

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Ethnography

Collecting and analyzing information about culture

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Field work

-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

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Culture shock

Collection of physical and mental symptoms when realization that our doxa does not work for us anymore

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Doxa

Rules and expectations of our own culture

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Etic

Outside perspective

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Emic

Inside (native) perspective

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Ethnocentrism

To judge other ways of life according to one's own standards

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Cultural relativism

To evaluate a people's way of life relative to its own standard

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Language

-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

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Characteristics of Human language

1. Symbolism
2. Displacement
3. Productivity
4. Duality of patterning
5. Open vs closed systems

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Displacement

Past, present, fantasy, lying
-ability to talk about things that don't exist

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Productivity

Can combine words infinitely to create different meanings
-new sentences

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Duality of patterning

Language is patterned at 2 levels (sound and meaning)

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Phoneme

Smallest unit of sound

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Morpheme

Smallest unit of meaning

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Components of language

1. Phonology
2. Morphology
3. Syntax
4. Semantics

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Phonology

Study of sounds in human language

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Morphology

Study of how words are put together

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Syntax

Study of sentence structure

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Semantics

Study of meaning

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Nonverbal communication

Does not have the same meaning cross-culturally

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Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

Words and grammatical structures shape our reality.
Language has an impact on our:
-thought, processes and perception
-worldview and culture
-behaviour

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Naive realism

Live in a world where objects, ideas, phenomena, etc are preexisting and that we label these things

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Code-switching

Moving back and forth between 2 or more languages

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Lingua franca/pidgin

Simplifies 2 languages when there is a need.
Brings together 2 elements of a language so people can communicate together

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Creole

When lingua franca/pidgin is taught to children as their first language

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SOCIALization

The social aspect of learning ones culture

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EnCULTUration

The process (formally or informally) by which children acquire the culture of thier society