Sharing Our Worlds: An Intro to Cultural & Social Anthropology Flashcards Preview

Cultural & Social Anthropology > Sharing Our Worlds: An Intro to Cultural & Social Anthropology > Flashcards

Flashcards in Sharing Our Worlds: An Intro to Cultural & Social Anthropology Deck (38)
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1

Initiate

A person joining a new stage of life, typically learning in order to be an effective member, sometimes through certain trials and ordeals.

2

Participant Observation

A method used by anthropologists to learn about a people and their activities by observing at the same time as participating in their lives.

3

Fieldwork

Carrying out practical investigations necessary to a particular study chosen by an anthropologist.

4

Indigenous People

A term adopted collectively by those, also called Aboriginal or First Nations, whose territories have become subsumed into nations built around them, and who are seeking various 'rights' through international bodies like the United Nations.

5

Informants

The word used for members of the society under study by anthropologists.

6

Collaborators

A term used recently in anthropology to describe those with whom we work, who collaborate in our research, to replace the less equal-sounding term "informant."

7

Translation

For anthropologists, this practice involves much more than finding an equivalent word in a different language; gaining an understanding behind the meaning of words and phrases, is an important part of anthropological work.

8

Ethnography

Literally, writings about a particular 'ethnic' group of people, the descriptive part of what anthropologists provide in their reports of fieldwork, the term is also used in other disciplines to describe research methods that resemble those of anthropologists.

9

Applied anthropology

Using knowledge gained through the academic study of anthropology out in the public arena, usually to the benefit of people there.

10

Polytheism

A belief system that holds that there are multiple gods.

11

Monotheism

A belief system that holds that there is only one God.

12

Functionalism

A word used to describe theories that explain social behavior in terms of the way it appears to respond to the needs of members of that society, as advocated by Bronislaw Malinowski and his followers.

13

Structural Functionalism

A theory of explanation of social behavior which examines the way that components of a particular society functioned to maintain the social structure. It was developed by Radcliffe-Brown and applied for a while by his followers.

14

Social Structure

A way of describing the make-up of the features of a society in order to devise general theories that could be applied to specific cases, but also allow cross-cultural comparison.

15

Cultural Relativism

A term devised by Franz Boas to explain that as cultures are based on different idea about the world, they can only be properly understood in terms of their own standards and values. The phrase has been misunderstood to deny human universals, and to suggest that cultures cannot change.

16

Social Facts

The proper materials, which 'exist outside the individual and exercise constraint', to be collected by sociologists and anthropologists, as advocated by Emile Durkheim.

17

Structuralism

A method, originally developed in linguistics, of analyzing elements of social phenomena for their meaning in displaying the framework of society as a set of structural relations which express a universal human capacity to classify and construct such systems of thought.

18

Classification

A system of organization of people, places and things shared by all human beings, but in ways that differ in different societies, which therefore forms a subject of interest to anthropologists.

19

Socialization

The Inculcation into a child of a society's systems of classification and ways of behaving so that it is converted from a biological being into a social one. The term may also be used for adults acquiring a new set of social rules and mores.

20

Gender

A term of classification used to refer to conceptions of male and female, or masculinity and femininity in any society, and 'gender studies' refers to research and teaching that makes this distinction its primary focus.

21

Collective Representations

Symbols understood and used for communication between members of a particular social group (after Durkheim).

22

Pollution/Purity

A pair of terms used by anthropologists to describe institutionalized ideas about dirt and cleanliness in any particular society, especially where these have connotations with notions of spiritual power.

23

Taboo

Something prohibited, usually for reasons associated with a wider system of classification, perhaps related to ideas of pollution, or with notions of the sacred in any society.

24

Sacred/Profane

This dichotomy is used by anthropologists to describe a variety of distinctions made between things, people and events that are set apart (sacred) from everyday life (profane), though the deeper meanings vary between societies, some of which have no such distinction, and they always require further study.

25

Total Phenomenon

A social phenomenon that is found to involve all areas of life in a particular society. The term was chosen by Marcel Mauss in the case of le don - translated as a gift or 'presentation' - which he saw involving simulation expressions of a 'religious, legal. moral and economic' nature.

26

Conspicuous Consumption

The ostentatious consuming of food, drink, or other goods interpreted (initially by Veblen) as a way of demonstrating wealth, or laying claim to a wealthy group or society.

27

Exchange, Direct/indirect, restricted/generalized

Words used to describe types of social interaction between individuals or groups, ranging from gift giving to marriage.

28

Reciprocity

A return for something given, often part of a continuing arrangement expressing social relations, and analyzed by Marshall Sahlins into three types: generalized, balanced and negative.

29

Ritual

Behavior prescribed by society in which individuals have little choice about their actions; sometimes having reference to beliefs in mystical beings or powers.

30

Rites of Passage

Rites that celebrate and protect the move of an individual or a social group from one 'class' or social category to another.