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Flashcards in Week 1 Deck (24):
1

anthropology

the study of human nature, human society, and the human past

2

holism

a characteristic of the anthropological perspective that describes, how anthropology tries to integrate all that is known about human beings and their activities. This is based on empirical evidence that any aspect of culture is entangled with other aspects in complex ways.

3

comparison

a characteristic of the anthropological perspective that requires anthropologists to consider similarities and differences in as wide a range of human societies as possible before generalizing about human nature, human society, or the human past.

4

evolution

a characteristic of the anthropological perspective that requires anthropologists to place their observations about human nature, human society, or the human past in a temporal framework that takes into consideration change over time

5

culture

Sets of learned behavior and ideas that human beings acquire as members of society together with the material artifacts and structures humans create and use. Human beings use culture to adapt to and to transform the world in which they live.

6

biocultural organisms

organisms (in this case, human beings) whose defining features are codetermined by biological and cultural factors

7

material culture

objects created or shaped by human beings and given meaning by cultural practices

8

races

social groupings that allegedly reflect biological differences

9

racism

the systematic oppression of one or more socially defined “races” by another socially defined “race” that is justified in terms of the supposed inherent biological superiority of the rulers and the supposed inherent biological inferiority of those they rule

10

biological anthropology (or physical anthropology)

the specialty of anthropology that looks at human beings as biological organisms and tries to discover what characteristics make them different from other organisms and what characteristics they share

11

primatologist

the study of nonhuman primates, the closest living relatives of human beings

12

paleoanthropology

the search for fossilized remains of humanity’s earliest ancestors

13

cultural anthropology

the specialty of anthropology that shows how variation in the beliefs and behaviors of members of different human groups is shaped by sets of learned behaviors and ideas that human beings acquire as members of society — that is, by culture

14

sex

observable physical characteristics that distinguish two kinds of humans, females and males, needed for biological reproduction

15

gender

the cultural construction of beliefs and behaviors considered appropriate for each sex

16

fieldwork

an extended period of close involvement with the people in whose language or way of life anthropologists are interested, during which anthropologists ordinarily collect most of their data

17

informants

people in a particular culture who work with anthropologists and provide them with insights about their way of life. Also called respondents, teachers, or friends.

18

ethnography

an anthropologist’s written or filmed description of a particular culture

19

ethnology

the comparative study of two or more cultures

20

language

the system of arbitrary vocal symbols used to encode one’s experience of the world and of others

21

linguistic anthropology

the specialty of anthropology concerned with the study of human languages

22

archaeology

a cultural anthropology of the human past involving the analysis of material remains left behind by earlier societies

23

applied anthropology

the subfield of anthropology that uses information gathered from the other anthropological specialties to solve practical cross-cultural problems

24

medical anthropology

the specialty of anthropology that concerns itself with human health — the factors that contribute to disease or illness and the ways that humans populations deal with disease or illness