CULANTH Lecture Notes 1 - Lecture 2(Week Two I Anthropology...

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Lecture 2: (Week Two) I. Anthropology Overview and Examples (Case Studies) A. Anthropology – Defined as the Study of culture everywhere B. essential – field work ( “a deep hanging out ” with the culture of study) C. Study of culture everywhere not just cultures deemed “primitive” D. Professor Starn’s examples 1. “Tunnel 6” in Peru a. ceremonial first hair cutting b. local justice by band of native, “The Peasant Patrols” c. illustration of the danger of field work in anthropology (specifically conflict.) i. story of being interrogated and suspected of being a rival group/terrorist E. Ethnographies – books written by anthropologist II. History of Anthropology A. Dark History B. Anthropological inception: 19 th century C. Anthropology advocates slavery D. Leads to extinction of Native Americans E. Projected the age-old misnomer that Europeans were superior F. Promoted Social Darwinism (The idea that from an evolutionary aspect whites were fit to rule all races.) G. Promotion of White Supremacy H. Grounds for Colonization I. Samuel Mortan 1. Desired to prove that whites were indeed ‘superior’ 2. Tried to prove this by cross-referencing the skull sizes of different races 3. Craniometry (used in the attempt to prove white supremacy) 4. Rendered invalid because of examples of geniuses with small brains 5. In reality it was found that the only thing that correlated brain size was body weight J. Scientific Racism (The use of science to further the ideals of white supremacy/racism) K. Franz Boaz 1. Proposes a new and significantly less racist type of anthropology 2. Father of Modern American Anthropology 3. Stresses (champions) the primacy, of ‘Field Work’ as opposed to ‘Armchair Anthropology’ 4. Supposes the idea of ‘Psychic Unity of Mankind’ , that all races have the same mental capacities 5. Projects the idea of “Cultural Relativism” (the idea that while there are great differences in cultures across the globe, none trump the others) opposite of ethnocentrism 6. Very similar to W.E.B. DuBois (also a contemporary of Boas)
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Lecture 3: I. History of Anthropology A. Franz Boaz and DuBois change the face of race B. Debate between Cultural Relativism vs. Ethical Primacy 1. example: Clitorectemy a. while the tradition is disturbing to other cultures the and seems to violate all ethical boundaries, cultural relativism would seem to reason that we cannot deem another tradition barbaric just because it is different than our own cultural traditions C. While DuBois was vehemently opposed to any form of segregation , Booker T. Washington saw a value in the practice, as well as with vocational schools (like Tuskegee) D. American Anthropology between 1920 and 1960 1. Dominated by Franz Boaz and his contemporaries. 2. Pushed for racial equality E. Early Anthropology 1. Studied the natives of places that their country had colonized : / 2. Anomaly: “whites studying blacks and browns” 3. Perpetuation of the fallacious concept of the “timeless primitive” (natives unchanged through colonization) ( Anthropological Taxidermy
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