Anthro notes - I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. Distinctiveness...

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I. Distinctiveness of anthropology as a Science of Humanity a. Holism- biology, psychology, history, ecology and geography b. Comparative- not restricted in time or space c. Participant observation- direct observation and community living, need to learn local language d. Tribal or ethnic groups- people that other sciences ignored II. Culture a. The complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. The condition of culture among the various societies of mankind, is so far as it is capable of being investigated on general principles, is a subject apt for the study of laws of human thought and action (1871) III.Culture as learned behavior a. Knowledge and habits are learned and passed through generations: our extra-somatic means of adaption b. Cultural transmission is more efficient that trial and error learning c. New knowledge is able to spread rapidly in horizontal and vertical modes d. Our possession of language is critical to culture IV. A troublesome distinction: is culture unique to humanity? a. In humans culture is an extra somatic means of adaption while genes are the somatic means of adaption in animals, however: i. Animals have culture ii. Humans have leaning biases, fear of snakes and spiders, language learning iii. The content of culture is not arbitrary
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iv. Humans are not blank slates V. Basic Cultural Anthropological concepts a. Ethnocentrism- the belief that your culture or way of doing things is superior to all others, cultural pride, a key feature of ethnocentric concepts is that they are evaluative b. Xenophobia- ranges from lack of trust to fear to hatred of people of different cultures c. Cultural Relativism i. Methodological relativism- cultural practices can only be understood relative to the culture in which they exist ii. Ethical relativism- there is no basis to judge whether a particular cultural practice is good or bad. That is, all cultures and cultural values are equally valid, of equal worth, and equal dignity- we should have the tolerance and respect for any cultural practice, non scientific proposition VI. Emics and Etics a. Emic- insider’s view and understanding of a culture from the perspective of a participant. It only makes sense in the context of a specific cultural frame of reference b. Etic- scientific or outsider’s view. The frame of reference is scientific and general. VII. Culturally approved body modification a. Body part enlargement or reduction b. Body piercing, tooth filing and removal c. Tanning, coloration, and tattooing d. Genital procedures
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e. Body adornment f. Hair styles g. Body hair VIII. Auto denomination- what people call themselves, people, human beings a. Naba- alien b. Wanonaba- enemy c. Shamatari- people who live in the south
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This note was uploaded on 05/07/2008 for the course ANTHROPOLO 212 taught by Professor Haymes during the Spring '07 term at UNL.

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Anthro notes - I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. Distinctiveness...

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