anthropology homework

anthropology homework - cultures as being much more...

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ANTH 101 HOMEWORK #3 Spring 2008 DUE April 15 Anna Ryburn 1. Explain what “Cultural Relativism” is and provide an example. Cultural relativism is an anthropological attitude in which a society’s norms and beliefs should only be viewed pending the understanding of that specific society’s issues and opportunities. It is very easy to jump to a quick judgment on a society’s customs- especially ones that are obviously wrong to us, but may not have been viewed as “wrong” in their culture. All over the world, people live their lives in very different ways. In an anthropologists mind, an accurate portrayal and understanding of a different culture could not come about if the anthropologist didn’t understand the circumstances that these people were facing, while also keeping an entirely objective mindset on their cultural practices. One example of cultural relativism is how earlier evolutionists saw Western
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Unformatted text preview: cultures as being much more advanced in the evolutionary process, whereas non-westernized cultures were much less advanced in the evolutionary process. This belief was obviously maintained by those who didn’t fully understand the circumstances and opportunities (or lack of) that the western and non-western cultures had. 2. What conditions in a society favor the development of matrilineal descent groups? An example that might lead to the development of matrilineal descent groups would be when it is required for men to go away, either to fight a long-distance war or for trading purposes. With men not really leading/controlling day-to-day operations, that duty is left up to the women, thus giving them more power. Perhaps another example that would favor the development of a matrilineal descent group could be if a society lives in a avunculocal residence pattern....
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