Introduction to Anthropology

Introduction to Anthropology - Anthropology and Theory...

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Anthropology and Theory Themes : Idealism v materialism Inductive v deductive Objectivity v subjectivity Plasticity of culture Universals v particulars, culture writ large Classical Definition of Culture: that complex whole which includes knowledge, art, law, customs, belief, morals, and any other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society. Tyler believed ALL people had culture- some have more though they can catch up to one another though. Ethnocentrism makes some people think one culture is better. Theory: a systematic observation of observed data that can be used to guide a study in a discipline EXPLAIN and PREDICTION, how something works. Frames and shapes the question we ask. Theory is not the truth but is plausible and contingent explanations. 1. Testability 2. Open and available to change/correction 3. Observable phenomena 4. Ought to contribute to new or “deepened” understandings of pre-existing factors Theories address: observations, abnormalities, and problems Deductive: from general to specific. Theory - > hypothesis - > observation - > confirmation? Inductive: specific to general. Observation - > pattern - > hypothesis - > confirmation - > theory *can contradict another, different perspective Idealism: concerned with what people think mental and highly subjective; explaining based on how things happen because of ideas in the brain – one way of looking at the world, phenomena, events, culture which influences society and how it moves
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Materialism: how people make a living, what people do to recreate in their society
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Introduction to Anthropology - Anthropology and Theory...

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