anth101 0130

anth101 0130 - Theories of Social Construction NO LECTURE...

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Theories of Social Construction NO LECTURE THURSDAY BUT WE HAVE RECITATION We are not passive or interchangeable things in a system, it privileges people (Marx theory) What people have created in the past is what allows us to shape our future Fundamental premise: people create cultures and societies through the aggregate acts of individuals Major foci of investigation: behaviors (agency and practice); consequences of behaviors; constraints on behavior Major Questions Agency and Practice How does behavior construct cultures and societies? How does it create patterns of understanding? How does it lead to kinship and religious beliefs? Why (and how) do societies and cultures change? Constraints What are the limits of individuals’ ability to act? Can we act as we please? Philosophical and anthropological question; how strong are the forces of constraint and what are the constraints? Which are the most important and what shapes our individual behavior and what is it that shapes the aggregate behavior? What factors shape (or constrain) the actions of individuals (and which factors are the most important)? Theories of Social Construction Materialism (historical and cultural) by Karl Marx Structuration theory proposed by Anthony Giddens Practice theory by prince sociologist What are most important factors that shape behavior? Practice and Agency Practice: what people do, the sum total of people’s activities Agency: the power of individuals (and groups) to act to advance their own goals, affect or influence others, create and modify the social and physical world
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This note was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course ANTH 101 taught by Professor Scarre during the Spring '07 term at UNC.

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anth101 0130 - Theories of Social Construction NO LECTURE...

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