notes - D ifferent uses of the culture concept - culture as...

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Different uses of the “culture” concept - culture as a synonym for civilization: used to be a reference to civilized versus barbarians, etc. not politically correct. Some early anthropologists are racists. Today disagree. There are differences in biological difference, but culture is not a biological deficiency. - Culture people: people who likes classical music, art, appreciate culture, like to learn, etc. - Popular culture: everyday culture that we don’t consider to be serious enough - Cultural diversity: or multiculturalism. We need to be more accepting. Based on topic of cultural relativism. Different metaphors for US - melting pot: mesh, and create new culture that melts together, creating Americans - tossed salad: sub cultures intertwined A possible definition of culture: - culture is everything people have, think and do as members of a society - HAVE: material culture - Think: values, beliefs, attitudes, worldview - Do: behavior, norms Though question: given the definition of culture, can we say Americans have a culture? Why or why not? - I think Americans have a culture of our own. It is our wide span of diversity of race, religion, etc that creates our accepting culture. Why its challenging to come up with a perfect definition of culture: - there is a huge variation within culture - cultures change over time - all cultures are influenced by other cultures. Characteristics of culture: - culture is learned o learned vs instinctive behavior o vulture is not passed genetically o enculturation- long process
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- culture is shared-clip: sienfeld- george eating out of trash o this helps people predict how others will behave in a certain situation - Culture is symbolic o Ie red light-stop, golden arches-mcdonalds - culture is integrated or patterned o different dimensions of a culture are often connected by certain themes and patterns o dimensions include basic values, social structure, gender roles, work related values, communication styles, holidays o Kazakh Hospitality - Culture is created o Cultures are constantly changing o Culture influences, but does not determine behavior. (ie George chose to eat) - culture is adaptive o ex- industrialization o some adaptations can be partially maladaptive 9/10/09 - Ethnographic fieldwork o Process cultural anthologists use to gather data about lives and customs of a particular society- involves prolonged period of time living in another cultural setting o Fieldwork can e fun, exciting, etc. And confusing and challenging - Changing methods in cultural anthropology o Armchair antho o Verandah anthropology. “salvage enthgraphy” o Participant observation: bronislaw Malinowski. “exotic locations” o New developments. New research sites. Multi-sited research - getting started: selecting location for fieldwork - practical issues o health precautions o visas and government permission o approval from human subjects research committee
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- practical issues o gender matters. Can have advantages and disadvantages. Most times treated somewhere in between.
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2010 for the course ANTH 210 taught by Professor Sparks during the Fall '08 term at Texas A&M.

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notes - D ifferent uses of the culture concept - culture as...

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