class notes

Class notes - notes:culture assumptions epistemology(from class Culture From Cultivate as in agriculture Complex relation with Nature(itself a

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notes:culture, assumptions, epistemology (from class) •Culture –From Cultivate as in agriculture –Complex relation with “Nature” (itself a highly cultural idea) •EPISTEMOLOGY the study of how we know what we know (may put the “we” into question) •MAKE BELIEVE •Do our stories make make sense of the world? •Or do they make a world that makes sense? (for some people) •POINT OF VIEW •WHERE YOU SEE FROM MAY CHANGE WHAT YOU SEE •WHEN YOU SEE FROM A DIFFERENT POINT YOU MAY CHANGE Induction - bringing together of separate facts or instances to prove a general statement (also produces change or response in organism) Deduction - reason out or conclude from known facts or general principles The Assumptions Assumption One : that which is taken for granted, the unconscious, unexamined prerequisite for those identities that appear self-evident, default mode, what goes without saying, “The Rules” (‘culture’) What happens when you Ass-U-Me? Yet who (and where) you are is always where you start Assumption Two false pretenses, an assumed identity is one that is not true, sometimes taken on for nefarious purposes. (one day you may wake up to realize a lot of what you thought was true is not) Assumption Three to take on an identity, to become, as in the ecstatic Virgin Mary's assumption to heaven, ensconced in her true, eternal identity. Judith Butler says, "Subjection is. ..a power assumed by the subject, an assumption that constitutes the instrument of that subject's becoming.” (The Anthropologist Changes) Some Takes on “Culture” •Culture is "that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society" (Edward B. Tylor, 1871) •Traits of civilization are property, kings, and firearms. "the idea of property was slowly formed in the human mind, remaining nascent and feeble thru immense periods of time. ..Its dominance as a passion over all other passions marks the commencement of civilization." Lewis Henry Morgan 1877 •“Man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun”
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Clifford Geertz, following Max Weber •When I pitched headfirst into the world I landed in the crib of negroism. Form the earliest rocking of my cradle I had known about the capers Brer Rabbit is apt to cut and what the Squinch Owl says from the house top. It was fitting me like a tight chemise. I couldn’t see it for wearing it. It was only when I was off in college, away from my native surroundings, that I could see myself like somebody else and stand off and look at my garment. Then I had to have the spy-glass of Anthropology to look through at that. •Zora Neale Hurston 1935
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This note was uploaded on 11/27/2010 for the course CULANTH 94 taught by Professor Mattiabegali during the Fall '10 term at Duke.

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Class notes - notes:culture assumptions epistemology(from class Culture From Cultivate as in agriculture Complex relation with Nature(itself a

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