Terms and ConceptsAnthropology—The holistic study of people in all their variety: people in the past and the present; our own society as well as remote societies; both large and small groups; both urban and rural areas; in societies with advanced or simple technology; and both the biological and the cultural aspects of the human experience.Culture—The behaviors, values, ideas, and material possessions and inventions of a society. Culture is the cornerstone of all anthropological endeavors. Culture surrounds people from the moment they are born: culture is shared, learned, integrated, and symbolic. Culture Shock—The feeling of psychological disorientation when confronted with a new, unfamiliar culture. We take our own cultures for granted, and we sometimes assume that what is “normal” for us will be normal everywhere. Even anthropologists suffer culture shock until they get used to the new culture and learn “how to act” appropriately.Ethnocentrism—A judgmental feeling that someone else’s culture is inferior, and that our own culture is better, superior, more sensible, more “right,” etc.
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