L2J7 - Lecture 2 (07/01/11) Introducing what the class...

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Lecture 2 (07/01/11) Introducing what the class focuses on… Structures of social life are largely constraining When we look at the ideas people have, it’s more difficult to say something systematic – the reason being htat havin ideas is relatively inexpensive in terms of energetic expenditure Ideas are a kind of jello, hard to take a handful without it flowing all over the place Reality our ideas are organized too o We can in theory think the most outlandish things, different things, but in practice, much of what we do is in a framework where we end up doing things in a similar way (to each other) How similar can things be? o People have different tastes… o There is diversity but the choice that there is, is going to be somewhat limited – even when we see exceptions to this (when we see this it’s a small minority) Now if we question this in practice… people are sharing a lot of meanings, how do they get there? o Related to a broader question of ‘why are people the way they are?’ there are for each species, biological constraints We are constrained in specific ways so we pay attention to part of the world o Ex. In seeing and hearing we, as humans, perceive specific wavelengths (so one obvious constraint, things we will like – ex. All born with the idea that sweet things taste good) He is interested in the rest, what is NOT biological – what are the environmental circumstances that are not guiding our thoughts
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o The socio-cultural environment Anthropological class, so our view point social learning is the fundamental way in which we end up sharing a fair amount of information o But not the only one… don’t learn simply b/c we’re in society… we learn b/c we’re in specific environments o Ex. Some people who are raised in cities, if they go to the woods/country side, can feel out of place and uncomfortable o It’s our natural environment, natural way to be This is true at the social level as well… there are many things we learn
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L2J7 - Lecture 2 (07/01/11) Introducing what the class...

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