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anthro101lecture08.jan25.race - ANTHROPOLOGY 101 Winter...

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ANTHROPOLOGY 101; Winter 2008 01.25.08 LECTURE 08 Pulling Things Together: Some Stories Kottak 19 I. Begin with Mchugh to frame the notion of culture and what it means to be an outsider -- see the powerpoints for some quotes) Culture as "models of" reality The "naturalness" of culture What it means to be an "outsider" When the "other" is treated as an object The sense of meaning… II. Applying culture idea to "race" in America (for comparisons with the Warlpiri) And then there's Duneier's book, Slim's Table: Race, Respectability, and Masculinity , which as you can tell from the title might just have to do with that other part of "culture" that I like to highlight, the idea that it includes "models for" reality, ideas about what it's good to be, motivations to enact some notion of the good. Actually, the book has lots about other things, but I want to emphasize this part for now. A. First, a quick detour to that first chapter about "Slim and Bart" -- a part of the package of chapters (1 & 2) in the section called "The Caring Community" -- the chapter is a good one for illustrating that quote from Robert Coles (the head of the interview, "Mystery and Manners," in the optional readings file on CTools): "We all survive and prevail through a mastery of certain details, or fail by letting them slip though our fingers." Duneier is a master of the details. -- I invite you to take a look at how he selects things from four years of fieldwork in Chicago to weave a story that also instructs. Here are some quotes from his first chapter (not on CTools) that take two people, Slim and Bart, to set up a book about race and racial stereotyping (Slim is an African American man who commands respect simply by his bearing; Bart is an older Euro-American man from the south): "The relationship between Slim and Bart intrigued me. Slim seemed to harbor little resentment about injustices of the past, though it was evident from occasional remarks that he had unpleasant dealings with whites once in a while. At the same time, he was a human being with strong moral sensibilities. He viewed himself as a member of a social world characterized by general standards that applied equally to people of all colors." "By contrast to Slim's universal morality, Bart was a reserved Southerner who believed that white people were naturally superior to black people. He had not been 1
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ANTHROPOLOGY 101; Winter 2008 01.25.08 LECTURE 08 Pulling Things Together: Some Stories Kottak 19 pleased by the civil rights movement of the 1960s." "The standards by which Slim treats Bart are universal, applying equally to any elderly person, black or white, in or out of the ghetto." With this simple contrast, Duneier is already busting open stereotypes -- and that's the aim of the whole book: to challenge with details the stereotypes of journalists and sociologists (of the time) about African American males: in fact, he has thrown them into a reversal -- the universalized morality, the strong character, here belong to the black man, Slim; the person who has to fight through limitations is Bart.
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anthro101lecture08.jan25.race - ANTHROPOLOGY 101 Winter...

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