A101.08CultLang - ANTHROPOLOGY 101 Introduction to...

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ANTHROPOLOGY 101: Introduction to Anthropology Unit 8 Culture & Expression Culture 0. Culture is a distinctively human trait 0. Not actually unique to us 1. It serves to separate us from other animals: 1. We are the “cultural animal” 2. We rely on it to greater extent than any other species 3. One of most powerful forces acting on humans 4. Everything we do is conditioned by culture 5. Even most basic biological functions are shaped by culture 6. All people must eat, but what we eat, how we eat, when we eat, and where we eat is culturally conditioned & variable 7. How we sit, how we stand and walk, speaking distance, whether we make eye contact with others are all culturally determined 8. Can cause us to override the most basic & powerful instinctual drives 2. Staying awake for prolonged periods 3. Fasting 4. Celibacy 5. Suicide 9. Primary means by which we adapt to our environments 6. We use tools and cultural techniques to acquire our food 7. Use clothing and housing to protect from elements 8. Use manufactured weapons for defence 10. Central unifying concept of anthropology 9. For American Anthropologists, it is our primary object of study 11. One of the most contentious concepts in the discipline 10. Huge disagreements about what it actually is 12. Used in two senses: 11. 1) The (shared) learned behavior (and its products) that (in general) distinguishes humans from other animals 12. 2) The patterned behavior of a particular group. tribe, nation, class, locality. 13. Definition 13. The socially transmitted knowledge and behavior shared by some group of people Characteristics of Culture 0. Learned 0. Culture is not innate. You are not born knowing how to use a fork or chopsticks. 1. Any child can learn any culture, if exposed from birth (or an early age). 1. Shared 2. Culture is not individual, but is shared by a group of people. 3. Purely idiosyncratic behavior (even if learned) is not cultural. 14. Cumulative 14. We pass on culture from one generation to next. 15. Cultures build on what already exists.
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15. Integrated 16. Various aspects of culture are complexly interconnected, so that changes in one area affect all aspects. 0. Symbolically Expressed & Transmitted 17. Express and communicate culture through variety of symbols. 18. Includes language, dress, hair styles, rituals, gestures, etc. 2. Dynamic 4. All cultures are constantly changing and are never entirely static. 5. No living culture is the same as it was 1,000, 10,000, or 1,000,000 years ago. 6. Rates of change vary within cultures over time and between cultures at the same time. Culture 16. Major debates over culture concept center on two factors: 19. Is culture a behavioral reality or a mental construct? 20. To what extent is (or must be) culture shared? 17. Most anthropologists agree that culture is predominantly mental 18. Continued disagreement about sharing Culture & Society 1. Many anthropologists make an analytic distinction between the mental and behavioral aspects of human social experience 2. Distinguish as Culture and Society 19. Culture 21. The beliefs, values, symbols, meanings, etc. characteristic of a given group of people.
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