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Unformatted text preview: 4/15/10 1 ANT2 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology April 15, 2010 Prof. Sawyer Key objective of cultural anthropology: unsettle mythological and ideological certainties about the moral, ethical, social, and political dimensions of what we take for granted. make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar What is basis of claim that race is cultural, not biological? Basis is in facts of biology: : non-concordance, : continuous variation, : the recentness of our evolution, : most variation occurs within a race versus between races CONCORDANCE different characteristics always coincide or relate together in a set pattern before a group can be called a subspecies or race. i.e. yellow rumped warblers vs. golden whistler Humans are like golden whistlers 4/15/10 2 Race as a Biological Categorization is NOT Applicable to Humans depending on which observable biological characteristic we focus on, we would end up with different racial categories. when we choose skin pigment as the criteria for defining race, this is an arbitrary choice. arbitrary in the sense that there is no biological importance or significance for choosing this trait. If we were to choose another traits, we would come up with a whole other classification schema. i.e. height vs. fingerprint vs. lactase enzyme vs. sickle- cell vs. blood type, etc. CONTINUOUS VARIATION Could argue... RACE is an approximation. =gives us a way to classify. =Like head size or foot size (also continous) BUT... =universal system for thinking about hat and shoe size (i.e. measurement) =not case with Race (change space&time) Science demands generalizability, consistency, reproducibility Following Franz Boas (1858-1942) cultural anthropologists argue: Race is created by culture, not biology. Race is a cultural construction....
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- Spring '10
- Cultural Anthropology