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ppoint10handout - 5/4/10 ANT 2 Introduction to Cultural...

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5/4/10 1 ANT 2 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology May 4, 2010 Prof. Sawyer Mid-Quarter Assessment— 1. What works well in this class? 2. What isn’t working well? 3. What might be done to fix what isn’t working for you? ANT 2 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology May 4, 2010 Prof. Sawyer Class, Race, and Narratives of Progress Philippe Bourgois In Search of Respect (2003) (focus: Intro, Ch. 4, 5, 6, & 7) – Ethnography of Puerto Rican crack dealers in East Harlem – What does life look like from the marginalized zones of our society (poor inner-city enclaves of one of the riches cities in the world). Central Questions: • Where do we stand on the question of “meritocracy”? • Where do we stand on the question of poverty? • What is the role of agency (individual action) and structure (class stratification) in producing and reproducing poverty, inequality, and social despair?
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5/4/10 2 What is Class? For a cultural anthropologist: • Class: – term used to describe ranked subgroups in a stratified society whose members are differentiated from one another primarily in economic terms • either on the basis of income level, or on the basis of the kind of property owned (cf. Karl Marx). Marx (1818-1883) argued: • industrial capitalist society emerged from (and necessitated) the creation of class division. – 1. Bourgeoisie (capitalist class) owned the means of production (i.e. tools, knowledge, raw materials) necessary for production – 2. Proletariat (working class) owned only their labor power—the commodity they sold to the factory owners in exchange for wages. Marx noted that the “freedom” of a free enterprise economy is double-edged. Noncapitalist economic relations: • hedged with rights and obligations • constrained the ability of any individual to put his/her own needs first (i.e. to maximize) • but protected the individual from destitution. [Even feudal peasants had economic rights that their lords were obliged to respect—i.e. the lord had obligations toward his peasants in times of need.] Capitalist economic relations: • both protections and constraints disappear once labor became “free.”
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5/4/10 3 Labor = central concept for Marx Noncapitalist economic systems: People work with others to produce goods for their own use, using tools and materials that belong to them. Industrial capitalist economic system:
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This note was uploaded on 08/21/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2 taught by Professor Sawyer during the Spring '10 term at UC Davis.

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ppoint10handout - 5/4/10 ANT 2 Introduction to Cultural...

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