Cultural Anthropology 101 Lecture Notes Chapters 3

Cultural Anthropology 101 Lecture Notes Chapters 3 -...

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Chapter 3 – Culture Anthropologists, like children learn about a culture by experiencing it and talking about it  with those who live by its rules.  Of course, anthropologists have less time to learn, but  they take a systematic approach to the endeavor.  Through careful observation and  discussion with informants who are especially knowledgeable in the ways of their  particular culture, the anthropologist detects the often hidden social rules and worldview  that guide human behavior in the society being investigated. Every culture provides a blueprint for thought and action that helps people deal with  problems and other matters of concern.  To endure, a culture must satisfy the basic  needs of those who live by its rules, and it must provide an orderly existence for the  members of a society.  In doing so, a culture must strike a balance between the self- interests of individuals and the needs of society as a whole.  Moreover, it must have the  capacity to change in order to adapt to new circumstances or to alter perceptions of  existing circumstances.   What is Culture?  Sir Edward Burnett Tylor in 1871 defined culture as that  complex whole which includes, knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs,  and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.   In  other words culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behavior  acquired and transmitted by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievement of human  groups, including the embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of  traditional (i.e. historically derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached  values culture systems may,   on the one hand, be considered as products of action, on  the other as conditioning elements of further action.  This description still works a half- century later.  For our purposes, we can use a stripped-down, basic definition that  includes four primary properties of culture.   Culture  is: - Learned - Shared - Ideas about and - Patterns of behavior
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Each of these characteristics is critical.  Understood together, they form the core of the  concept of culture. Culture is learned and unique only to humans.  Cultural learning is the accumulation of 
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This note was uploaded on 01/04/2012 for the course ANTH ANTH 101 taught by Professor Hazeljackson during the Fall '09 term at College of Southern Nevada.

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Cultural Anthropology 101 Lecture Notes Chapters 3 -...

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