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Unformatted text preview: 1-10-12Anthropology – “the study of humanity”In American traditions, anthropology is divided into four fields (also called the Four-Field Approach)1.Archaeology – “study of the archaic” (societies and human cultures of the past)2.Biological/Physical Anthropology – human genome/DNA, human evolution, primatology, forensics3.Linguistic Anthropology – language, child acquisition of language, language and culture, cognition and language, comparative linguists4.Cultural Anthropology – contemporary cultures/societies, use the “comparative method”Culture – system of meaning embedded in symbolsEthnocentrism – belief one’s own culture is superior to other culturesCultural relativism – practice of suspending own cultural biases to better understand another cultureIncommensurability – this refers to the fact that some features of one culture may be very difficult for people from another culture to comprehend1-17-12Characteristics of culture1.Culture and culture symbols are arbitrary (no universal definition)2.Cultures change over time/cultures are not static3.Cultures are artificial (invented/not natural/not innate)4.Cultures are learned/shared5.All cultures involve some aspect of inequalityEthnocentrism – own culture is superiorCultural relativism – practice of suspending culture biases to understand another culture- a research tool – not guideline – not moral absoluteEtic – an outsider’s perspective of cultureEmic – an insider’s perspective of cultureParticipant-observation (“field work”) – the method used by cultural anthropologistsEthnography – publication of an anthropologist’s research findingsIncommensurability – hard for one culture to understand another cultureHolistic perspective – anthropologists seek to understand how the different perspective of society create a “whole” cultureNapoleon Chagron (video) – - YanomanoHistory of AnthropologyDuring the middle age, (medieval period, 500-1500 AD)- most large scale societies believed that their social system was divineChina and Vietnam – “the mandate (will) of the Heaven”India and parts of southeast Asia – “the mandata”- ruler seen as a man of god to recreate heaven on earth- the mandata – recreate heaven on earthMiddle East – Will of God (Alah)Europe – “the Divine Right of kings”Between the 1500s & 1800s- the old feudal ideology that king’s rule by divine will is increasingly challengedIn the 1800s, the social sciences emerge as a new approach to explaining the nature of societyThose social scientists interested in western society became identified as “sociologists”Those who were primarily interested in how western societies were identified as “anthropologists” or “ethnologists”Sarah Boartman – big buttKhoi khoi or Khoi sanBrought to Europe from S. Africa and she is displayed to the public for a price in both London and Paris*Georges Cuvier – leading biologists in 1815Paid money to observe her; Sarah was less than woman...
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course ANTHRO 2A 60000 taught by Professor Douglas during the Spring '09 term at UC Irvine.
- Spring '09