intrB14 - cultural goals and methods

intrB14 - cultural goals and methods - Anthropology 100...

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Anthropology 100 Lecture Outline Cultural Anthropology: Goals and Methods  1. The goals of cultural anthropology - Like all anthropology, cultural anthropology takes a holistic perspective on human existence - Culture is a system of symbols, which are centrally important in human experience - We think and behave in symbolic terms, and are incapable of doing otherwise - Indeed, Emile Durkheim came close to arguing that society and its symbols are more real than actual people - This is an exaggeration, but it suggests the extent to which we are enveloped in a symbolic world - Thinking of culture as symbolic, as a mental construct, has implications - One is that culture is different for every individual, since every individual experiences its symbols differently - Another is that all cultures change, even those which we might think of as "timeless" - Cultural anthropology does not just describe different cultural worlds; it also works to explain them - Part of this process involves the search for
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intrB14 - cultural goals and methods - Anthropology 100...

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