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a203-11f-01-Intro - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology...

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Introduction to Cultural Anthropology: Notes 1 Introduction to the course Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - Anthropology 203.1: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology - I’m Bruce Owen - My own research is in Peruvian archaeology - but like most archaeologists in the US, I studied in an anthropology department, and I work as an anthropologist - I teach not only archaeology, but also cultural anthropology and biological anthropology - that is one of the great things about anthropology: it is an exceptionally diverse field - a license to follow interests in a wide range of areas - I work mostly in Peru - I’ve spent over 5 years there since 1983 - Working with Peruvian colleagues, from university professors and students through farmers in remote rural areas - so I will use examples from Peru frequently - This class is an introduction to cultural anthropology - You will learn what cultural anthropology is all about - the study of people in terms of their culture - Culture is the framework that sets up… - how people understand themselves and the world, - and from there, what they do, how they relate to each other, and how they organize themselves in groups. - Anthropology is based on learning what people do and think by first-hand experience with them. - the classic image of the anthropologist in a pith helmet, living with natives in a jungle somewhere - but anthropologists have studied all kinds of people, in all sorts of settings - Shi’ites in Iraq - Mexican farmworkers in San Diego - crack dealers in New York - nuclear weapons designers at Los Alamos National Laboratory - American high school and college students, and many others - Over a century of anthropologists' first-hand experience has shown that very little about culture is universal. - A lot of what we grow up thinking is just "the way it is", isn't. - The range of ways that people live, think, and act is vast. - Our way is just one of many. - Yet we are increasingly tied together by a global web of interactions, for better and for worse. - To understand the world and work successfully in it, as individuals, groups, businesses, and nations, - we have to set aside the preconceptions of our own native culture
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Intro to Cultural Anthropology 203.1 F 2011 / Owen: Introduction p. 2 - and open our eyes to understanding other ways of thinking. - Opening our minds to other cultures also gives us insights into our own culture and society. - Anthropology helps us recognize some of our own assumptions - In this course, you will get a taste of some of the wide range of findings and issues anthropologists work on - culture, and ways of thinking about and explaining cultures - race and ethnicity - ways that different people make a living: foraging, farming, herding, working for wages… - economics and exchange, in ways you won’t get in an economics class - ideas about truth and justice - social inequality and hierarchies - how people come to have their own identities, including gender roles - the wide variety of ways families and marriage can work
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a203-11f-01-Intro - Introduction to Cultural Anthropology...

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