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a203-11f-03-ConceptOfCulture

a203-11f-03-ConceptOfCulture - Introduction to Cultural...

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Introduction to Cultural Anthropology: Class 3 The concept of culture: Deeper than you think Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - Sara Jones, from COTS - If you haven’t sent me a photo yet, remember to do so – “a203-11f-SimpsonBart.jpg” - Kluckhohn, Queer Customs - comment on the language and assumptions of Kluckhohn’s article - written right after WWII, hence references to a Japanese Bansai charge and relocation camps. - some aspects of the language are dated and no longer acceptable in current writing - but we forgive them here because at the time, they were standard - "man", "mankind", "he" in every case - “primitive tribes” p. 10 - Basically explaining the concept of culture - What is culture? - Kluckhohn gives at least 8 definitions or descriptions (or more, depending on what you count), plus at least one attributed to someone else (Ruth Benedict) - “the total lifeway of people, the social legacy the individual acquires from his group” p. 6 - “that part of the environment that is the creation of man” p. 6 - that is, the material culture we surround ourselves with, plus… - the shared ideas that affect how we perceive and interact with our environment - interpretations of things - rules of behavior and social relations, etc. - “a kind of blueprint for all of life’s activities” p. 6 - “a people’s design for living” p. 7 - “a way of thinking, feeling, believing. It is the group’s knowledge stored up (in memories of men; in books and objects) for future use” p. 9 - humans are born with less instinctive behavior than other animals, more ability to learn to do different things p. 9 - learned culture replaces instinct among humans p. 9 - “the distinctive ways of life of ... a group of people” p. 9 - “our social legacy, as contrasted with our organic heredity” p. 10 - all humans experience the same general biological facts and events - but different cultures place different meanings on them - which then call for different interpretations and responses - hunger - puberty - death - sex - “a set of techniques for adjusting both to the external environment and to other men” p. 11
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Intro to Cultural Anthro F 2011 / Owen: Concept of culture p. 2 - “Culture is like a map. ... If you know a culture, you will know your way around in the life of a society” p. 11 - A different approach to defining culture (not from the Kluckhohn article) - Anthropologists generally agree that culture has the following characteristics: It is… - learned - any normal child learns the culture in which he or she is raised - Kluckhohn's example of the child of American missionaries raised in China - the child looked Euro-American, but thought and acted like a Chinese person - adults can learn other cultures too, but adults take longer to adopt a culture, and may never become fully acculturated - shared - that is, numerous people hold roughly the same set of beliefs, values, etc.
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