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a340-11f-101-03-Culture - Living in our Globalized World...

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Living in our Globalized World: Notes 3 Culture Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - Today’s material (both the first and second parts of the class) is largely condensed from my Introduction to Cultural Anthropology course - apologies to those who have already seen material like this, but I want to get everyone onto the same page with these basic ideas - even if it is familiar, everyone explains these things in slightly different ways, so a review from a different point of view can still be useful - Kluckhohn, Queer Customs - the language of Kluckhohn’s article is a bit dated - written right after WWII, hence references to a Japanese Bansai charge and relocation camps. - but we can overlook that because at the time, they were standard - "man", "mankind", "he" in every case - “primitive tribes” p. 10 - please don’t pick up this language yourself! - 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 - emphasizes that culture is all that stuff that we learn from people around us - “that part of the environment that is the creation of man” p. 6 - that is, all those physical things created by people, such as buildings, clothing, tools, etc., plus… - the shared ideas that affect how we perceive and interact with our physical and social 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 largely 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 - we are born with a genetic legacy, including both what we have biologically in common with all humans, and the minor variations that distinguish us as individuals - so all humans experience the same general biological facts and events - but different cultures place different meanings on them
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Anth 340.101: Living in our Globalized World F 2011 / Owen: Culture p. 2 - which then call for different interpretations and responses - hunger, puberty, death, sex, etc. - “a set of techniques for adjusting both to the external environment and to other men” p. 11
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