Class Notes (1).pdf - Anthropology:u200b the study of what...

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Anthropology: the study of what makes humans distinctively human. - Eduardo’s Research in the Amazon (Prof) : relationship between humans and non-humans. Questions to ask: In what ways are we animals? In what ways are we living? In what ways are we distinctively human? In what ways are we society? Riddle of the Sphinx: In Greek legend, the sphinx devoured all travelers who could not answer the riddle it posed: “What is the creature that walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three in the evening?” The hero Oedipus gave the answer, “Man”, causing the Sphinx’s death. Mediation: many forms of how we live is how something helps us understand something through tat vehicle. - Signs: mediations between us and the world, life is a specific kind of mediation. Blind man with a stick: is stick part of world or part of you? Something about stick that’s a mediation, serves as a sensor for the world. Strangely Familiar and Familiar Strange Distancing and trying to see the world afresh, looking at it in a way that makes you uncomfortable. We see ourselves from the outside and from the outside we become strange UNCANNY: the strange and the familiar mixed together. Anthropology brings out the strange, making it familiar; making the familiar strange. Part of understanding things is being exposed to something and shocked by it, but then understanding it. (i.e. if you travel and you see a custom of a country and then you start to understand it and it affects you in a way that when you return to normal circumstances that it somewhat sticks you.) Forest of Bliss (Film) - Gardner uses the film to gain insight on this way of life. - We are left with the sense that we know something more about life while yet we are not really exposed to any real facts. - It is a documentary on everyday life in Indian town Benares. - This is a “holy” place where old people go to die. The film shows many depictions of life and death intermittent, as if there is no difference, just a stream of life mixed with everyday chores (i.e. cutting logs to burn bodies, stringing flowers for funerals, old man praying, etc.) - The film is essentially about the life in death and death in life.
- He uses the camera to know in a different way, immersing himself in the senses of the culture, come out of feeling we know something about life yet know almost nothing about the Indian culture in this town. Ways of Anthropological Knowing Anthropology is a science because it is empirical. “Knowing” in anthropology requires fieldwork. Anthropology as empirical: the study is based on the experience and relationships built, a kind of intimacy is necessary. Anthropological knowing requires work in the field. Traditionally, anthropologists study small groups/environments. As the times change, the ways of understanding and the limits of the field change.

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