Study q's for final exam - Cornell University Fall 2006...

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Cornell University, Fall 2006 ANTHROPOLOGY 200: CULTURAL DIVERSITY & CONTEMPORARY ISSUES Final Exam: Dec. 14, 700-930PM, HEC Auditorium, Goldwin Smith Hall (required for all—if you have a serious time conflict please write to the instructor, [email protected] , immediately). Voluntary review session: Dec 6, 335-425pm, McGraw 165 (not required, only if you want to) Study & review questions for the entire course (listed roughly by syllabus theme) (Some of these questions, or questions similar to these, might be on the exam). * The “Psychic Unity of Mankind” -- What are some major aspects of what anthropologists mean by “culture”? -- How has their idea of culture changed over time? -- How does the anthropological idea of culture differ from other ideas of culture you can think of? -- How does culture “work” in practice, according to anthropology? -- What was it about the cultural variation in perception (of sounds, colors, etc.) that influenced Boas’ thinking about culture? -- What is the source of the anthropological suspicion of psychological generalizations about humanity? -- Why are anthropologists suspicious of stories about children raised by wolves? -- What is cultural relativism? -- What is the ultimate source of cultural diversity? * “Anthropology and the Other” -- Now, based on what you know about culture and cultural diversity, how is cultural diversity related to history and social inequality? -- What was the account of human diversity offered by the Bible? (Hint: See Hodgen’s article, “The ark of Noah and the problem of cultural diversity”). -- … and why was that acocunt so widely accepted in Europe as fact, unchallenged until the Renaissance? (Hodgen, “The ark of Noah …”) -- Why did the early European encounter with America create such problems for the European understanding of cultural diversity as defined by the Bible? (Hodgen, “The ark of Noah …”) 1
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-- Why is it often said that anthropology started with Bartolomé de Las Casas and his opposition to his fellow Spaniard countrymen’s brutality against the native Americans in the 16 th century? -- Put otherwise, what was it about Las Casas’ reasoning, when he was addressing the issue of the identity and the plight of the “Indians”, that resembled anthropology as we know it now? * Purity and Danger -- What was the main motive for Mary Douglas when she decided to write Purity and Danger ? (Hint: Think about what was the problem with the Western view of the world at that time… and to some extent still is). -- What was her general theory of the role of dirt in culture? How did she justify it? -- What is a taboo and how might taboos be related to the basic human emotion of fear? (Hint: That would be despite Mary Douglas’ arguments to the contrary: that it is not about fear, and certainly not about “primitive” fear…) -- What role or roles can ideas about purity and purification play in inter-ethnic or inter-cultural relations?
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