Conglomerate week 1-10 - Anthro Study 1 WEEK 1 The Psychic...

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Anthro Study, 1 WEEK 1 * The “Psychic Unity of Mankind” -- What are some major aspects of what anthropologists mean by “culture”? Shelter, customs, dress, systems of betrothal and matrimony, religion, social organization, language, diet, etc. -- How does culture “work” in practice, according to anthropology? It brings all members together under one identity. Culture allows a group of people to live a common lifestyle, share common beliefs, and grow as a community around a core set of customs and principles. -- What was it about the cultural variation in perception (of sounds, colors, etc.) that influenced Boas’ thinking about culture? Cultures divide and consider the color spectrum in different ways, and this is also true of sounds. Boas uses this fact in his argument that all cultural identities and traits are artificial, so all peoples have equal general capacities. Cultures construct and foster themselves in their own creative ways, and there should be no definition of what constitutes a ‘correct’ way. Boas claims that the term ‘primitive’ has no place in the comparison of peoples, and the concept of culture must be approached with “loving penetration”. Otherwise there is great risk of wrong conclusions since bias results in misinterpretation. -- Why are anthropologists suspicious of stories about children raised by wolves? Because it’s a dumb fucking idea -- What is cultural relativism? It is judging cultures on their own terms . The principle that people should not judge the behavior of others using the standards of their own culture, and that each culture must be analyzed on its own terms . * “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? After the renaissance and industrial revolution, Western nations and cultures underwent dramatic changes as they moved into modernity. All other peoples were left behind in this movement, and Western nations began to develop a sense of superiority towards cultures that now seem to be ‘primitive’. This contempt has continued into current times in the form of racism and ethnocentrism by historically western ethnicities. As a result of discrimination, social inequality exists in western nations towards minorities and immigrants from non-western
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Anthro Study, 2 cultures. -- 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”). After the flood, there were left only 8 people, Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. God blessed them and told them to ‘Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth… breed freely on earth and subdue it.” So many different nations descended from each of Noahs sons, and the earth was repopulated. Then, in the eleventh chapter of Genesis an other narrative of the dispersion of mankind is offered. “When the whole earth was on e language and on vocabulary” and
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