DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Cultural shock is the feelings of disorientation and

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Cultural shock is the feelings of disorientation and confusion we experience when we go into a society radically different from our own. Ethnocentrism is the tendency to evaluate (usually negatively) the customs of other groups according to our standards, not theirs. The opposite--Cultural relativism --is evaluating other societies according to their standards, not ours. It says, in effect, that other people have a "right" to their own cultural heritage. An Etic perspective is a description of a behavior in terms familiar to the observer (and generally for the purpose of facilitation comparative research and making universal claims), rather than in terms of the actor. Etic is the opposite of Emic. Emic perspective: the "insider's" or "native's" interpretation of or "reasons" for his or her customs/beliefs. What things mean to the members of a society. Etic perspective: the external researcher's interpretation of the same customs/beliefs. What things mean from an analytical, anthropological perspective. The anthropologist usually takes both emic and etic interpretations into account when analyzing human society (depending on the project.) These words come from the linguistic terms "phonetic" and "phonemic." Emic and Etic are terms used by some in the social sciences and the behavioral sciences to refer to two different kinds of data concerning human behavior. An "emic" account of behavior is a description of behavior in terms meaningful (consciously or unconsciously) to the actor. An "etic" account is a description of a behavior in terms familiar to the observer. Scientists interested in the local construction of meaning, and local rules for behavior, will rely on emic accounts. Scientists interested in facilitating comparative research and making universal claims will rely on etic accounts. Since the infant of the human species enters the world cultureless, his behavior—-his attitudes, values, ideals, and beliefs, as well as his overt motor activity—-is powerfully influenced by the culture that surrounds him on all sides. It is almost impossible to exaggerate the power and influence of culture upon the human animal. It is powerful enough to hold the sex urge in check and achieve premarital chastity and even voluntary vows of celibacy for life. Among subhuman animals, it is merely the cessation of the vital processes of metabolism, respiration, and so on. In the human species, however, death is also a concept ; only man knows death. Culture triumphs over death and offers man eternal life. Thus, culture may deny satisfactions on the one hand while it fulfills desires on the other. If the cultural factor were a constant, personality would vary with the variations of the neurosensoryglandular-muscular structure of the individual. But there are no tests that can indicate, for example, precisely how much of the taxicab driver's ability to make
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Cultural shock is the feelings of disorientation and...

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