DSST Anthropology as a Discipline

Ralph linton an anthropologist from the first half of

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Ralph Linton, an anthropologist from the first half of the 1900's, wrote that culture is a combination of universals, alternatives, specialties, and individual peculiarities. Universals are things that everyone or virtually everyone in a society does in common. An example of a universal might be their language, although even here there could be some variations. Alternatives are things that some people do one way and others do another way. For example, we might consider sex roles in a society as alternatives, as are different religions or age roles, etc. Specialties are skills that some people have which others do not; i.e. playing guitar or understanding quantum physics. We've described Universals, Alternatives, and Specialties. The final element of culture is individual peculiarities-- there are some things that the individual has just developed for him/herself or that are just personality quirks. All of these together compose the rich fabric of cultural life. Ideal culture is what people should do according to group norms and values. Real culture is what people actually do in everyday, normal interaction. Diffusion is the movement of cultural traits and ideas from one society or ethnic group to another. While the form of a trait may be transmitted to another society, the original meaning may not. For instance, McDonald's hamburgers are thought of as a cheap, quick meal in North America, but they are generally considered special occasion foods in Beijing, China and Moscow, Russia. According to the British school of diffusionism , all cultural traits originated in Egypt. British diffusionists believed that all aspects of higher civilization began in Egypt and were spread to other cultures as other people came into contact with the Egyptians. The two main schools of diffusionism were the German-Austrian and the British. The German-Austrian diffusionists did not believe that all culture originated in Egypt and instead theorized that diffusion emanated from a number of different cultural complexes. Question 19 of 33
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The primary spokesmen for the British school of diffusionism were W.H.R. Rivers , G. Elliot Smith and William J. Perry. An invention is something new that is created. Invented cultural traits may be new things or ideas. It is rare for inventions to be based on entirely new principles, functions, and forms. Most often, old principles are applied to new functions and/or forms. Inventions may also result from stimulus diffusion. Early adopters of innovations tend to be highly educated, upwardly mobile people. An innovation starts with an innovator, often a single individual with a new idea. ("New" here means unknown to the culture, even if the idea is very old.) After its conception, an innovation spreads slowly at first - usually through the work of change agents, who actively promote it - then picks up speed as more and more people adopt it. Cultural
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Ralph Linton an anthropologist from the first half of the...

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