Cultural Anthro Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Outsider's viewpoint
karl marx
Video: American Tongues
Social hierarchy and inequality
the study of sound patterns
form of sociopolitical organization intermediate between the tribe and the state; kin-based with differential access ro resources and a permanent political structure
Charles Darwin
Natural selection. Biology... organisms adapt to their environment. Survival of the fittest. Sociobiology- Most anthropologists do not use it becaues it has negative associations.
Laura Bohannan
"Shakespeare in the Bush"
referring to interactions between European nations and the societies they colonized (mainly after 1800); more generally, “postcolonial” may be used to signify a position against imperialism and Eurocentrism
Mujahedeen (Mujahideen)
person engaged in jihad
part-time religious practitioner who mediates btwn ordinary people and supernatural beings/forces; convince by talking in tongues, making offerings, etc. and are extremely respected/feared (first profession and division of labor)
cultural mixes, including religious blends, that emerge from acculturation - the exchange of cultural features when cultures come into continuous firsthand contact; combining religions to make new one (can include extra views)
• Fallwell
how preachers use language; rhetorical strategies; use stories from Bible to relate to life- narrative belief; part of belief come under conviction- speaking as if you believe. Three stages: 1) separation- lost and willing to hear 2) liminality- understanding the concepts and internalizing them, coming under conviction 3) reconciliation- separated from previous moral framework. Scopes trial- legal battle over evolution in schools in 1920’s, and fundamentalists shunned by popular culture at the time by journalists, turned inward until 1980’s where they emerged with the presidency of Reagan.
the study of communication through body movements, stances, gestures, and facial expressions
study of groups through observation, interview, and participation
cultivation that makes intensive use of none of the factors of production - land, labor, capital, and machinery. It uses simple tools such as digging sticks and hoes. Uses slash-and-burn techniques.
Four Branches of Anthropology
Physical/biological, culture, linguistic, archaeology (applied=fifth branch)
The branch of anthropology that studies prehistoric people and their cultures. Get an idea of how things were in the past
Western linear conception of time. human history is the story of a steady advance from a life dependent on the whims of nature to a life of control and domination over natural forces”“technological advancement” is very much valued and is often understood also as progress in other fields of human life such as ethics, morality, etc.
Lewis Henry Morgan
"Ancient Society"Interested in historical evolution of cultures; worked with kinship and family organization of Iroquois Indians.
anthropology and education
anthropological research in classrooms, homes, and neighborhoods, viewing students as total cultural creatures whose enculturation and attitudes towards education belong to a larger context that includes family, peers, and society
applied anthropology
the application of anthropological data, perspectives, theory, and methods to identify, assess and solve contemporary social problems
when couple marries, moves to husband's father's community (unilocal rule of postmarital residence)
beliefs and practices pertaining to supernatural beings or forces, an ordered system of knowledge about the nature of the world and how to behave in it
• Folklore
the beliefs, myths, tales, and practices of a people, usually transmitted orally and expressed in an artful or creative manner
set of ideas formulated to explain something
a stratified social order in which subordinates comply with domination by internalizing its values and accepting its naturalness
Public Transcript
the open, public interactions between dominators and oppressed - the outer shell of power relations
Who? What? Why? How/in what manner? It's a thicker description; requires face-to-face work time consuming. Measuring the quality, rather than the amount.
Naturalistic Question
Ethnographic Field Methods- know the steps to doing ethnographic field methods research: Anthropologist attempts to enter into a social scene and observe events as they "naturally occur." How do I get the people to just go on what they were doing before I got here? How can I minimize my interference? Naturalistic Question receives a Naturalistic Answer: just move right in and join the group!
Culture Shock
Psychological symptoms of stress from constant interaction with another culture. Three Phases: Disorientation, Dissociation (worn down by the task of trying to communicate, act properly, interpret others behaviors, and understand another culture), reconnection
Emily Durkheim
Uses social facts to scientifically explain social phenomenon. Society is greater than the sum of our separate parts.
what is diffusion
borrowing of traits between cultures
Samuel George Morton
Respected Philadelphia doctor in early-19th centuryViewed brain size as criteria for intelligence (the larger the brain, the more intelligent the person)
Video: Race: The Power of an Illusion
one of Karl Marx’s opposed classes; owners of the means of production (factories, mines, large farms, and other sources of subsistence)
a Muslim religious seminary that holds militant Islam at core of teachings (at most of them)
rule requiring people to marry outside their own group
• Imagination
in possibilities in life due to entertainment, ie soap operas
nomads who kept herds of livestock on which they depended for most of their food
Cultural Anthropology
The study of human society and culture, the subfield that describes, analyzes, interprets, and explains social and cultural similarities and differences
3 ways of cultural change
acculturation, diffusion, independent innovation
A way of looking at ideas and behaviors as interrelated elements best understood when seen in a broader context within a culture and with other cultures in its environment.
examples of univerals
family living, food sharing, exogamy, incest taboo
the science or study of signs and symbols and how they generate meanings
Ferdinand de Saussure
Swiss linguist, father of semiotics. Understands language as a formal system of signs.
naive realism
The belief that people everywhere see the world in the same way
the rejection of the modern in favor of what is perceived as an earlier, purer, and better ways of life; based on disillusionment with industrialization, globalization, and developments in science, technology, and consumption patterns
lineage vs. clan
lineage uses demonstrated descent from apical ancestor and clan uses stipulated descent (just say they descend from)
• Cultural relativism
can’t judge one culture by own culture’s standards
focal vocabulary
a set of words and distinctions that are particularly important to certain groups (those with particular foci experience or activity) such as types of snow to Eskimos or skiiers
How much? How many? How often? What is the trend? It's a numerical set of data
what are universal features
cultural features found in all groups
"The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis"
how language shapes our perception of reality
capitalist world economy
the single world system, which emerged in teh 16th c. committed to production for sale, with the object of maximizing profits rather than supplying domestic needs
collateral relative
a genealogical relative who is not in ego's direct line (sister, brother, father's brother, mother's sister)
• Audience reception
the study of how an audience receives and interprets a signifying practice [performance, joke]. Idea is that what the author/speaker intended is not always the same as what the audience [hearer] understands.
Gate Keepers
They are the person who lets you into the community and has a lot of connections to resources. They do not necessarily have the knowledge of the key informant, however.
what does culture as "all-encompassing" mean
it encompasses features that are sometimes regarded trivial
"Eating Christmas in the Kalahari"
Main theme: Ethnocentrism/ the notion of generosity and gift-giving/gaining an emic perspective.
features of religion (3 components)
beliefs about supernatural (beings and powers), myths/histories about deeds/origins of supernatural, rituals to influence the supernatural including prayers, songs, etc.
Key Methods of Ethnographic Fieldwork (7)
Occurs in natural setting, involves intimate face-to-face interaction with participants, is a reflection of participants' perspective and meanings, uses inductive and deductive processes to build theories, uses quantitative and qualitative data, examines behaviors and beliefs in context, informed by the concept of culture.
working class, or proletariat
those who must sell their labor to survive; the antithesis of the bourgeoisie in Marx’s class analysis
How to Operate Relativistically in the Field
Restrain judgment, don't act like you are okay with something when you are not, reconsider your own culture, don't go there if something offends you, clean your own house first (make a change in your life if needed).
• Emic
detached observation
achievement ideology
dictionary or specialized vocabulary
Status (Achieved and Ascribed)
the study of language meaning
how we produce new beliefs
Unconscious Culture
Enculturation... doing/learning things without being told
franz boas
Anthropologist who challenged scientific racism and evolutionary constructions of racial hierarchy.Boas argued against the idea that physical, mental and cultural characteristics of groups were biologically determined and represented distinctive racial types.Instead he argued that there was a great deal of variation within and between groups. Moreover, one could find equally gifted individuals from all racial groups.
cargo cults
postcolonial, acculturative religious movements, common in Melanesia, that attempt to explain European domination and wealth and to achieve similar success magically by mimicking European behavior
• Cosmopolitanism
Garifuna, blending with modern cultures, ie dress like American cosmopolitan ways
links into studies of personal space
Caste Systems
closed, hereditary system of stratification, often dictated by religion
The learned and shared understandings among a group of people about how to behave and what everything means. Powerful determinatnt of behavior.
examples of particularities
weddings/funerals: lavish or scant
ethnographic fieldwork
A particular research methodology applied/practiced by anthropologists, and sometimes by people in other socio-cultural disciplines; sociologists, political scientistsEthnographic research usually requires very close, long-term residence with the group of people studied.
dominant structural position in the world system; consists of the strongest and most powerful states with advanced systems of production
structural position in the world system intermediate between core and periphery
specialized role acquired through a culturally appropriated process of selection, training, certification, and acquisition of a professional image; the curer is consulted by patients who believe in his or her special powers, and receives some form of special consideration; a cultural universal
an honorable martyr that is celebrated
belief that all things have souls/spirits dwelling within them, found most often in foraging societies
• Fundamentalism
believing that one’s book/work is the absolute truth, no fallacy, literal, direct word of God. No other religions are true
arrangement and order of words in phrases and sentances
One of two variants of pastoralism part of the population moves seasonally with the herds, while the other part remains in home villages.
the inclusion and combination of both bilogical and cultural perspectives and approaches to comment on or solve a particular issue or problem
the exchange of cultural features that results when groups come into continuous firsthand contact, the original cultural patterns of either or both groups may be altered, but the groups remain distinct
Historical Particularlism
Understanding cultures in their own projectory- understanding them from the ground up- cultural relatavism.
The research method of charting the ways speakers categorize some aspects of life or the words in their vocabulary associated with that aspect.
Physical Anthropology
The branch of anthropology dealing with the genesis and variation of human beings. Track disease and see where immunities existed. See how humans have developed since technology and how much culture effects our bodies.
examples of generalities
speaking English, nuclear family, farming...
herbert spencer
Victorian Era Sociologist and Liberal Theorist“Survival of the fittest” is his central concept to understand biological life, but Spencer also extended the notion of “evolution” into realms of society and ethics.
indigenous peoples
the original inhabitants of particular territories; often descendents of tribespeople who live on as culturally distinct colonized peoples, many whom aspire to autonomy
social process by which culture is learned and transmitted across the generations
• Postmodern
in contrast to the modern, the postmodern view contends that Western thought is itself culturally constructed and relative. Among the roots of postmodernism is the increased pluralism in the world as a result of technology, postcoloniality, and a transnational era.
independent invention
development of the same culture trait or pattern in separate cultures as a result of comparable needs and circumstances
cultural relativism
the perspective that a foreign culture should not be judged by the standards of a home culture and that a behavior or way of thinking must be examined in its cultural context
The ability to talk about things that aren't present in space and time.
Cultural Resource Management
The application of archaeology to preserve and protect historic structures and prehistoric sites.
Simplifying the problem to just a few factors or variables that can be observed or controlled.
Conceptual Question
Typical of what group? Who defines culture (it's hard to circle groups up because not everyone does the same things)? Constantly changing. What isn't culture? It's a guide for behavior, but doesn't explain everything.
what are cultural rights
rights vested upon identifiable groups, e.g. IP's
Social Race
a system of social categorization that is hierarchical
hegemonic reading
the meaning of a text (including varied cultural products) as defined by its creators or other elites
: the process of viewing an identity as established, real, and frozen, so as to hide the historical process and politics within which that identity developed
custom by which a widower marries the sister of his deceased wife
personalistic disease theories
blame illness on sorcerers and witches (shamans cure)
groups that share in some parts of the dominant culture but have their own distinctive values, norms, language, and/or material culture
Holistic Question
How does this idea or practice connect to the other aspects of these people's lives? Ways to categorize linkages that can exist within a society: Casual, contextual (things are related within a larger context cultural change- series of events), processual (links activities), metaphorical, collateral, thematic. Challenges: Fallacy of perfect integration (not all aspects of culture have strong links; some things could look connected but truly are not. Danger of superficiality (sometimes its hard to get depth because there is such an immense amount of knowledge.
Secondary Ethnocentrism
When you pick up prejudices of our hosts
what are particularities
cultural features that are unique to certain cultural traditions
that there is only one proper way to do things – one’s own culture’s way of doing things.that this way of doing things is superior to all others
a policy of extending the rule of a nation ore empire over foreign nations and of taking and holding foreign colonies
unilineal descent
descent rule uses one line only either the male or female line
Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
the more important a thing is in a culture, the more words there will be about it
Going Native
When we drop the culture we carried to the encounter and adopt the culture of our hosts as our own. Inverted enthnocentrism: going too far and loose reflexiveness
what is cultural relativism
argument that behavior in one culture should not be judged by the standards of another culture
Five Pillars of Islam
five duties incumbent on every Muslim: profession of one god and Muhammed as messenger, prayers towards Mecca 5 times a day, zakat, fasting during Ramadan, and the hajj (these 5 are essential to Sunni Islam)
Reflexive Question 2
Where am I in all of this encounter with culture? What is my view point? How is that perspective affecting my view of these events? How is this inquiry changing my understanding of myself and my culture? How well-tuned is my instrument? How do you become objective? Learning more about yourself helps you learn more about others.
how do "people use culture actively"
people can learn, interpret and manipulate
how are the individual and culture related
human social life shows how individuals internalize cultural messages
abilities of humans from which culture rests
to learn, to think symbolically, to manipulate language and to use tools
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