Introduction to Concepts
IdentityA. Multiple meanings: here we are interested in individual and social identity
1. Related terms: self, I, person, personality
B. The French philosopher Derrida maintains that any identity is constructed in relation
Questions on Nagel 1-56; 91-126; 140-167
Nagel says she considers ethnicity to be the core concept, with race and nationalism
being two major forms of ethnicity (p. 6). Discuss. How do you see the relation between
these 3 terms?
Describe the hegemon
Questions on Merry, Brown, Johnson, Mark Twain, Wright, Anderson, Dyson, Zinn,
What argument does Merry use in support of Affirmative Action?
The proponents of critical race theory argue that racial divisions in the United States
Questions on Cole and Guy-Sheftall, McIntosh, Williams, TIME, Lei, Forbes, P.
Is our attainment of patriarchal power through the oppression of women any less
insidious than white peoples perpetuation of a system of racial oppression to dehumanize
Questions on Malamud, Takaki, Biolsi, Zia, Article XIX, Gould, Ferber, Cosgrove, Ortiz
Malamuds The Jewbird is fiction. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using
fiction to explore and discuss race and ethnicity, as opposed to so
QUESTIONS ON GORDON, GOULD, SCHMIDT & MOORE, KONDO, AND P.
Describe the social purity movement, as described by Gordon. What contemporary
reform movements resemble it?
What did the suffrage, free love, and temperance movements advocate?
QUESTIONS ON RHODES 1-224
What did you know about maximum security prisons prior to reading this book?
List the ways in which maximum security prisons differ from ordinary prisons.
When did these maximum security prisons begin to be built? What w
How they are different teaches us about ourselves
What are our ideas about witches?
Black magic, spells
Do things in secret
Puritain dress, ride on broomsticks, black cats, etc.
We know all this lore, but we
Questions on Bourgois 1-337
In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in el Barrio
On p. 11, Bourgois says that Any detailed examination of social marginalization
encounters serious problems with the politics of representation. What does he mean?
Questions on Jacobson, Rouse and Hoskins, Orwell (2), Mantsios, Baca Zinn and
Eitzen, VanderStaay, Newman
Compare the conservatism of fundamental Baptist beliefs and practices to the
conservatism of Argentinean haredi Jews described by Jacobson.
Questions on Omi & Winant, Smedley, Federal Statistical Directive, Jefferson, Du
Bois, Jensen, Jacobs
Omi and Winant: says discovering that by legal definition one is not white because one is
1/32 Negro is catastrophic. Why?
In contrast to the other
Questions on Pascoe 1-174
Did your high school have anything like the Mr. Cougar contest? If so, describe.
What do we mean by masculinity?
Very few men, if any, are actually hegemonically masculine, but all men do benefit, to
different extents. (
Today we move to new subject, ritualWe have problem of defining what we mean,
identifying our subject Not the most fascinating part of study but essential
True if make up fancy new jargon term such as schismogenesisBut even more so if the
2. SYMBOL AND CULTURE
We used to have more trouble introducing the concept, because of other meaning of
culture, high culture, esp. art & music
But today the anthro meaning is pervasive. Used to explain everything:-What was the
problem with shuttle disast
We are moving from narrative in general to kinds of narrative more often considered by
anthropologists. Tales and myths. We by no means have a monopoly. Folklorists first
among professionals. But also amateurs of all sorts have had a go at them, even more
4. METAPHOR AND OTHER TROPES
Susan Sontag sometimes insists that we only think about things literally, without using
metaphor, but it is not clear we can do that, because figurative language is so pervasive in
all human languages
We need to make some basi
11, 12. THE HUMAN BODY
Move today to new domain of symbolism, human body. As before, approaching from two
directions, how body used to talk about other things, and how meanings imposed on the
Very trendy topic in recent years. Some elements of faddi
Myth analysis is something that cant be learned in the abstract.Essential to work thru
texts, to practice doing itWe have two examples, from Beidelman and Hymes, gives us
some hints as to how to read myths
Hyenas and witchcraft
Q. In the story of hyena an
13. CLASSIFICATION AND COSMOLOGY
Starting point today is famous work from 1902 by Emile Durkheim (already mentioned)
and Marcel Mauss: we have excerpts in reading
Q. What is the root problem D&M address?Origin of ability to categorize, to divide up
7. METAPHORICAL IMPERIALISM
The study of metaphor brings up a number of perennial problems in the study of cultures
One is the search for the core of culture: Is there something that is most fundamental, that
determines other things or prior to them? Many
Introduction to the anthropology study of symbolism
No prereqs, open to anyoneRun as combination of discussion and lecture
Readings keyed to each class, crucial that stay up, is core of course No exam, just class
participation and short pa
5. MORE TROPES
We can see that in a lot of different ways metaphor shapes how we think about
something.If someone consciously uses a metaphor, it may be an attempt to influence our
thinking. or it may be an attempt to understand something, to make sense o
17. MAGIC AND RITUAL CURING
One class of ritual has gotten great attention over years, i.e. magic, any form of ritual
where some concrete, instrumental goal is intended: ritual to make someone love you, to
make crops grow, to kill someone
Much confusion c
15. PASSAGE AND PERSUASION
So what do we try to accomplish thru ritual?
What does ritual do?One of the most goals of ritual most commonly claimed or assumed
is to create order and control.The world has its own inherent order, but also has great
deal of me