Anthropology Mid-Term

What is Anthropology?
the study of humankind, in particular.

What is cultural anthropology?
anthropology that deals with human culture especially with respect to social structure, language, law, politics, religion, magic, art, and technology

What is ethnocentrism vs. cultural relativism?
Cultural relativism is that notion that allows to see the different habits, traits and values of an individual in the relevance of his or her cultural values. Ethnocentrism on the other hand is the extreme opposite of cultural relativism.

What is the anthropologist’s view of “Race?”
race is socially constructed and it isn’t genetic or scientifically based at all

What is the relationship between artifacts and archeology?
Artifacts are objects that have been made or modified by humans. Archaeology is the study of artifacts.

What are the three components of culture?
Language, Values, and Symbols

Have you ever suffered from cultural shock?
personal question

What are some of the characteristics of culture?
Culture is learned. Culture is shared. Culture is based on symbols. Culture is integrated. Culture is dynamic.

What is a monochronic culture?
In a monochronic culture, people tend to place a high value on timeliness and schedules. They focus on the value of time, and therefore tend to have a very rigid interpretation of how to organize their schedules.

What are some cultural universals?
1. Societies have a basic need to meet the physiological requirements of its people.

2. All societies need to make provision for orderly mating and child-rearing that give rise to patterned systems of marriage and family.

3. Universal societal need for cultural transmission.

4. Universal need to avoid chaos and anarchy.

5. Universal need to explain the unexplained.

6. Universal need to communicate and develop language.

What is meant by adaptive culture?
Humans rely on cultural adaption far more so than biological adaptation. In other words we invent things to help us cope with our surroundings. Our use of chemicals, farming, etc would be examples of adaptive culture. (look at pg. 42)

How do cultures change?
Culture changes through developments in technology, political beliefs and religious ideas. External encounters with diverse societies and environmental factors also change cultural beliefs. Cultural change sometimes causes a backlash from those with more traditional social views.

Acculturation vs. Enculturation?
Acculturation explains the process of cultural change and psychological change that results following meeting between cultures.

Enculturation is the gradual acquisition of the characteristics and norms of a culture or group by a person, another culture, etc.

What are American cultural values?
Individualism,Work Ethic,Privacy, Directness, Time, Informality, Equality,Politeness, Taboos, Talking,Friendships

One of the most pervasive values in American culture is individualism, and understanding its effects can help illuminate many aspects of the culture.

Because of the emphasis on the individual, Americans can be quite competitive.

The right to privacy is a notion that runs deep in American culture. Both respected and defended, privacy is considered fundamental to a free society.

Americans value their privacy, but they are also taught to be open and direct. If they think you aren’t being open and honest with them, then they may believe you are hiding something.

Efficiency is a virtue in the U.S. Americans are apt to become impatient with slow-moving lines in supermarkets and banks, especially if the teller or checkout person is slowing down the line by chatting with the customers.

Americans can be quite informal in their general behaviors and relationships with others.

America is known as the ―land of opportunity,‖ and this has helped perpetuate the idea, as stated in the Declaration of Independence that ―all men are created equal.

Even though Americans can be quite informal, visitors usually find them quite polite.

Social protocols are quite relaxed in the U.S., so there are very few taboos.

Americans can be very exuberant, warm people. They often speak fairly loudly compared to speakers from other cultures, because they believe it is important to be assertive.

To Americans, a friend can be an acquaintance—or someone they have known for a long time.

Identify and discuss roles which an applied/practicing anthropology.
Applied anthropology, also known as “practicing anthropology,” is defined as the practical application of anthropological method and theory to the needs of society. It is, quite simply, anthropology put to good use.

Practicing Anthropology is a career-oriented publication of the Society for Applied Anthropology.

What is the participant observation research strategy?
Participant observation is one type of data collection method typically done in the qualitative research paradigm. It is a widely used methodology in many disciplines, particularly cultural anthropology.

Its aim is to gain a close and intimate familiarity with a given group of individuals (such as a religious, occupational, sub cultural group, or a particular community) and their practices through an intensive involvement with people in their cultural environment, usually over an extended period of time.

Define religion?
the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.

Anthropology of religion is the study of religion in relation to other social institutions, and the comparison of religious beliefs and practices across cultures.

How are religion and magic similar?
they both have a spiritual component. and they are both ways of believing in supernatural ways

How are religion and magic different?
Religion is submission to a deity. Magic is subjugating the deity. In religion the devotee does the will of the deity. In magic the deity is commanded to do the desires of the devotee.

Religion is an organized system based around forming a connection to the metaphysical.

Magic is utilizing supernatural forces to effect a desired result.

What are the social functions of religion?
1. Religion as an Integrative Force:

Durkheim believed that the primary function of religion was to preserve and solidify society. It functions to reinforce the collective unity or social solidarity of a group. Sharing the same religion or religious interpretation of the meaning of life unites people in a cohesive and building moral order.

2. Creating a Moral Community:

Religion provides a system of beliefs around which people may gather to belong to something greater than themselves in order to have their personal beliefs reinforced by the group and its rituals. Those who share a common ideology develop a collective identity and a sense of fellowship.

3. Religion as Social Control:

Frank E. Manuel (1959) had said that ‘religion was a mechanism which inspired terror, but terror for the preservation of society’. While conservatives have valued religion for its protective function, radicals have also often recognized that religion can be a support of the established order, and have, consequently, been critical of religion.

4. Provides Rites of Passage:

Religion helps us in performing ceremonies and rituals related to rites of passage (birth, marriage, death and other momentous events) which give meaning and a social significance to our life.

5. Religion as Emotional Support:

Religion is a sense of comfort and solace to the individuals during times of personal and social crises such as death of loved ones, serious injury, etc. This is especially true when something ‘senseless’ happens. It gives them emotional support and provides consolation, reconciliation and moral strength during trials and defeats, personal losses and unjust treatments.

6. Religion Serves a Means to Provide Answers to Ultimate Questions:

Why are we here on earth? Is there a supreme being? What happens after death? All religions have certain notions and beliefs that provide answers to the above questions. These beliefs are based on the faith that life has a purpose, and there is someone or something that controls the universe. It defines the spiritual world and gives meaning to the divine. Because of its beliefs concerning people’s relationships to a beyond, religion provides an explanation for events that seem difficult to understand.

7. Religion as a Source of Identity:

Religion gives individuals a sense of identity—a profound and positive self-identity. It enables them to cope effectively with the many doubts and indignation of everyday life. Religion may suggest people that they are not worthless or meaningless creatures and thus helps them alleviating the frustrating experiences of life which sometimes force a person to commit suicide. According to Thomas Luckman (1983), ‘The prime function of religion is to give personal meaning to life’.

What are the psychological functions of religion? (cognitive function, emotional function)
10. Religion Acts as Psychotherapy:

In modern world, religion has also become a supporting psychology—a form of psychotherapy. Now, God is conceived of as a humane and considerate God. Such a hopeful perception helps the sufferer in alleviating his/her personal and social crisis.

9. Psychologizing Religion:

The notion of ‘positive thinking’ serves as an example of psychologizing religion. It provides peace of mind, promises prosperity and success in life, as well as effective and happy human relations. It is thus a source of security and confidence, and also of happiness and success in this world.

But at times religion can be debilitating and personally destructive. Persons convinced of their own essential wickedness can suffer extreme personal difficulties. As Kingsley Davis (1949) noted, ‘Like other medicines, it (religion) can sometimes make worse the very thing it seeks to remedy.

Innumerable are the psychoses and neuroses that have religious content’. But, in this role, religion is not always harmful. Many times, it serves as a liberating and integrating force for individuals. For instance, it helps in bringing change (sobriety) to seemingly hopeless alcoholics.

Name the four types of religious organization?
Individualistic, Shamanistic, Communal, Ecclesiastical

What are the characteristics of these 4 organizations?
Vision quest, Shamans, set of beliefs and rituals

Define ethnography
an in-depth account of a people’s culture studied by the anthropologist who conducted the onsite fieldwork

Define Ethnographic fieldwork
observing and learning in the field while participating in an activity

What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis?
The notion that a person’s language shapes his or her perceptions and views of the world.

Why might the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis be important?
It tells us how language affects people and explains the link between language and culture.

Explain the difference between an open and a closed communication system.
In a closed system, each sound is mutually exclusive and usually nonhuman. In this system, you cannot create new words or sounds.
In an open system, you can send messages that have never been sent before.

Why has Facebook been able to transform how people communicate
with one another?
Conversations that family and friends ay once have held in private, details of the unmentionable or the routine of everyday life, sad events, and joyous moments are now out their for anyone to view and comment, if one “linked” as a friend. Facebook has enabled the communication of what was once private to become public and interactive, even among total strangers. It has given new eating to the concepts of “friend” and “community”. It allows people who to stay in touch with people who might otherwise drift away. It is a new way to interact and voice opinions.

In what ways do you see language and culture changing in the future?
Personal Question

Languages are dying rapidly. Should we care? Why or why not?
We should care because language goes hand in hand with culture. If we lose languages, we also lose culture.

Why might an anthropologist be interested in how language functions?
An anthropologist might be interested in how language functions because language is how we pass on cultural heritage. Culture is expressed through language.

Phonemes, morpheme, grammar, morphology, syntax
Phonemes are the smallest units of sound that signal a difference in meaning.

Morphemes are two or more phonemes combined. They are the smallest linguistic forms (usually words) that convey meaning.

Grammar is the systematic rules by which sounds are combined in a language to enable users to send and receive meaningful utterances.

Morphology is the study of the rules that govern how morphemes are formed into words.

Syntax is the linguistic rules, found in all languages, that determine how phrases and sentences are contracted.

What is code switching?
The practice of adapting one’s language depending on the situation.

Give some examples of code switching.
Spanglish (Spanish and English), Denglish (Danish and English)

Give some examples of specialized vocabularies.
Medical terminology, legal terminology

Why is nonverbal communication important?
Nonverbal communication helps us interpret linguistic messages and often carries messages of its own.

What are some examples of nonverbal communication.
Posture, eye contact, gestures

What is a subsistence strategy?
The pattern for obtaining one’s food is known as a subsistence strategy. p. 139

What do anthropologists mean by cultural ecology?
By focusing on the relationships among people, environment, and culture, Steward was the first and leading proponent of the study cultural anthropology. p.90

An approach to anthropology that assumes that people who reside in similar environment are likely to develop similar technologies, social structures, and political institutions. p(334)

Tell us about the hunting and gathering societies.
(also known as food collecting or foraging) – as compared to food producing-involves the search for wild plants and animals that exist in the natural environment. People have been hunting, gathering, and fishing for the majority of the time they have been on earth. (p. 144)

Tell us about the Horticulturalist societies.
horticulturalists produce low yields, which are consumed directly by the household, not much of a surplus is generated. Some horticulutralists raise domesticated animals, such as pigs or chickens, for both food and prestige.

Horticultural societies, such as the Yanomamo, who live in the Amazon Basin of Venezuela and Brazil, are known to supplement their diet with occasional hunting and gathering animals.

Still other horticultural groups, such as the Samoans, supplement their crops with protein derived from fishing, while the Miskitos, indigenous people of the coastal Nicaragua, fish and raise small domesticated livestock along with their horticultural practices.

In Central America, Mayan horticulturalists augment their crops(corn, beans, squash,pumpkins, and chili peppers) with fruit-bearing trees such as papaya, avocado, and cacao.

Tell us about the Pastoralist societies.
Pastoralism first appeared in the neolithic period. This subsistence pattern, sometimes referred to as animal husbandry, involves herding, breeding, and using domesticated animals such as camels, cattle,goats, horses, llamas, reindeer, sheep, and yaks.

Pastorialism is most practiced in areas of the world where the terrain, soil, or rainfall is inadequate for agriculture but provides sufficient vegetation for livestock to graze. Pastoralism is generally associated with geographic mobility because herds must be moved periodically to exploit seasonal pastures and water sources.

Anthropologists differentiate between two types of patterns among pastoralists: transhumance and nomadism. A third form of pastoralism found in industrial societies is known as sedentary ranching and dairy farming.

p. (157)

Tell us about the Intensive agriculturalist societies.
Intensive agriculture (intensive cultivation) is today’s most prevalent subsistence pattern.. It relies on large scale production practices that result in much more food being produced per acre than with other subsistence patterns, and it supports larger populations. Intensive farming methods began about five thousand years ago as the human population grew beyond the environment’s carrying capacity using horticulture and pastoralism.

Intensive agriculture is characterized by the use of the plow, draft animals, or machinery to plow, fertilize, and irrigate.The system is designed to produce a surplus,and as a consequence of increased productivity, there is an increase in the human carrying capacity. Cultivators who invested their time and energy in a piece of land developed

What are other names for these societies.

What ideas do you have to help small farmers and fishermen maintain
their subsistence strategies.
make a direct marketing approach that will help local fishermen increase seafood sales. You can do this by creating a direct marketing program that will educate residents and visitors to seek out and purchase local seafood and expand niche marketing opportunities. In this way, consumers will be able to recognize and purchase local seafood.

What suggestions do you have to protect the environment for these
farmers and fishermen?
To protect the water that holds the fish. To make sure that the water is litter free. Otherwise, the fish can become contaminated and can make people sick and fish businesses can go down if customers feel that eat fish i not safe.

Have solutions to making the water safe that benefit the people and the environment of fish and other living sea creatures.

What issues should outsiders when working cross-culturally on health related matters.
Outsiders should consider the traditional social structures and how they change under pressure of disasters such as epidemics.

What is the difference between consanguineal and affinal relatives?
Consanguineal relatives – Blood relatives/Birth relatives
Affinal relatives – Relatives through marriage

What is fictive kinship?. Give an example.
A term used to describe relations that are determined neither by blood nor marriage.

What is patrilineal descent? Matrilineal descent?
Patrilineal descent is where people trace their ancestry through the father’s line. Matrilineal descent is traced through the Mother’s line.

What are the rules of exogamy? Rules of endogamy?
Exogamy – requirement to marry outside of a certain group

Endogamy – requirement to marry inside of a certain group

What are cross-cousins?
Children of siblings of the opposite sex (one’s mother’s brother’s children and one’s father’s sister’s children)

What are parallel cousins?
Children of siblings of the same sex

What is the levirate? Give an example.
Custom whereby a widow is expected to marry the brother.

What is the sororate? Give an example.
practice which comes into play when a wife dies and demands that the widower marry the sister(closest female relative) of his deceased wife.

What is monogamy?
Practice of having only one spouse.

Polygyny
Practice of a man marrying more than one woman.

Polyandry
Practice of a woman marrying more than one man.

What is bridewealth?
Bridewealth is the compensation given upon marriage by the family of the groom to the family of the bride.

Bride service
Practice of men giving their labor to the bride’s family instead of material wealth.

Dowry
goods or money transferred in the opposite direction. From bride’s family to groom’s family or vice versa.

Tell us about divorce cross-culturally?
Divorce arrangements vary widely according to the reasons for the divorce and how easy or difficult it is to get a divorce.

What is the difference with nuclear and extended families?
The nuclear family is formed around the marital union and the children whereas extended family refers to two or more nuclear families that are linked by blood ties.

What impact does changing family size have on gender relationships
and gender identity in a society?
p. 192

Where do the Naciemans live? Where is Naciema located?
They are a North American group living in the territory between the Canadian Cree, the Yaqui and Tarahumare of Mexico, and the Carib and Arawak of the Antilles.

Name modes of human nonverbal communication?
Posture, gestures, facial expressions, and walk

Who are the holy men?
Doctors are the holy men in America.

In a couple of sentences tell why this article is important for the
beginning cultural anthropology student?
This article is important because it reminds students to not impose their cultural values on others. It also helps students understand that it is important not to be ethnocentric.

What is the body ritual performed by the Naciemans and where
does it take place?
The body ritual is basically all the different things that happen in the bathroom, especially brushing ones’ teeth.

How did the author get caught with his ethnocentricism showing?
The author told the people that they shouldn’t eat the dolphin they had killed. The author thought it was bad for them to eat dolphins so he told the native people not to.

How does human nonverbal communication function in
regulating human interaction.
Nonverbal communications signal to members of your own group what kind of person you are, how you feel about others, how you’ll fit into and work in a group, whether you’re assured or anxious, the degree to which you feel comfortable, with the standard of your own culture, as well as deeply significant feeling sabot the self including the state of your own psyche.

Name some social “cues” which you can pick up from
non-verbal communication.
You can tell if someone is listening if they nod their head, or say “hmm”. If someone wants to end a conversation, he may stat shifting his body position, stretching his legs, crossing or uncrossing them, bobbing his foot, or diverting his gaze from the speaker.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an arranged marriage?
Advantages: You don’t have to worry about finding a spouse. Very low divorce rate. When one marries, they gain a job, a house, and a social circle. Couples have a lifetime to get to know their spouse.
Disadvantages: You don’t get to pick your own spouse. Not based on love. A woman’s in-laws might kill her so they can get another dowry.

What traits do parents in India look for in prospective mates for their sons and daughters?
They look for a family’s reputation. They look at social class. Looks and skin color are important. A girls looks are important, but her character is even more important. But the most important quality is her ability to get along harmoniously with her prospective family.

When arranging a marriage for one’s adult son, why would
traditional Indian parents be reluctant to look for a bride from a
family which has many daughters?
If a family has many daughters, they won’t be able to afford to give their daughter an elaborate wedding.

Why don’t women in Bom Jesus, Brazil, grieve outwardly for
their dead children?
They don’t grieve outwardly because for them death is more of a normality. The life expectancy is low which has made it so that mothers do not build deep relationship with there children right away. In a way this helps the mourning to be less painful.

Are there any possible sociocultural changes in the overall
social structure of Bom Jesus, Brazil that might be made to change
the way mothers deal with the death of their children?
In many ways if the culture and life expectancy changed I believe that changes would be made to the social structure and how mothers deal with the death of their children.

Who is the society which Friedl identified as being
the most egalitarian?
Egalitarian: everyone is equal.
The Washo Indians were most egalitarian.

What were some of the characteristics of that society?
Both man and woman worked together in bring in food. They both worked together to capture rabbit, and were not segregated. Women could be leaders of the group.

How does Friedl explain the inequity found between
men and women today?
Women spend most of their money on their domestic homes. Also, they don’t have high Authority jobs.

Based on her cross-cultural findings, what suggestions does Friedl make for Western women to acquire greater
power and status?
Get high authority jobs. Don’t spend their time as homeworkers and go out and get jobs that manage high demand goods.

Based on this account, would you say the women are an exploited, low status segment of !Kung society?
No, women had the right to speak and stand for themselves. Men do not stand for women or bargain each other for them.

How does Shostak’s account of !Kung social life differ from most other ethnographic account
Men negotiate for and over women, and women do not have rights.

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