Cultural Anthropology Test Answers

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Cultural Anthropology
The description, interpretation, and analysis of similarities and differences in human cultures.

What does it mean to understand culture from an “anthropological” perspective?
You seek to understand culture from the point of view of the people w/in the cultural context.

The study of man (origin, past, present, future)

How is Anthropology different from sociology/psychology?
Anthropology is different from sociology and psychology in a number of ways. Sociology are focused mainly on Western approaches (mathematics, statistics, and hypotheses) for interpreting data while anthropologists are focused on small communities outside the West and they qualitative methods such as (observation, interviews, document analysis, etc) to understand nature. I am not sure how it’s different than psychology.

What are the six steps in the scientific method of anthropology?
1) public procedures
2) precise definitions
3) objective collection of data
4) can be replicated
5) systemic and cumulative approach
6) purposes are explanation, understanding, and prediction

material artifacts

Study of language

human anatomy, nonhuman primates, and human origins

The descriptive study of human societies. Concerned with the parts rather than the whole. Focuses on patterns and how those relate to the whole.

Detached observation
not interacting with the people of a culture

Participant observation
interacting with the culture, by doing various activities such as worship services, etc.

Literally drawing a map of where the people live, as well as understanding demographic things, ethnographic research and cultural mapping where we go in and get a general idea of the people.

Informal interviews
engaging in a conversation with someone in general

Formal interviews
Where questions are planned out before hand, and there is a set course of where the conversation should go.

Focus groups
When a group is put together and there are different questions that can be answered to help you with a research project.

Life Histories
learning the people’s life stories.

Explain the role of the “informant”
A native speaker who provides a model for the ethnographer to imitate as well as a source of information

What five questions can we ask informants to help us understand their culture?
1) what do my informants know about their culture that I can discover?
2) what concepts do my informants use to classify their experience?
3) How do my informants define these concepts?
4) what folk theories do my informants use to explain their experience?
5) How can I translate the cultural knowledge of my informants into a cultural description my colleagues will understand?

Tourist stage
what we experience when we first get off the plane, are experiencing it, and everything is still exciting and good

Rejection stage
when we start realizing we don’t like things. we just do our own thing in our own bubble, and we stop interacting with the culture

Recovery stage
coming out of the slump where you realize that everything isn’t horrible. It all levels out.

What are the three characteristics of a healthy cultural adaptation?
1) empathy
2) acceptance
3) identification

the ability to understand and share the feelings of another

The action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered

When the locals start seeing you as one of them.

to develop or grow (spirit, mind, civilization)

Unilinear cultural evolution
cultures evolve from simple to complex along a single line (lower or higher/more or less culture)

Historical particularism
each culture is a unique representation of its history and context

Explain the concept of culture
Culture is learned and shared attitudes, values, and ways of behaving. Material “stuff” created by the members of a cultural group.

Culture trait
The smallest units of culture, such as how do you say “hi?”

A cluster of behavior patterns related to the general culture but at the same time different from the culture.

How is society different from culture?
Society is a group of people who share a geographical area and culture while culture is the group’s learned and shared way of life.

the use of one’s own culture to measure another’s putting one’s own culture at the center of interpretation.

an intense, irrational dislike of people from other cultures

Cultural superiority
The belief that one culture is more advanced or intelligent than another.

Tacit ethnocentrism
The assumption that one’s own way of life is just normal, not culture.

Explain the term cultural relativism
Cultural practices and beliefs are best understood in relation to their entire context…evaluating behavior and objects by reference to the normative and value standards of the new culture.

Learned culture
new cultures can be learned (acculturation)

Adaptive culture
people adapt and change in relation to their environment

Shared culture
There is no such thing as an individual culture

Integrated culture
Each part of culture relates to the other parts

What are the four cultural metaphors?
1) Water in which we swim
2) Lenses through which we see
3) Christ and culture
4) Culture as a conversation

Water in which we swim
Just as a fish needs water to live, we need culture to survive. It is not just something that is added to your life. We can change our culture, and discussions should occur to understand how individuals respond, adapt, and innovate within a culture.

Lenses through which we see
Culture is like a set of glasses affecting how people see the world. Without culture we don’t see more clearly; we can’t see much at all. We have to be aware that one set of “cultural glasses” is not the same prescription as others. One culture will have a different view from another.

Christ and culture
By typologizing the different ways Christians have interacted with social institutions and cultural norms. It has helped Christians become aware of how they and their traditions tend to approach culture – with a stance of appreciation, rejection, or control.

Culture as a conversation
Like culture, a conversation is shared. At the same time a culture is dynamic. Different individuals respond to power, intention, use, and context. This reflects the dynamism anthropologists understand as part of the culture concept. Individuals can “play with” their culture to express something others understand in new ways.

the need for oxygen, liquid, and food. Production and distribution of food depends on environment, population, and culture.

Controlled by cultural systems of marriage and kinship.

Bodily comforts
Clothing and housing can be used as a status symbol.

Prevention of bodily injury through mechanical accidents, animal and other human attacks. All cultures must develop systems to deal with threats to safety, and these are closely related to economic and value systems of the culture

the different types of activities of humans is determined by culture.

maturation among humans is slow and gradual. Some signs of maturity are drivers license, independent living, stable job, voting, etc.

Hygiene (prevention and cure). Medicine and healing involve knowledge and belief about the human body and the cause of disease.

Explain the process of “enculturation”
The process by which individuals acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values that enable them to become functioning members of their societies. It is both a conscious and unconscious conditioning process where by man, as a child and adult achieve competence in his culture. Starts before birth and ends at death. Continual. The result of the process is identity. There are two aspects: 1)informal (child training conducted through family and friend and then 2) formal (education through institutions).

What does it mean to have “identity” in a society?
Each member becomes a fully responsible individual within the whole.

Piaget’s development stages from infancy to adulthood
1) sensory (o-18 months)
2) Preoperational (18months-7years)
3) concrete operational (7years-11years)
4) formal operational (11years-end)

Sensory Motor
0-18 months: The child relates to objects based on physical characteristics rather than symbolic meaning

18 months-7 years: The child acquires language and begins to deal with objects based on their symbolic meaning.

Concrete operational
7 years-11 years: The child begins to see things from the other person’s perspective. He or she develops more complex patterns of thought but they are still based on concrete objects.

Formal operational
11 years-end: The child begins to adopt adult thought processes including abstract reasoning.

Different ways societies care for their young
Individual or group/relative or nonrelative/parents or another relative/mother or father/

Formal education
Teacher-pupil relationship: emphasis on knowledge and information

Informal education
Apprentice relationship: involves a teaching and training role

Rite of passage
Allows individuals to move properly and effectively from one stage of life to another. Some include sweet 16, 21, graduation, driver’s license, etc.

What encourages creativity among a culture?
1) Sufficient technology
2) communication system
3) societal value system
4) opportunities for privacy
5) formation of peer groups
6) Free inquiry

Sufficient Technology
a level of technology and economy that generates enough material wealth to make possible the opportunity for creative activity.

Communication system
allows for the maximum exchange of ideas and information

Societal value system
This system rewards creative acts

Opportunities for privacy
This is often necessary for creative production

Formation of peer groups
Social mechanisms that permit the existence of groups such as art colonies or other professional groups that encourage creativity.

Free inquiry
Encourages the challenging of traditional knowledge and rewards individual research as well as the exploration of new frontiers.

The learning of the appropriate behavior of one’s host culture. One enters the new culture as a “child” and learns to adapt to that society. Allows us to maintain our principles and cope with the challenges and opportunities of a new culture.

Culture Stress
the realization that one will never truly assimilate with a new culture.

The ability to speak two or more languages fluently

The ability to cope with the demands of verbal and nonverbal behavior so effectively that they are recognized as a member of that culture.

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