Cultural Anthropology Ch.1

The study of humand kind in all times and place.

Holistic Perspective
A fundamental principle of anthropology: The various parts of human culture and biology must be viewed in the broadest possible context in order to understand thei interconnections and interdependence.

What does keeping a holistic perspective prevent?
Keeping a holistic perspective prevents anthropologists own cultural ideas and values form distorting their research.

The belief that ways of one’s own culture are the only proper ones.

A perspective that produces theories about the world and realoity that are based on the assumptions and values form the reseracher’s own culture.

Anthropologists work with the understanding that to fully access the complexities of human ideas, behavior, and biology, all humans, wherever and whenever, must be studied.

Babies’ Sleeping habits in the US
Babies in the US typically are separated from their mothers earlier than other cultures and this has cultural and biological consequences. Pg. 4 for details.

Figure 1.3 on pg. 4

Applied Anthropology Definition
The use of anthropological knowledge and methods to solve a problem, often for a specific client.

Medical Anthropology Definition
A specialization in anthropology that brings theoretical and applied approaches form cultural and biological anthropology to the study of human health and disease.

Cultural Anthropology Definition
The study of patterns in human behavior, thought, and emoions, focusing on humans as culture-producing and culture-reproducing creatures. AKA social or sociocultural anthropology.

Cultural Anthropology Definition
-Seek to actively collaborate witht eh communities in which they work-setting goals, solving problems, and conducting reserach together.

Medical Anthropologists
-Their work sheds light on the connections between human health and political and economic forces, both locally and globally.

Cultural Definition
A society’s shared and socially transmitted ideas, values, and perceptions, which are used to make sense of experience and which generate behavior and are reflected on that behavior.

A detailed description of a particular culture primarily based on fieldwork.

Fieldwork Definition
The term anthropologists use for on-location research

Participant Observation
In ethnography, the technique of learning a people’s culture through social participation and personal observation within the community being studied, as well as interviews and discussion with individual members of the group over an extended period of time.

Ethnology Definition
The study and analysis of different cultures from a comparative or historical point of view, utilizing ethnographic accounts and developing anthropological theories that help explain why certain important differences or similarities occur among groups.

Cultural Anthropology
-These standards are socailly learned, rather than acquired through biolocical inheritance.

By making systematic comparisons, ethnologistgs seek to arrive at scientific explanations of cultural features and socail practives in all times and places.

Applied Cultural Anthropology
Cultural anthropologists contribute to applied anthropology in a variety of contexts raning form business to education, health care, governmental interventions, and humanitarian aid.

Linguistic Anthropology Definition
The study of human languages-looking at their structure, history, and relation to social and cultural contexts.

Linguistic Anthropology
-Includes distinctly anthopological questions such as, how does alnguage influence or reflect culture? How does language use differ among distinc members of a society?
-Predictions : Nearly half of the wrold’s reamining 6,000 languages will become extinct over the next 100 years.
-Linguistic Antho has 3 main branches: decriptive and historical linguistics, and language in relation to socail and cultural settings.

Descriptive Linguistics
Involves work of dissecting a language by recording, delineating, and analyzing all of its features.
-Leads to a deeper understanding of language-its structure (inc grammar and syntax), its unique linguistic repertoire (figures of speech, word plays,etc), and its rel to other languages.

Historical Linguistics
-Deals with the fact that languages change.
-Specialists in this field examine interrelationships among different languages and investigate earlier and later forms of the same language.
-By identifying those words in related languages that have survived from an ancient ancestral tongue, they can also suggest not only where, but how the speakers of the inherited language lived.

Language in its Socail and Cultural Settings
Some linguistic anthropologists tsudy the social and cultural contexts of a language.
-Scientists in this branch also look into the dynamic rel between language and culture-investigating to what degree they mutually influence and inform each other.
-They may investiage how a language reflects culturally significant aspects of a people’s env or values.
-May also focu on the socialization process thorugh which an ind becomes part of a culture, moves up in social status, or takes on a new professional identity.

Applied Linguistic Anthropology
-Some collaborate with recently contacted cultural gorups, small nations (or tribes), and ethnic minorities in the preservation or revival of alnguages suppressed or lost during periods of oppresssion by dominant societies.
-Their work has inc helping to create written forms of languages that previously extisted onloy orally.

Archaeology Definition
The study of cultures thorught eh recovery and analysis of materical remains and environmental data.

-Such material producs include, pottery, hearths, and enlocures that remain as traces of cultural practices in the past, as well as human, plant, and marine remains, some of which date back 2.5 milions years.
-The arrangement of human traces, as much as the traces themselves, reflect specific human ideas and behavior.
-Archaeologists use material remains to investigate broad questions, inc settlement or migration patterns across vast areas.
-Together with skeletal remains, material reamins help archaeologists reconstruct biocultural context of past human lifeways and patterns.

Historical Archaeology Definition
The archaeological study of places for which written records exist.

Bioarchaeology Definition
The archaeological study of human remains-bones, skulls, teeth, and sometimes hair, dried skin, or other tissue-to determine the influences of culture and environment on human biological variation.

Historical Archaeology
-Prehistoric does not mean that societies were not interested or did not have a way of recording history, rather than the face that written records do not exist.

Human remains excaveted at archaeological sites provide valuagble clues about the lifestyle and health of prehistoric peoples, including info about activity, physiological stress, nutrition, disease, and social rank.
-Ethnobotany: Studying how people of a given culture made use of indigenous plants.
-Zooarchaeology: Tracking the animal remains recovered in aracheological excavations.

Contemporary Archaeology
-Discarded newspapers, garbage dumps, demolition and building sites, plastic, and household appliances provide evidence of modern everyday societies.

Cultural Resource Management Definition
A branch of archaeology concerned with survey and/or excavation of archaeological and historical remains that might be threatened by contruction or develo9pment; also involved with policy surrounding protection of cultural resources.

Physical Anthropology Definition
The systematic study of humans as biological oranisms; aka biological anthropology.

Molecular Anthropology Definition
The anthropological study of genes and genetic rels, which contribute significantly to our understanding or human evolution, adaptation, and diversity.

Cultural Resource Management
-What distinguishes this work from traditional archaeological resrach is that it is a legally requied part of any activity that might threaten importants aspects of a counrty’s prehistoric and historic heritage.
-Contact Archaeology: When state legislation sponsors any kind of archaeological work.

Cultural Resource Management:Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)
Passed in 1990, provides a process for the return of these remains, esp human bones and burial gifts (such as copper jewelry, weapons, and ceramic bowls), to lineal descendants, culturally affiliated with Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations.

Paleoanthropology Definition
The anthropological study of biological changes through time (evolution) to understand the origins and predecessors of the present human species.

Biocultural Definition
An approach that focuses on the interaction and biology and culture.

Primatology Definition
The study of living and fossil primates.

-Seek to understand how, when, and why we became the species we are today.

-Paleoanthropologists compare fosilized skeletons of our ancestors to other fossils and to the bones of living members of our species. Combining this knowledge with biochemical and genetic evidence, they stive to scientifically reconstruct the complex course of human evolutionary history.

Human Growth, Adaptation, and Variation
-Some physical anthropologists examine biological mechanisms of growth as well as the impact of the env on the growth process.
-Today physical anthropologists study the impact of poverty, pollution, and disease on growth.
-Studies of human adaptation focus on the capacity of humans to adapt of adjust to their material env-biologically and culturally.
-Cultural adaptations contribute to our survival in places that are dangerously cold, hot, or of high altitude.
-Developmental Adaptations: Responsible for some features of human variation
-Physical Adaptations: Short-term changes in response to a particular env stimulus.

Forensic Anthropology Definition
The ID of human skeletal remains for legal purposes.

Forensic Anthropology
Help identify murder victims, forensic anthropologists investigates human rights abuses such as systematic genocide, terrorism, and war crimes.

Empirical Definition
An approach based on observations for the world rather tahn on intuition or faith.

Hypothesis Definition
A tentative explanation of the rels among cerain phenomena.

Theory Definition
A coherent statement that provides an explanatory framework for understanding; an explanation or interpretation supported by a reliable body of data.

Doctrine Definition
An assertion of opinion or belief formally handed down by an authority as true and indisputable.

Cultural Shock Definition
In fieldwork, the anthropologist’s personal disorientation and anxiety that may result in depression.

Globalization Definition
Worldwide interconnectedness, evidenced in rapid global movement of natural resources, trade goods, human labor, finance capital, information, and infectious diseases.

-Anthopologists are keenly aware that their personal identity and culutral backgound may shape their reserach questions, bear upon their factual observations, and even influene their interpretations and explanations.
-To avoid inadvertent bias or distortion, htey immerse themselves in data to the fullest extent through on-location research traditionally known as fieldwork.
-Requires researchers to seop out of their culturla comfort zone into a world that is unfamiliar and sometimes unsettling.

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