Culture Counts Chpts. 1-4

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Adaptation
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a change in the biological structure or lifeways of an individual or population by which it becomes better fitted to survive and reproduce in its environment. Culture is an example of this.
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Agglutinating language
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a language that allows a great number of morphemes per word and has highly regular rules for combining morphemes.
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Allophones
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two or more different phones that can be used to make the same phoneme in a specific language
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Anthropological linguistics
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the study of language and its relation to culture
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Anthropological theory
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a set of propositions about which aspects of culture are critical, how they should be studied, and what the goal of studying them should be
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Anthropology
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the scientific and humanistic study of human beings Cultural anthropology Anthropological linguistics Archaeology Biological (physical) anthropology
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Applied anthropology
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the application of anthropology to the solution of human problems
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Archaeology
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focuses on the reconstruction of past cultures based on their material remains
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Artifacts
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communication by clothing, jewelry, tattoos, piercings, and other visible body modifications
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Call system
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the form of animal communication composed of a limited number of sounds tied to specific environmental stimuli. Up to 60 sounds.
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Chronemics
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the study of different ways cultures understand time and use it to communicate
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Code switching
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moving seamlessly and appropriately between two different languages
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Cognitive anthropology
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a theoretical position in anthropology that focuses on the relationship between the mind and society
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Collaborative ethnography
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ethnography that gives priority to cultural consultants on the topic, methodology, and written results of fieldwork
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Comparative linguistics
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the science of documenting the relationships between languages and grouping them into language families
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Conventionality
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in human language, words are only arbitrarily or conventionally connected to the things for which they stand
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Consultant
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a person from whom anthropologists gather data. Also known as an informant and sometimes a interlocutor
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Core vocabulary
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a list of 100 or 200 terms that designate things, actions, and activities likely to be named in all the world’s languages
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Cultural anthropology
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the study of human thought, behavior, and lifeways that are learned rather than genetically transmitted and that are typical of groups of people
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Cultural ecology
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focuses on the adaptive dimension of culture
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Cultural relativism
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cultures should be analyzed with reference to their own histories and values rather than according to the values of another culture
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Culture
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the learned behaviors and symbols that allow people to live in groups; the primary means by which humans adapt to their environment; the ways of life characteristic of a particular human society; is subject to change; is patterned and integrated; is shared
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Culture and personality
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cultures could be best understood by examining the patterns of child rearing and considering their effect on adult lives and social institutions. Margaret Mead \”Coming of Age in Samoa\”.
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Culture shock
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feelings of alienation and helplessness that result from rapid immersion in a new and different culture
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Diffusion
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the spread of cultural elements from one culture to another
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Displacement
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the capacity of all human languages to describe things not happening in the present
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Dominant culture
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the culture with the greatest wealth and power in a society that consists of many subcultures
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Ecological functionalism
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focuses on the relationship between environment and society
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Emic
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examining societies using concepts, categories, and distinctions that are meaningful to members of that culture. Inside perspective.
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Enculturation
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the process of learning to be a member of a particular cultural group
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Ethnobotany
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examines the relationship between humans and plants in different cultures
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Ethnocentrism
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judging other cultures from the perspective of one’s own culture; the notion that one’s own culture is more beautiful, rational, and nearer to perfection than any other
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Ethnography
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the major research tool of cultural anthropology; includes both fieldwork among people in a society and the written results of such fieldwork
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Ethnology
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the attempt to find general principals or laws that govern cultural phenomena
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Ethnomedicine
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examines the ways in which people in different cultures understand health and sicknesses as well as the ways they attempt to cure disease
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Ethnoscape
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global distribution of people associated with each other by history, kinship, friendship, and webs of mutual understanding (Ajun Appadurai)
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Ethnoscience
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recording and examining the ways in which members of a culture use language to classify and organize their cognitive world
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Etic
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an outsider’s perspective
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Forensic anthropology
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application of biological anthropology to the identification of skeletalized or badly decomposed human remains
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Functionalism
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theory of inequality. Common in the first half of the 20th century, focuses on finding the general laws that identify different elements of society, show how they relate to each other, and demonstrate their role in maintaining social order
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Glottochronology
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statistical technique that linguists use to estimate the separation date of related languages
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Great vowel shift
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a change in pronunciation of English language that took place between 1200 and 1600 yfele –> evil
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Haptics
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the analysis and study of touch
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Historical particularism
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associated with the American anthropologists of the early 20th century that focuses on providing objective descriptions of cultures within their historical and environmental context
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Holism
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approach that considers culture, history, language, and biology essential to a complete understanding of human society
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Human paleontology
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focus within biological anthropology that traces human evolutionary history
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Human Relations Area Files
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an ethnographic database that includes cultural descriptions of more than 300 cultures
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Informant
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a person from whom anthropologists gather data. Also known as a consultant or sometimes an interlocutor
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Innovation
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an object or way of thinking or behaving that is new because it is qualitatively different from existing forms
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Interpretive anthropology
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focuses on using humanistic methods, such as those found in the analysis of literature, to analyze culture and discover the meaning of culture to its participants
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Isolating language
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a language with relatively few morphemes per word and fairly simple rules for combining them (opposite of agglutinating language)
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Kinesics
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the study of body position, movement, facial expressions, and gaze
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Lexicon
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the total stock of words in a language
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Minimal pair
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two words that differ in only one sound but have the same meaning
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Morpheme
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the smallest unit of language that has a meaning
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Morphology
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a system for creating words from sounds
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Norms
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shared ideas about the way things ought to be done; rules of behavior that reflect and enforce culture
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Organic analogy
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the comparison of societies to living organisms
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Participant observation
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the fieldwork technique that involves gathering cultural data by observing people’s behavior and participating in their lives
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Phone
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smallest identifiable unit of sound made by humans and used in any language
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Phoneme
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the smallest significant unit of sound in a language
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Phonology
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the sound system of a language
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Physical anthropology
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studies people from a biological perspective, focusing primarily on aspects of humankind that are genetically inherited
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Plasticity
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the ability to change behavior
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Postmodernism
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focuses on issues of power and voice. Suggest that anthropological accounts are partial truths reflecting the backgrounds, training, and social positions of their authors
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Primatology
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the focus in biological anthropology that is concerned with the biology and behavior of nonhuman primates
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Productivity
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the idea that humans can combine words and sounds into new, meaningful utterances they have never before heard
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Proxemics
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study of cultural use of interpersonal space
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Racism
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the belief that some human populations are superior to others because of inherited, genetically transmitted characteristics.
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Respondent
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a person from whom anthropologists collect data; also known as informant, consultant, or sometimes interlocutor.
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Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
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the hypothesis that perceptions and understandings of time, space, and matter are conditioned by the structure of language
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Semantics
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the system of language that relates words to meaning
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Society
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a group of people who depend on one another for survival or well-being as well as the relationships among such people, including their status and roles
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Sociolinguistics
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the study of the relationship between language and culture and the ways language is used in varying social contexts
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Subculture
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a group within a society that shares norms and values significantly different from those of the dominant culture
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Symbol
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something that stands for something else. Central to language and culture
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Symbolic anthropology
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focuses on understanding cultures by discovering and analyzing the symbols that are most important to their members
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Syntax
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a system of rules for combining words into meaningful sentences
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Universal grammar
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a basic set of principles, conditions, and rules that form the foundation of all languages
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Values
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shared ideas about what is true, right, and beautiful

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