Chapter 1: Antro Notes

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Chapter 1- Introduction: the scope of medical anthropology

- Medical anthro:
How people in diff cultures explain the causes of ill health , types of treatment they believe in and whom they turn to when ill -Anthropology
“The study of man” (several branches)
1)Physical Anthropology
Human biology
Study of evolution of humans
Concerned with explaining the causes of present diversity of human populations 1)Material Anthropology
Deals with art and artifacts of humankind, present and past 1)Social and Cultural Anthropology
Comparative study of present day human societies and their cultural systems (2 diff approaches) oSocial:
Emphasizes social dimensions of human life
People are social animals, organized into groups that regulate and perpetuate themselves oCultural:
System’s of symbols, ideas and meanings that comprise a culture and of which social organization is just an expression

Keesing and Strathern
oSOCIETY; total social system whose members share a common language and cultural tradition •Boundaries of societies are vague; people organize themselves into various groups, hierarchies and roles within a given society


THE CONCEPT OF CULTURE:
Taylor’s definition of culture
oComplex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society •Keensing and Stathern
oSystems of shared ideas, systems of concepts and rules and meanings that underlie and are expressed in the ways that human beings live •From these definitions
oCulture is the set of guidelines that individuals inherit as members of a particular society. oProvides them with a way of transmitting these guidelines to the next generation oCan be seen as an inherited “lens” through which the individual perceives and understands the world that he inhabits and learns how to live within it •Enculturation: slowly acquires the cultural ‘lens’...
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