Writing Assignment #2
Theoretical models are generally broader fields of study employed by anthropologists to concentrate their respective research. Furthermore, theoretical models are then separated into two categories: explanatory models and interpretive models. In particular, explanatory models are intended to be solely “scientific models” that merely suggest cause and effect relationships (Blanchard, Pg. 64, 1995). Personally, I am more inclined to follow such models because I tend to prefer the more factual, less interpretative fields of research. More specifically, the explanatory model of Cultural Materialism appeals to me the most.
Cultural Materialism is founded on the principle that the chief motive of human culture is to provide means of survival. Similarly, it contends that adaptation is human culture’s “primary reason for existence (Blanchard, Pg. 70, 1995).” In short, culture is dictated by the material, adaptive needs of society. Moreover, cultural materialism maintains that culture itself is comprised of only techno-economic, sociopolitical, and ideological components. According to this theoretical model, the sociopolitical and ideological aspects stem from the techno-economics, which is the primary adaptation. Such is the case because as technology changes, so does the social system and ideological beliefs. This truth, though, is not to undermine the important and prevalence of sociopolitical and ideological institutions in society. Institutions such as marriage, law, and even sports would not be possible without the sociopolitical arena, while elements such as religion, values, and philosophies are legitimized in ideology.
This theoretical model is more appealing than any others because, simply, it makes sense to me. While it is often beneficial to be provided with alternative perspectives for understanding various aspects of culture, as is the case with interpretive models, I am partial to more concrete, tangible...