Topic 1: Introduction to Anthropology and Culture
Kottak, questions from chapter 1, 13
DVD questions from chapters 1, 2, and 3
Kottak Chapter 1
What do you think is unique about anthropology: its holism or its comparative perspective? Can you think of other fields that holistic and/or comparative? I think that holism is a unique part of anthropology because it’s the study of the whole human condition: the past, present, and the future. It’s also about the biology, society, language, and culture of the humans. I think it’s unique because it covers all the aspects of the human life. I think sociology is a field that is holistic because it deals with social relations, organizations, and behaviors.
What are some areas in which anthropology’s bicultural; four- field approach might shed light on current issues and debates? Would sexuality be such an area?
The four fields are social-cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics. Social –Cultural Anthropology is the of the social and cultural aspects of living people. Archaeology is the study of human history. Biological anthropology is the study of the human population. Linguistics studies the natural languages. All of these fields can shed light on current issues and debates like illness and treatment, irrigation work, understanding the past and how we got to the present, and communication like body language, and the way people get messages across. I think sexuality wouldn’t be an area because sexuality would change the other aspects of life so it wouldn’t be as important as the other four fields.
Many other disciplines are limited by their focus on powerful people and elites. How has your professor in other classes tried to justify, or compensate for, such limitation?
My professors in my other classes tried to justify or compensate for many limitations. For example in my accounting class the professor give you 3 unexcused absents, on your fourth unexcused absent she start taking points off your overall grade. Professors have to have some type of limitations so they can have power in the classroom. If teachers didn’t make the absent rule nobody come to class. By the teacher giving the students some leeway it makes the students more willing to except her rules.
What are some theories, as defined here, that you routinely use to understand the world? A theory is a set of ideas that explain something that help people understand the world. I really don’t think about theories of the world I just live life and learn as I go.
Kottak Chapter 13
What cultural symbols have the most meaning for you? For your family? For your nation
The cultural symbols that mean the most to me I share with the ones I love the most and my nation. When it comes to cultural symbols that mean the most to my family would be our last name. I think that is important because with are last name you can see who your related to. When it comes to the nation I would say the flag because it represents the 50 states. For me the most important symbol is my name because that’s who I am.
What are the key symbols and values that work to unite your religious group or another organization to which you belong?
Some key symbols that work to unite my religious group is the holy bible and the cross. These are important because the bible is a mean of communication and when you come to church people bring them and learn from them. The cross and the bible is something that everybody in my religion can relate to.
Give some examples of cultural practices that are adaptive in the short run but probably maladaptive in the long run?
A cultural practice that might be easy to start but hard to stop could be smoking. Smoking cigarettes, weed, or tobacco is very easy to star but when you get addicted it’s hard to stop.
Do you feel you have multiple cultural identities? If so, how do you handle them?
No I don’t feel that way. I was...
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