Topics: Anthropology, Culture, Cultural anthropology Pages: 6 (796 words) Published: October 29, 2013
Anthropology Jan15th, 2008

Cultural Anthropology

-Margaret Mead went to eastern Samoa in 1925 when she was 23, and spent nine months in the field studying childrearing patterns and adolescent behaviour -Renato Rosaldo the Ilongot Head-hunters
-Clifford Geertz: the Balinese cockfight
-Douglass Drozdow-St. Christian: what Samoans consider “good and proper body” and the meanings of making babies into “good and proper bodies”

Anthropology 025
Introduction to Socio-cultural Anthropology

Ethnographic Method- Immersion of researchers in the lives and cultures of the peoples they are trying to understand in order to comprehend the meanings these people ascribe to their existence (Robbins & Larkin 2006:310).

Participant Observation- The active participation of a researcher or observer in the lives of this being studied (Robbins & Larkin 2006:311)

>Earlier Ethnographers:
Focus in small-scale less complex societies that fell outside the sphere of European influence and culture

Anthropological Theories

All societies pass through a series of stages.

Lewis Morgan: Proposed that societies progress from inferior to superior under 3 stages: salvages, barbarians and civilized

>American Historicism or Historical Particularism:
The collection of ethnographic facts through direct fieldwork must precede the development of cultural theories.

Franz Boas: Dedicated to physical anthropology, geography and ethnology as taught on Germany.

Jan 22
French Structiralis


The ethnographer must describe a culture in terms of native categories (emic view) rather than in terms of his/her own categories

Principal Advocate: Sturtevant, Goodenough

Cultural Materialism:

Material conditions determine human consciousness and behaviour

Stressed the “etic” view this means they advocated themselves to the analytical framework and tools used by outsiders in searching for patterns and regularities of the insider’s culture

Rather than fieldwork or “emic”: what insiders do and perceive about their culture (Miller, Van Esterik & Van Esterik 2001:26)

Principal Advocate: Marvin Harris

Interpretive Anthropology:

Human behaviours stem from the way people perceive and classify

Principal Advocate: Clifford Greertz

Jan 22
Session 3

Social & Cultural Construction of Reality

Why people believe the things they belief?

How can “we” believe in witchcraft, magic or the horoscope?

Is it a question of a correct or incorrect worldview?

What is a worldview?

>Worldview: encompassing images of reality created by different people who belong to different cultures >Each culture has their own worldviews
>In every society culture tends to be “coherent” and with “patterns” >Edward Tylor: religion an attempt to understand things or event: “why death, sickness, misfortune happened?

>Durkheim: Totemism among the Australian Aborigines
>Totem=element of nature, sacred and worshiped by the clan
>”It was the group-the clan itself- that was being worshiped” why? >In modern large-scale societies God= a symbol of society (Robbins & Larkin 2006:123)

>Simund Freud: God=the power of the father

>What kind of explanation he gave?

>Symbolic Actions (Robbins & Larkin 2006:124)
All the activities that play a role in organizing and making concrete a particular worldview such as… bullfight

>We need to look at Language:

>How does language shape reality?

Edward Sapir- Benjamin Lee Whorf
Hypothesis: the categories in language condition the way in which its speakers perceive and experience reality.

>Hopi and Navajo concept of time

>What symbols do

How the world is world is ordered. How to order the world through symbol.

>What is a metaphor?

A form of thought and language that asserts a meaningful link between two expressions from different semantic domains....
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