Anthropology 101: Introduction to anthropology
The study of Culture
Culture: sets of learned behaviors, ideas, beliefs, values and ideals that are characteristic of a particular society or population
Features of Culture: Culture is learned, shared, patterned (integrated), adaptive and symbolic.
Ethnocentrism: judging another culture solely on the terms of one’s own culture
Cultural relativism: viewing another culture’s customs and ideas within the context of that culture’s problems and opportunities (ex. Female genital cutting)
Early evolutionism: A 19th century theory that proposed a uni-linear series of stages through which all societies must go (or had gone) in order to reach civilization. Cultural evolution from simple to complex, progress was possible for all (based on innovations). Used to explain the widespread cultural diversity witnessed by Europeans during the Age of Exploration. Cultural diversity (variation), societies are at different stages of evolution
Ethnography: a description of a particular culture or society’s customary behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes
Participant observation: a technique of field research, used in anthropology, by which an investigator studies the life of a group by sharing in its activities
Fieldwork: Field work is the process of observing and collecting data about people, cultures, and natural environments. Field work is conducted in the wild of our everyday surroundings rather than in the semi-controlled environments of a lab or classroom.
Ethnology: the study of how and why recent cultures differ or are similar; cross-cultural
Ethnohistory: studies based on descriptive materials about a single society at more than one point in time (information from a variety of sources ex. Missionary or early historic accounts)
Briefly define the concept of culture. What are the five features of culture discussed in class?
· Culture is defined as the sets of learned behaviors, ideas, beliefs, values and ideals that are characteristic of a particular society or population
Compare and contrast ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.
· Ethnocentrism judge another culture solely in the terms of one’s own culture while cultural relativism views another cultures customs and ideas within the context of that culture’s problems and opportunities
Briefly explain Early Evolutionism. How did t...