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What is Africa? F14

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Julie Jenkins

on 13 January 2017

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Transcript of What is Africa? F14

What is Africa?
3x the land area of the U.S.
10% of world population
--800 million people
"Is there any meaningful sense in which we can speak of 'Africa' as a 'place'?"
Misleading to generalize
i.e. the culture/people etc of 'Africa'
--differing environments
--55-56 countries
--different historical experiences
--3000 languages
--"development islands"
vs other regions

Africa as an 'Idea'
Susan George (1993) "One can almost hear the sound of sub-saharan Africa sliding off the world map"
“the study of the beliefs and practices of social actors within society…in which societies and social groups are treated as open ended systems…”
Perspectives Of Anthropology
What do we mean the 'holistic' perspective?
"no single aspect of a human community can be understood without exploring its relation to other aspects of the community’s total way of life”
- Look for internal logic to cultural systems
- Evaluate each culture on its own terms, without bias
As opposed to 'ethnocentrism'
--attitude that one's own culture is the best/superior
--used to judge others
Moral Relativism vs Methodological Relativism
How do we avoid being ethnocentric?
-Restrain Judgement
-Reconsider your own cultural background
-Ask...'Why does this bother me?'
Full transcript