Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Prezi for the first meeting of my Intro to Anthro class, Fall 2012 (updated Spring 2016). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Doc Billingsley

on 23 August 2017

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

the study of humankind in all our facets, through all periods of history
photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
And what isn't?
What is Anthropology?
Studying the human condition
"crisis" today: what value does humanistic knowledge have in an increasingly technological world?
Or, what value does life have in a world without humanistic knowledge?
Systematic and positivist query of the natural universe
Social sciences
the most humanistic of sciences...
or the most scientific of humanities?
Political science
Is Western science the only valid approach for understanding our world?

Who determines the epistemic authority of scientific and other forms of knowledge?
Applying the scientific method to the messiness of human beings
In the United States, anthropology is a "4-field discipline":

Cultural anthropology is the study of living societies, the relationships and traditions that make each of us unique yet commonly human

Linguistic anthropology is the study of human languages, past and present, as well as other symbolic forms of communication

Archaeology is the study of (mostly past) societies, through the material remains they left behind--ruins, artifacts, and the environmental effects of human occupation

Biological or physical anthropology is the study of the anatomy and evolution of humans and our primate kinfolks--lemurs, apes, bonobos, etc.--as well as hominid ancestors that didn't make it to the party--Neanderthals, Homo erectus, and company
These 4 fields share a common origin in Anthropology. Franz Boas, our 'founding father,' regularly engaged in all four types of research.

However, today it is much more common to become specialized in a single field-- or even a single topic or methodology within a single field.

Does the advancement of anthropological knowledge require such detailed specialization? Or are we specializing ourselves out of a common discipline?

What do we gain or lose from a broad, four-field perspective?
Anthropology also has applications outside of academia:
development / aid work, international relations, social policy development, marketing research, user experience engineers,
point-person on inter-species relations:
forensic anthropology, public health
cultural resources management (CRM), park service, geological sampling and survey, GIS-based careers
Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Anthropology (Overview) -- Chapter 1 of book
Weeks 3 & 4: Concept of Culture -- Chapter 2 of book
Week 5: Applied Anthropology -- Chapter 3 of book
Week 6: Anthropological Theory -- Chapter 4 (1st half)
Week 7: Fieldwork / Methods -- Chapter 4 (2nd half)
Weeks 8 & 9: Language and Communication -- Chapter 5
Weeks 10 & 11: Subsistence Patterns -- Chapter 6
Weeks 12 & 13: Kinship, Marriage, & Family -- Chapter 7
Weeks 14 & 15: Politics and Social Control -- Chapter 9
Our class schedule
1. For each class, there will be several reading assignments
(Usually something from a book, plus a handful of short articles)
The page numbers game
2. Before we meet, I'll send a couple of questions to help focus on for the week
3. As you read, make a note of the page numbers and location of passages that help you address the questions.
4. At the beginning of each class, we'll collect everyone's page numbers and write them on the board
5. During our group discussion, I'll call on people to explain what they found significant about their marked pages
What do cultural anthropologists study?
Handmaiden of colonialism?

Case Study: Australia
Scientific racism, forced enculturation, reconciliation(?)
Anthropology's dark past:
Diversity of human experiences

Early focus on 'authenticity' and salvaging the last 'natives'

Grand comparative theories of social evolution: civilized 'West' versus undeveloped 'rest'?
Unwanted third race (Rabbit Proof Fence)
Stolen generations (Rabbit Proof Fence)
SorryDay in Oz
PAW Media: T-Bone's hip-hop video:
PAW Media: Animated story
Memory Activism & Epistemic Authority in Guatemala
Anthropological case study: My research
5 siglos igual
Questions to ask:

1. What's your name?
2. What's the significance of your name? (Family heirloom? Interesting story?)
3. Why are you taking this course?

Other questions crowdsourced by group?

Crowdsourced Interviews
Created by Doc M. Billingsley, 2012-2013:
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Full transcript