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AN101 2017 Lec 1
Transcript of AN101 2017 Lec 1
What is anthropology?
What perspectives are unique to anthropology?
'the study of human-beings'
5 Sub-fields of Anthropology
Biological & Physical
--Origins and evolution of Homo-Sapiens
--Physical variations in human populations
--Non-human primate behavior
-How did people live in the past?
--Excavation & analysis of historical human cultures
Differences & similarities in contemporary and historical cultures
What is universal, what is particular?
“the study of the beliefs and practices of social actors within society…in which societies and social groups are treated as open ended systems…”
Application of Anthropological knowledge & methods to
real world problems
Health, education, development, marketing, public policy, business
Perspectives of Anthropology
In its extreme form:
attitude that one's own culture is the best/superior
What comes to your mind when you think of "Anthropology"?
What do we mean by the 'holistic' perspective?
look for the internal logic of cultural systems
understand different cultural perspectives
evaluate each culture on its own terms, without bias
How can we avoid being ethnocentric?
Identify & Reflect
Reconsider your own cultural background
Ask...'Why does this bother me?'
What do people do, think, and why??
How do people experience & create the world around them?
What are our values and norms and how are these created, transmitted, and contested?
"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”
What are your reactions? Why?
Highlight words or phrases that indicate bias in Miner's account.
-What makes humans different from other primates?
-How and why do human groups differ biologically?
-What style of speech should one use in specific social contexts?
-How does language reflect how we view the world?
-How does speech shape our thought processes?
Cultural/Methodological Relativism vs Moral Relativism
Why do the Maasai drink blood?
Gender & Sexuality
Race & Ethnicity
media & communications
As opposed to 'ethnocentrism'
tendency to view the word from your perspective or experiences.