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AN227 What is Africa? F17

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Julie Jenkins

on 4 October 2017

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Transcript of AN227 What is Africa? F17

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'
"One can almost hear the sound of Sub-Saharan Africa sliding off the world map"
Susan George (1993)
“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”
Moral Relativism vs Methodological Relativism
How do we avoid being ethnocentric?
Refrain Judgement
Identify & Reflect
Reconsider your own cultural background
Ask...'Why does this bother me?'
Look for the internal logic of 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
Full transcript