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Sc2218 Lecture 13 (2008a)

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Lecture 13: Review

Lecture 13: Review

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    Sc2218 Lecture 13 (2008a) Sc2218 Lecture 13 (2008a) Presentation Transcript

    • SC2218: Anthropology and the Human Condition Lecture 13: Summary and Review Eric C. Thompson Semester 1, 2008/2009
    • REVIEW AND CONSULTATION SESSION: AS3 03-06 Thursday, November 13 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm
    • “ A Man without Pigs”
      • How does John Waiko’s approach to anthropology compare to that of other anthropologists we have studied in this course? What are some of the similarities and differences ? How does John Waiko’s experience compare to that of other “strangers abroad”?
      • What is John Waiko’s status in his home village? How does that compare with and relate to his status outside his village?
      • What sort of politics and economics do you see in action in the film? How would a structural or structural-functional analysis help us to understand Bendari political-economy? How would a poststructural (discursive, historical) analysis help? What would be key features to focus on in each type of analysis?
      • How is the system of debts and relationships changing? Why?
    • What is ANTHROPOLOGY?
    • Anthropology
      • anthropos = humankind
      • logia = study of
      • the study of people
    • The Objective of Anthropology
      • Why do people do the things they do?
      • Before Modern Anthropology:
        • Because of their race (biology).
        • Because they are less intelligent.
        • Because they are superstitious.
        • Because they are primitive or less evolved.
    • Key Concepts in 20 th century Anthropology
      • Culture
      • Ways to understand Culture
        • Functionalism
        • Structural-Functionalism
        • Structuralism
        • Other Ways
          • Culture and Personality
          • Neoevolutionism
          • Cognitive Anthropology
          • Symbolic Anthropology
          • And others….
    • Themes: Major Topics that Anthropologists study from a Cultural Perspective
      • Families and Kinship
      • Gender and Sexuality
      • Economics and Exchange
      • Ethnicity, Race, Nationalism and other forms of “Imagined Communities”
      • Anthropologists Study many other aspects of “the human condition”
        • Medical Anthropology
        • Religion
        • Emotions
        • And many other topics!
    • The Concept of Culture
      • Holistic views of human affairs (e.g. E.B. Tylor’s definition).
      • Respect for cultures as unique ways that different people have developed.
        • Boas’s attack on 19 th theories of unilinear social evolution
        • Cultures have to be understood on their own terms (not as “stages” in human development)
      E.B. Tylor Franz Boas
    • Dr. Eric’s definitions of Cultural and Social
      • Culture refers to our signaling systems (which, among other things, coordinate our actions)
        • Culture is learned, shared knowledge
        • Cultural systems are systems of meaning
      • Social refers to our behavioral systems , specifically those behaviors through which we relate to other people (e.g. exchanges)
        • Social Systems are systems of relationship and exchange.
    • Socio-Cultural Systems (Summary)
      • Kinship: Cultural concepts for organizing social relationships based on family ties.
      • Gender: Cultural concepts for organizing social relationships based on sex.
      • Economy: Cultural concepts for organizing social relationships of exchange.
      • Community: Cultural processes for imagining group identities.
    • Kinship
      • Kinship = Social-Cultural Elaborations of Biological Reproduction
      • Marriage = Cultural recognition of a sexual relationship; legitimization of paternity.
      • Ideas of kinship order (arrange) social relationships through cultural interpretations of biological reproduction.
      • Kinship is “based in” biology.
      • But kinship is not determined by biology.
    • Sex / Gender / Sexuality
      • Sex refers to the bodies we have as a result of biological processes (e.g. genetics); Genitalia, Hormones, Baldness, Facial Hair, Breasts, etc.
      • Gender refers to social-cultural elaborations of sex ; social practices and cultural roles associated with sex characteristics.
      • Sexuality refers to social-cultural elaborations (especially identities) related to sexual behavior ; activities (ways of ‘having sex’), desires, relational identities (gay, straight, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, etc.)
    • Economics and Exchange
      • Economics: the study of the production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
      • Economy: a system of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services.
      • Exchange:
        • Distributing Goods and Services AND
        • Creating/Enacting Relationships among People
    • The Cultural Nature of Commodities (and Money)
      • Markets are SYMBOLIC systems of VALUE
      • Money – mediator of value
      • Social relationships are abstracted into money and commodities.
      • Social differentiation based on relationships mediated by money & commodities = Class
    • Community
      • Communities are based in senses of belonging and identity.
      • Markers of commonality are arbitrary. They are socially and culturally agreed upon.
      • Communities exist because people imagine them to exist. (They are fundamentally cultural – shared belief, ideas, feelings).
      • Communities are not “fictional”… They are social and cultural realities .
    • Culture is…
      • A system of shared meanings.
      • A system for signaling and reproducing those shared meanings.
      • Social-Cultural Systems:
        • Kinship and Marriage
        • Gender and Sexuality
        • Economics and Exchange
        • Communities and Identities
    • Anthropology c.1960-1980
      • Scientific, Structural-Functional Approach
      • Cultural Relativism; Non-hierarchical (no culture is better than another; they are just different)
      • Non-evolutionary (rejection of unilinear evolution of cultural ‘stages’ from 19 th c.)
      • Societies and Cultures seen as “Whole”, functional, equilibrium systems (structures) of thought and behavior
      • Most anthropologists are white (European / American) men doing research in the “Third World”.
    • Problems c.1960-1980
      • If cultures are whole, equilibrium systems, how does one account for change?
      • Entry of larger numbers women and non-Europeans into anthropology, began to question male and Euro-centric biases.
      • Critique of Ethnography: Representations of “Others” by Europeans for Europeans
      • Critique of Colonialism, Anthropology’s Role
      • Globalization, Urbanization, Rapid Change
    • CULTURE & SOCIETY (The Super-Simple Versions)
      • Culture = systems of meaning
      • Society = systems of (exchange) relationships
      • From Structuralism, to Post-Structuralism, to (Complex Adaptive) Dynamic Systems
    • Culture and Discourse
      • CULTURE is a Complex Adaptive System
      • DISCOURSE is the Process through which Culture Changes
      • Shift in anthropology from culture to discourse is a shift from structural to process analysis. (1980s – Present)
    • 1st Generation Cultural Structures (Grammars, Words, Styles, Signifiers) 1st Generation Agents (Subjects/Individuals) (Drawing on the Structures to relate to others , influence action , interpret meanings – their own and others ) Culture as an Iterative Process Agents are “Subjects” of (“subject to”) cultural structures – they cannot operate meaningfully outside of the structure. Cultural Structures are emergent structures, dependent on the agents for their existence.
    • 1st Generation Cultural Structures 1st Generation Agents (Subjects) 2nd Generation Agents (Subjects) 2nd Generation Cultural Structures Culture always changes, because agents never reproduce it “perfectly”
    • REVIEW AND CONSULTATION SESSION: AS3 03-06 Thursday, November 13 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm