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Sc2218 lecture 13 (2010)

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Lecture 13: World Anthropologies and Review

Lecture 13: World Anthropologies and Review

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    Sc2218 lecture 13 (2010) Sc2218 lecture 13 (2010) Presentation Transcript

    • SC2218: Anthropology and the Human Condition Lecture 13: World Anthropologies, Review of Lectures Eric C. Thompson Semester 1, 2010/2011
    • The Final Lecture…
      • Challenges for Anthropology Today
      • World Anthropologies
      • Reflections on the Course
        • A Rapid Review
        • What to Make of Anthropology?
    • Anthropology in the 21 st Century
      • Three Challenges to Anthropology:
      • 1. The Human Challenge
        • Who are the anthropologists of the 21 st century?
        • How and why does it matter who the anthropologists are?
      • 2. The Theoretical Challenge
        • What are anthropology’s major theoretical frameworks?
        • How will they change and how are they relevant to contemporary questions?
      • 3. The Empirical Challenge
        • How is the world changing?
        • How is anthropology relevant in a new kind of world?
    • In a changing world, how shall anthropology get on with the job?
    • Who are the Anthropologists? “Strangers Abroad” and Others . . .
    • The Human Challenge: Anthropologists in the 21 st Century
      • Three Models of Anthropologists:
      • “ Colonial Encounters”
        • 19 th & 20 th Century historical roots of Anthropology
        • Rivers, Evans-Pritchard
      • “ Native” Anthropologists
        • Non-Europeans studying their “own” society from an anthropological perspective.
        • George Hunt, John Waiko
      • Post-colonial “Strangers Abroad”
        • Anthropology in a post-colonial, global era
        • Beyond a North-South, West-East relationship
        • Amitav Ghosh
      Amitav Ghosh John Waiko
    • “ 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?
    • American Anthropology, c.2010
      • Early 20 th century: Anglo-American Anthropology (British & American)
      • Late 20 th century: American anthropology became dominant; British anthropology declined in prominence.
      • American Anthropology is the most influential anthropology worldwide today.
      • What are recent trends in American Anthropology?
    • Twenty-three Influential Scholars in American Anthropology Today
      • Survey of Graduate Students (October 2010)*
      • Venerable Generation (pre-1970s PhD)
        • Benedict Anderson, Talal Asad, Mikhail Bakhtin, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Clifford Geertz, David Harvey, Edward Said
      • Senior Generation (1970s PhD)
        • Arjun Appadurai, Joan Comaroff, John Comaroff, Veena Das, Bruno Latour, George Marcus, Sherry Ortner, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Michael Taussig
      • Recent Generation (1980s PhD)
        • Phillippe Bourgois, James Ferguson, Akhil Gupta, Webb Keane, Anna Tsing, Aihwa Ong
      *Survey of Six leading graduate schools in cultural anthropology. Conducted by NUS Graduate students in SC6212: The Anthropological Perspective.
    • Who is Shaping American Anthropology? (Based on List of 23 Scholars)
      • Nationalities: American(7), French(3), Indian(3), British(2), South African(2), Australian(1), Malaysian(1), Palestinian(1), Saudi(1)
      • 17 Men, 6 Women
        • All 7 of the “venerable” generation are men.
        • 9 men, 6 Women in more recent generations.
        • In 6 departments surveyed, faculty members are 61 men and 60 women; those with PhD’s since 1991, 29 women and 14 men.
      • Disciplines: American Anthropology(11), British Anthropology(4), French Sociology(3), Literary Theory(2), Geography(1), Indian Social Anthropology(1), Politics(1)
    • Trends by PhD Field
      • PhD Fields by Generation:
        • Pre-1970s: French Sociology(2), Literary Theory(2), American Anthropology(1), British Anthropology(1), Geography(1), Politics(1)
        • 1970s: American Anthropology(4), British Anthropology(3), French Sociology(1), Indian Social Anthropology(1)
        • 1980s: American Anthropology(6)
      • Few anthropologists in pre-1970s generation.
      • None trained outside American Anthropology in most recent generation; but several “immigrant anthropologists” (not American by birth).
    • Trends in American Anthropology
      • Few anthropologists from pre-1970s
      • Influence of French Sociology (Bourdieu, Foucault, Latour)
      • Declining influence of British Anthropology
      • Rising influence of anthropologists and others from former British colonies (India, Malaysia, Palestine, Middle East)
    • Two Trends
      • American Anthropology becoming more International
      • Development of World Anthropologies
    • The Theoretical Challenge: Culture, Discourse, & Theory
      • Evolving Anthropological Theory:
      • 19 th Century: Race
      • 20 th Century: Culture
      • 21 st Century: Discourse, Power
      • New concepts and ways of understanding human diversity evolve out of ongoing empirical research and theoretical reflection.
    • Evolving Anthropological Theory:
      • 19 th Century: Race
        • Human behavior and variation explained by biology
      • 20 th Century: Culture
        • Human behavior and variation explained by symbolic systems (culture) and human relationships (society)
      • 21 st Century: Discourse, Power
        • Culture is a process, always changing, always in motion; not a fixed thing, structure or ‘product’ (see: film “Sight Unseen”)
        • Culture is not neutral. It involves Power; contested ideas of understanding of ourselves and others.
    • Trends in American Anthropology Theory and Practice, 1980 - Now
      • Critique of Traditional Anthropology
      • Postcolonialism
      • Postmodernism
      • Poststructuralism, Discourse
      • Nationalism, Imagined Communities
      • Globalization
      • Neoliberalism
      • Applied/Action Anthropology
    • The Empirical Challenge: Globalization & Postmodernity
      • Historically, anthropology has focused on (cultural) difference associated with (relative) isolation .
      • Radical “time-space” compression is a hallmark of globalization and postmodernity.* (*See for example: Arjun Appadurai (1996) Modernity at Large ; David Harvey (1989) The Condition of Postmodernity )
      • Anthropologist now must apply their concepts (culture, social structure, discourse, etc.) and develop new concepts for understanding phenomena such as:
        • Mass Culture (mass communications, television, etc.)
        • Multiple identities (e.g. John Waiko: Professor of Anthropology, Member of a Binandere Clan)
    • What to make of ANTHROPOLOGY?
    • 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, CULTURE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT!
    • Anthropology
      • anthropos = humankind
      • logia = study of
      • the study of YOU, AND ME AND ALL OF US
    • AND NOW… A RAPID REVIEW Email: [email_address] For consultation during Reading Week
    • 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.
      • Modern Anthropology: Culture
      • Current Anthropology: Discourse, Power
    • 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
        • Politics
        • 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.
    • 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
    • Kinship
      • Kinship = Social-Cultural Elaborations of Biological Reproduction
      • Marriage = Cultural recognition of a sexual relationship; legitimization of paternity.
      • Kinship is “based in” biology.
      • But kinship is not determined by biology.
    • Gender and Sexuality
      • Gender and Sexuality are a cultural systems “ built on ” sex
        • They are socially and culturally constructed
      • Sexual biology matters – if we were hydra or clown fish, we would have different gender systems or none at all.
      • BUT, we can and do build many different gender and sexual systems.
    • 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
    • Culture of Economics & Exchange
      • Economics does not just meet “basic needs”.
      • People enact relationships based on beliefs and knowledge (cultural models).
      • Examples:
        • !Xharo exchange
        • Kula Ring
        • Potlatch
        • Wholesale Sushi
        • Branding, Modern Stock Exchange, Money
    • Commodification of Human Relationships
      • Culture Values in Modern, Economically “Rational” Markets:
      • Money
        • Arbitrary symbolic value based on shared beliefs
      • Commodity Fetishism
        • Valuing the relationship among goods; devaluing relationships among people
    • 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 .
    • The “Crisis of Representation”
      • How have anthropologists represented the people they study?
      • How and why are these representations problematic?
      • Issues from the reflexive “Writing Culture” movement of the 1980s & 1990s.*
      *Reflexive – an action directed or turned back on the agent of that action; marked by or capable of reflection
    • 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
    • Trends in American Anthropology Theory and Practice, 1980 - Now
      • Critique of Traditional Anthropology
      • Postcolonialism
      • Postmodernism
      • Poststructuralism, Discourse
      • Nationalism, Imagined Communities
      • Globalization
      • Neoliberalism
      • Applied/Action Anthropology
    • World Anthropologies
      • New Anthropological Traditions
      • Native Anthropology
      • National Anthropologies
      • What is next… ?
      • Networking New, World Anthropologies
    • Questions? Email: [email_address] For consultation during Reading Week