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ANTH326 Meeting 7 (Semi-Final)

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ANTH326 Meeting 7 (Semi-Final)

  1. 1. ANTH326 Peoples and Cultures of Sub-Saharan Africa Meeting 7, October 22, 2007
  2. 2. Business <ul><li>Djenne film, H1120, Noon, Friday </li></ul><ul><li>Project Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Media Critique (November 5) </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture/discussion </li></ul><ul><li>Last Week </li></ul><ul><li>News items (e.g. BBC’s Africa Today podcast) </li></ul><ul><li>Relativisms, Conceptions, Keim, Appiah, (Social Groups) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Keim Themes
  4. 4. Appiah Themes
  5. 5. Relativisms
  6. 6. Ethnocentrism <ul><li>Definitions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Own culture is better” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus on own group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cultural specificity as normal/natural/universal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reification/naturalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Worldview </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Separate worlds” </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Eurocentrism <ul><li>Typical ethnocentrism </li></ul><ul><li>Not unique </li></ul><ul><li>“ Western” </li></ul><ul><li>(Judeo-)Christian </li></ul><ul><li>Market economy (Capitalism/Socialism) </li></ul><ul><li>Individual freedom? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Anthropology on Ethnocentrism <ul><li>Cherish diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Academic tendency </li></ul><ul><li>Anthropocentrism </li></ul>
  9. 9. Relative Relativism <ul><li>Not “anything goes” </li></ul><ul><li>Epistemological foundation (ways of knowing) </li></ul><ul><li>Assess natural/universal/absolute </li></ul><ul><li>Terminological habits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Appropriate” instead of “good” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Optimal” instead of “perfect” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Cultural Relativism <ul><li>Fighting ethnocentrism </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic relativity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Einstein from Winterer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Primacy of context </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Holistic perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-deterministic, anti-reductivism </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Moral Relativism <ul><li>Apply relativism to values </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Neither condone nor condemn </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Relative value vs. absolute value </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Try to understand </li></ul><ul><li>“ Who am I to say…” </li></ul><ul><li>Not “moralist” </li></ul><ul><li>Abuses of moral relativism </li></ul>
  12. 12. Practising Relativism <ul><li>European background </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Assess bias </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assess embedded comparison </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>European anthropology? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Accept apparent inconsistencies </li></ul><ul><li>Tolerance, respect </li></ul><ul><li>Not claim absolute knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Living in multiple worlds </li></ul>
  13. 13. Relativism in Ethnography <ul><li>Partial suspension of enculturation (cultural) </li></ul><ul><li>Partial suspension of value judgement (moral) </li></ul><ul><li>Consequences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing rapport </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intellectual honesty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Insight </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Particularism/holism/culturalism </li></ul>
  14. 14. Readings
  15. 15. Conceptions of Africa 1 <ul><li>AIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Blacks </li></ul><ul><li>Chaos </li></ul><ul><li>Circumcision </li></ul><ul><li>Corruption </li></ul><ul><li>Cradle of Humanity </li></ul><ul><li>Diamonds </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity </li></ul>
  16. 16. Conceptions of Africa 2 <ul><li>Ethnic cleansing </li></ul><ul><li>Fear of the Unknown </li></ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul><ul><li>Movies </li></ul><ul><li>Nature </li></ul><ul><li>Polygamy </li></ul><ul><li>Popular Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Population density </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conceptions of Africa 3 <ul><li>Poverty </li></ul><ul><li>Primitive </li></ul><ul><li>Slavery </li></ul><ul><li>Turmoil </li></ul><ul><li>War </li></ul>
  18. 18. Keim Notes <ul><li>Moravian College </li></ul><ul><ul><li>History, Political Science, Sociology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>College Administrator </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Updating book </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Popular culture on Africa </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Keim and Americans <ul><li>Slavery </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity (African Americans) </li></ul><ul><li>National Geographic Magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Clinton (again) </li></ul><ul><li>Progress </li></ul><ul><li>Race, racialism, racism, racial prejudice </li></ul><ul><li>Africans talk about Americans </li></ul>
  20. 20. Keim on Culture <ul><li>Buddhism (and phenomenology) </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural momentum (change) </li></ul><ul><li>Rousseau (as French) </li></ul><ul><li>Ethnography </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rural/urban </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fragments and holism </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Classifying conceptions <ul><li>Words </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Traditional, tourism, news, change, racist </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Helpless Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Africa as positive alternative </li></ul>
  22. 22. Appiah Notes <ul><li>British/Ghanaian </li></ul><ul><li>“ Western Civ” </li></ul><ul><li>Philosopher </li></ul><ul><li>Greek:West::Egypt:Africa </li></ul><ul><li>Diop next week </li></ul><ul><li>Molefi Asante response </li></ul><ul><li>African Americans in Africa </li></ul>
  23. 23. Social Groups
  24. 24. Beyond Kinship <ul><li>Defining social groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solidarity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communitas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ethnicity as super-kinship </li></ul><ul><li>Kindreds (selected kins) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sodalities” </li></ul><ul><li>Associations </li></ul>
  25. 25. Age Sets and Age Grades <ul><li>Age Set as Cohort </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Oldboy” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>«Promotionneur» </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Age Grades as Steps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rites of passage (van Gennep) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Separate genders </li></ul>
  26. 26. Secret societies <ul><li>Initiation societies </li></ul><ul><li>Muslim brotherhoods (sufism) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tijaniyya </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Freemasons </li></ul>
  27. 27. Voluntary Associations <ul><li>Social networks </li></ul><ul><li>Urban life </li></ul><ul><li>Local </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Ethnic“ </li></ul><ul><li>Cosmopolitan networks </li></ul><ul><li>Political parties </li></ul>
  28. 28. Media <ul><li>Coming to America </li></ul><ul><li>Soul Man </li></ul><ul><li>Videoclips </li></ul>
  29. 29. Westernization <ul><li>Cultural Contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural change </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coerced or voluntary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Western-like but typically African </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage change </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other partners </li></ul>
  30. 30. Education <ul><li>School types (Koranic, Missionary, National) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Formal education </li></ul><ul><li>“ Western-style” </li></ul><ul><li>Obsession with literacy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Power of orality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Generation gap </li></ul>

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