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Idea of Culture

Chapter 4 - ANT2410

change in biological structure/life-ways of an individual/population by which it becomes better fitted to survive & reproduce in its environment adaptation
theoretical approach that defines culture in terms of rules & meanings underlying human behavior, rather than behavior itself cognitive anthropology
theoretical approach that regards cultural patterns as adaptive responses to the basic problems of human survival & reproduction cultural ecology
theoretical perspective holds primary task of anthropology is to account for similarities & differences among cultures &, this can best be done by studying material constraints to which human existence is subject cultural materialism
anthropological perspective that focuses on culture as the principal force in shaping the typical personality of a society & role of personality in maintenance of cultural institutions culture & personality theory
spread of cultural elements from one culture to another through cultural contact diffusion
theoretical perspective that holds that the ways in which cultural institutions work can best be understood by examining their effects on the environment ecological functionalism
process of learning to be a member of a particular cultural group enculturation
field of anthropological research focused on describing the ways in which different cultures classify and understand plants ethnobotany
field of anthropological research devoted to describing the medical systems and practices of different cultures ethnomedicine
theoretical approach focusing on ways in which members of a culture classify their world & holds that anthropology should be study of cultural systems of classification ethnoscience
anthropological theory that specific cultural institutions function to support structure of society or serve needs of individuals in society functionalism
new variation on an existing cultural pattern that is subsequently accepted by other members of the society innovation
theoretical approach that emphasizes culture as a system of meaning and proposes that the aim of cultural anthropology is to interpret the meanings that cultural acts have for their participants interpretive (symbolic) anthropology
theoretical perspective concerned with the historical change of culture from small-scale societies to extremely large-scale societies neo-evolutionism
theoretical perspective concerned with applying the insights of Marxist thought to anthropology neo-Marxism
modify Marxist analysis to make it appropriate to the investigation of small-scale, non-Western societies neo-Marxists
ideal cultural pattern that influences behavior in a society norm
ability of humans to change their behavior in response to a wide range of environmental demands plasticity
theoretical perspective that explores the relationship between human cultural behavior and genetics sociobiology
theoretical perspective that holds that all cultures reflect similar deep, underlying patterns & that anthropologists should attempt to decipher these patterns structural anthropology
system of perceptions, values, beliefs, & customs that are significantly different from those of a larger, dominant culture within the same society subculture
something that stands for something else symbol
transformation of adopted cultural traits, resulting in new cultural forms transculturation
culturally defined idea of what is true, right, & beautiful value
everything that makes us human is learned through participation in a __ system sociocultural
developmental disorder characterized by difficulties in both verbal/nonverbal communication, impairment of social interaction & host of other symptoms autism
autism is generally diagnosed between the ages of 18-36 months & may affects 1 in every 150 children
autism that causes the individual to be silent & withdrawn profound
autism that causes is mild to moderate; able to master language & learn to participate in society; some have exceptional intellectual skills Asperger's syndrome
associate professor of animal science at Colorado University w/ Asperger's syndrome Temple Grandin
Oliver Slacks describes autistics as those who think in extremely __ terms concrete
Oliver Slacks describes autistics as those who have profound difficulty understanding social conventions & unwritten __ __ of every sort cultural rules
as a result of Grandin lacking the implicit knowledge which normal people accumulate in experiences/encounters she must compute others intentions & state of mind
Grandin describes herself as an anthropologist on Mars
Grandin has no __ __ for the things going on around her intuitive feel
if we do not internalize constraints, assumptions, & patterns imposed by culture it is difficult to express our human qualities & abilities
1873, introduced concept of culture as explanation for differences among human societies Sir Edward Burnett Tylor
people are not born knowing their culture; involve symbols; are patterned & integrated; shared by members of group; adaptive & maladaptive; subject to change all cultures share 6 characteristics
anthropologists have different ideas about which aspects of culture are __ & ways in which it should be __ fundamental; studied
lies at the heart of anthropology theory
directs those who adopt it to study different aspects of society and use techniques theoretical position
may overlap/reveal totally different aspects of society definitions of culture
universal human culture is shared, in different degrees, by all societies; EB Taylor & LH Morgan theory - 19th-century evolution
groups of people share sets of symbols & practices that bind them into societies; Emile Durkheim & Marcel Mauss theory - turn-of-the-century sociology
cultures are the result of the specific histories of the people who share them; Franz Boas & AL Kroeber theory - American historical particularism
social practices support society's structure/fill the needs of individuals; Bronislaw Malinowski & AR Radcliffe Brown theory - Functionalism
culture is personality writ large. it both shapes & is shaped by personalities of its members; Ruth Benedict & Margaret Mead theory - Culture & personality
culture is the way in humans adapt to environment & make their lives secure; Julian Steward & Leslie White theory - Cultural ecology & neo-evolutionism
physical & economic causes give rise to cultures & explain changes within them; Morton Fried & Marvin Harris theory - ecological materialism
culture is a mental template that determines how members of a society understand their world; Harold Conklin & Stephen Tyler theory - ethnoscience & cognitive anthropology
universal original human culture can be discovered through analysis & comparison of myths/customs of many cultures; Claude Levi Strauss theory - structural anthropology
culture is visible expression of underlying genetic coding; EO Wilson & Jerome Barkow theory - sociobiology
roles of women & ways societies understand sexuality are central to understanding culture; Sherry Ortner & Michelle Rosaldo theory - anthropology & gender
culture is way in which members of society understand who they are & give lives meaning; Mary Douglas & Clifford Geertz theory - symbolic & interpretive anthropology
because understanding of cultures most reflect observer's bias culture can never be completely/accurately described; Renato Rosaldo & Vincent Crapanzano theory - postmodernism
particularly fond of eating cicadas Aristotle
eaten in Northern Europe well into 19th-century some species of beetles
all humans remain physically, emotionally, & intellectually __ well into their teen years/early 20s immature
lengthy period of immaturity allows time for enormous amount of childhood learning
lengthy period of immaturity demands that human cultures be designed to provide relatively stable environments
lengthy period of immaturity means that very few __ __ need to be under genetic or biological control specific behaviors
infants grow into children and later into an adult, not simply as a human but as a particular kind of human
each society has __ & __ means of enculturation formal; informal
in all societies the biological processes of conception, birth, maturation & death are less important that the social understandings involved
when a child becomes a human being is an example of the cultural nature of growth
being born does not necessarily make an individual a human
refers to point at which one is considered a human being & a member of a human society social birth
not really children but spirits who come to the world to play & cause distress to their communities; killed & buried w/ no funeral; Ghana chichuru
a newborn may be a __ __ if it has physical abnormalities, birth is followed by tragic events, it cries constantly, or irregularities in mother's sexual behavior/pregnancy spirit child
15% of deaths of children <3 months in Ghana were considered deaths of chichuru (spirit child)
often it is a social birth rather than biological birth that is marked by ritual
newborn not considered person until age of 3 months when "face opening" ceremony takes place Toda of India
infant is brought outdoors, face is unveiled at dawn, & introduce to temple, nature, buffaloes, & clan relatives face opening ceremony
child is not considered a social person until it shows physical & emotional sign of being able to survive impoverished section of northeastern Brazil
in an impoverished section of northeastern Brazil, infants who are small & sickly have an aversion to living
in an impoverished section of northeastern Brazil if infants develop acute symptoms (i.e. convulsions) they are left to die
in the impoverished section of northeastern Brazil infant deaths are viewed as nature taking its course or that the child wants to die
humanness is a __ not a biological destination cultural
American abortion debate is really about when one becomes human, as a __ __, not when something is alive social person
science can identify the moment of conception/hour of birth, but only culture can determine when a human being comes into existence
recognition of human status is the beginning phase in human development
child-rearing practices in all cultures are designed to produce adults who know the __ __ of their society cultural content
involves patterning children's attitudes, motivations, values, perceptions, & beliefs so that they can function in their society child-rearing practices
hunting people of Arctic; learn largely by observing elders; they watch, practice & are then tested frequently by adults Inuit
central to Inuit child-rearing are developing skills for solving problems __ & __ quickly; spontaneously
when confront w/problem situation, Inuit children of the Arctic, are expected to observe closely, to reason, & find solutions independently
thin loop of leather positioned behind ears of each of 2 competitors who then pull away from each other until one gives up in pain ear pull game
Inuit's emphasis on experimental learning means that children are less __ __ or verbally reprimanded physically restrained
Inuit children must learn to be cooperative & emotionally restrained
Margaret Mead's 1928 book; landmark work that changed how Americans looked at childhood & culture Coming of Age in Samoa
theory extremely influential 1920s-1950s culture & personality
it is impossible to see things without __ & __ them in some manner organizing; evaluating
only through fitting our perceptions & experiences into systems of __ & __ can we comprehend our lives & act in the world organization; classification
classify some kinds of termites as food Bamana children in Mali
in __ language the same verb, min, is used for smoking & drinking Bamana
Lacondon Maya in southern Mexico classify __ as dangerous & frightening, highly inappropriate to point out to someone rainbows
system of meaning that transforms physical reality, what is there, into experienced reality codification of reality
anthropologist interest in different way people see themselves & their environments Dorothy Lee 1987
holy man of Oglala (Sioux) saw trees as having rights to the land, equal to his own Black Elk
anthropologists interested in describing systems of organization/classification used by individual cultures often use a __ __ called ethnoscience theoretical perspective
ethnoscience is one position/technique within a broader perspective of __ anthropology cognitive
understanding __ __ is extremely important for scholars interested in ethnobotany & ethnomedicine classification systems
French anthropologist compared myths & beliefs of different cultures to isolate common patterns Claude Levi-Strauss
Levi-Strauss & his followers believe that myths/beliefs reflect tendency to divide everything into __ __ __ of male/female, good/bad, right/left, & a third crossing boundary between two opposing classes
Geertz says that a human being is "an animal suspended in __ __ __ which he himself has spun" webs of significance
symbols are the __ __ people use to fill their world with meanings key mechanism
try to understand a culture by discovering & analyzing the symbols that are most important to its members symbolic anthropologists
mudyi tree is central symbol & plays role in girls' puberty rites; Ndembu of E Africa
has white, milky sap, which symbolizes breast-feeding, inheritance through mother's family line, & unity/continuity of society itself mudyi tree
one of best known interpretive anthropologists said that culture is like a novel Clifford Geertz
notes that the vocabulary of football is full of sexual overtones; uniforms accentuate male physique Dundes
for __ __ football's meaning derives from the ways in which it explores & comments on critical themes in American culture interpretive anthropologists
use methods drawn from the humanities rather than the sciences to uncover & interpret deep emotional & psychological structure of societies symbolic & interpretive anthropologists
often sought to find laws of cultural behavior functionalist anthropologists
searched for laws of cultural behavior in the mutually supportive relationships among kinship, religion & politics Radcliffe-Brown & Malinowski
argues that religion supports social structure by giving individuals a sense of dependence on their society AR Radcliffe-Brown
view social institutions & practices as elements in broader ecological systems; concerns w/ways cultural practices both altered & were altered by the ecosystem in which they occur ecological functionalist anthropologists
explanation of Hindu taboo on eating beef focuses on effect of cattle in Indian environment rather than on Hindu belief system Marvin Harris
Hindu religious taboo of eating beef is part of a larger ecological pattern that includes the subsistence system
powerful way of thinking about society & provides important insights; thinking of cultures as organic systems functionalism
saw conflict in society as a key factor driving social change Marx & Weber
anthropologists who rely on their __ are often referred to as neo-Marxists insights
different group have different & often opposing interests, & this creates conflict socially stratified societies
they live in worlds filled w/symbols that are of meaning only to themselves schizophrenics
two sorts of ideas that members of a culture might share norms & values
norms & values are often embedded in rules of behavior that __ & __ culture reflect; reinforce
important American anthropologists who noted that not everyone participates equally in culture Ralph Linton 1936
studied Pukapuka in Pacific; fisherman disagree about fish names much of the time Robert Borofsky
refers to the idea that the dominant culture is the more powerful in a society subculture or dominant culture
retain their power partially through control of institutions like legal system, criminalizing practices that conflict with their own dominant cultures
public school help maintain the __ of the dominant cultures in modern society values
in modern society the media plays important role in encouraging people to see subcultures in stereotypical ways
study focusing on reality shows found that images of race/crime systematically over-represent African Americans as criminals Oliver
result of struggles between groups in societies is that norms & values are constantly being renegotiated
shared ideas and the sense of the community may be the __ of human interaction rather than its __ result; cause
human beings develop & use culture to adapt to the world
fact that humans universally learn & use culture strongly suggests that such learning is a manifestation of our genetic code
because human adapt through learned behavior, they can change their approach to __ __ solving problems
plasticity has allowed human beings to __ under a wide variety of ecological conditions thrive
human may inherit a great deal of __ __ that hinders their survival cultural misinformation
anthropologists who view culture as an __ tend to be concerned w/people's behavior, particularly as it relates to their physical well-being adaptation
since 16th century most important source of culture change has been the development of a __ __ __ based primarily in wealthy nations of Europe & Asia world economic system
anthropologists usually discuss cultural change in term of innovation & diffusion
often chance discoveries & accidents; genuinely new & different innovations primary innovations
Teflon was discovered by __ __ when trying to find new substances for refrigeration Roy Plunkett
while working on radar, microwave ranges were invented by Percy Le Baron Spencer
while trying to develop drug to treat ulcers, developed NutraSweet James Schlatter
all innovations involve human __ & __ which exist in the same quantity in all societies ingenuity; creativity
found in Philippines, exotic dancers who exchanged sex for money considered these transactions sex work only in relation to 1st time sexual encounters, so less likely to use condoms, thus protecting them/partners from AIDS Eric Ratliff
in southern Africa 55-65% of AIDS victims are women
significantly lower rates of AIDS among Ju/'hoansi women is due to their economic autonomy Richard Lee & Ida Susser