SBCC ANTH 103 - Jungle (2 pages)

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Jungle



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Jungle

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2
School:
Santa Barbara City College
Course:
Anth 103 - Intro To Cultural Anthropology
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Participant Observation Malinowski and the Trobriand Islands 1 The armchair anthropology consisted of respectable gentlemen who lived in the cities and believed that the savages were best studied from a safe distance which was from their armchair They just sent the letters to travelers colonial officials and missionaries around the world frequently to obtain a whole series of explanation about the customs of the people whom they encountered As reading these letters they formulated theories on savage life by assumption at their armchairs without any real observation 2 Ethnocentrism is the tendency to believe that one s ethnic or cultural group is centrally important Ethnocentrism through British armchair anthropologist s perception of savages culture was portrayed as opposite of their own If they were rational the savages were irrational If they were monogamous the savages were promiscuous They just defined the savages and their cultures as the uncivilized ones compared to their own that were not controlled by rational thought but emotional changes without experiencing and understanding those 3 Malinowski determined that the Australian Aborigines had a family This was shown through having a man with either one or a few wives They also showed affection toward their children and lived together Travelers said that the area was fascinating and colorful with different customs and colorful natives Australian Aborigines were living in very much like what we would call families although they did not define itself as a family The armchair anthropologists had looked Australian Aborigines as the people who were at the bottom of the evolution since they did not even have any family structure that was confirmed as the base of the social evolution 4 A classic example of balanced reciprocity is the Kula Ring in the Trobriand Islands an archipelago located off the eastern shores of New Guinea Two kinds of valuables are involved white armshells called muwali and necklaces of red spondylus shells known as soulava or sometimes as bagi Each trader gives the partner a white armshell with the expectation of receiving a red necklace within a defined period the trader giving the necklace likewise expects to receive an armshell The white armshells move counterclockwise in the islands and the red necklaces move clockwise 5 Malinowski studies all aspects of Kula ring He found that Kula by the locals and how they viewed it themselves He discovered out it was a complicated and sophisticated festivity He also discovered only the high status locals were allowed to go on their journeys because it was a costly and dangerous event There is a social network passed down by shell trinkets showing a close bond or treaty amongst one another The shell trinkets stood as a symbol of a close bond and treaties amongst each other creating a chain of relationships Twelve island groups were found participating in the Kula Ring with over 12 000 miles of ocean The value of each object was from the past and held great importance Each chain of shells showed power and prestige Kula Ring was a way to show status and power 6 Malinowski discovered that the islanders are sophisticated and rational human beings They were also industrious manipulative and had a strict code of behavior just like the Europeans Their societies were discovered to be as complex as anyone else s The crown jewels were just like the shells used to show power and status Famous people were known to were and carry the jewels just as the shells They both held great historical sentiment Acquiring the Kula shells were similar to winning sport s cups or trophies Shamanism and magic was similar to our ground religions Tattoos were represented as we would show metals for heroes 7 At first it seems like Sophie s birthday party is all about having fun and gift giving but the birthday party has deeper social function The birthday party and the Kula exchange have similar social function which is the establishment of social obligation If you have a group of mother who are invited to your party the invited mothers should feel obligated to invite your children back to their own children s birthday party Also inviting toddlers to the party involves a clear decision making process that is who is invited on what basis Malinowski s functionalism is a theory that can be applied to all aspect of society regardless of its level of sophistication Malinowski claimed that all human cultures had purpose customs could be interpreted as serving functions in a society and rituals evolved to satisfy our basic needs and desires Extra credit 1 Kate Fox saw the bigger picture but it was from a participant observation view from a far point She did her studies in a comfortable environment with plumbing and wine She spent three years with this racing tribe She was similar to Malinowski by using participant observation and she observed status hierarchy rituals and daily life Both cultures had status rituals and a code of conduct to live by They had tribal greetings or introduction rituals They both also had hierarchy such as the Stuart officials were like the tribal elders The horse trainers were like the revered shamans 2 Some of Malinowski s hangs ups included his mother dying slowing his studies and observation to a halt They only interfered for a short period of time so not that big of a problem He looked at the bigger picture His personnel diaries were published exposing his prejudice and hate He had many outbursts of anger calling black racist words and putting himself at a higher status However he insulted everyone from black to Australian administrat


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