SBCC ANTH 103 - Malinowski (2 pages)

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Malinowski



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Malinowski

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Pages:
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 Armchair anthropology is a person who has book knowledge but has no practical experience One of the limitations is not having full experiences You can only see a limited amount of the truth 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 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 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 Sophe s birthday party is not just about toddlers as it has a deeper function Who is inviting whom and why were they invited Social obligation was used in both cultures If one person invited you to their child s birthday party then the other would have to do the same Everyone everywhere is driven by these same passions hunger fear vanity and sex All cultures name as a function in society This is applied to all societies sophisticated or primitive Functionalism is how everyone functions and works in need of each other 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 administrators


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