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UGA ANTH 1102 - Anthro Quiz 1

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What is anthropology?The study of human diversity across time and spaceAlso studies adaption- humans are the most adaptable speciesFour subfields of anthropologySocio-cultural anthropology- also called cultural anthropology; study of human society and culture, the subfield that describes, analyzes, interprets, and explains social and cultural similarities and differences; engage in ethnography and ethnologyEthnography is fieldwork in a particular cultural settingRequires fieldwork, often descriptive, group/community specificEthnology examines, interprets, and analyzes the results of ethnography- the data gathered in different societiesUses data collected from researchers, usually synthetic, comparative/cross-culturalArchaeological anthropology- reconstructs, describes, and interprets human behavior and cultural patters through material remains (sites where people live or have lived)Based upon artifacts (tools, weapons, buildings, plant and animal remain, etc.)Biological anthropology (Physical anthropology)- Human biological diversity in time and space5 specialties withinhuman evolution as revealed by the fossil record (paleoanthropology)human geneticshuman growth and developmentHuman biological plasticity (the living body’s ability to change as it copes with stresses, such as heat, cold, and altitude)Primatology (the biology, evolution, behavior, and social life of monkeys, apes, and other non human primatesHelps paleoanthropologists (who examine skulls, teeth, and bones, to identify human ancestors and to chart changes in anatomy over time)Also includes primatology- study of biology, evolution, behavior, and social life of primates which are clues to early human behaviorLinguistics anthropology- studies language and linguistic diversity in it’s social and cultural context across space and timesome linguist anthropologists also make inferences about universal features of language, linked perhaps to uniformities in the human brainOthers reconstruct ancient languages by comparing their contemporary descendants and in so doing make discoveries about historySociolinguistics investigates relationships between social and linguistic variationWhat is culture?Traditions and customs transmitted through learning, that form and guide the beliefs and behavior of the people exposed to themThe most critical element of cultural traditions is their transmission through learning rather than through biological inheritanceCulture is not itself biological, but it rests on certain features of human biologyPeople cannot live isolated2.6 million years ago- capacity of culture (the making of tools)Universal vs. particular aspect of cultureUniversal- found in every cultureParticularities- unique to certain cultural traditionsGeneralities- common to several but not all human groups (may be widespread, but not universal)Reasons for generalitiesSocieties can share the same beliefs and customs because of borrowing or through (cultural) inheritance from a common cultural ancestordomination, as in colonial rule, when customs and procedures are imposed on one culture by another one that is more powerfuldiffusion (cultural borrowing)because of cultural borrowing, which has accelerated through modern transportation and communication systems, traits that once were limited in their distribution have become more widespreadcultures are integrated and patterned differently and display tremendous variation and diversitywhen culture traits are borrowed, they are modified to fit the culture that adopts themCultural PerspectiveEthnocentrism- judging culture on values and standards of one’s own culture (view one’s own culture as superior and to use one’s own standards and values in judging outsiders)Cultural relativism- don’t judge by outside practicesHuman rights- if woman are forced, is it a violationMechanisms of culture changeDiffusion- borrowing of traits between culturesCultures have never been truly isolatedDiffusion is direct when two cultures trade, intermarry, or wage warDiffusion is forced when one culture subjugates another and imposes its customs on the dominated groupDiffusion is indirect when items move from group A to group C via group B without any firsthand contact between A and CAcculturation- exchange of cultural features that results when groups have continuous firsthand contactparts of culture change, but each group remains distinctIndependent invention- human innovate, creatively findings solutions to problemsEmic & Etic perspectivesan emic approach investigates how local people think; research strategy focusing on local explanations and meaningsan etic approach shifts the focus from local observations, categories, explanations, and interpretations to those of the anthropologist; research strategy emphasizing the ethnographer’s explanations and categoriesIRBInstitutional review board or independent ethics committee, or review boardFormally designated to approve, monitor, and review biomedical and behavioral research involving humansThey oversee anthropologist’s study of humans to make sure that it is conducted in a ethical wayParticipatory observationFirsthand observation of behaviorThey put themselves in the situation and live exactly like themEthnographer eventually grows accustomed to, and accepts as normal, cultural patters that initially were alienMany ethnographers keep a personal diary and strive to establish rappot, a good, friendly working relationship based on personal contact, with their hostsParticipant observation means that we take part in community life as we study itFreelistingEnculturationThe process by which a child learns his or her cultureCulture is learnedLearning culture at a young ageAcculturationAn exchange of culture features between groups in firsthand contactEncountering a culture and picking up habitsNature/Nurture DebateHuman attitudes, values, and behavior are limited not only by our genetic predispositions (which are often difficult to identify) but also by our experiences during enculturationOur attributes as adults are determined both by our genes and by our environment during growth and developmentEnvironmental hypothesis- humans have generalized intelligence (blank slate)Innate intelligence hypothesis- humans have specialized intelligence (limited by brain structure)Agency versus structureStructuralism rests on Levi- Strauss’s belief that human minds have certain universal characteristics, which originate in common features of the Homo Sapiens


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