Anthro Unit 2

Ethnography is
the fieldwork aspect of cultural anthropology.
Over time, humans have become increasingly dependent on which of the following to cope with the range of environments they have occupied in time and space?
Cultural means of adaption
A holistic and comparative perspective
most characterizes anthropology among the disciplines that study humans
What is one of the most fundamental key assumptions that anthropologists share?
A comparative, cross-cultural approach is essential to study the human condition
What component of cultural anthropology is comparative and focused on building upon our understanding of how cultural systems work?
What are the four subfields of anthropology?
Biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology, and archaeology
What is not true about culture?
Culture is passed genetically to future generations
What is the process by which children learn a particular cultural tradition?
In general, Americans tend to maintain a greater physical distance from others they interact with on a day-to-day basis, especially when compared to Brazilians or Italians, who need less personal space. However, the story of American students’ attitudes toward hugging reminds us that
any nation usually contains diverse and even conflicting cultural values, and these cultural values are not static.
Anthropologists’ early interest in Native Americans
is an important historical reason for the development of U.S. four-field anthropology.
Kottak defines anthropology as a science yet suggests that it is among the most humanistic of all academic fields. This is because
of its fundamental concern and respect for human diversity
Based on his observations that contact between neighboring tribes had existed since humanity’s beginnings and covered enormous areas, Franz Boas argued
against treating cultures as isolated phenomena
What is anthropology?
The exploration of human diversity in time and space
Today’s global economy and communications link all contemporary people, directly or indirectly, in the modern world system. People must now cope with forces generated by progressively larger systems—the region, nation, and world. For anthropologists studying contemporary forms of adaptation, why might this be a challenge?
According to Marcus and Fisher (1986), “The cultures of world peoples need to be constantly rediscovered as these people reinvent them in changing historical circumstances.”
How are the four subfields of U.S. anthropology unified?
Each subfield studies human variation through time and space
Cultural anthropologists carry out their fieldwork
in all kinds of societies
Human abilities to learn, to think symbolically, to use language, and to employ tools and other products in organizing our lives and adapting to our environments
rest on certain features of human biology that make culture, which is not itself biological, possible.
Ethnography involves the collection of data that is used to create an account of a particular community, society, or culture.
Applied anthropology encompasses any use of the knowledge and/or techniques its four subfields to identify, assess, and solve theoretical problems.
The differences between sociology and cultural anthropology are becoming increasingly more distinct.
Anthropologists study only non-Western cultures.
Humans can adapt to their surroundings through both biological and cultural means.
As an academic discipline, anthropology falls under both the social sciences and the humanities.
Adaptation refers to the processes by which organisms cope with environmental forces and stresses, such as those posed by climate and topography.
Culture is transmitted in society.
Culture is transmitted by both formal and informal instruction, but not by observation.
Independent invention occurs when two or more cultures independently come up with similar solutions to a common problem.
The idea of universal and inalienable human rights that are superior to the laws and ethics of any culture can conflict with some of the ideas central to cultural relativism.
In many countries, use of the English language reflects a colonial history and is thus a consequence of forced diffusion.
Indigenous cultures are at the mercy of the forces of globalization, as they can do nothing to stop threats to their cultural identity, autonomy, and livelihood.
Cultures are integrated, patterned systems in which a change in one part often leads to changes in other parts.
Only people living in the industrialized, capitalist countries of Europe and the United States are ethnocentric.
Once an individual has been enculturated, that person must adhere to the cultural rules that govern that culture.
Methodological relativism does not preclude making moral judgments or taking action.
Acculturation is the process by which people lose the culture that they learned as children.
Although there are many different levels of culture, an individual can participate in only one level at a time.
Anthropology is characterized by a methodological rather than moral relativism; in order to understand another culture fully, anthropologists try to understand its members’ beliefs and motivations.
Culture helps us define the world in which we live, to express feelings and ideas and to guide our behavior and perceptions.
Cultural relativists believe that a culture should be judged only according to the standards and traditions of that culture and not according to the standards of other cultural traditions.
What do anthropologists mean when they say culture is shared?
Culture is an attribute of individuals as members of groups.
is acquired by humans as members of society through the process of enculturation.
What are exogamy and the incest taboo examples of?
Cultural universals
The incest taboo is a cultural universal, but
the definition of what constitutes incest varies widely across cultures.
Anthropologist Clifford Geertz defined culture as ideas based on cultural learning and symbols. For anthropologist Leslie White, culture originated when our ancestors acquired the ability to use symbols. What is a symbol? It is
something verbal or nonverbal, within a particular language or culture, that comes to stand for something else.
In anthropology, cultural relativism is not a moral position but a methodological one. It states that
in order to understand another culture fully, we must try to understand how the people in that culture see things.
The Makah, a tribe that lives near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the Olympic Peninsula, see themselves as whalers and continue to identify themselves spiritually with whales. Their ongoing struggle to maintain their traditional way of life, which involves whale hunting, demonstrates how
contemporary indigenous groups have to grapple with multiple levels of culture, contestation, and political regulation.
Human rights are seen as inalienable. This means that
nations cannot abridge or terminate them.
All of the following are evidence of the tendency to view culture as a process except
analysis that attempts to establish boundaries between cultures.
How are cultural rights different from human rights?
Cultural rights are vested in groups, not in individuals.
What are cultural particulars?
Traits unique to a given culture, not shared with others
Which statement about subcultures is not true? Subcultures
are mutually exclusive; individuals may not participate in more than one subculture.
Although rap music originated in the United States, it is now popular all over the world. Which of the following mechanisms of cultural change is responsible for this?
Culture can be adaptive or maladaptive. It is maladaptive when
cultural traits, patterns, and inventions threaten the group’s continued survival and reproduction and thus its very existence.
Which of the following is an example of independent invention, the process by which people in different societies have innovated and changed in similar but independent ways? The invention of
Which of the following is a cultural generality?
The nuclear family
The tendency to view one’s own culture as superior and to use one’s own standards and values in judging others is called
Anthropologists agree that cultural learning is uniquely elaborated among humans and that all humans have culture. They also accept a doctrine designated in the 19th century as the “psychic unity of man.” What does this doctrine mean?
Although individuals differ in their emotional and intellectual capacities, all human populations have equivalent capacities for culture.
What is the term for the kind of cultural change that results when two or more cultures have consistent firsthand contact?
People in the United States sometimes have trouble understanding the power of culture because of the value that American culture places on the idea of the individual. Yet in American culture
individualism is a distinctive shared value, a feature of culture
Which of the following statements about culture is not true?
it is transmitted genetically
What process is most responsible for the existence of international culture?
Cultural borrowing or diffusion, whether direct, indirect, or by force
Which of the following statements about enculturation is not true? Enculturation
It is the exchange of cultural features that results when two or more groups come into consistent firsthand contact
People have to eat, but culture teaches us what, when, and how to do so. This is an example of how
culture takes the natural biological urges we share with other animals and teaches us how to express them in particular ways.
This chapter mentions the work of Wolf and Mintz, both students of Julian Steward, as illustrations of approaches that
consider the relevance of world-system theory and political economy to anthropology
Which of the following terms refers to the theoretical paradigm which holds that customs (social practices) function to preserve the social structure?
structural functionalism, as illustrated in the work of Radcliffe-Brown and Evans-Pritchard
Which of the following is not a characteristic field technique of the ethnographer?
random sampling
The actions that individuals take, both alone and in groups, in forming and transforming cultural identities are referred to as
What did Bronislaw Malinowski mean when he referred to everyday cultural patterns as “the imponderabilia of native life and of typical behavior”?
Features of culture such as distinctive smells, noises people make, how they cover their mouths when they eat, and how they gaze at each other are so fundamental that natives take them for granted but are available for the ethnographer to describe and make sense of.
Which of the following research strategies is most characteristic of anthropology?
Ethnographers typically combine emic and etic strategies in their fieldwork. This means they are interested in applying both
local- and scientist-oriented research approaches.
The view that each element of culture, such as the culture trait or trait complex, has its own distinctive history, and that social forms (such as totemism in different societies) that might look similar are far from identical because of their different histories, is known as
historical particularism
In the field, ethnographers strive to establish rapport: a good, friendly working relationship based on personal contact
achieved in large part by engaging in participant observation.
Émile Durkheim’s focus on social facts illustrates what assumption shared by many anthropologists?
Psychologists study individuals, but anthropologists study individuals as representative of something more: a collective phenomenon that is more than the sum of its parts.
What is the term for an expert on a particular aspect of native life?
Key cultural consultant
An anthropologist has just arrived at a new field site and feels overwhelmed with a creepy, profound feeling of alienation, of being without some of the most ordinary, trivial (and therefore basic) cues of his culture of origin. What term best describes what he is experiencing?
Culture shock
Traditional ethnographic research focused on the single community or culture, which was treated as more or less isolated and unique in time and space. However,
there has been a shift within the discipline toward a recognition of ongoing and inescapable flows of people, technology, images, and information.
Interpretive anthropologists such as Clifford Geertz approach the study of culture as
Franz Boas is the undisputed father of four-field U.S. anthropology. One of his most important and enduring contributions to anthropology was
showing that human biology was plastic, and that biology (including race) did not determine culture.
Despite the variety of research techniques that the ethnographer may utilize in the field, in the best studies the hallmark of ethnography remains
entering the community and getting to know its people.
Which of the following is not an example of participant observation?
administering interviews over the phone according to an interview schedule
Reflecting today’s world, in which people, images, and information move about as never before, fieldwork must be more flexible and on a larger scale. The result of such fieldwork is often an ethnography that
is increasingly multi-sited and multi-timed, integrating analyses of external organizations and forces to understand local phenomena.
Practice theory
focuses on how individuals, through their actions and practices, influence and transform the world they live in.
All of the following are characteristic field techniques of the ethnographer except
longitudinal analysis of data sets gathered from state-sponsored statistical agencies.
Traditionally, ethnographers have tried to understand the whole of a particular culture.
Longitudinal research is the long-term study of a community, region, society, culture, or other unit, usually based on repeated visits.
Manchester anthropologists Max Gluckman and Victor Turner made conflict an important part of their analysis, distancing themselves somewhat from Panglossian functionalism, the tendency to see things as functioning not just to maintain the system but to do so in the most optimal way possible.
The characteristic field techniques of the ethnographer are participant observation, the genealogical method, and in-depth interviewing.
In her essay, “When Does Life Begin?” Lynn Morgan explains that infanticide is:
not regarded as murder if the infant is not yet recognized as a person.
Lynn Morgan argues that in the United States the cultural dividing line between person and nonperson is
being pushed earlier toward conception.
In “Human Rights Law and the Demonization of Culture,” Sally Merry suggests that in order to solve the current miscommunication between human-rights workers and cultural anthropologists:
culture should be viewed as a dynamic construction, as it theorized by mainstream anthropologists today.
The emic perspective focuses on local explanations of criteria and significance.
The history of anthropological theory presented by Kottak suggests that the discipline has made no important contributions to social theory in general.

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