Anthropology Chapter 1-4

physical anthropology
the scientific study of humans from a biological perspective
asking questions about the emergence of of humans and how humans evolved up to the present time
the study of the evolutionary fossil record of our nearest living relatives (ie apes, monkeys, and prosimians) and the behavior of living populations in their natural habitats
human variation
deals with how and why the physical traits of contemporary human populations vary throughout the world
defined as a group of people who share a greater statistical frequency of genes and physical traits with one another than they do with people outside the group
study the lifeways of people from the past by excavating and analyzing the material culture they left behind
objects that have been made or modified by humans and that can be removed from the site and taken to the laboratory for further analysis
made or modified by people, but cannot be readily carried away from the dig site
objects found in the natural environment that were not made or altered by humans but were used by them
cultural resource management
these people ensure that the laws are properly followed, that high quality research is conducted, and that the data from archaeological sites are not destroyed by federally funded building projects
anthropology linguistics
branch of anthropology that studies human speech and language
historical linguistics
deals with the emergence of language in general and how specific languages have diverged over time
descriptive linguistics
the study of sounds systems, grammatical systems, and the meanings attached to words of specific languages
ethnolinguistics or cultural linguistics
the branch of anthropological linguistics that examines the relationship between language and culture
examines relationship between language and social relations
cultural anthropology
branch of anthropology that deals with the study of specific contemporary cultures and the general underlying patterns of human culture derived through cultural comparisons
study of specific contemporary cultures
more general underlying patterns of human culture derived though cultural comparisons
medical anthropology
a more biological focus and tending to concentrate on interests such as the role of disease in human evolution, nutrition, growth and development
analysis of disease in ancient populations
urban anthropology
study of more complex urban social systems and the effects of cities near small towns (rural to urban)
development anthropology
study on how development will effect people groups near and around
psychological anthropology
examine how culture may affect personality, cognition, attitudes, and emotions
approach is comprehensive and involves looking at both biological and sociocultural aspects of humanity, from the past to present and from all over the world. Looks at as many aspects of culture as possible
the belief that one’s own culture is superior to all others
cultural relativism
anthropologists achieving a level of detachment
broad perspective
this skill involves seeing the big picture and the inter relatedness of the parts
something that stands for or represents something else
culture shock
a form of psychological distress that can result in depression, overeating, and irritability
subsets of the wider culture (ie Amish is to America)
process of acquiring culture after we are born
monochronic cultures
view time in a linear fashion, prefer to do one thing at a time, place a high value on punctuality, and keep to precise schedules
prefer to do many things at the same time and see no particular value in punctuality for its own sake
cultural universals
all cultures of the world share a number of common features (ie economic systems, systems of marriage and family, educational systems, social control systems, system of supernatural beliefs, systems of communications etc)
adaptive nature of culture
enormous in our flexibility to survive and thrive in a wide variety of natural environments (relies on evolution of culture vs biological evolution)
organic analogy
analogy used to compare the human body to the study of people; describing the various parts of the culture, show how they function, and explain how they are interconnected
a new combination of existing cultural features
a recombination of existing cultural items
cultural diffusion
the spreading of a thing, an idea, or a behavior pattern from one culture to another
linked changes
a change in one part of the culture would be likely to bring about changes in other parts
a special type of diffusion that takes place as a result of sustained contact between two societies, one of which is subordinate to the other
ethnic group
biological and non genetic traits, in which members share beliefs, values, customs and language, religion, humor, clothing, history, national origin and kinship
applied anthropology
apply findings to the solution of human problems, characterized by problem-oriented reseach
emic view
seeing perspective of the local people and the orientation of cultural relativism
a statement that suggest a relationship among phenomena and explains that relationship
premise that all societies pass though a series of distinct evolutionary stages, and we find differences in cultures because they are at different evolutionary stages of development (Edward Tylor- UK & Lewis Henry Morhan- USA)
american historicism
Began under the leadership of Franz Boas (USA), he was tired of people speculating and decided to take a very scientific route when approaching anthropology
assumed that cultures provided various means for satisfying both societal and specifically individual needs (Bronislaw Malinowski- UK)
structural functionalism
emphasis on social rather than individual functions, focuses on the well-being of a society (Radcliffe-Brown- UK)
Margaret Mead
student of Boas, fascinated by with the general topic of the emotional disruption that seems to accompany adolescence in the USA
culture evolves when people are able to increase the amount of energy under their control (Leslie White- USA)
multilinear evolution
focused on the evolution of specific culture without assuming that all cultures follow the same evolutionary process (Julian Steward)
cultural ecology
approach to describe how a society or cultural group interacts with its environment, obtains food and other natural resources and makes a living (Steward)
french structuralism
identify the mental structures that undergird social behavior (Levi-Stauss- Europe)
binary oppositions
states that the brain is programmed to think in opposites, male-female, hot-cold, up-down etc (Levi-Strauss- Europe)
attempted to understand culture from the point of view of the people themselves (Ward Goodenough and William Sturtevant- USA)
feminist anthropology
systematic reanalysis of the role women play in a social structure (Louise Lamphere)
a philosophical system based on observable scientific facts and their relationship to one another
cultural materialism
the theoretical position based on the concept that material conditions of modes of production determine human thoughts and behavior (Marvin Harris, etic perspective- sometimes theoretical reasons also have practical underlying principles ie, holy cows in India)
the thought that anthropologists are arrogant to think they can understand, describe, interpret and give meaning to the lives of people outside their own culture
interpretive anthropology
examine how the people of a specific culture interpret their own values and behaviors, instead of searching for universal laws, anthropologists should strive for evocative description! (Clifford Geertz)
participant observation
observing and learning in the field while participating in an activity
an in-depth account of peoples culture studied bu the anthropologists who conducted the one site fieldwork
participatory action research
involving members of the cultural group they were studying with project design, data collection, and data analysis, involving local people in applied research
qualitative data
gathered from personal interviews, oral histories, and interaction with community members
quantitative data
numerical data such as population trends, numbers of births and marriages etc, any data that can be counted
research design
the overall strategy for conducting the research
collecting data
selecting proper data-gathering techniques
interpreting data
involves explaining the findings
attitudinal data
what people think or feel
behavioral data
what people do
unstructured interviews
when the interviewer asks open-ended questions on general topics and allows participants to respond at their own pace using their own words
structured interviews
interviewer asks all participants exactly the same set of questions, the the same sequence, and preferably under the same set of conditions
ethnographic mapping
attempts to locate people, material culture and environmental features in space
document analysis
engage to supplement the information they collect through interviews and observations
event analysis
documentation about who participates in significant events
proxemic analysis
the study of how people in other cultures distance themselves from one another in normal interactions

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