Cultural Anthropology Chapter 1

The study of the full scope of human diversity, past and present, and the application of that knowledge to help people of different backgrounds better understand one another.

Greek: “anthro” (human) “logos” (thought)

Fran’s Boas (1858-1942)
A founder of American anthropology; US immigration policies; worked to undermine the racialized views of immigrants; marked changes of adaptation to new environment.
Audrey Richards (1899-1956)
Bemba people in Zambia in 1930s; focused on health and nutrition among women and children; brought concerns of nutrition to anthropology.
Chisungu (1956)
Audrey Richards’ ethnography featuring detailed rituals; established standards for conduct of anthropological research.
Applied Anthropology
Work outside of academic settings to apply the strategies and insides of anthropology directly to current world problems.
The belief that one’s own culture or way of life is normal and natural; using one’s own culture to evaluate and judge the practices and ideals of others. (Anthropology challenges us to move beyond this)
Ethnographic Fieldwork
Primary research strategy and cultural anthropology involving living with a community of people over an extended period to better understand their lives. : “walking in their shoes”
Structures of Power
Families, governments, economic systems, educational institutes, military, the media, and religions, as well as the ideas of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality.
Four-field Approach
The use of four interrelated disciplinary us to study humanity: physical anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology.
The anthropological commitment to consider the full scope of human life, including culture, biology, history, and language, across space and time. (US approach)
Physical Anthropology
(Biological Anthropology)

The study of humans from a biological perspective, particularly focused on human evolution.
(Similarities outweigh differences)
The investigation of the human passed by means of excavating and analyzing artifacts.
Prehistoric Archaeology
The reconstruction of human behavior in the distant past, before written records, through the examination of artifacts.
Historic Archeology
The exploration of the more recent past through an examination of physical remains and artifacts as well as written or oral records.
Linguistic Anthropology
The study of human language in the past and present. (clearly reflects a person’s ideas and experiences with the world)
The study of the history of human evolution through the fossil record. (1970s: paleoanthropologist have also used molecular genetics to trace changes in human ancestors overtime. The sequencing of DNA allows us to measure how close that humans are related to other primates)
The study of living nonhuman primates as well as primate fossils to better understand human evolution and early human behavior.

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