Cultural Anthropology Exam 2

adaptive strategy
means of making a living, productive system
association; when one variable changes, another does too
basic social unit among foragers, fewer than 100 people, may split seasonally
nonindustrial plant cultivation
cultivation using land and labor continuously and intensively
cultivation continuum
continuum of land and labor use
herders of domesticated animals
nomadism, pastoral
annual movement of entire pastoral group with herds
only part pf population moves seasonally with herds
system of resource production, distribution, and consumption
mode of production
specific set of social relations that organizes labor
means (or factors) of production
major productive resource, e.g., land, labor, technology, capital
allocation of scarce means among alternative ends
small-scale farmer with rent fund obligation
market principle
buying, selling, and valuation based on supply and demand
flow of goods into center, then back out; characteristic of chiefdoms
principle governing exchanges among social equals
reciprocity continuum
runs from generalized (closely related/deferred return) to negative (strangers/immediate return) reciprocity
generalized reciprocity
exchanges among closely related individuals
balanced reciprocity
midpoint on reciprocity continuum, between generalized and negative
negative reciprocity
potentially hostile exchanges among strangers
competitive feast on North Pacific Coast of North America
descent group
group based on belief in shared ancestry
family of orientation
nuclear family in which one is born and grows up
family of procreation
nuclear family established when one marries and has children
couple established new residence
extended family household
household with three or more generations
unilineal descent
matrilineal or patrilineal descent
unilineal descent group based on demonstrated descent
unilineal descent group based on stipulated descent;usually a combination of a number of lineages, can trace back to a certain point, then they aren’t sure so they relate themselves to other lineages through an apical ancestor
flexible descent rule, neither patrilineal nor matrilineal
kinship calculation
how people in a particular society reckon kin relations
position from which one views an egocentric geneaology
bilateral kinship calculation
kin ties calculated equally through men and women
functional explanation
explanation based on correlation or co-occurrence of social variables
lineal relative
Ego’s direct ancestors and descendants
collateral relative
relative outside ego’s direct line
relatives by marriage
parallel cousins
children of two brothers or two sisters
cross cousins
children of a brother and a sister
a child’s biological father
one’s socially recognized father; not necessarily the genitor
marriage outside a given group
forbidden sexual relations with a close relative
marriage of people from the same group
one’s socially recognized mother
marital gift by husband’s group to wife’s group
progeny price
marital gift by husband’s group to wife’s; legitimizes their children
substantial gifts to husband’s family from wife’s group
plural marriage
more than two spouses simultaneously, ala polygamy
man has more than one wife at the same time
woman has more than one husband at the same time
widower marries sister of his deceased wife
widow marries brother of her deceased husband
the study of human language
a set of statements about how a language works; it is the knowledge that is shared by those that speak the language; what are the sounds and how do we combine them, what are the words and how do you combine them into a sentence
descriptive grammar
looks at the way a language is actually used by its speakers and then attempts to analyse it and formulate rules about the structure; does not deal with what is good or bad language use; based on the way a language actually is and not how some think it should be.
prescriptive grammar
prescribes proper forms for us to speak and write with
Linguistic relativity
all dialects are equally effective as a means of communication; but some are seen as more prestigious
Language acquisition
children have an ability to learn any language that they hear
Noam Chomsky
given the complexity of language and the amount of exposure kids have to it they can’t be learning it just through empirical means, through what we’ve specifically taught them; they have a language acquisition device (LAD) or a universal grammar; so a child needs just to be exposed to a language, any language, and the kids will learn it; the problem is when did it occur, where is it located?
Languages are based on symbols which are something that stands for something else but has no relationship to it
words that imitate a non-linguistic sound: ring, ding, howl, moo
phoneme; the study of the sounds of a language and the way they are patterned
study of units of meaning and how they are patterned in words, basic units of meaning in words and how they are combined into words
the way you combine words into sentences
another word for dictionary; the words in the language and their meaning
each language has a small amount of sounds they determine are distinct; a phoneme is a range of sounds that the speakers of a language consider to be one sound; it is a culturally recognized distinct sound; if you change the phoneme, you change the meaning of the word
vibrating the vocal cords to make a phoneme/letter sound
no vibration of vocal cords – difference between T (voiceless) and D (voiced)
Velar stop
“k” or “g” sound
the articulation in the oral cavity
the minimal units of meaning and how they are sequenced to form words
Free morpheme
a morpheme that can stand alone; ie dog
Bound morpheme
are attached to free morpheme; for example ‘s’ means nothing unless attached to a word like dog, making it dogs
Bronislaw Malinowski
was forced to stay in Melanesia after WWI – wrote the “Sexual Life of Savages in Northwestern Melanesia” (1929); related sexual behavior to cultural ideas and values, who do they have sex with and when?
Why do all societies have marriages?
– Creates links between different families: economic help, allies, you can rely on them
– Establishes legal father and mother
– Continuation of family
– Establishes legitimacy of the child
– Rights of inheritance
– Property rights: spouses get rights to each other’s property
– Sexual rights:vary according to culture, sometimes exclusive – Rights to each other’s labor – share the bacon
– Rights to status
socially approved economic and sexual union, usually between a man and a woman
term indicated by an individual’s physical reproductive organs
gender norms
culturally defined behaviors for males and females
object of attraction
who an individual finds sexually appealing
characteristics of human language
relies on arbitrary symbols, use of recombinable elements, productivity/creativity, complex grammatical structures, open.
translating from one language to another
Difficult to translate concepts, onomatopoeia; you’re translating culture, not just language
primitive languages
none that we know of
focal vocabulary
specialized sets of terms and distinctions that are particularly important to certain groups; within these important domains, a complex vocabulary will rise; think coconuts
Linguistic relativity
all dialects are equally effective as a means of communication; but some are seen as more prestigious
Circum-Mediterranean Shame-Honor Complex
This is what the Spanish brought when they invaded; Honor and shame was/is very important in M/F relationships; Honorable – if you cared about your family, vigilant about your behavior of your young men, men are kind of warriors; Shame – female attribute, a woman showed shame when lude matters were discussed, when she is sexually discreet or pure; if a man doesn’t act sexually aggressive, people begin to wonder if he has a penis; when a woman loses her virginity she loses those characteristics as well – purity and honesty; honorable men care for the reputation of their families; Present day – suspicion, becomes a gender culture, in lower classes – this aggression translates into don’t back down from anyone ever; machismo can be sexual or physical aggression
How cultures “break up conceptual space” differently
make various classifications of natural and social phenomenon; these differences are then reflected in the language of the culture; identify different domains as important
how language is related to culture and thought
2 views: language reflects or mirrors a people’s life-ways; language influences the way we perceive reality and thus our world view
color words in cultures
the more colors you have, the more complex your society; what is coded (given a word) is important and helps survival; study done by Paul Kay & Brent Berlin
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
human thought is a product of the categories of human language, predisposes you to see the world in certain ways
how language influences how we note our surroundings
force you into thinking in certain grooves and excluding others; we project the linguistic structure into what we experience; for example number, gender, case, tense
language effect on memory
we remember what is coded better than what is not coded; for those colors that are coded, when retested, the person will remember the color (maroon) as opposed to someone whose language only includes dark/light
Hopi language
have inanimate and animate nouns; for Whorf, that means they believe this thing is alive
universal grammar
all languages have a common structural basis; comes from Noam Chomsky
language with “high” (formal) and “low” (informal) dialects; for example – German has du and Sie
copula deletion
the absence of standard English forms of the verb to be: we are tired becomes we tired
Important phoneme in English
voiced versus voiceless: t/d, p/b, k/g
Important phoneme in Russian
velar stop
important phoneme in Thai
aspirated versus unaspirated
gender roles
the tasks and activities that a culture assigns to each sex
gender stereotypes
oversimplified, strongly held views about males and females
generally male activities
hunting, metalwork, lumbering, building boats, harder labor, butchering, building houses, clearing land, tending animals
generally female activities
gathering food & fuel, making drinks, dairy production, spinning, laundry, cooking
generally male or female activities
making fire, body mutilation, planting, harvesting, milking, making baskets, caring for small animals, loom weaving, pottery
why men in foraging societies are the hunters
they are bigger, stronger on avg than the women and tend toward greater mobility
women in matrilineal-matrilocal societies
hold higher status because descent group membership, succession to political positions, allocation of land, and overall social identity came through the women; had considerable influence outside the household and were the basis of the entire social structure
Iroquois women
played a major subsistence role especially while the men were away at war, controlled the local economy, owned the land, decided which men could join the longhouse and which could stay, controlled alliances between descent groups, monitored the chiefs and could impeach them, could veto war declarations and initiate peace efforts, and shared religious power as well
Azande men sexual cycle
age 12-20 start as young warriors living with older warrior for whom they act as a ‘bride’; as they reach warrior status, they get their own bride; after they retire, they marry women and have families
Etoro theory of birth, growth, and old age
believed that semen was necessary to give life force to a fetus that was implanted by an ancestral spirit; sex nourished the growing fetus; believe men have a limited lifetime supply of semen so you have to use it carefully; the birth of children was seen as a sacrifice that would eventually lead to the father’s death; heterosexual sex was discouraged; women who wanted too much sex were seen as witches; heterosexual sex was allowed only about 100 days of the year and could not occur in the sleeping quarters or the fields; sex acts between men were viewed as essential because boys could not produce semen on their own, it had to be acquired orally from older men
incest taboo
sexual relations with someone considered to be a close relative; all cultures have taboos against it of some kind
sexual dimorphism
marked differences in male and female biology, beyond breasts and genitals
gender stratification
unequal distribution of social resources between men and women
domestic-public dichotomy
work at home versus more valued work outside
matrilineal descent
descent traced through the woman only
patrilineal descent
descent traced through the man
married couple resides in husband’s (father’s) community
married couple resides in wife’s/mother’s community
mother-centered; e.g., household with no resident husband/father
patrilineal-patrifocal complex
male supremacy based on patrilineality, patrilocality, and warfare
outside the home; public
political system ruled by men
sexual orientation
sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex, same sex, or either sex
Lakher half-sister marriage
group is strictly patrilineal; a man always belongs to his father’s descent group, so a sister by his mother and another man would not be off limits because she is not in ego’s descent group
instinctive horror theory
humans have a genetically programmed disgust towards incest; however, being a cultural universal does not make it genetic or instinctual; if it really was instinctaul, no taboo would be necessary; also doesn’t explain differences in interpretaitons of “cousin” and “descent groups”
biological degenaration theory
our ancestors banned incest because they noticed abnormal offspring were born from incestuous unions; would result in a decline in survival and fertility; but..doesn’t explain common custom of.human marriage of cross cousins or why breeding with parallel cousins is permitted
childhood familiarity theory
Edward Westermark and Arthur Wolf; parents will often arrange marriages and then bring the future into the family so they grow up together, but they found that the two kids didn’t want to get married because the sexual attraction goes away – familiarity breeds contempt/disinterest
Frued’s incest theory
Oedipus complex, male boys until about age 6 are sexually attracted to mothers and jealous of dad, so they work hard at identifying with dad because dad could hurt his genitals; girls don’t have the same problem with the hurting of the genitals though; expresses hidden and repressed desires of children; incest prohibition helps avoid conflict in the house
family disruption theory
if we didn’t ban incest, the family would be so ridden with strife there would be no more families; have to look outside the family for mates; Malinowski
alliance theory
we ban incest because sex and marriage are so important for building alliances, cooperation; Edward Tylor, Claude Levi-Strauss
love and marriage
marriages that are political alliances are more difficult to dissolve; romantic love was seen as a luxury and never a basis for selecting a mate; changing now and young women and girls are gradually selecting thier own mates
very rare practice throuhg which widows were burned alive, voluntarily or forcibly, on the husband’s funeral pyre, mainly practiced in a particular area of northern India by a few small castes, banned in 1829
functions of marriage
Creates links between different families – economic help, allies, you can rely on them; Establishes legal father and mother; Continuation of family; Establishes legitimacy of the child; Rights of inheritance; Property rights – spouses get rights to each other’s property; Sexual rights – vary according to culture, sometimes exclusive; Rights to each other’s labor – share the bacon; Rights to status
live in Bathurst & Melville Islands, North of Australia; all females must be married at all times so girls are betrothed at the moment of birth; women become pregnant because the spirit enter them so they can become pregnant at any time; the father chooses the husband for daughters
Tiwi marriage patterns
polygyny (one husband multiple wives); fathers find a husband who is about 25 who are promising, these guys end up with 3-5 infants; the only time a woman has any say in who she marries is when her mother dies because father no longer has a right to marry off the girls (who are now women)
fraternal polyandry
a woman weds a group of brothers
stability of Swazi marriages
like to marry sisters; since men pay for brides, the brides are less able to leave the marriage becuase their family would have to repay the amount
serial monogamy
a series of long- or short-term, exclusive sexual relationships entered into consecutively over the lifespan
reasons for polygyny
widows; more wives = more workers, more wealth and greater prestige; wives play an important role in politics (King’s local agents)
related by birth
kin terms vs kin types
the words used in a particular language for different relatives; the actual genealogical relationship
residence patterns
neolocality – the new couple creates their own household; Patrilocal – post marital residence is with or near the groom’s people; Matrilocal; Natolocal – the groom continues to live with sister and her children and bride continues to live with her brother and her own children; Avunculocal – post marital residence with the groom’s mother’s brother
descent bifurcates the community so that everyone belongs to one half or the other
a nun-human, apical ancestor, can be plant or animal
headed by a male household head and his wife (the senior woman), and included married sons and their wives and children and unmarried sons and daughters; each nuclear family has a sleeping room; possessions shared freely
Bari paternity beliefs
believe in partible paternity, that more than one man contributes to the development of the fetus; shows increased chances of survival; upon birth, woman announces who the fathers are, and if they acept paternity they are all expected to provide care for the mother and child
reasons for breakdown of nuclear family in America
Divorce, Industrialization – work communters, Women don’t have to get married or have kids now

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