ANTH 2301 exam 1

-traditions and customs, transmitted through learning, that form and guide the beliefs and behaviors of the people exposed to them.
-study of the humans species and its immediate ancestors
-holistic science
the study of the whole of the human condition: past, present, and future; biology, society, language, and culture.
4 sub disciplines of anthropology
1. archaeology
2. biological/physical
3. linguistic
4. sociocultural
sociocultural anthropology
-the study of human society and culture, the subfield that describes, analyzes, interprets, and explains social and cultural similarities and differences
-engage in ethnography and and ethnology to study and interpret cultural diversity
-requires field work to collect data
-provides an account of a particular community, society, or culture
-is group and community specific
-is often descriptive
-live in small communities and studied local behaviors, customs ect.
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-examines, compares, analyzes and interprets the results of ethnography – the data gathered in different societies
-uses data collected by a series of researchers to make generalizations about a culture
-is usually synthetic
-is comparative and cross-cultural
archaeological anthropology
-reconstructs, describes, and interprets human behavior and cultural patterns through material remains (artifacts)
-study plant and animal remains, wild/domesticated grains, animal remains to reconstruct patterns of production, trade, consumption
-study potsherds (fragments of earthenware) to estimate population size/density
-examine paleoecology = ecosystems of the past to reconstruct ecological patterns
-infer cultural transformations by observing changes in the size and type of sites & distances between them.
-number of settlement levels in a society is a measure of social complexity = buildings offer clues about political and religious features
-excavating = digging through a succession of levels at a particular site which documents changes in economic, social, political activities.
biological/physical anthropology
-human biological diversity in time and space
5 interests within biological anthropology
1. human evolution as revealed by the fossil record (paleoanthropology)
2. human genetics
3. human growth and development
4. human biological plasticity (body’s ability to change as it copes with stresses such as heat, cold, altitude)
5. the biology, evolution, behavior, and social life of monkey’s apes, and other non-primate species
Linguistic anthropology
-studies language in its social and cultural context, across space and over time
-make inferences about universal features of language, linked perhaps to uniformities in the human brain
-reconstruct ancient languages by comparing contemporary descendants
-study linguistic differences to discover varied perceptions and patters of thought in different cultures
-investigates relationships between social and linguistic variation
-variation = geography, ethnic groups
applied anthropology
-refers to the application of anthropological data, perspective, theory, and methods to identify, assess, and solve contemporary social problems.
-the field of inquiry concerned with the relationships between anthropological knowledge and the uses of that knowledge in the world beyond anthropology.
-applied in public health, family planning, business, economic development, and cultural resource management
-used to solve problems
-ex: applied medical anthropologists consider both the sociocultural and biological contexts and implications of disease and illness.
characteristics of culture
1. universal human trait
2. learned – enculturation
3. symbolic – something verbal/nonverbal in a culture that stands for something else
4. shared – beliefs, values, memories, expectations
5. all-encompassing
6. adaptive and maladaptive
7. normative concept
8. seizes natures
9. studied through emic/etic perspectives
10. integrated – core values distinguish one culture from another
process by which a child learns his or her culture
critical thinking
-the process of evaluating the information with an awareness of the assumptions behind the information
-must consider carefully the purpose of the publication, the evidence used by the author, the point of view of the author
first person, in-depth investigation of a particular culture
theoretical, comparative study of multiple cultures
research strategy that focuses on native explanations and criteria of significance
research strategy that emphasizes the observer’s rather than the natives’ explanations, categories, and criteria of significance
Participant observation
-direct, firsthand observation of behavior
-taking part in the events one is observing and analyzing
-live with the culture, speak the language
-conversation with varying degrees of formality, interviews and chit chat
genealogical method
-procedures by which ethnographers discover and record connections of kinship, descent, and marriage using diagrams and symbols.
key informants
expert on a particular aspect of local life who helps the ethnographer understand that aspect
long-term study of a community, society, culture usually based on repeated visits
life history
provides a personal cultural portrait of existence or change in a culture
team research
coordinated research by multiple ethnographers
interview schedule
ethnographer talks face to face with people, asks questions, and writes down the answers.
problem-oriented research
-collecting data only relevant to a specific problem
literature/archival research
-research from publish data
stages of field research
• Selecting a research problem
• Formulating a research design
• Collecting the data
• Analyzing the data
• Interpreting the data
5 major pieces of evidence
• Measurement
• Sampling
• Statistical relationships
• Meaning-centered and symbolic description
• Emic narrative

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