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What is a plural society?

  • a society combining ethnic contrasts, ecological specialization, and economic interdependence

  • Barth: ethnic boundaries are most stable and enduring when groups occupy different ecological niches

  • Shifted focus from specific cultural practices and values to relations between ethnic groups

  • (Ex. indigenous people who were there before colonizing nation and identify with their culture, not colonizing culture)

What is multiculturalism?

  • the view of cultural diversity as being valuable and worth maintaining

  • In U.S. and Canada is of growing importance

  • Multiculturalism seeks ways for people to understand and interact with a respect for differences

What is prejudice?

  • devaluing a group because of its assumed behavior, values, capabilities, or attributes

What are stereotypes?
fixed ideas about what
the members of a group are like
What is discrimination?
policies and practices that harm a group and its members
2 types:

  • De facto: practiced but
    not legally sanctioned

  • De jure: part of the law

What is De facto?
Discrimination that is practiced but not legally sanctioned
What is De jure?
Discrimination that is part of the law
What is the difference between new arrivals vs long-standing groups of immigrants in the U.S.?
long time ago italians were predjudiced against, now they've been here a long time and the predjudice has shifted to the new immigrant group Mexicans.
What is genocide?
deliberate elimination of a group
What is ethnocide?
attempt to destroy cultures of certain ethnic groups
What is ethnic expulsion?
aims at removing from a country groups that are culturally different
What are refugees?
people who are forced or who have chosen to flee a country
What is Cultural colonialism?

  • internal domination by one group and
    its culture or ideology over others

  • One group controlling and dominating the culture and belief systems of a nation.

What is social Darwanism?
Led to forced sterilizations of the disabled and minorities in the U.S.

Resulted from Evolutionists

•Genocide (the Holocaust) in Europe
•Shows consequences of scientific ideas, especially regarding people
What did Franz Boas do (in general)?

•Franz Boas was the father of four-field U.S. anthropology
•Focus on fieldwork and data collection
•Deemphasized grand unifying theories like those of the Evolutionists
•Showed that human biology was plastic
•Ruth Benedict: Civilization is the
achievement of no single race

Discounted the idea of biological race

said you need a history of each culture. You need to understand a culture's histor to understad how the culture is today. Each culture has its own history. Finding it requires intensive fieldwork.
What are the boasian ideas?

•Historical particularism: Histories are not compatible; diverse paths can lead to same cultural result

•Fieldwork: Intense study of specific cultures

•Rejection of race concept, universalist theories, and Evolutionists

•Diffusion as mechanism of cultural change

•Used data to deconstruct the race concept, which was at the core of Evolutionism
Solidified the culture concept as a way to explain human variability
How did Evolutionists see cultural change?
as progress
How did Boasians explain cltural change?
•explained cultural change through diffusion
•Vague concept of acquiring cultural traits from other groups
What did Evolutionists stress to explain cultural generalities?
stressed independent invention to explain cultural generalities
What did Boasians stress to explain cultural generalities?

•stressed diffusion
–Culture trait
–Trait complexes
–Culture area
–Historical particularism and
diffusion were complementary.
What is configurationalism?

•View of culture as integrated and patterned
What did Benedict and Mead do?
Boas' students
•Traits might not spread if they met environmental barriers or were not accepted by a culture
•Were more interested in describing how cultures are uniquely patterned or configured than in explaining how they got that way
What is functionalism?

•British based school of thought
focusing on the role of sociocultural practices in social systems

•Based on intensive fieldwork

•Made arguments about human diversity that went beyond historical particularism
about the idividual

Looked at culture as a whole

Everything in a culture is geared to meet the people's biological needs
Who is Broislaw Malinowski?

•Functionalist -Culture works in different ways to satisfy universal biological needs

•Cultural traits functioned as a system and were related

•Worked with Trobriand Islanders
Who are Radcliffe-Brown ad Evans-pritchard?

•Structural Functionalism

•Looked at cultures as a system with an internal logic

•Cultural practices functioned to maintain a system, to preserve the social structure

•Example: Totems function to maintain social solidarity
What is structural functionalism?
about the culture as a whole (the entire system)

everything in a culture serves a purpose/function, which is to maintain/work for the entire culture

Ex. culture is like the bod and myths, rituals, etc. are like organs that work to sustain the body.
What is neoevotlutionism?

•White and Steward (1950) reintroduced evolution with the study of culture.

evolution happens in culture (change over time)

Multilinear evoltion- evolution happens in culture but the culture doesn't have to change in a certain direction (aka doesn't have to go savage, barbarism, civilization)

Every culture has infrastructure (basic info like what you eat and your technology/hunter gatherer, agriculture, etc.)
What is multilinear evolution?
evolution happens in culture but the culture doesn't have to change in a certain direction (aka doesn't have to go savage, barbarism, civilization)

What did White do?
neo evolutionist

–General evolution—energy capture is the main measure and cause of cultural advance.
What is general evolution?
energy capture is the main measure and cause of cultural advance.
What did Steward do?
–multilinear evolution,
culture evolved along different lines.
•Also a pioneer in cultural ecology,
known as ecological anthropology

What is Cultural Materialism?

•The cultural infrastructure determines both structure and superstructure.

The cake theory (infrastructure to structure to superstructure)

the base layer determines the complexity going up in a structure Ex. hunter gatherer is the base layer. Then everyone doing same amount of work causes everyone to be equal in your society which equals your middle layer. Then your social beliefs/customs like religion are simple like animism.
What is structure (cultural materialism)?
•Structure: Social relations grow out of the society’s infrastructure.
What is Superstructure (cultural materialism)?
Religion, ideology, and play are all determined by structure and infrastructure
What is Symbolic Anthropology?
the study of symbols in their social and cultural context
What did Turner do?

•recognized links between symbolic anthropology (the study of symbols in their social and cultural context) and social psychology, psychology, and psychoanalysis

says what is this symbol, what does it mean to everyone in this culture? Ex. what does soul food contain?
What did Geertz do?

Interpretive anthropology defines culture as ideas based on cultural learning and symbols.

says you have to look at what a symbol means to each individual in a culture. Ex. soul food includes the same specific foods, but means different things to people who've grown up on it and people who haven't
What is structuralism?

•Human minds have certain universal characteristics originating in common features of Homo sapiens’s brain

•Symbolic analysis of myth and ritual

•Looked at symbolic patterns to find the underlying logic of a culture:
•One tale can be converted into another:
•Convert a positive element into a negative
•Reverse the order of elements
•Replace a male hero with a female one
•Preserve key elements.
what did Claude Levi-Strauss do?
Human minds have certain universal characteristics originating in common features of Homo sapiens’s brain.

What is emic?
inside point of view
What is postmodernism?
•Rejection of positivism of modernism -rejected the idea of objectivity
•Questions the bias of the observer
•Focus on the views of “subalterns” -understudied groups, women, queer studies, the poor

there's no way you can be objective because every researcher has their own bias.
What is the processual Approach?

agency (one person with a lot of power like a dictator can change an entire culture) and Practice Theory
What is the world-systems theory?

politics, and history
What are four ethnographic techniques?

1.Direct, firsthand observation (Participant Observation)


3.Detailed work with key consultants
In-depth interviewing
What does logitudinal mean?
long-term (etthnographic research)
What is Multi-Scalar?
•Culture affected by many factors, some outside individual community
What is the Emic approach?
(native oriented)

investigates how natives think, categorize the world, express
thoughts, and interpret stimuli
What is the Etic approach?
(science oriented)

•emphasizes the categories, interpretations, and features that the anthropologist considers important
what is exogamy?
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