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98 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
major research tool of cult. anthropology; includes fieldwork among ppl in society and written results of fieldwork.
ethnographic method
intensive study of a particular society and culture as the basis for generating anthropological theory.
comparative statements about cultural and social processes that are based on cross-cultural ethnographic data.
firsthand, systematic exploration of a society; involves living w/a roup of ppl and participating in and observing their behavior.
fieldwork technique inovlving gathering cult. data by observing ppl's behavior and participating in their lives.
person from whom anthropologists gather data.
key informant
person particulary knowledgeable about his culture who is a major soure of anthropologist's info.
family history; a chabrt of family relationships
philosophical system concerned w/positive facts and phenomena and excluding speculation on origins or ultimate causes.
empirical science
approach to understanding phenomena based on attempts to observe and record a presumed objective reality.
theoretical perspective focusing on issues of power and voice; they suggest anthro accounts are partial truths reflecting background, training, and social position of authors.
androcentric bias
distortion in theory and ethnography caused by excessive focus on male activities or male perceptions of female activities.
cross-cultural survey/controlled cross-cultural comparison
research method that uses statistical correlations of traits from many diff cultures to test generalizations about culture and human behavior.
Human Relations Area File (HRAF)
ethnographic database w/cult. descriptions of over 300 cultures.
random sample
selection of items froma total set, chosen on a random, or unbiased, basis.
native anthropologist
anthropologist who does fieldwork in his own culture.
something that stands for something else; central to culture.
change in bio structure or life ways of an indiv or pop. by which it becomes better fittd to survive and reproduce in its enviro.
ability of humans to change their behavior in response to a wide range of enviro demands.
cultural ecology
theoretical approach that regards cult. patterns as adaptive responses to the basic problems of human survival and reproduction.
cult. materialism
theoretical perspective that holds that primary task of anthro is to account for the similarities and diff's among cultures and that this can best be doen by studying the material constraints to which human existence is subject.
neo-evolutionism/multilinear evol.
a theoretical perspec. concerned w/the historical change of culture fro small-scale societies to xtremely large-scale societies.
theoretical perspec. that explores the relationship btwn human cult. behavior and genetics.
theoretical approach that focuses on ways in which members of a cult. classify their world and holds that anthro should be study of cult. systems of classification.
cognitive anthropology
theoretical approach that defines culture in terms of the rules and meanings underlying human behavior, rather than behavior itself.
anthropological discipline devoted to describing the ways in which diff. cultures classify plants.
anthropological discipline evoted to describing the medical systems of diff. cultures.
structural anthropology
theoretical perspec. that holds that all cultures reflect similar deep, underlying patterns and tha anthropologists should attempt to decipher these patterns.
interpretive or symbolic anthropology
theoretical approach that emphasizes culture as a system of meaning and proposes that the aim of cultural anth. is to interpret the meanings that cult. acts have for their participants.
anthropological theory that specific cultural institutions work can best be understood by examining their effects on the enviro.
ecological functionalism
theoretical perspec. that holds that the ways in which cult. insitutions work can best be understood by examining their effects on enviro.
ideal cultural pattern that influences behavior in a society.
culturally defined idea of what is true, right, and beautiful.
system of perceptions, values, beliefs, and customs that are significantly diff. from those of a larger, dominant culture w/in the same society.
culture and personality
theoretical perspec. that focuses on culture as the principal force in shaping the typical personality of a society as well as on the role of personality in the maintenance of cultural institutions.
feminist anthropology
theoretical perspective that focuses on describing and explaining the social roles of women.
new variation on an existing cult. pattern that is accepted by other members of society.
spread of cult. elements from one culture to another thru cult. contact.
transformation of adopted cult. traits, resulting in new cultural forms.
subsistence strategies
ways inwhich societies transform material resources of teh enviro into food, clothing, and shelter.
population density
# of ppl inhabiting a given area of land.
foraging (hunting and gathering)
food-getting strategy that does not involve food production or domestication of animals.
settled, living in one place.
process of mechanization of production.
food-getting strategy that depends on care of domesticated herd animals.
horticulture (extensive cultivation)
production of plants usin g asimple, nonmechanized technology; fields are not used continuously.
agriculture (intensive cultivation)
form of food produciton in which fields are in permanent cultivation using plows, animals, and techniques of soil and water control.
yield per person per unit of land.
yield per person per hour of labor invested.
pastoralist pattern in which herd animals are moved regularly thru-out the year to diff. areas as pature becomes available.
nomadic pastoralism
form of pastoralism in which the whole social group (men, women, children) and their animals move in search of pasture.
lineage formed by descent in the male line.
swidden (slash and burn)
a form of cultivation in which a field is cleared by felling the trees and burning the brush.
rural cultivators who produce for the subsistence of their households bt are also integrated into larger, complex state societies.
adminstrative hierarchy characterized by specialization of function and fixed rules.
social differentiation
relative access indiv and groups have to basic material resources, wealth, power, and prestige.
egalitarian society
no indiv or gruop has more privileged access to resources, power, or prestige than any other.
rank society
society characterized by institutionalized difference si nprestige but no important restrictions on access to basic resources.
stratified society
society characterized by formal, permanent social and economic inequality in which some ppl are denied access to basic resources.
ascribed status
soical position that a person is born into.
achieved status
social position that a person chooses or achieves on his own.
ability to control resources in one's own interest.
ability to cause others to act based on characteristics such as honor, status, knowledge, ability, respect, and the holding of formal public office.
political ideology
shared beliefs and value that legitimize the distribution and use of power in a particular society.
political process
ways in which individuals and groups use power to achieve public goals.
informal systems of alliance w/in well-defined political units such as lineages or villages.
ability to direct an enterprise or action.
attempt of a group w/in society to force a redistribution of resources and power.
an attempt to overthrow an existing form of political organization.
a means of social control and dispute management thru the systematic application of force by those in society w/the authority to do so.
political organization
patterned ways in which power is legitimately used in a society to regulate behavior.
social complexity
# of groups and their interrelationships in a society.
small group of ppl related by blood or marriage, who live together and are loosely assoc. w/a territory in which they forage.
war (warfare)
a formally organized and culturally recognized pattern of collective violence directed toward other societies, or btwn segments w/in a larger society.
culturally distinct pop. whose members consider themselves descended from the same ancestor.
age set
group of ppl of similar age and sex who move thru some or all of life's stages together.
age grades
specialized hierarchial associations based on age, which stratify a society by seniority.
segmentary lineage system
form of sociopolitical organization in which multiple descent groups (usu. patrilineages) form at diff. levels and function in diff. contexts.
complementary opposition
politicl structure in which higher-order units form alliances that emerge only when lower-order units come into conflict.
self-made leader who gains power thru personal achievements rather than thru political office.
form of managing disputes that uses the offices of a third party to achieve voluntary agreement btwn disputing parties.
society w/social ranking in which political integration is achieved thru an office of centralized leadership called the chief.
lacking a govt head or chief.
hierarchical, centralized formof polit. organization in which a central gov. has a legal monopoly over use of force.
membership in a state.
anthro theory that specific cultural instit. fxn to support structure of society or serve needs of indiv's in society.
conflict theory
perspective on social stratification that focuses on inequalty as a source of conflict and change.
ability to control resources inone's own interest.
accumulation of material resources or access to the means of producing these resources.
social honor or respect.
ascribed status
social position that a person is born into.
achieved status
social position that a person choses or achieves on his own.
closed system
stratification system based primarily on ascription.
open system
strat. system based primarily on achievement.
class system
form of social strat. in which the diff. strata form a continuum and social mobility is possible.
social mobility
movement from one social class to another.
life chances
opportunities that ppl have to fulfill their potential in society.
caste system
system of strat. based on birth in which movement from one stratum (caste) to another is not possible.