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33 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The study of the human species and its immediate ancestors.
archaeological anthropology
Reconstructs, describes, and interprets past human behavior and cultural patterns through material remains
biological anthropology
A focus on biological variation unites the five special interests:
-Paleoanthropology: The study of human evolution revealed by the fossil record
-Human genetics
-Human growth and development
-Human biological plasticity: body’s ability to deal with heat, cold, and altitude
-Primatology: the study of biology evolution, behavior, and social life of primates
cultural anthropology
Combines ethnography and ethnology to study human societies and cultures for the purpose of decribing, analyzing, interpreting, and explaining social and cultural similarities and differences.
Produces an account of a particular community, society, or culture based on information that is collected during field work.
Usually requires living in a particular community for an extended period of time.
Examies local behavior, beliefs, customs, social life, economic activites, politics and religion, rather than soley examining programs and policies at the national level.
Cross-cultural comparison; the comparative study of ethnographic data, of society, and of culture.
Interested in the whole of the human condition: past, present, and future; biology, society, language, and culture.
linguistic anthropology
The study of language in its social and cultural context across time and space.
Some investigate universal features of language that may be lined to uniformities in the human brain.
Histroical linguists reconstruct ancient languages and studay linguistic variation through time.
Relationship of language structure and patterns through time.
traditions, customs that are transmitted through learning that govern the beliefs and behaviors of people.
organized life in groups
Adaptation, Variation, & Change
Adaptation is the process by which organisms cope with environmental stresses.
Four types of human adaptation:
Cultural (technological)
Long-term physiological or develop mental
Short-term or immediate physiological
Through time, social and cultural means of adaptation have become increasingly important for human groups.
Human groups have devised ways of coping with a wide range of environments.
Rates of cultural adaptation has been rapidly acceleration
10-12,000 years ago food production after millions of years foraging.
The Four subdisciplines share similar goals
Explore variation in time and space to improve our understanding of the basics of human biology, society, and culture and their interelations.
Diachionic research: (varation in time) using info from contemporory groups to model changes that took place in the past and knowledge to help understand future.
Synchronic Research: (Variation in space) comparing information collected from human societies existing at roughly the same time but different locations.
Cultural traditions promote certain activities and abilities, discourage others and set standards of physsical well-being and attractiveness.
applied anthropology
The application of anthropological data, perspectives, theory, and methods to identify, assess, and solve contemporary social problems.
applied anthropology roles
Identify locally perceived needs for change
Work with local people to design culturally approraite and sensitive change.
Protect local people from harmful change
applied anthropology prior to WWII
Malinowski advocated working with the British Empire to studay indigenous land tenure.
During WWII anthropologists worked for the U.S. govt to study German and Japanese culture at a distance.
Relieded on secondary information.
medical anthropology
Unites biological and cultural anthropologists in the study of disease, health problems, health-care systems, and theories about illness in different cultures and ethnic groups.
A scientifically identified health threat caused by a bacterium, virus, fungus, parasite, or other pathogen.
A condition of poor health perceived or felt by an individual.
personalistic disease theories
Theories that attribute illness to sorcerers, witches, ghosts, or ancestral spirits.
naturalistic disease theories
Include scientific medicine; theories that explain illness in impersonal systemic terms.
emotionalistic disease theories
Theories that assume that illness is caused by intense emotional experiences.
The AAA Code of Ethics states that anthropologists have ethical obligations
-To work in a host country and community, researchers must obtain the informed consent from all affected parties.
-Before the research begins, people should be told about the purpose, nature, and procedures of the research.
-People should be told of the potential costs and benefits before the project begins
-Researchers should reciprocate in appropriate ways.
-Include host country colleagues in the publication of the research results.
-It should not be forgotten that the researcher’s primary ethical obligation is to the people being studied
Ethnography Methods
-Ethnographers try to understand the whole of a particular culture, not just fragments
-In pursuit of a holistic goal, ethnographers usually spend time living with the group they are studying and employ a series of techniques to gather information.
Ethnographic Techniques
-"Participant observation," as practiced by ethnographers, involves the researcher taking part in the activities being observed.
-Ethnographic interviews range in formality from undirected conversation, to open-ended interviews focusing on specific topics, to formal interviews using a predetermined schedule of questions.
-Unlike laboratory research, ethnographers do not isolate variables or attempt to manipulate the outcome of events they are observing
-Key cultural consultants are particularly well-informed members of the culture being studied that can provide the ethnographer with complete information.
-Life histories are personal collections of a lifetime of experiences from members of the community
The Genealogical Method
Procedures by which ethnographers discover and record connections of kinship, descent, and marriage, using diagrams and symbols.
emic (native-oriented) approach investigates how natives think, categorize the world, express thoughts, and interpret stimuli.
(science-oriented) approach emphasizes the categories, interpretations, and features that the anthropologist considers important
Bronislaw Malinowski
-generally considered the father of ethnography.
-He did salvage ethnography, recording cultural diversity that was threatened by westernization.
-Argued that understanding the emic perspective was the primary goal of ethnography
-Believed all aspects of cultures were linked
Ethnographic realism
-The writer’s goal was to produce an accurate, objective, scientific account of the study community.
-The writer’s authority was rooted in his or her personal research experience with that community.
-Interpretive anthropologists believe that ethnographers should describe and interpret that which is meaningful to the natives.
-Ethnographies should be viewed as both works of art and works of science.
-The ethnographer functions as the mediator who communicates information from the natives to the readers.
ethnographic present
-The early ethnographies were often written in a romanticized timelessness before westernization, which gave the ethnographies an eternal, unchanging quality.
-Today, anthropologists understand that this is an unrealistic construct that inaccurately portrayed the natives as isolated and cut off from the rest of the world.
Problem-Oriented Ethnography
typically address a specific problem or set of problems within the context of broader depictions of cultures.
Longitudinal research
-the long-term study of a community, region, society, or culture based on a series of repeated visits.
-Longitudinal research study has become increasingly common among ethnographic studies, as repeat visits to field sites have become easier.
Team research
involves a series of ethnographers conducting complementary research in a given community, culture, or region.