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88 Cards in this Set

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steps to conducting fieldwork
1. construct research proposal that identifies research questions, explains the scale and geographical setting, explains why the research is important, proposes procedure for research. Start submitting to organizations to get money to fund it.
2. obtain funding
3. IRB (Institutional review board)- submit a proposal based on ethics (your commitment, what risks there are for people)
4. Permission/visas from place you're doing fieldwork
5. Buy equipment
6. Complete work
7. enter data, transcription, and analysis
8. write up, publish, and share research
Purpose of fieldwork
1. meet people
2. learn new social rules
3. learn new social roles
4. become accustomed to new lifestyles
5. learn how to adapt
Culture shock
temporary adjustment to new culture context, and feelings of profound alienation and isolation. passes as one adjusts to normal, daily life.
Methods for learning about people: qualitative
1. talk to people in unstructured interviews
2. Semi-structured interviews: a fixed set of questions about someones family history or genealogy
**interviews gain deeper understanding, not statistically vaild
Methods for learning about people: quantitative
1. surveys and questionnaires: fixed questions with fixed answers. Want a particular type of response to compare data.
ex: Likert scale (5-strongly agree, 1-strongly disagree)
**surveys identify statistical relationships, measurements
Methods of how to learn about people: participant observation
learning by being in a place, observing, and doing things
Bronislaw Malinaoski
the first advocate of participant observation as a way to gain insight into "the imponerabelia" of native life and typical bahavior
-did research on the function of reciprocity and exchange: worked in the Trobriand Islands where goods were traded in a ring
-became stranded on the island due to WWI so he conducted long-term research, kept a diary and established rapport (made sure to gain trust)
-method helped to record personal feelings as well as observational, professional, scientific notes
-in order to gain information, you can be an insider, an outsider, or a little bit of both
Participant Observation: community mapping
learn about the cultural significance of the places, the landscape, the survival of the people
Participant Observation: free lists and pile sorts
identify cultural domains (categories in which things are classified, not universal), ask people to put things into piles/categories or ask them to identify lists of certain things
ex: diseases
Participant Observation: experiments
simulate situations or dilemmas, helps us learn about decision making
ex: games about money exchange
Observing people: time-allocation observation
see the frequency that people do things, how long they do things, and the costs and benefits of what they do
Observing people: Surroundings
mapping (GPS), measuring fields and yields (crops)
Ethnographic research by biological anthropologists
Human biology
-Anthropometry: weight, height, skinfolds
-clinical methods: blood pressure, hormone essays
international culture
traditions that extend beyond national boundaries
national culture
shared by citizens of the same nation
identifiable cultural patterns existing within a larger culture
culture is...
1. learned
2. symbolic
3. shared
4. nature
5. holistic
the process by which a child learns his or her culture
Social animals
-social learning: learn from observation of other
-individual learning: learn from experience
-social learning: learn from observation of other
-individual learning: learn from experience
cultural learning: learn to apply systems of symbolic meaning (language, body language)
signs that have no necessary or natural connection with the things for which they stand (things, words, images, acts)
shared culture
-located and transmitted through groups
-beliefs, values, expectations, memories
-enculturation unifies people by providing common experiences (911, war)
intercultural diversity
variation in individual experience and perception (different viewpoints)
model of reality; how the world works
model of living; attitude about the style of one's life
viewing identities as innate, uniform, and unchanging
ex: yanomami are fierce, warlike people
practice theory
individuals within a society have diverse motives; day-to-day actions make and remake culture
culture is nature
-teaches us how to express natural biological urges in a particular way (culturally appropriate)
-affects the ways in which we perceive nature, human nature, and the natural world
ex: laws, social reinforcement
-culture includes both the "spectacular" and the "mundane" aspects of human life
viewing one's own culutre as superior; using one's own standards and values to judge outsiders
cultural relativism
its not appropriate to use outside standards to judge behavior in a given society, it should be evaluated in the context of the culture in which it occurs
Mechanisms of cultural change
1. cultural diffusion
2. Acculturation
3. Independent Invention
cultural diffusion
adopting culture from different groups; can be through direct interaction or indirect (passing along)
-can be forced
when two groups are in contact with each other for a long time and they fuse to adopt the same culture
independent invention
people create new ways to cope with things
ex: agriculture
-language and form
-language and meaning
-language and context
the scientific study of language
-language+form: grammar, rules, pronunciation
-language+meaning: symbolism, semantic (meaning), and pragmatic (meaning in context)
language+context: context of human evolution, historical, sociological, neurological, and psychological development and discourse
What to linguistic anthropologists do?
-learn about the past: reconstruct ancient language
-learn about contemporary variation among human groups (sociolinguistics)
-learn about the relationship between language, culture, and social power (colonialism, globalization, hierarchies)
What is linguistic anthropology?
considered to be a sub-field between language and anthropology
What is language?
1. culture
2. learned
3. symbolic (arbitrary associations)
4. complex (allows abstraction-past, future, imaginary, invisible)
5. always changing
Human language
1. speech, sign, writing
2. high complexity
3. grammar, syntax
4. transmission (teaching others)
5. productivity (putting words together)
6. displacement (past or present)
7. lies, humor
Non-human language
1. call systems, signs
2. low complexity
3. no grammar/syntax
4. transmission (teaching others)
5. productivity (putting words together)
6. displacement (past or present)
7. lies, humor
mental process: memory, how we learn, think and reason as we develop
-how we get to know the world, how our thinking changes
language acquisition: environmentalists
mind is a blank slate
-humans have a generalized intelligence, which means everything we learn is from reacting to our surroundings
language acquisition: innatists
brain has a pre-programmed ways of learning specific types of information
-people have a specialized intelligence, which means we are born ready to learn and with different learning skills
Noam Chomsky and universal grammar
-language and learning is innate and universal among humans
-organizes information
-no matter what learning level, everyone is able to speak and use language
-everyone has cognitive rules across a species (if a baby misses exposure to language, it will be difficult for them to learn language later)
-innate cognitive structures get filled by info from our environment (includes cultural learning)
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis
language constrains thought and culture
-modern interpretation: language and thought/culture influence each other
what does the term nature vs nurture mean in the context of language acquisition?
Are we able to learn language because of our experiences or are we naturally born with a specialized intelligence that is already pre-programmed to that we can learn language. are the compartments in our brain that are waiting to be filled with information about language? are we all able to speak and use language no matter what learning level?
Political systems
aspects of social organization
-how we manage and generate public policy
Classic typology
**these are not applicable to contemporary world but are useful to think about when contrasting political organizations
-foraging, hunting and gathering
-informal social control; egalitarian (no laws or formal leadership)
-usually mobile with low population density
-nuclear family; gendered division of labor
-no ecological, ideological, or military power
Ju/'hoansi San (africa)
-leveling mechanism
-example of a band
"insulting the meat"
-when people get a big kill and tell people about it, it seems they are superior. By insulting the meat it puts that person back on the same level
-pastoralism and horticulture
-low stratification (except gender)
-leadership based on achieved status: Big Men/headmen
-semi-sedentary, higher population density
Yanomamo (Venezuela)
-Head man=leader
-low economic power (cant demand tax)
-no ideological power (leads by example)
-low military power (convinces people)
-headmen buried in conical mounds
-agriculture and pastoralism
-economic specialization (jobs)
-highly stratified
-permanent political leaders based on decent/seniority
-political control
-high population density
-Economy: tributes=taxes
-three social strata: stinkards (lowest class), nobles (decedents), Suns (chiefs)
-suns believed to embody the power of the sun
-ascribed status based on mother's decent (matrilineal) but achieved status is possible for commoners ("honored people")
-part of the Natchez
-low economic power, high ideological power, medium military power
Great Sun
-chief of the Natchez
-low economic power (district leaders had this power)
-high ideological power
-medium military power (belonged to his brother)
-had to marry commoners so their children were commoners
Malagasy Kingdoms (18th century Madagascar)
-cattle pastoralists
-four social strata: Mpanjaka (kings), Andriana (Nobles), Vonitse (commoners), Andevo (slaves)
-King had high economic power (male, senior, could demand large tribute), mild ideological power (status is from ancestors; ascribed), and high military power
-agriculture and large scale economic production
-highly stratified
-centralized power (formal government and law)
characteristics of all states
-population control
-law enforcement mechanisms: military, police
-fiscal structures: taxation
Axtec Empire (16th century Mexico)
-indirect rule: central ruler places other rulers in a conquered territory (all they looked after was if tribute was given)
-"Triple Alliance": 3 city states
-complex social strata
Ascribed powers within Aztecs
-clans: Tlatoani (elite), Macehualtin (common)
-Ethnicity (different conquered peoples)
Achieved powers within Aztecs
-titles, honors
-farmer, merchant, soldier
-free person
-slave (could not work to get liberty, freed upon death of owner)
-ruler: high economic power
-political power: control over land/labor
-commerce: controlled by a merchant
-agriculture: built beds in the lake to produce more crops
-high ideological power: the continuation of natural cycles has to do with strength and war, and the nourishment of human sacrifice (best offering was captured people)
-high military power
why people followed the aztecs
-avoid violence
-supernatural advantage
-economic advantage
-pride, identity
Aztec hegemonic ideology
dominant ideology of elites is internalized as natural by those of comparably less power and status
Problems with typology
-empirical: divisions between "types" are not distinct
-social organization varies
-neglets history/contemporary realities (not taking into account change in a group structure)
-hinders real understanding
-conflicts with self-identity (how people view/classify themselves)
Gendered cultural norms
variations in masculinity and femininity
-is sex fun and healthy?
-is it manly to be a devoted father?
-Etoro, Fore, New Guinea: No; U.S.: yes
-appropriate dress for men and women
-work roles
Gender identity changes with age (U.S.)
-babies (M,F)
-children (boys, girls)
-teens (M,F)
-Man, Woman
Gender identity changes with age (Masikoro Girls)
-baby (no clan, not a part of society)
-baby (becomes part of a clan)
-little child
-young woman
-adult woman (18)
-elder woman (28)
Third and fourth genders:
1. Hijra, India
2. Tsarilahy, SW Madagascar
3. Two-Spirits, Native American
1. men who preform female roles and wears female clothes
2. "false boy"; masculine gender roles when a girl
3. fulfill one of the many mixed genger roles, do things as a man and a woman
Conception of race
popular model: race as a biological variation
social scientists' model: race as a sociocultural construct, ethnic category widely believed to be biologically based
Popular ideas of race
-biologically distinct groups
-genetic distinction between members of different racial groups
U.S. vs. Brazil distinctions
U.S.: skin tone
Brazil: skin, eyes, hair color and type,
A race is biological if...
-a race could be identifiable based of discrete traits
-traits should be synchronous (all discrete traits occurring at once)
how we know the race is not biological
-there is continuous variation among people: skin tone and hair type
-gradual change across a population (clinical distribution)
-Phenotypes non-concordant (light skin w/ crinkly hair, dark skin w/ blonde hair
Richard Lewonth
-how much variation is observe locally? within a purported racial group? between groups?
-85% of variation is found within localized groups
-local populations varied by about 6-7%
-this means patterns of genes can accumulate in one part of the world but not another, but the basic human plan really is a basic human plan, and is found almost anywhere in the world
the study of all aspects of human kind--linguistic, biological and cultural; extant and extinct--employing a holistic, comparative approach and the concept of culture
study of the past through the systematic recovery and analysis of material remains
how we interact with the environment
one cant comprehend human behavior without understanding the symbolic code for that behavior
Archaeological sites
anywhere that has material evidence about the human past
law of superposition
things deeper in the ground are older and the date when it was deposited can be determined
Aspects of cultural disposition
1. discard after things get worn out
2. loss such as an arrow misses a target
3. caching (intentionally left)
4. ritual (graves)
Time and space patterns
organizing data into meaningful patterns is vital
Functional analysis
figuring out what the artifacts were used for
Absolute vs. relative dating
Absolute dates are specific unites such as years, days, centuries; whereas relative are around time periods
ideological power
a system of values and ideas that promotes social behaviors that benefits some classes or interest groups more than others