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57 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
anthropology
the study of humankind in all times and places
applied anthropology
the use of anthropological knowledge and methods to solve practical problems, often for a specific client
archaeology
the study of material remains, usually from the past, to describe and explain human behavior.
Australopithecus
the first well-known hominid; lived between 4.4 and 1 million years ago. Characterized by bipedal locomotion, but with an apelike brain.
adaption
a series of beneficial adjustments to the environment.
bipedalism
a special form of locomotion on two feet found in humans and their ancestors.
culture
a society’s shared and socially transmitted ideas, values, and perceptions- which are used to make sense of experience and generate behavior and which are reflected in behavior
cultural relativism
the thesis that one must suspend judgment of other people’s ideas and practices in order to understand them in their own cultural terms.
culture-bound
theories about the world and reality based on the assumptions and values of one’s own culture.
culture shock
a term used to describe the anxiety and feelings felt when people have to operate within an entirely different cultural or social environment (such as a different country from where they live).
cultural anthropology
the study of customary patterns in human behavior, thought, and feelings. It focuses on humans as culture-producing and culture-reproducing creatures in a particular environment.
ethnohistory
the study of cultures of the recent past through oral histories; accounts left by explorers, missionaries and traders; and through analysis of such records as land titles, birth and death records, and other archival materials.
ethnocentrism
the belief that the ways of one’s own culture are the only proper ones.
evolution
genetic change over successive generations.
ethnography
a detailed description of a particular culture primarily based on fieldwork.
ethnology
the study and analysis of different cultures from a comparative or historical point of view, utilizing ethnographic accounts and developing anthropological theories that help explain why certain important differences or similarities occur among groups.
ethnicity
the expression of the set of cultural ideas held by an ethnic group
ethnic group
people who collectively and publicly identify themselves as a distinct group based on various cultural features such as shared ancestry and common origin, language, customs, and traditional beliefs.
enculturation
the social learning process by which a society’s culture is acquired by those who are born into it as well as those who become members of that society in other ways.
emic
a description of behavior in terms meaningful to the actor or actress.
etic
a description of behavior in terms familiar to the observer.
fieldwork
the term anthropologists use for on-location research.
forensic anthropology
field of applied physical anthropology that specializes in the identification of human skeletal remains for legal purposes.
gender
the cultural elaborations and meanings assigned to the biological differentiation of the sexes.
genes
the molecular code that specifies the characteristics of an individual.
hominoids
humans, apes, and their direct ancestors.
hominids
bipedal hominoids (humans, human ancestors and other closely related animals).
homo habilis
first genus homo, 2.5 million y.a., oldowan tools (earliest identifiable stone tools), scavengers
-feedback loop: increased manual dexterity, premium brain size, fuel for the brain
homo erectus
a species within the genus Homo first appearing in Africa and ultimately migrating throughout the Old World.
hypothesis
a tentative explanation of the relation between certain phenomena.
holistic perspective
a fundamental principle of anthropology, that the various parts of culture must be viewed in the broadest possible context in order to understand their interconnections and interdependence
HRAF
Human Relations Area Files- an ever growing catalogue of cross-indexed ethnographic data, filed by geographic location and cultural characteristics.
informants
members of a society being studied who provide information that helps the ethnographer make sense of what is being said and done.
infrastructure
the economic foundation of a society, including its subsistence practices, and the tools and other material equipment used to make a living.
linguistic anthropology
the study of human languages.
lower paleolithic
the first part of the Old Stone Age; its beginning is marked by the appearance 2.6 million y.a. of Oldowan tools.
multi regional hypothesis
the model for modern human origins through simultaneous local transition from Homo erectus to modern Homo sapiens with links among these populations through gene flow.
mousterian tradition
tool-making tradition of the Neandertals and their contemporaries of Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa, featuring flake tools that are lighter and smaller than earlier Levalloisian flake tools.
medical anthropology
a specialization in anthropology that brings theoretical and applied approaches from cultural and biological anthropology to the study of human health and disease.
neandertals
representatives of “archaic” Homo sapiens in Europe and western Asia, living from about 130,000 years ago to about 35,000 years ago.
natural selection
the evolutionary process through which factors in the environment exert pressure, favoring some individuals over others to produce the next generation.
oldowan
the earliest identifiable stone tools.
paleoanthropology
the study of the origins and predecessors of the present human species.
physical anthropology
also known as biological anthropology- the systematic study of humans as biological organisms.
primatology
the study of living and fossil primates.
participant observation
in ethnography, the technique of learning about a group of people through social participation and personal observation within the community being studied, as well as interviews and discussion with individual members of the group over an extended period of time.
primate
the group of mammals that includes lemurs, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans.
pluralistic society
a society in which two or more ethnic groups or nationalities are politically organized into one territorial state but maintain their cultural differences.
race
in biology, the taxonomic category of subspecies that is not applicable to humans because the division of humans into discrete types does not represent the true nature of human biological variation. In some societies race is an important cultural category.
recent African origins
the model for modern human origins in which anatomically modern humans arose in Africa approx. 200,000 years ago, replacing archaic forms in the rest of the world. Also known as the “Eve” or “Out of Africa” hypothesis.
society
an organized group or groups of interdependent people who generally share a common territory, language, and culture and who act together for collective survival and well-being.
symbols
signs, emblems, and other things that represent something else in a meaningful way.
superstructure
a society’s shared sense of identity and world view, the collective body of ideas, beliefs, and values by which a group of people makes sense of the world- its shape, challenges, and opportunities- and their place in it. This includes religion and national ideology.
subculture
a distinctive set of standards concerning ideas, values, and behavior patterns by which a group within a larger society operates.
species
the smallest working unit in the system of classification. Among living organisms, species are populations or groups of populations capable of interbreeding and producing fertile viable offspring.
theory
in science, an explanation of phenomena, supported by a reliable body of data.
upper paleolithic
the last part of the Old Stone Age, characterized by the emergence of more modern-looking hominids and an emphasis on the blade technique of tool making.