The Development of Culture Essay

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The Development of Anthropology * Anthropology (Anthropos = “Man”, Logy = “Study of”) * The study of humankind in all times and places * The discipline of Anthropology is a European invention, but the study of people has a long history…

Early Anthropology * Herodotus * Greek Historian (5th century B.C.E.) * The Histories – collections of Herodotus’ encounters with peoples of the Mediterranean world. He often emphasized how he faithfully recorded stories told to him, but would often add embellishments/emphasis to endear his Greek readers to the peoples he met abroad. * Napoleon Bonaparte and Egypt * Self-proclaimed Emperor of France (1769-1821)

In Western History…
European
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For every movement, there is a counter-movement * Post-Modernism: No “true” knowledge, only subjective and objective knowledge. * 1980s-Today * Knowledge as a human construction that we must “deconstruct.” * Science is limited: it does not integrate multiple viewpoints/truths. One must be aware of one’s own biases. * We cannot remove our cultural lens but we can become more aware of it. * Both Modernism and Post-Modernism are Western Society’s Etic ways of viewing other cultures.

Goals of Anthropology * Describe, analyze and explain different cultures. * Show how groups adapted to their environments and gave meaning to their lives. * Comprehend the entire human experience.
The Anthropological Perspective
To make the strange familiar, and the familiar strange * Strangeness, the unfamiliar is scary and can lead to misguided feelings of anger and hate, which may eventually lead to warfare and death. * Most interpersonal or inter-group conflicts are caused by a lack of understanding. * Discovering similarities between one’s own culture and that of others leads to more harmonious relationships.
Holistic Approach * Considers cultures, history, language and biology essential to a complete understanding of society. * Separates anthropology from other disciplines, which focus on one factor, biology, psychology, physiology, or society, to explain human

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