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Anthropology and Social Change
 Anthropologists regard CULTURES, the focus of
their studies as constantly changing organisms
Anthropology: Example Questions
 Was a cultural change caused by a change in the
society’s leadership?
 What ideas or explanations can we use to describe
what causes cultures to change?
 Was it caused by a shift in the values and norms of
the culture’s membership?
 Is the technological change a factor in an observed
cultural change?
According to Anthropologists, Social
Change happens because of…
Invention: new innovations that change the
way cultures function
Discovery: finding information that changes
a culture that was previously unknown
Diffusion: distribution of ideas and
information between cultures
Acculturation: blending of certain beliefs and
customs between 2 cultures after close
interaction over time
Acculturation can occur in 3 ways:
 Incorporation:
 It can be freely borrowed
 Canoe is Canadian cultural borrowed from Natives
 Directed change:
 It can be forced; when one culture overtakes another and
suppresses its people
 We speak English & French… colonization
 Cultural evolution:
 View that cultures evolve according to common patterns in
ways that are predictable
 Hunter gatherers – industrialized – post industrialized
So Acculturation is adapting to your new
society... (new immigrants...)
 Is adapting a bad thing (and the resulting cultural
 (2:24) ‘Thomas Sowell -
Assimilation And Acculturation’