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ANTH 102, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology The following notes do not necessarily follow the course exactly. Some sections will be skipped in class; others may be expanded depending on the nature of in-class discussions. Also, the instructor may make last minute changes to the presentations which will not appear in this copy of the lecture notes. I recommend you print the first couple of chapters first and try these notes to see if they help you before printing all the pages. I also recommend you use two-sided printing to save paper. Chapter 1, The Nature of Anthropology Anthropology is the study of humankind in all places and throughout time Anthropology is a relatively new discipline Anthropology is a social science Anthropology is multidisciplinary Anthropology can be divided into several sub-fields: Physical Anthropology Study of humans as biological organisms Closely related to other biological sciences Interested in origin of species and evolution Current interest in present-day human condition Archaeology Study of material remains (usually of past cultures) Sub-divided into historic, prehistoric, and classical archaeology Linguistic Anthropology The study of human language Focus on relationships/differences in languages Ethnology Systematic description of cultures based on firsthand observation Also called “sociocultural anthropology” Focuses on cultures of the present Reliance on “participant observation” Cultural Anthropology Branch of anthropology devoted to study of human behavior Cross-cultural perspective Multidisciplinary Anthropology is both a science and a humanities Anthropology as Science Anthropology uses a scientific approach Start with hypothesis, collect data, propose theory, determine level of probability Problems with anthropology as a Science Championing of ideas Difficult to avoid being “culture bound” (ethnocentric) Anthropology as a Humanities Humans sometimes difficult to explain scientifically Humans cannot be studied from outside, must be experienced What are some other Humanities disciplines? History, art history, psychology, sociology, etc. Ethical Considerations for Anthropologists Who will use data? And, for what purposes? Privacy issues Introduction of new technologies into cultures not prepared for them The anthropologists first obligation is to the informant Chapter 2, The Nature of Culture Culture is the ideals, values, and beliefs members of a society share to interpret experience and generate behavior. A society is a group of people who have a common homeland, are interdependent, and share a common culture Common Characteristics of Culture Culture is Shared Members of a culture generally share ideas of right and wrong What is proper within one culture may not be so within another What is generally shared? Gender roles Age roles Significant exceptions Subcultures (ie Amish) Pluralistic societies Culture is Learned Culture is learned, not inherited The process of learning culture is called enculturation Through culture, humans learn to satisfy their biological needs Sleep, food, shelter, compassion, self-defense, sexual gratification, etc Culture is Based on Symbols All human behavior originates in the use of symbols Art, music, and religion involve symbols The most important symbolic aspect of culture is language Culture is Integrated Integration is the tendency for all aspects of a culture to function as a whole Anthropologists must divide culture into units for study Religion, politics, and economics all function relative to each other How do Anthropologists Study Culture? Anthropologists study the way members of a culture believe society ought to be Anthropologists study how members of a culture believe they are observing these rules Anthropologists study the actual behavior of members of a society Culture and Adaptation Cultures adapt to changing environments Adaptation is culturally determined Adaptation includes clothes, shelters, weaponry, etc. Cultures do not always react to similar environments in similar ways Cultures react as they perceive their environment What is “wild” to one culture is not so to another Functions of Culture Culture provides for reproduction of its members Culture provides for enculturation of new members (children) Culture maintains order among members Culture motivates members to survive Culture must be adaptable to change to changing conditions Culture and Change All cultures change Some cultures change more than others Culture change is escalating Culture and the Individual Culture must balance the needs of an individual with the needs of the group Evaluating Cultures Hundreds of diverse cultures exist worldwide Are some “better” than others? Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s culture is superior to all others Anthropologists can make value judgments Anthropologists should seek to answer if a given culture satisfies the physical and psychological needs of those whose behavior it guides Chapter 3, Ethnographic Research Two branches of cultural anthropology Ethnography Description of cultures based on fieldwork Ethnology Comparison of cultures to explain similarities and differences History of Anthropology Period of Colonialism European anthropologists focused on studies of “traditional” peoples in colonies American and Canadian anthropologists focused on studies of “Native Americans” Salvage Anthropology Many cultures faced with extinction or other forms of drastic change Anthropologists made collections of material culture Recorded photos, songs, myths, oral histories Acculturation Studies Acculturation is the process of culture change where traditional societies come in contact with more powerful state societies Traditional peoples forced to change Margaret Mead (1932) studied changed among Omaha Indians Applied Anthropology The use of anthropology to solve practical problems of societies facing new challenges US Bureau of Indian Affairs (1930s) Studying Cultures at a Distance Shifted focus from small societies to complex states (Russia, etc.) Looked for “cultural personalities” or national character Since study on site was impractical, anthropologists developed techniques using newspapers, etc. Studying Contemporary State Societies Anthropology had to study ALL peoples in ALL places Had to include study of complex societies Race issues Impact of mass media on public opinion Impact of urbanization of farming communities Spread of infectious diseases, etc Advocacy Anthropology Role shifted from studying other peoples to developing ways to help them adjust to changes Sol Tax worked with Fox Indians (Iowa) to force government to let them make their own Decisions (hunting rights, property ownership, many more) Doing Ethnography: Research Methods 1) Site selection and research question Funding, logistics, permits, etc. 2) Preparatory research Maps, written histories, oral histories Read other theoretical literature that may be related 3) Participant observation Interviews, discussion, partaking in daily life 4) Tools and aids Notebooks, camera, computers 5) Data gathering Quantitative data (anything that can be recorded with numbers) Populations, number and size of houses, etc. Qualitative data (anything requiring description, non-numeric) Settlement patterns, kinship relations, etc. 6) Interviewing Informal surveys (unstructured, open-ended conversations) Formal surveys (Question-answer surveys) 7) Mapping Often, quality maps do not exist for a given region Place name issues (different from one culture to another) GPS, GIS 8) Photographing and filming Boaz 1880s in Northwest Effects of cameras Challenges of Ethnographic Fieldwork 1) Getting acceptance in community Who gets accepted and who does not? 2) Political challenges Civil strife, internal and external conflicts 3) Challenges related to gender, age, ideology, ethnicity, and skin color 4) Problem of subjectivity Things are not as they appear Alcohol consumption as documented by “The Garbage Project” 5) Ethnographic Reflexivity Observations of one anthropologist cannot exactly be replicated by another As a result, anthropologists are expected to acknowledge their own personal or cultural biases – called “reflexivity” Ethnology – from description to interpretation to theory Ethnography is descriptive Ethnology makes cross-cultural comparisons and interprets data Uses scientific method of theorizing and testing to determine probability Use of HRAF (Human Relations Area Files) 700 cultural characteristics of 400 societies, 1 million pages of information Chapter 4, The Beginning of Human Culture Humans in the Animal Kingdom To what group of animals do humans belong? Humans are classified as primates Primates are any of the order of mammals comprising man together with the apes, monkeys, and related forms Primates include lemurs, indris, lorises, tarsiers, monkeys, and apes Humans are the primates most adapted to learned behavior (culture) Do not merely adapt to environment, but can mold and change it First primates began in tropical climates (North and South America, Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa) Process of natural selection favored specific traits most adapted to tropical environments Well-adapted individuals produce more offspring Characteristics Common to Most Primates Dentition 44 “unspecialized” teeth Incisors for cutting, canines for tearing/shredding, premolars for grinding and chewing Gradual loss of number and size of teeth Development of “bi-cuspid” molars and premolars Sense organs Decline in sense of smell Increase in sense of sight (stereoscopic color vision) Sensitive tactile capacities of fingers The Primate Brain Increase in brain size over time Cerebral hemispheres grown to cover cerebellum The Primate Skeleton Skull Opening to cranium positioned over center of skull (important for upright posture) Reduction in projection of snout (prognathism) Eyes located in a more frontal position Heavy brow ridges to protect eyes Placement of collarbone allowing free arm movement Hands Fingernails provide better grasping Opposable thumb Behavior of modern primates (esp. Chimpanzees) can reveal much about how our earliest primate ancestors adapted to changing environments. Chimpanzee Behavior Very social, communities of 50 or more Generally organized into sub-groupings Rank exists, males generally rank higher than females How Chimpanzee rank is determined Mother’s rank, physical strength and size, ability to create alliances, motivation Group solidarity Grooming, embracing, touching, vocal and visual communication (signals and calls) Social relationships Sexes intermingle, promiscuous sexual behavior Females and offspring constitute the core social unit Mother/infant bond is especially strong for about 5 years Sons/daughters move with mother Males share some parental responsibilities (minimal) Chimpanzees show dependence on learned behavior Varies from one group to another Infants learn to interact with others Learn to make and use “tools” (termite sticks, stone hammers) Pick up and collect objects for later use The First Hominines Hominines can be classified as “near-humans” Earliest fossils are 5.6 to 5.8 million years old Found in East Africa Earliest fossils show distinctive bipedal traits One species of hominine was Ardipithecus Advantages of Bipedalism Slower running than quadraped, but could travel longer distances Could carry food and infants with free hands Less of the body exposed to tropical sun Bipedal creatures can see over tall savannah grass for security Australopithecus Genus Australopithecus well established by 4.2 million years ago Disappeared around 1 million years ago Some anatomical features more like modern humans than other primates Esp teeth, upright posture Brain more like chimpanzee in form and size Upright posture adopted before change in brain size Meat-eating Evidence shows an increased reliance on meat in the hominine diet Plants alone do not provide correct balance of nutrients Today’s primates have an omnivorous diet Hominine teeth were not well-suited to meat eating Probably relied on scavenging Probably contributed to use of stone tools Earliest Stone Tools Earliest tools called Oldowan tools Mark beginning of Paleolithic Period Date 2.5 million years old Simple core technology Cores were sometimes used as choppers Core and flakes were both used Homo habilis Homo habilis means “Handy Man” Tools allowed for more protein in the diet Tools also yielded larger brains Protein helped nerve growth in brain Meat-eating requires less time than plant-eating—more leisure time results Toolmaking gave an adaptive advantage to individuals with good dexterity and creativity Homo habilis probably scavenged food Toolmarks over the top of predator toothmarks No weapons found from this time period Probably scavenged kills from leopards (from tree caches) Homo habilis Sites Sites show pre-planning Smaller portions of animal carcasses carried in Toolstone stockpiled Food processed quickly to avoid attracting predators Homo erectus Spread from Africa to China and eastern Europe Stature similar to modern Homo sapiens Not as sexually dimorphic Larger brain, modern dentition Choppers replaced by the hand axe Also made cleavers, scrapers, and flake tools Emphasis on smaller, straighter, and sharper tools Use of fire by 1.6 million years ago Advantages of Fire Allowed expansion into colder climates Cook food Easier to chew Lessened need for larger teeth Some poisonous plants detoxified by cooking Many foods made more easy to digest Used for defense Allowed longer days Homo erectus, the Hunter Homo erectus sites show evidence of a shift from scavenging to hunting Homo erectus wooden spears in Germany Evidence of elephant “drives” in Spain Homo sapiens Early forms referred to as Archaic Homo sapiens 400,000 - 200,000 years ago Some H. erectus traits, some modern H. sapien traits Most famous are the Neanderthals (Homo sapiens neandertalensis) Found throughout Asia, Middle East, and Europe Large brains, large teeth, heavy brow ridges, prognathism Neandertal Extensive use of fire Occupied cold climates (Wurm glaciation) Used deliberate burials, took care of elderly Tools called Mousterian tradition Smaller and lighter Evidence of composite tools (hafting) Re-sharpened flakes into specific shapes Oldest evidence of flute, carved pendants, use of red ochre Modern Homo sapiens Coexisted with archaic H. sapiens until 28,000 years ago Late Neandertals look similar to early Homo erectus Arguments concerning origin, but most agree modern H. sapiens came from a single group of archaic forms somewhere in Africa or Asia First Homo sapiens also called Upper Paleolithic peoples Fully modern in appearance Eventually inhabited most of the world Upper Paleolithic Tools Complex tools increased adaptive success More diverse raw materials Specialized tools made for each specific environment Introduction of pressure-flaking technique Small flakes pressed off using antler, wood, or bone Better control over tool form Development of burin Allowed precise shaping of bone and wood Introduction of atlatl Upper Paleolithic Art Appears around 27,000 years ago Portable art Figurines, animals, pendants Cave paintings Multiple colors (oxides) Emphasis on animals Some blending of human and animal traits Images have been linked to state of trance Chapter 5, Language and Communication Language is a system for communication using symbols A symbol is any sort of sound or gesture that has assigned meaning. The word “crying” is a symbol A sound or gesture which has a natural or self-evident meaning is called a signal A tear is a signal Some animals can communicate in amazing ways, but the nature of this communication is not well understood and most anthropologists do not consider this “language” The Nature of Language Language combines a few sounds (<50) in meaningful ways ASL uses gestures rather than sounds All languages are organized in the same basic ways Linguistics is the scientific study of languages Age of Discovery uncovered a rich diversity of languages There are over 6000 known languages Many are on the verge of extinction (ie Nez Perce) Phonology The first step in analyzing a language is to collect all sounds and to write them accurately The smallest classes of sound that make differences in meaning are called phonemes Studied using a minimal-pair test Starts with two short words that appear alike except for one sound (bit, pit) “B” and “p” are thus phonemes Changing phoneme changes meaning of word Phonemes have no meaning in and of themselves Morphology A morpheme is the smallest unit of sound that carries meaning May consist of words or parts of words “Cat” and “dog” have two different meanings Called free morphemes because they have meaning in and of themselves Adding an “s” changes meaning of both Called bound morphemes because the “s” cannot occur unattached to other morphemes Grammar and Syntax Combining morphemes together into longer chains of meaning requires frame substitution “My cat”, “your cat”, etc. Linguist thus begins to decode rules of phrase and sentence making, called syntax Grammar is the entire formal structure of a language Form classes are categories of words (such as nouns) that work the same way in any sentence Gesture-Call System Sounds and gestures used to interpret meaning Can fill in many details not in spoken word - fear, enthusiasm, lying, etc. 90% of emotional information is transmitted by body language and tone of voice Written English is well-adapted at deception, very popular in the international business world Some gesture-calls are universal (facial expressions, tears, etc.) Kenesics The method for notating and analyzing body language is called kinesics Gestures are simple and direct kinesic messages Body posture when standing or sitting Some kinesic messages complement spoken languages Nodding the head, raising eyebrows, etc. Worldwide similarity in some body language Smile, laugh, cry, anger, eyebrow flash Some gestures are quite different Shaking head for “yes” and “no” Paralanguage “It is not so much what was said as how it was said” Paralanguage consists of cries and other sounds that are not part of language. Two different types of paralanguage: A)Voice Qualities High to low pitch, sharp to smooth transitions, smooth or jerky transitions, slow or fast Can indicate speaker’s pleasure, nervousness, fear, etc. B) Vocalization Yawns, “oh-oh” expressions Linguistic Change All languages change Historical linguistics is the study of changes in language over time A language family is a group of languages stemming from a common ancestor Linguistic divergence is the process of an ancestral language diversifying into other languages Historical linguistics determines rates of language change and when 2 languages diverged. This process is called glottochronology Why Languages Change Borrowing from other languages Novelty--tendency to adopt new, clever words Membership in specialized sects Labeling devices (gangs, etc.) Linguistic nationalism (purging a language of all foreign terms) Language and Culture Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis A language provides habitual forms of expression which predisposes people to see the world in a certain way guiding their thinking and behavior Some people cannot distinguish between some blues and greens can they physically not see the difference or is it cultural? Our culture has many words related to warfare “I just BOMBED the Cultural Anth quiz!” Nuer of Sudan have 400 distinct words for cattle, only a few words for warfare Origins of Language Experiments show primates can learn to use sign language up to a level of a 2-3 year old Many linguists agree that language started as a system of gestures, accompanied by sounds Chapter 6, Social Identity, Personality, and Gender Enculturation is the process by which culture is transmitted from one generation to the next. Tabula Rasa theory stated that a newborn human was like a blank slate. All individuals were therefore equal at birth. True? Culture is learned Therefore, human societies must insure that culture is transmitted to the next generation Learning starts with self-awareness 2 years old in North America, slower than most other cultures Self-awareness is enhanced with human contact American babies spend far less time with mothers 70% among some foragers, 20% among Americans Babies from other cultures are in more frequent contact with others in family Social Identity through Personal Naming Without a name an individual has no identity Many cultures practice naming ceremonies Some cultures don’t name until an infant can “speak like a human” Naming conventions Names from ancestors Names being called out by mom at moment of birth Names being given when child laughs for first time One name given at birth, others added later in life Infants must learn about physical environment Culture determines which things in the environment are important for infants to learn about This helps create an orderly universe Object orientation - defines “things” as perceived by a given culture Spatial orientation - organizes “space”, learn place names Temporal orientation – gives child ability to think in past, present, and future Normative orientation - establishes values, ideals and standards Personality Enculturation creates an individual with a mental “map” of how the world should work This map is an individual’s personality Cross-cultural studies show that traits like aggressiveness can be learned The relationship of aggressiveness to gender varies from culture to culture The Ju/’hoansi (zhutwasi) show how culture can influence personality Dependence Training (most subsistence farmers) Promotes compliance to performance of tasks Keeps individuals in the group Common in subsistence farming societies One adult often makes all decisions (conflict!) Even very young help with family matters Yields individuals who are supportive, non- competitive, obedient Independence Training (most foragers and intensive agriculturalists) Emphasizes personal achievement, self-reliance Associated with industrial societies How soon can an infant walk, feed itself, etc.? Displays of aggression encouraged (sports, grades) Group Personality Child-rearing practices have a close relationship to adult personality It is important to recognize a wide range of personality types within any society Nonetheless, there are “cultural personalities” Modal Personality Modal personality is the personality typical of a society as indicated by the central tendency of a defined frequency distribution Determined by personality tests Variables to measure can be complex Must have “representative sample” Must be administered in proper cultural setting Do respondents truthfully answer questions? Do language barriers confuse answers? National Character Concept popular in mid-1900's Used with many cultures, most notably Japanese Attempted to determine the reason for the perceived difference between Japanese personality at home and at war Data was over-generalized Some success in analyzing “core values” Compliance (Chinese) vs. rugged individualism (North Americans) Alternative Gender Models Native American “two-spirits” Also called “berdaches” a term with negative implicaitons Males with female characteristics (physical or behavioral), females with male characteristics (physical or behavioral) 1% of humans born “intersexed” (60 million people worldwide) The term “homosexual” is from the 19th century and does not accurately cover the full range of sex and gender diversity Normal and Abnormal Personality Modal personality can apply to only half the population or less, what about the rest? In American society, our range of tolerance for personality outside the norm is limited Examples American Indian “two-spirits” (considered deviant in our society) Healers entering trance (suppressed by some societies) What is “normal” must be evaluated according to the standards of a culture Cross-Cultural Perspective on Mental Disorders What is considered “abnormal” now may become more acceptable later Example ADHD “Normalcy” is culturally defined Some abnormalities ARE universal Schizophrenia A few are culturally distinct Windigo phychosis Chapter 7, Patterns of Subsistence Adaptation Adaptation is how humans manage to deal with the contingencies of daily life Adaptation establishes a balance between the needs of a population and the potential of its environment Two examples from the text: 1) Pig sacrifices among Tsembaga Frequent hostilities over land, pig sacrifices to celebrate victories, helped keep pig populations low 2) Sickle-cell anemia Mosquito population (and Malaria) increased due to increase in farming, a mutation in blood cell traits resulted in resistance to malaria (people changed environment, but environment also changed them) Convergent & Parallel Cultural Evolution Convergent Cultural Evolution Cheyenne, originally from Idaho (foragers) Moved to Great Plains (became bison hunters) Acquired horses in late 1700's Became warlike and aggressive This Non-Plains culture changed to become similar to other Plains peoples Parallel Cultural Evolution Similar adaptations in different areas changing in similar ways Farmers of Mesoamerica and southwest Asia Culture Areas A culture area is a geographic region where a number of societies exist in similar ways Example 1--Great Plains 31 politically independent units All lived in a similar environment, shared common adaptations Example 2--Great Basin Western Shoshone, relied on wild plants Paiute (south), similar lifestyle but added some horticulture Northern Shoshone, more oriented toward hunting Culture Type The many variations observed in the Great Basin, led anthropologists to propose the concept of culture type. This is how a culture relates to the environment in which it lives. Cultural Ecology The study of the interaction of specific cultures with their environments Two types of subsistence systems 1) Food Foragers Hunters and gatherers 2) Food Producers Horticulturalists Pastoralists Intensive agriculturalists Food Foraging Today, less than .00005% of the world population (250,000) are foragers At one time, all humans were foragers. Of all who have ever lived, 90% have been foragers Foragers today live primarily in marginal areas Foraging is not necessarily “primitive” or “undeveloped” Forager diets are ample and well-balanced Foragers are less-likely to experience famine than are farmers Some foragers obtain ample food working less than 20 hours per week Often called “the original affluent society” due to quality of lifestyle Characteristics of Food-Foraging Foragers do not domesticate animals or plants Highly mobile (some patterned, some random) Small group size (often >100 in number) Group membership can change according to needs (more or less children, etc.) Foragers must keep populations below the carrying capacity of the land (>1 person/mi2) Populations controlled by child-care practices such as long nursing The Impact of Foraging on Society Most foragers are not aggressive Foraging may have resulted in: Sexual division of labor Sharing of food among adults The establishment of a “camp” as an important place Foragers: Subsistence & Gender Hunting was usually a male activity More dangerous and strenuous Less protein intake than gathering Results are sporadic Requires more travel Often is a solitary activity Gathering was generally a female activity Accomplished with children present Accomplished with other women 60-70% of diet was obtained from plant foods Success is more predictable Foragers: Food Sharing Food sharing is a system of redistributing resources where needed Some cultures share results of hunting but not gathering Food sharing appears to date back 2.5 million years Foragers: The Camp as a Center of Activity The camp is the location where food sharing occurs Most foragers live in permanent or seasonal camps Camps do not function solely as sleeping areas. They also are used for work, eating, storage, protection, entertainment, & education Foragers: Egalitarianism Since foragers are highly mobile, possessions are minimal (average under 25 lbs/person) Bounty of nature limits need to store excesses of food This means that foragers generally to not acquire excess goods (food or belongings) As a result, wealth and status are not acquired unequally What is available to one is available to all (no land or resource ownership) Food-Producers Domestication of plants and animals began 9,000 - 11,000 years ago Requires more work than foraging, more monotonous Forced populations to eat less-favorable foods Settled Life of Farmers Farming resulted in more settled lifestyle Farming resulted in enhancements to material culture (tools, pottery, clothing, structures, etc.) Farming societies began to lose egalitarianism Types of Adaptations based on Agriculture Horticulture An “extensive” form of farming, can require lots of land due to need to move plots Small gardens, hand tools, no irrigation Subsistence only An example--“swidden” farming also called “shifting cultivation” or “slash and burn cultivation” Pastoralists Rely on domestic animals for subsistence Rely in part on products of horticulturalists, but animal husbandry remains main focus of culture Effective in areas that are unsuitable for farming 21 million pastoralists in Africa Use a seasonal movement called transhumance Animals can be moved up to 200 miles Residences are temporary (tents) Have tribal leaders (khans), generally well- educated Intensive Agriculturalists Live in cities Rise of craft specialists Under political control of urban elite Stratification of society Urbanization led to increase in speed of cultural evolution Writing, extensive trade, metallurgy, architecture, slavery More modification to landscape Use of irrigation, fertilizers, plows, etc. Grow a surplus for trade, allows rise of specialists An Example of Intensive Agriculturalists- Tenochtitlan Capital of Azteca 200,000 population in 1519 (5x the size of London) Located on island lake and mainland Founded on intensive agriculture (chinampas) Social stratification (nobles, commoners, serfs) City built around ordered design canals, streets, water systems, homes, temples, plazas Highly-developed orders of craft specialists Long-distance trade Chapter 8, Economic Systems Economic Anthropology Our study of other people’s economies tends to be ethnocentric Our values are generally different from non-industrial societies Important to consider “cultural” aspect of economies, not evaluate only economic aspect Example of yam production on Trobriand Islands Grown to be given away to show support for husbands of sisters or daughters Yams serve as a form of currency, stored in “yam houses” like money in a bank Gifts of yams create debts to be repaid later Thus, trade in yams establish long-term relationships Yam trade is therefore as much a social and political transaction as an economic transaction From our perspective, yam trade may not make much sense Patterns of Labor Sexual Division of Labor Women’s work Tasks carried out near the home Can be easily resumed after an interruption Men’s work Require physical strength Require frequent travel Can involve high risk and danger Exceptions Women serve as warriors Women do 75% of work, or more Women work long hours, difficult tasks Flexibility and sexual integration Seen among food foragers and subsistence farmers 35% of tasks shared by male and female Tasks shared without loss of face Rigid segregation by sex Men and women rarely share joint efforts Common in pastoral, nomadic cultures Males are supposed to be aggressive and competitive Combination of above two Men and women work separately Relationship is one of balance, not inequality Common in West Africa and ancient North America Age Division of Labor Most societies divide labor by age Young not responsible for much May assist with raising of infants Housework Middle-age most productive Elderly not responsible to contribute much Considered “living libraries” of knowledge Contribute spiritual knowledge There is a problem of exploitation of child labor in third world countries Cooperation Cooperative groups found worldwide May involve small groups or entire communities Some group behavior is social Most cooperation at the “family” level Craft Specialization Specialization common in industrial societies Also known in non-industrial societies Food foragers (tool makers) Food producers (many different specialists) Examples include salt miners, stone quarriers, architects, etc. Control of Land Land ownership uncommon in foragers More prevalent among food producers Land often owned by kinship groups Older members control land in territory Property not often defined by boundaries, but by resources within area (core features) Sometimes a “feudal” system is used, land owned by chief and distributed as needed Farmers must pay taxes Owe allegiance to chief Land is more-or-less permanent, it is not re-allocated unless farmer fails to use it Technology Technology is the various types of tools and the knowledge of how to make and use them Foragers tools Generally simple Made for individual uses Horticulturalists tools More complex Made by owner, but shared with someone in need More complex tools are not shared Leveling Mechanisms The purpose of a leveling mechanism is to redistribute wealth Cargo System Pyramidal structure Office lasts one year All males participate at one time Civil/religious in nature Offices are considered “burdens” Holder is required to pay costs of community festivals or banquets Purpose is to keep any single member from acquiring too much wealth Keeps wealth circulating Types of Distribution and Exchange Reciprocity Reciprocity is a transaction between two parties where goods of equal value are exchanged Goal is to fulfill social obligations or obtain prestige Helps with preservation of perishable resources Generalized Reciprocity Value of goods exchanged is not calculated Repayment not specified Similar to altruistic gift giving Often within kin groups Balanced Reciprocity Not part of a long-term arrangement Obligation to return gift as soon as possible Trading baseball cards, etc. Constitutes a form of insurance Distribute to others when available, receive back in times of need Negative Reciprocity Giver tries to get better end of deal Parties generally not related Often accomplished using deceit Considered proper in some cultures The Kula Ring An example of how trade is used for something other than economic reasons Ceremonial exchange of prestige items Shell necklaces move clockwise (east to west) Arm shells move counterclockwise (west to east) Items not held for too many years, must circulate Traded items acquire individual fame and value Another example of how economy and culture are intertwined, they should not be studied separately Redistribution Redistribution is a form of exchange in which goods flow into a central place where they are stored and ultimately re-allocated. An ancient example was the system used by the Inca A modern example is the IRS Distribution of Wealth Leveling mechanisms control accumulation of wealth in many societies Western societies lack many of these, the result is conspicuous consumption which is the display of wealth for social prestige This has also been noted in some non-industrial societies such as along the Pacific Northwest Coast (Potlatches) Market Exchange Market exchange is the buying/selling of goods and services, with prices set by supply/demand Once took place in specific locales called “market places” Under centralized control Within defined boundaries Prices set by bargaining Goods not often sold for currency, but traded for other items Provide important opportunities for social interaction Aztecs required participation (where government news and propaganda was distributed) Economics and Culture in World Business Ethnocentrism can lead to biases which affect world trade “Development” in Third World countries can contribute to poverty and other problems Misunderstandings in advertising can give incorrect messages: Incorrect flowers in advertisement Product names which interpret poorly into other languages Chapter 9, Sex, Marriage, and Family Marriage vs. Mating Mating is biological, all animals (including humans) mate In the US, mating outside of marriage is increasingly common Marriage is Cultural Marriage is a rite that culture confers the rights of sexual access to another In the US, monogamy is legally recognized, not the most common form of marriage Control of Sexual Relations Human females are different from many other mammals – can have sex at any time Some anthropologists believe this is an early influence of bipedal locomotion, where additional hormones were required in females to give them endurance while traveling with their young The opportunity for frequent sexual activity resulted in a need for culture to control sexual encounters Rules of Sexual Access All cultures have rules to control sexual relations In the US, the official ideology is all sexual activity outside wedlock is prohibited Outside the US, only 5% of cultures prohibit sexual activity outside of marriage With marriage, an individual establishes a continuing claim to the right of sexual access to another person The more complex a society is, the more restrictive is its attitude toward premarital sex Of 141 societies in a recent study 25% prohibited premarital sex for females 25% approved premarital sex for females 37% tolerated premarital sex for females if discreet 5% prohibit all premarital sex 77% said premarital sex was common for males 65% said premarital sex was common for females 12% said premarital sex was rare for males 20% said premarital sex was rare for females The Nayar of India provide an example of marriage customs that differ from ours Nayar have 3 transactions related to marriage 1) Prior to a first menstruation, girl temporarily united with young male , sexual relations may or may not occur. This man is referred to has her ?ritual husband? and the bonding makes her an adult. 2) The adult woman enters a continuing sexual liaison with approved man. Formal relationship -- male has sexual privileges. Male gives gifts, but has no further responsibility toward female, he lives elsewhere. (Still defined as a marriage) 3) Formal acknowledgement of paternity. Father may give gifts, but has no further obligation to child, that is the duty of the mother?s family (especially the mother?s brothers) The Incest Taboo Defined as the prohibition of sexual relations between parents and children and between siblings This taboo is one of few “universals” in human culture Different theories to explain why the taboo is so common 1) Taboo protects against inbreeding 2) Freud (Oedipus complex) suggested son desired mother creating conflict with father, taboo created to eliminate problem 3) Part of “human nature” Expressions of the Incest Taboo Belief that mating with relatives leads to birth defects Common cultural requirement to mate outside residence group Incest rules often include non-biological relatives Incest rules can include distant relatives but exclude close relatives Incest rules exist to encourage political alliances Incest within family would confuse family structure This taboo leads to the adoption of endogamy or exogamy within many cultures Endogamy is marriage within a group of individuals Not always applied to all members within the group equally (ie first cousins) Used to keep divinity within families Exogamy is a marriage outside of a group of individuals Designed to encourage alliances with other groups (and other resources) Forms of Marriage Monogamy is the most common form of marriage Polygyny is the most preferred form of marriage (preferred by around 80% of societies) It is defined as the marriage of one man to two or more wives Extra wives are desirable (for both spouses), they contribute to family economy Extra wives are costly (bride price), thus only wealthy can afford more than one Polygyny especially common among horticulturalists Wives live separately with respective families Polyandry is relatively rare (>12 societies) It is the marriage of one female to several males Lowers population growth, lowers need to subdivide land between offspring, provides good pool of male labor Choice of Spouse Custom of marrying whomever we want, called Love Marriage, is unusual Very high emphasis on youth and beauty In most societies, arranged marriages are common Arranged marriages serve to unite two different families Arranged marriages serve to transfer rights (property and children) Arranged marriages are a form of business transaction Cousin Marriage In many societies, marriage to cousins is preferred (depends on property inheritance) Parallel-cousin marriage involves the marriage of a man to his father’s brother’s daughter, or of a woman to her father’s brother’s son Cross-cousin marriage involves the marriage of a woman to her father’s sister’s son, or of a man to his mother’s brother’s daughter Same-Sex Marriage Offers solutions to some cultural problems Woman/woman marriages are the most common form Particularly common in polygynous families (one husband, several wives) when husband dies If one of the widows has no sons to inherit the dead husbands wealth She may marry a younger woman with children (or who will have children via another father) who can inherit her share New “husband” behaves like a male Marriage Exchanges Three basic forms of gift exchange are known 1) Bride-price is the most common Especially common where bride leaves to live with new husband’s family Involves payments of wealth to the bride’s family to compensate for their loss Often is given to young bride to help establish household Must be refunded if marriage fails 2) Bride-service involves period of time when groom works for the bride’s family 3) Dowry is a payment of a bride’s inheritance at the time of her marriage Insures woman’s support even after death of husband Demonstrates status of bride Divorce Considered difficult by most cultures, averages about 25% in most cultures Breaks an economic relationship between two families More common in some societies Sometimes arranged by simply placing husband’s belongings by front door Divorce is increasingly common in US, about 50% now Serial Monogamy Increasingly common (currently about half of all US marriages are of this form) Serial monogamy is where a man or woman marries a succession of partners Children often remain with mother (90% of cases) Single mother households now outnumber nuclear family households in US) After divorce, female income drops by 73%, male income increases by 42% 50% of cases where children are born out of wedlock, paternity is not established, thus no child support from father Solution for above problems is for mother to remarry Marriage and the Family A family is a group composed of a woman and her dependent children and at least one adult male joined through marriage or blood relationship A consanguine family consists of a woman, her dependent children, and the mother’s brothers A conjugal family is the same as a nuclear family consisting of a mother, her husband, and their dependent children The Family Many different kinds of families known North American nuclear family not typical Our definition of family comes from 4th Century (by the Roman Catholic Church) Rise of industrialism encouraged families to become mobile (to follow jobs) Isolated families from other relatives In 1950, 60% of all households were nuclear families, now 26% Functions of the Family Nurturance of Children Infants require mother’s assistance Infants require long attention Economic Cooperation Mother’s role can be assumed by others in family freeing her for other tasks Fathers and mothers often have comp. economic responsibilities Establishment of residential groups allows men & women in the same group to share tasks & serve as role models Family and Household Whereas families are not present in all societies, households are Households are a basic residential unit where economic production, consumption, inheritance, child rearing, and shelter are organized and implemented Two Forms of Family: Nuclear and Extended 1) Nuclear Families are regarded as standard in America, though on decline Also common among foragers and most intensive agriculturalists Nuclear families are common in societies who live in marginal climates Cooperation of spouses is critical (Inuit chewing boots) Creates strong dependence on family members Common when mobility is essential Families of foragers often cooperate with other families This is less so among industrial societies 2) Extended families area collections of nuclear families related by blood, that live together in one household Common in early historic America Also common among horiculturalists May include grandparents, aunts and uncles, parents, brothers and sisters, and cousins Different generations of members resulted in group continuity Two Examples of Extended Families 1) Highland Maya of Mexico Sons bring wives to live in houses built on edges of plazas Plaza is focus of family activity 2) Hopi of Arizona Head of household is elderly woman Members include her married daughters and their husbands Women owned land, husbands tilled it Five Different Residence Patterns for families 1) Patrilocal Residence Woman goes to live with new husband’s family Common in societies where men are major producers, or where warfare is common, or where men wield most authority 2) Matrilocal Residence Man lives with new wife’s family Common where a women are responsible for most subsistence, where politics are un-centralized, and where cooperation among women is important 3) Ambilocal Residence Couple can choose husband’s or wife’s family Common where economic cooperation is important or where resources are unpredictable 4) Neolocal Residence A couple forms a new independent household in a new location Common in industrial nations, where mobility to new jobs is important 5) Avunculocal Residence A couple lives with groom’s mother’s brother Common in societies who promote patrilocal residence but need to claim descent through the female line Example is the Trobriand Islanders Man destined to inherit leadership position will move in with mother’s brother to see how family business is managed Chapter 10, Kinship and Descent Descent Groups When a family group cannot solve problems on its own--a larger organizational order helps These are called descent groups and are publicly recognized social entities requiring lineal descent from a real or mythical ancestor Unilineal Descent Descent established through male or female line Patrilineal descent is traced through the male line Used when males are the breadwinners (pastoralists/intensive agriculturalists) More common than matrilineal descent Matrilineal descent is traced through the female line Used when females are the breadwinners (horticulturalists) Includes India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Sumatra, Tibet, and South China Also common in indigenous North America Patrilineal Descent Descent traced through male line Brothers and sisters belong to the descent group of their father, their father’s father, and so on A woman belongs to the same descent group as her father, but her children cannot trace their descent through them Traditional China as an example Extended families traded through male lines Tsu regarded as primary social unit (included all men who traced ancestry back to about 5 generations) Women belonged to fathers’ tsu but was absorbed by husbands’ upon marriage Primary purpose of tsu was celebrate ceremonies and make offerings to ancestors Each tsu maintained tablets with names of ancestors Each tsu also functioned as a legal body Patrilineal societies are very much a “man’s world” Women, however, managed to manipulate the system in their own way Matrilineal Descent Descent is traced through the female line Therefore, it is nearly the opposite of patrilineal descent However, though descent is through females, males still retain most of the authority (through mother’s brothers) The purpose is to retain continuous female solidarity through the female work group Generally found in societies where women do most of the work A husbands role is somewhat weakened Wife’s brothers settle disputes, administer inheritance, etc. Husband has legal authority over sisters’ children Hopi of SW Arizona as an example Lived in region for 2000 years, primarily agricultural Society based on named clans of matrilineal descent Membership abscribed from birth Two or more clans join to form “superclans” or phratries Nine phratries exist in Hopi society Members are expected to support each other Phratries are exogamous Though clans are important, the major unit in Hopi thinking is a lineage Lineages are headed by a senior woman (eldest) Lineages are landholding organizations, farmed by “outsiders” (husbands) Harvest belongs to wife and her clan, husband has little authority over children (discipline from uncles) Functions of Descent Groups: Economic units providing aid to members Support for aged and infirm Determine who an individual may or may not marry Act as a repository of religious traditions Lineage A lineage is a corporate descent group composed of members who trace their genealogical links to a common ancestor Lineages are ancestor oriented Political and religious power often derived from lineage It is “corporate” because it survives even after an individuals death (like IBM, etc.) and has a perpetual existence Members must find spouses from other lineages (exogamous) Clan A clan is a non-corporate descent group whose members claim a common ancestor without actually knowing the genealogical links to that ancestor Clans are formed when lineages become too large Clans cannot trace exact relationship to ancestor due to distance/time from relative Clans are more dispersed, generally not sharing residences Since clans do not reside together, they often rely on symbols (totems) to reveal common descent Kindred Theoretically, a person is associated equally with all relatives on the mother’s and father’s side of the family This results in a very large group including eight great- grandparents, etc........... This large group of related is an individuals’ kindred People in a kindred are related to a living relative, not a common ancestor, so they are not exactly descent groups Characteristics of Kindred Includes relatives on both sides of the family A kindred is never the same for any two persons except for brothers and sisters Thus, no two people (except brothers and sisters) belong to the same kindred As an individual goes through life, his kindred changes (via marriages) Kindreds cease with the death of the individual, they are not corporate groups Kinship Terminology Kinship terms serve two functions: They classify similar kinds of persons into specific categories They separate different kinds of persons into distinct categories Six different kinship systems are known Eskimo, Hawaiian, Iroquois, Crow, Omaha, Sudanese Eskimo System Rare among world systems Should look familiar to US residents Common among food foragers and societies where nuclear families live apart from remainder of family Hawaiian System The least complex system Called “generational” since all relatives in same generation and same gender are called by same name Usually associated with ambilineal descent Iroquois System Widespread system Common with unilineal descent groups Father’s brother and mother’s sister given same terms Their offspring considered brothers and sisters Cross-cousins are set apart and often preferred for spouses Crow System Found in many parts of the world Associated with matrilineal descent groups Cross cousins on father’s side equated with father’s generation Cross-cousins on mother’s side equated with Ego’s children’s generation Merges women of different generations together Omaha System Patrilineal equivalent to the matrilineal Crow system Cross-cousins on maternal side raised a generation Cross-cousins on paternal side are equated with ego’s children’s generation Sudanese System All members are given unique designations Most precise of all systems, but complicated Found in southern Sudan and in few other places Chapter 11, Grouping by Sex, Age, Common Interest, and Class Grouping by Gender Grouping by gender is characteristic of all societies 1) Five Nations Iroquois Strictly divided into male (hunting) and female (domestic and farming) activities Genders considered “equals” Matrilocal descent (female authority) Male-dominated politics (male leadership) 2) Amazon Mundurucu Men and women work and sleep separately Relationship is one of opposition Belief is that women once dominated men, but could not hunt and lost power Grouping by Age Common in all societies Establish patterns of activity, attitudes, prohibitions United States Friends are children of own age Go through school years together Voting, draft, drinking of alcohol, retirement Age labels “teenager”, “middle-aged”, “senior citizen” Non-western Societies Immature, mature, old age Elderly given utmost respect as “living libraries” Institutions of Age Grouping An organized class of people with membership based on age is known as an age grade Entry is sometimes automatic, but not always Plains Indian boys had to “buy” entry Some age grades compete with others An age set is a group of persons initiated into an age grade who move through life together East Africa Tikiri Age grades divided into 15-year periods Age grades do not cease to exist after a number of years Members remain associated with other members throughout lives Age grades may own property, songs, shield signs, and rituals Seven age sets exist (7 x 15 = 105 years) Four age grades: Warriors (protect), Elder Warriors (administer), Judicial Elders (settle local disputes), Ritual Elders (priestly functions) Common-Interest Associations Common-Interest Associations are not based on age, kinship, marriage, or territory, but instead result from the act of “joining” Associated with urbanism Flexible in nature (no need to live near other members, etc.) Military service (sometimes involuntary), labor unions (sometimes involuntary) Kinds of Common-Interest Associations Men’s and women’s clubs, street gangs Service clubs (Rotary), student clubs (GENAS) Religions organizations, political parties Minority groups Secret societies (Kachina, fraternities and sororities) Men’s and women’s associations Women’s groups once considered less developed Resulted from time required to raise children No longer a valid assumption In many societies, there are as many women’s associations as men’s Social Stratification A stratified society is one divided into two or more categories ranked high and low in relationship to each other In stratified societies, low ranked individuals are given few privileges and have less access to resources than high-ranked individuals An institutionalized inequality -- Contrast with egalitarian societies Class and Caste A social class is a category of individuals who enjoy nearly equal prestige A caste is a form of social class into which one is born and remains fixed for life Offspring become members of parents caste (India) Brahmans (bearers of universal order) Warriors (powerful, but less pure, control village land) Artisans and laborers (poor, own tools of trade, landless) Untouchables (most impure, serve Brahmans and Warriors) Social class structure is common in all complex societies, is it inevitable? Role differentiation Differentiation requires evaluation of roles (some “better” than others) Social class structure inevitably produces an exploitable underclass Social classes are defined by: Verbal evaluation (what members of society say) Patterns of association (who interacts with whom) Symbolic indicators (possessions, wealth, etc.) Chapter 12, Politics, Power, and Violence Kinds of Political Systems Uncentralized Systems – Bands, Tribes Centralized Systems – Chiefdoms, States Bands Bands are small groups of related households occupying a particular region that gather periodically on an ad hoc basis but that do not yield their sovereignty to the larger collective. Least complicated and oldest form of political organization Common among food foragers Features of Bands Bands seldom number more than a few hundred members, often less than 1 person/mi2 Most conflicts within bands are settled by gossip, ridicule, direct negotiation, or mediation Decisions made by all or most adult members Leaders determined by abilities, no power to enforce decisions Example of a band--Ju/’hoansi of the Kalahari Desert Each band has right to territory it occupies Head does not own property Head determines when and where to move band, has no other duties Organization of hunts, punishment for wrongdoing, trade, all handled by band members Tribes A tribe is a group of independent communities occupying a specific region and sharing a common language and culture integrated by some unifying factor This term is often used incorrectly Sometimes used in derogatory way Has a distinct legal meaning (generally does not accurately represent the situation) Centralized Political Systems Chiefdoms A chiefdom is a regional polity in which two or more local groups are organized under a single chief, who is at the head of a ranked hierarchy of people Individuals rank in society determined by relationship to chief Features of a chief Office of chief is usually hereditary Chief is a true authority figure Power is often organized like chain of command (major and minor subdivisions) Chief controls economic activities Usually controls surplus goods or labor (via redistribution) Chief may amass great wealth and pass on to heirs Example of chiefdom--Kpelle of Liberia, West Africa Traditional tasks: hearing disputes, preserving order, seeing to upkeep of trails, maintaining medicines New tasks rewarded by: percentage of court fees, rice from each household, gifts from those requesting help, uniformed messengers, clerks, many wives, gowns Several ranks of lesser chiefs under paramount chiefs States The State is a centralized political system with the power to coerce States probably made possible by increased food production (led to increased pop.) Characteristics of states: Not always stable, short-lived compared to earlier forms of political systems 181 states exist today, within them are 5000 nations 73% of today’s states are multinational States delegate authority (police, ministries) Example of a State--Swazi, Swaziland southeast Africa Farmers, emphasis on cattle raising Swazi authority characterized by dual monarchy Hereditary aristocracy, king and mother are central figures They preside over higher courts, allocate land, disburse wealth Complex system of advisors and councils Government extends from smallest homestead up to central administration Positions held for life, but subjects may transfer allegiance to other chief Political Leadership and Gender Female Rulers Women rarely hold important positions In band societies, women often have as much say in political matters as men Iroquois women appointed men to positions of power and could remove them Dual-sex systems, Igbo of West Africa Separate institutions for men and women Male and female rulers each had councils Men and women managed own affairs and were represented at all levels of government Political Organization and the Maintenance of Order A primary purpose of any political system is the maintenance of social order Internal Controls Internal controls are beliefs so thoroughly engrained that each person becomes responsible for his/her own conduct Wape of New Guinea Ghosts protect descendents and punish wrongdoers Successful hunting depends on hunter behaving properly Example of modern Wape hunter using shotgun External Controls External controls are customs designed to encourage conformity Sanctions are the primary form of external social control Positive sanctions Awards, titles, recognition by neighbors Negative sanctions Threats, imprisonment, corporal punishment, ostracism Informal sanctions Disapproving glances, chuckles Formal sanctions Positive Military decorations, monetary awards Negative Seizure of property, imprisonment, death Sanctions must be applied consistently Social Control through Law Contrast Inuit of Canada with Western Society: Inuit of Canada Disputes between individuals settled by “song duels” Spectators applause to help determine outcome Goal is to resolve conflict If not possible, one party moves away Western Society (ie U.S.) Disputes between individuals settled by courts Participants involve judges, police, lawyers, unrelated to parties Spectators (jury) responsibility is to determine guilt & punishment Goal is to punish guilty, not resolve conflict or award victim Definition of Law A law is a formal negative sanction Difficult to define law from an anthropological perspective Cannot always be associated with a court system Functions of Law Three functions of laws: Define relationships among society members, determine proper behavior under specified circumstances Allocate the authority to employ coercion in the enforcement of sanctions Redefine social relations and ensure social flexibility Crime Western society distinguishes between crime and tort: Crime is a violation of public right Tort is a violation against an individual Non-western societies do not distinguish, all offenses are against individuals Disputes settled in two ways: 1) Disputing parties voluntarily arrive at agreement Negotiation arguments and compromise between disputing parties to arrive at mutually satisfactory agreement Mediation, use of unbiased third party 2) Third party issues binding decision, called adjudication Two Examples of Different Ways of Settling Disputes Kepelle of Liberia, Trial by ordeal Hot knife application by licensed operator Knife applied to operator’s leg to demonstrate effects on innocent Burn determines guilt Commonly used in Medieval Europe United States Trial by polygraph Instruments applied to fingers by licensed operator Instrument tested against operator to demonstrate effects on innocent Positioning of needles determine guilt Political Organization and External Affairs War is unknown in some societies More common among farmers (conflict over land) All state level societies engage in war Present about 10,000 years Crisis proportions within last 200 years Indiscriminant (kills children as well as soldiers) Advent of more destructive modern weaponry Warfare has economic, political, and ideological factors Political Systems and Legitimacy In centralized political systems, coercion is often used as a means of social control Large number of individuals needed to enforce rules Enforcers may become political power Force may result in resentment from those applied to Less-extreme forms of coercion sought Legitimacy is the right of political leaders to rule Divine right to rule (European kings) Right by wealth (Kapauku) Right by age (West Africa) Right by popular vote (many countries) Right by electoral college (US) Chapter 13, Religion and the Supernatural No known culture without religion Religion serves many important functions in society Psychological purposes of religion: Confront and explain death Gives meaning to life Provides a path from earthly existence to spiritual selfhood Social functions of religion: Reinforces group norms Provides moral sanctions for individual conduct Furnishes common purpose and values upon which communities depend Will Science Replace Religion? Once predicted this to be the case The opposite is occurring--a resurgence in fundamental religions worldwide Science has created threats that religion helps ease (Nuclear catastrophe, global warming, pollution, biotechnology, cloning, genetic engineering, artificial insemination, mechanization of traditional jobs, etc.) Continuing strength of religion shows it is a powerful and dynamic force in society Anthropology cannot pass judgment on specific religions, but can show what religion can reveal about humans and society An Anthropological Approach to Religion Religion is a set of rituals, rationalized by myth, that mobilizes supernatural powers to achieve or prevent transformations of state in people and nature Humans often attempt to manipulate the supernatural when they cannot “fix” problems using technology Religion is thus behavior by which people try to control aspects of the universe otherwise beyond their control Religion is generally more important in societies with lower levels of technology Religion is generally less important in societies with higher levels of technology The Practice of Religion Gods and goddesses More remote beings that control the universe Monotheism is the believe in a single, supreme being Polytheism is the belief in two or more gods Pantheons are collections of gods or goddesses Gods common in patriarchal societies Goddesses common in matriarchal societies Ancestral Spirits Many cultures believe that humans are made of two parts--body and vital spirit Belief that spirit continues beyond physical death Spirits retain active interest in society Spirit behavior may be unpredictable (good or bad) Spirits may behave just like living humans Spirits may be reborn into a lineage Animism Animism is a belief in spirit beings thought to animate nature All animate and inanimate objects may have spirits These spirits are much closer to living people than gods and goddesses These spirits may be good, bad, or neutral Belief in animism common among foragers Animatism Animatism is the belief that the world is animated by impersonal supernatural powers Supernatural power is sometimes perceived as a “force” inherent in objects Melanesian “mana”, Shoshonean “buha” A power just beyond the reach of senses Best described by “virtue, prestige, authority, good fortune, influence, sanctity, and luck” Religious Specialists Priests (most common) and Priestesses Generally full-time specialists Possess special traits Skilled at contacting supernatural beings Shamans Not full-time specialists Receive gifts from special, personal event Sometimes a traumatic experience is required Common in “New Age” religions Often associated with trance Shamans often invoked to heal illnesses Rituals and Ceremonies Rituals are “religion in action” Rites of Passage Birth, puberty, marriage, parenthood, specialization, death Three stages of Rites of Passage 1) Separation (boys taken from village) 2) Transition (tooth knocking or circumcision) 3) Incorporation (welcome back into village as a man) Rites of Intensification Involve group crisis, not individual crisis (drought, attack, epidemic, etc.) Funerary rites Magic, and Witchcraft Magic is the belief that supernatural powers can be controlled to cause good or evil Books about demons and possession are still popular in spite of science Horoscope columns are as popular today as ever Many practicing witches, wizards, druids, and shamans Two fundamental types of magic Imitative magic (using dolls to effect living person) Contagious magic (use of hair, fingernails, teeth, etc. to effect a living person) Ibibio Witchcraft (Nigeria) Ibibio believe most misfortune is the result of witches Males or females can be witches One becomes a witch by ingesting special objects (colored threads, needles, etc.) Can then change into animals and travel at incredible speeds Witches identified as anyone revealing unusual behavior Preferring to be alone, not showing grief when customary, not taking care of elderly parents, adultery, etc. Black witches (destructive powers) White witches (powerful, but not normally dangerous unless provoked) Functions of Witchcraft Helps explain why me, why now? Witchcraft is often used to explain illnesses, misfortune, etc. Can also provide a potential cure Accusation of witchcraft is sometimes used as a measure of a persons personality traits (unfavorable traits may thus be suppressed to avoid accusations) Psychological functions of witchcraft Tends to manage tensions within a society (ie Navajo) Allows expressions of hostility Encourages people to behave properly Witchcraft (Wicca) is not always concerned with working “evil” Functions of Religion Religion serves to provide an orderly model of the universe Explains the unknown and makes it understandable Provides a means of dealing with crisis Sanctions a wide range of conduct Sets precedents for acceptable behavior Lifts burden of responsibility from individuals (some events caused by gods, not humans) Maintains group solidarity (sharing of rituals) Serves social function of education (such as initiation rites) Religion and Social Change Religion can offer hope when circumstances seem overwhelming Revitalization movements Deliberate attempts to create a more satisfying culture Attempt to change many aspects of culture, not just religion Leaders generally considered prophets Ghost Dances (Western North America) Cargo Cults (Melanesia) Unification Church “Moonies” (North America) Heaven’s Gate (North America) Mormonism Common sequence for revitalization movements 1) Normal society 2) Increased individual stress (economic, political, etc.) 3) Social distortion, no effective means to resolve problems 4) Dynamic cult captivates attention of segment of population Chapter 14, The Arts No culture without some form of art In U.S., arts often perceived as superfluous Art programs in schools first to be cut What are the practical benefits of art? Can an art major actually find a job upon graduation? Art is used to communicate in the same way as speech Everyone participates in the arts Music, dress, movies (drama), jewelry, aesthetic choice in practical items (cars & homes), advertising, etc. Ancient artwork is often shown in museums, different from intention of original artists Modern fine art has become detached from folk art or pop art Much ancient art was designed to be temporary Art is important as it is universal, expresses human values, and is shaped by culture Art contributes to human well-being, gives significance to life In this regard, it is much like religion It is sometimes difficult to draw a clear dividing line between art and religion Masks, statues and effigies, burial goods, ornaments, songs, dances The Anthropological Study of Art The cataloging and describing of all known art forms is a never-ending task for anthropologists Generally considered very enjoyable by researchers Imagine the challenge of recording and analyzing the art of any given culture Ornaments, body decorations, clothing, blankets, pottery and basketry, architecture and embellishments, masks, legends, songs, dances Verbal Arts Folklore is the unwritten stories, beliefs, and customs of European peasant peoples Most anthropologists prefer the terms “oral tradition” and “verbal arts” Oral traditions include narratives, dramas, poetry, incantations, proverbs, riddles, word games, etc. The easiest to study are narratives Narratives can be divided into myths, legends, and tales Myths A myth is a sacred narrative explaining how the world came to be in its present form Myths are basically religious in nature Myths generally express a culture’s worldview Myths are products of creative imagination, works of art, and religious statements Myths around the world often share similar themes (of great interest to anthropologists) One-time rule by women, great floods, virgin births, destruction of earlier worlds, replacement by subsequent worlds, positive deities above, negative deities below Legends Legends are stories told as true and set in the post-creation world Reagan story of woman on welfare receiving numerous checks, proven untrue, story still used by President (typical of legends) Cannot be attributed to specific author Exist in multiple versions Told with enough detail to seem believable Tell us something of the society they are found in Commonly deal with heroes, movements of people, and establishment of local customs Often used to entertain, instruct, or inspire pride Much of “history” is legendary in nature Some states rewrite history (Aztec, Nazi, Maya, others) Archaeological evidence often refutes historical narratives (Utah massacre, etc.) Long legends are known as epics May last several hours or even days Generally found in non-literate societies Serve to transmit complex knowledge (legal & political matters) Legends provide anthropologist with much information about a culture What kinds of behavior are approved How is incorrect behavior punished What is brave or cowardly What is morally acceptable, unacceptable Tales Tales are creative narratives recognized as fiction for entertainment Tales around the world often share common themes (snake sewn into arm of jacket at KMART) Many of our tales are traceable to ancient India Common themes include: Animal, human experience, trickster, dilemma, ghost, moral, scatological, and nonsense Other Verbal Arts Poetry Egyptian Bedouins use two forms of poems Heroic poems told by men, formal in nature, usually used in ritual contexts Little poems, told primarily by women and youth, informal, often discuss controversial subjects, risqué themes, etc. Music lyrics Drama productions The Art of Music Ethnomusicology is the study of a society’s music No single definition of music is acceptable to a majority of anthropologists What is music to one person is noise to another Music is abstract expression, not concrete ideas, difficult to study scientifically European music differs greatly from much other music from around the world Often other music is highly repetitive Scales differ widely from culture to culture (7 note, 5 note, etc.) Much non-western music sounds strange to westerners until they listen to enough to become familiar with conventions Patterns of beats is highly variable, western music being quite different from other musical traditions Functions of Music Music has been used as a form of entertainment Also used to call game, lure enemies, attract women Music can be a cultural identifier (rage, rap, ethnic music) Promote political ends (patriotic songs) Songs are music with verbal text Adhere to conventions of pitch, rhythm, etc. Contain lots of cultural information Function to soothe babies to sleep, ward off evil, advertise goods, pass time, time activities Songs can convey information and feelings that are difficult to pass on via other forms of communication Pictoral Art Examples from all known cultures Types of pictorial art: Engravings on bone and shell, paintings and carvings on rock, carved and painted onto wood, gourds, or pots, painted on or woven into textiles, painted on bodies Two main categories of pictorial art Representational (imitating nature) Abstract (representing patterns or unrecognizable forms) Southern African Rock Art Unbroken tradition that is at least 27,000 years old Painted or carved onto rock surfaces Figures involve animals (elans) and humans (very animated) a geometric designs (dots, zigzags, etc) Superimposition Animals are more naturalistic than humans Poses of humans suggest art depicts trance dances To fully “interpret” rock art, we must understand symbols used by artists Compare with da Vinci’s Last Supper Modern interpretation suggests geometric images are entopic phenomena (visions of grids, geometric designs, spirals) During trance, brain goes through three stages: 1) Image generation, brain will begin to see geometric patterns 2) Brain will try to make sense of patterns, mapping things from everyday life (markings on giraffe skin, etc.) onto dreamed images 3) Observer becomes part of images, images are generally very emotional (powerful animals, etc.) Chapter 15, Cultural Change Cultural Change All cultures change Some remain stable for thousands of years, but archaeologists have shown that all known cultures have changed Often, cultural change is a combination of several distinct factors operating simultaneously. Mechanisms of Change Innovation A primary innovation is the chance discovery of a new principle Discovery that fire hardened clay (25,000 years ago) A secondary innovation is the development of something new as a result of the deliberate application of a known principle Discovery of clay vessels (6,000 years ago) There is often a long period of time between primary and secondary innovations. Some innovations occur when different conditions come together at the right time Penicillin-discovery made in 1928 when mold accidentally landed on staph colony Some innovations are discouraged when there is no perceived need Copernicus’s discovery of planet rotation Mendel’s discovery of laws of heredity Why are some innovations not accepted? Force of habit (humans are generally conservative) Example of “QWERTY” keyboard vs. “DVORAK” keyboard (speed and accuracy advantage of later) Why don’t we use the metric system? Diffusion Diffusion is the borrowing of customs from one society to another Estimates suggest that 90% of a culture’s content is diffused from other cultures Cultural content is accepted if deemed appropriate, rejected if inappropriate Foods we have borrowed from American Indians: Potatoes, avocados, corn, beans, squash, tomatoes, peanuts, manioc, chili peppers, chocolate, sweet potatoes, tobacco, etc Other items we borrowed from American Indians: Rubber, medicines (cocaine, laxatives, aspirin), music, games, literature. Cultural Loss One major source of culture change is cultural loss, where one item is abandoned when a new one is adopted, or when the old one no longer serves a purpose Camels replaced wheeled carts on Roman roads Atlatls being replaced by the bow and arrow Typewriters being replaced by word processors Slide rules being replaced by calculators. Forcible Change Acculturation is when culture change is forced upon a people during first-hand contact between cultures Always involves some force Merger When two different cultures blend to form a new one (”melting pot” concept) Extinction When members of one culture either die or when they become refugees among other cultures (many Brazilian Indians) Did the indigenous Shoshonean population of southern Idaho merge with Euroamerican society or become extinct? Genocide Genocide is the deliberate or un-deliberate extinction of one group by another Pequot massacre in Connecticut, 1637 Wounded Knee, South Dakota, 1890 Tasmania, Australia Jewish extermination during WW II Iraq 1945-1987, 6.8 million people were victims of genocide 1945-1980, 3.34 million people died in wars. Directed Change Directed change is change forced upon a conquered people by conquerors Placement in reservations Requirement to adopt new customs, language Responses to directed change Movement to remote locations Syncretism Adaptation of British game of Cricket by Trobriand Islanders. Revitalization Movements Revitalization is the deliberate attempt by a small segment of a society to construct a more satisfactory culture by the acceptance of multiple innovations Mormonism Black Muslims Melanesian Cargo Cults Paiute Ghost Cult. Rebellion and Revolution Rebellions occur when discontent becomes excessive Many smaller countries are exploited by more powerful countries Cheap labor, natural resources Common conditions for rebellion: 1) Loss of prestige of established authority (failure of foreign policy, financial difficulties) 2) Threat to recent economic improvement (rising cost of living) 3) Indecisiveness of government (lack of consistent policies) 4) Loss of support of intellectual class 5) Emergence of a leader with charisma to mobilize discontented. A few stats regarding rebellions: 120 armed conflicts today 98% are in the poor countries of Africa, Asia, Central America, South America 75% are between the state and subjugated peoples within the state’s borders Rebellions are relatively modern phenomena because state level organization is only about 5000 years old. Modernization Modernization is the process wherein developing societies acquire some of the characteristics of Western industrialized societies. “Becoming modern” equates to “becoming like us” Ethnocentric Suggests that other cultures must be changed The process of modernization; 1) technological development (shift to scientific methods) 2) agricultural development (shift to commercial farming) 3) industrialization (shift to inanimate forms of energy) 4) urbanization (move into cities). Example 1: The Skolt Lapps and Snowmobiles Original society was basically egalitarian Central economic focus was reindeer herding Men used skis to follow and maintain herds Snowmobiles introduced in 1960's By 1967, nearly all Lapps using snowmobiles Snow machines and parts were needed and expensive Result was need for cash (men forced to work elsewhere for cash income) Use of machines to herd Reindeer has impacted herd size (from 50 to 12) and behavior (more skiddish) Many Lapps have abandoned herding altogether. Example 2: The Shuar (Jivaro) Formed a federation in 1964 to help decide future of society Secured title to 96,000 hectares of communal land Established a herd of 15,000 cattle Established Shuar schools with Shuar teachers Established a radio station and newspaper. Modernization and the “Underdeveloped” World Changes that occurred over many generations in our society are occurring quickly elsewhere Family structure is changing Schools replacing family structure Change from extended to nuclear family Burden of modernization falls primarily on women Commercialization of farming ignores traditional women’s land rights Mechanization replaces women’s labor, forces women into household work Husbands confined more to work related to farming, other family responsibilities fall more and more on women. Does Modernization Have to be Painful? Is it possible for all the world to be modern? The US (5% of world population) consumes 50% of the world’s natural resources Many other cultures aspire to our standards Is leading to a “Culture of Discontent” wherein aspirations far exceed bounds of local opportunities Rural people are fleeing to cities to find “better Chapter 16, The Cultural Future of Humanity While culture is solving some problems, it is creating others If humanity is to make wise decisions about the future, it is imperative we have a clear understanding of the world today. It is here anthropologists have much to offer. Will there be a “One-World Culture”? Some anthropologists believe this could happen by the 23rd century One problem with this scenario is the tendency for large states to come apart USSR, Maya, Rome, most others There are 181 recognized states, but 5000 national groups desiring self-control Is a One-World Culture a Good Idea? Some feel that certain cultures may be too specialized to survive in a changing environment. This is not true, culture is adaptable, they have just not been given the chance to do so. The Rise of Multinational Corporations In 1994,10 individuals directed 37 North American companies with combined assets of $2 trillion (larger than many governments and nearly 10% of ALL corporate assets in the US) Very few people know who these powerful individuals are. Can you name the 5 largest multinational corporations? Corporations have tremendous political power, often thwarting the wishes of governments Corporations can also act in concert with governments, this is where the worst problems occur Brazil government joined by Alcoa, Borden, Union Carbide, Swift-Armor, Volkswagen, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and others to log and mine huge regions of Brazil displacing millions of indigenous peoples and extinguish numerous tribal groups Get consumers to pay for advertising (logos on t-shirts) Hire cheap labor (esp women from underdeveloped nations) Help draw people into a global system of relationships Ethnic Resurgence Many people resisting modernization Overthrow of Shah of Iran, control by fundamentalists and return to traditional lifeways Ethnocentrism To survive, a culture must instill the idea that its “ways” are best Many governments believe that no group has the right to stand in the way of the “greater good for the greater number” Problems Humankind will Face World Hunger In 1980, 52 countries were producing less than in 1970 42 countries can’t produce enough food to feed populations Problem is dramatic population growth Can we grow enough food? Yes, but the problem is distribution The US throws away $85 million a day in food (farms going bankrupt at high rate) Genetically-altered wheat feared though it can increase yields by many times Pollution Farm chemicals (fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides) Burning of fossil fuels, global warming Population control Increase in proportion of elderly Conclusion The emphasis on individual self-interest, materialism, and conspicuous consumption characteristic of the world’s richest countries, needs to be abandoned in favor of a more human self-image and social ethic. These can be created from values still found in many of the worlds’ non-Western cultures. Such values include a worldview that sees humanity as part of the natural world, rather than superior to it.