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Transcript
Social Theories
Anthropology and Sociology
Unilineal Evolution (1850s –1900s)
Anthropological
Theories
Context for Unilineal Evolution
• 19th Century:
• Colonialism – economic & political domination
• Transfer of wealth to Europe
• Increasing Racism
3
Religion
• 3 Orientations
1. Polygenists: Separate creations
• Races are distinct species
2. Monogenists: One creation
• Biblical interpretation
• All races with ability to progress
• “White Man’s Burden”
3. Degeneration: Single creation
• Regression after creation
4
Polygenists
Separate Creations
Can’t Achieve Civilization
Monogenists
Capable of Advancement
Degenerationists
Punishment for
Falling from
Perfection
Unilineal Evolution
• Process by which new cultural forms emerge
out of older ones
• Each Society believed to PROGRESS through
the same stages of development, from
• SAVAGERY to BARBARISM to CIVILIZATION
• Only Europeans had reached civilization
7
Civilization
Barbarism
Savagery
8
Basis for Unilineal Evolution
• Application of biological evolution to
culture
• Interest in general laws, not history
• Ranking societies on a scale of progress
• Armchair anthropologists
9
Armchair Anthropologists
• 19th century Evolutionists collected data from
missionaries and traders
• Rarely traveled to societies they were studying
• Organized second hand data and applied
general theory to all societies
• Since Western societies had most advanced
technology, they put those societies at the
highest rank of civilization
• 19th century Evolutionists contributed to
anthropology:
• By providing first systematic methods for
explaining human societies
• Insightful about technological aspect of
societies
• Logical progression from simple tools to
complex technology
Historical Particularism
• Early 20th C. paradigm change
• Professionalization of anthropology
• Represents a reaction against unilineal
evolution
• Division between British & American
anthropology
• Omnibus approach
12
Assumptions of Historical Particularism
• Rejects:
• General laws
• Rankings (on a scale)
• “Progress”
Franz Boas
• No simple or complex societies, only different
societies
• Not Culture, but cultures
• Culture, not race, determines behavior
• Methodological rigor
13
Culture & Personality
(Psychological Anthropology)
Mead
Benedict
• 1930-50s – Students of Boas
• Borrowed from psychology
• Focus on the individual as the bearer of culture
• Idealist approach: Interest in personality & how
individuals thought, felt
• Studied process of enculturation, especially child
development
14
European Ethnocentrism
Timeline of European Religions
Diffusionism
• During late 19th and early 20th centuries
• Diffusionists addressed cultural differences
suggesting that humans were essentially
uninventive
• Cultural features developed in one or several
parts of the world and
• Spread, through the process of diffusion, to
other cultures
Diffusionists
• All societies change as a result of
cultural borrowing
• Use deductive approach: General
theory of diffusion applied to
explain specific cases of cultural
diversity
• Diffusionism overemphasized the
essentially valid idea of diffusion
The Silk Road
• The
Examples of Cultural Diffusion
Functionalism
• No matter how bizarre a cultural item
might at first appear, it had a meaning
• Performed some useful function
• Well-being of individual or society
• Researcher to become immersed in
culture and language to identify
functions
Functionalism
 The functionalist approach is based on two
fundamental principles:
1. Universal Functions
• Every part of a culture has a function
2. Functional Unity
• A culture is an integrated whole composed of a
number of interrelated parts;
• A change in one part of the culture is likely to
produce change in other parts
British Functionalism
• Society consists of institutions (or
structures, systems) that serve vital
purposes for people
• Functionalists not interested in evolution of
societies
• But relationship among different systems, or
structures, and
• How these structures serve society or
individual
Structural functionalism – A.R. Radcliffe-Brown
• Focused on how societal structures function to maintain
harmony in society.
• Economic, social, political, and religious institutions (or
systems) integrate society as a whole
• Perpetuate survival of society
• Anthropology should not focus on individual actions, but
focus on governing structures.
• Societal norms (which guide behavior) are window into those
structures;
• Function to reduce tension & conflict, promote stability, and
thus uphold the social structure.
A.R. Radcliffe-Brown
• Because of emphasis
on social functions
rather than individual
functions
• Radcliffe-Brown’s
theory has taken the
name STRUCTURAL
FUNCTIONALISM
Psychological Functionalism
Bronislaw Malinowski
• How elements of society function to meet needs of
individual
• Identified three basic types of needs:
• 1) Biological (food, sex);
• 2) Instrumental (protection, education, social control) and
• 3) Integrative (a common worldview).
• People developed institutions (or patterned ways of
behaving)
• Examples: Religion, kinship systems
• Use of magic in situations where humans have no control over
circumstances  weather, illness, death
French Structuralism
• Theoretical orientation holding that cultures are
the product of unconscious processes of the
human mind
• Claude Levi-Strauss
French Structuralism
• Rather than examining
attitudes, values and beliefs,
• Structuralists concentrate on
what happens at the
unconscious level
• The human mind categorizes
phenomena in terms of
binary oppositions.
French Structuralism
• Binary opposites examples:
•
•
•
•
•
•
hot-cold
male-female
old-young
night-day
right-left
us-them
• These dichotomies give shape to culture.
• Cultural systems are
most influenced by
such material things
as natural resources
and technology
Marvin Harris
Cultural Materialism
Cultural Materialism
• Key determinants in sociocultural evolution:
• Technology
Environment Energy Food
Economy
• Harris believes that material needs (food, technology, clothing,
shelter)
• Are more important than abstract (values, ideas, religion) in
determining cultural behavior
• Example: (Much criticism of this model.)
• Aztec human sacrifice and cannibalism
• To Aztecs: A religious ritual
• To Harris: Protein deficiency  craving for meat
Insufficient protein in the Aztec environment  need for
protein  human sacrifice & cannibalism
• Structural-Functionalism
• Conflict theory
• Symbolic Interactionism
Sociological Theories
Structural–Functional Paradigm
• Macro-level: Broad patterns that shape
society as a whole
• Society as complex system: Parts work
together to promote solidarity and stability
• Social structure = Relatively stable patterns of
social behavior
• Social function=Consequences for operation
of society as a whole
Structural-Functionalism
• Society is like human body or other
living organism
• Each part of society contributes to
the whole
• To maintain social stability
Founders of Functionalism
• August Comte (1798-1857)
• Herbert Spencer (1820-1903)
• Émile Durkheim (1858-1917)
Social-Conflict
• Macro theory
• Inequality generates conflict and social change
• Power
• Society structured to benefit a few at expense
of majority
• Race, sex, class, and age
• Dominant group vs. minority group
Founders:
Social-Conflict Theory
• Karl Marx
• Social class inequality and social conflict
• W.E.B. DuBois
• Race major problem for United States in 20th c.
• Harriet Martineau
• Position of women and their education
• Jane Addams
• Hull House for immigrants
Symbolic Interactionism
• Micro-level
• Focus on social interactions
• Use symbols with shared meanings
Symbolic Interactionism
• Society
• Shared reality that people construct
as they interact
• Meaning people attach to behavior
• Self
• Social creation of the self
• Interaction
Founders:
Symbolic-Interactionism
• Max Weber
• Intersubjective understanding
• George Herbert Mead
• Mind, self, and society
• Erving Goffman
• Dramaturgical analysis