Drill ~ 12/17/09 In what ways is this Indian wedding different from a traditional American wedding?
What do we have in common? Cultural Universals –Features common to all cultures –George Murdock – 1940s anthropologist compiled a list of 65 cultural universals Body adornment, cooking, dancing, family, feasting, funerals, gift giving, music, myth & folklore, sports, religion, etc.
Cultural Universals We need cultural universals for survival, but the nature of them can vary widely –Ex. Family In all cultures the purpose of family is the same ~ ensures new members are added to society and cared for until old enough to survive on their own The make-up of family varies from culture to culture –Man, several wives and children –Man, wife & children –Man, wife, children & all extended family
Margaret Mead Anthropologist ~ 1930s Does temperament result from inherited characteristics or from cultural influences? Lived among the people of New Guinea and made first-hand observations of the many different societies She compared two in particular who shared many social traits, but exhibited vastly different cultures
The Arapesh Content, non- aggressive, gentle, receptive, trusting, and warm people Lived in a society based on complete cooperation and live in clans (families with a common ancestor) Men –Clear land, build & repair, carry heavier loads, hunt, plant, care for crops, cook and carve ceremonial food Women –Bring firewood & water, prepare meals, carry goods from place to place
The Arapesh – Cont. Children are cared for by both men & women Children are discouraged from displaying any aggression –Instead they are taught to throw stones on the ground or hit palm trees with a stick When a girl is 7 or 8, she is promised to a boy who is about 6 years older –The boys father makes the match –Marriage is an opportunity to increase the family circle –The girl then works with her mother-in-law and lives with the boys family –When they are ready, they begin life as a true married couple –When a womans husband dies, she usually remarries a man who already has a wife
The Mundugumor Aggressive, competitive, jealous and violent ~ often show off and fight Open hostility exsists between all members of the same sex –Hostility between brothers and fathers & sons (similar for women as well) The Rope –The only ties between members of the same sex, is through the opposite sex –When one dies, the property is passed down the rope Ex. Father, his daughters, his daughters sons, his daughters sons daughters and so on…
The Mundugumor Men –Wealth & power come from having a large number of wives (8 – 10 usually) Children –Infants are carried in a basket that gives no contact with mother –When the mother works outdoors, the child is left hanging in the basket inside – fed when the mother is ready –They are not picked up or comforted Physical punishment is very common – especially for breaking rules –Dont wander out of sight –No clinging to mother –Cant go to the houses of fathers other wives Children tend to push families apart –Fathers want daughters to trade for more wives –Mothers want sons to work & be the heir
Studying Variation Ethnocentrism –The tendency to view ones own culture and group as superior Cultural Relativism –The belief that cultures should be judged by their own standards rather than by applying the standards of another culture
How might Cultural Relativism help you explain this image?
Homework Cultural Discontinuity and the American Indian Dropout Rate –Read the short excerpt and answer the Think About It questions