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Chapter 4 The Growth of Anthropological Theory (Ferraro, Gary. Cultural Anthropology. An Applied Perspective. 7 th ed. (2008)

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 The Growth of Anthropological Theory (Ferraro, Gary. Cultural Anthropology. An Applied Perspective. 7 th ed. (2008)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 The Growth of Anthropological Theory (Ferraro, Gary. Cultural Anthropology. An Applied Perspective. 7 th ed. (2008)

2 What We Will Learn Who have been the important theorists in cultural anthropology since the mid- nineteenth century? What theories have anthropologists used to explain cultural differences and similarities among the peoples of the world? How can anthropological data be used to make large-scale comparisons among cultures?

3 Anthropological Theories A theory is a statement that suggests a relationship among phenomena. Theories enable us to reduce reality to an abstract set of principles. Anthropological principles help us make sense of ethnographic information from different parts of the world. Theories can generate hypotheses to be tested in an empirical research investigation.

4 Quiz: A _____ is a statement that suggests a relationship among phenomena. 1. fact 2. theory 3. hypothesis 4. position

5 Answer: 2 A theory is a statement that suggests a relationship among phenomena.

6 Evolutionism The nineteenth-century school of cultural anthropology, represented by Tylor and Morgan, that attempted to explain variations in world cultures by the single deductive theory that they all pass through a series of evolutionary stages.

7 Evolutionism in Brief All cultures pass through the same developmental stages in the same order. Evolution is unidirectional and leads to higher levels of culture. A deductive approach is used to apply general theories to specific cases. Ethnocentric because evolutionists put their own societies at the top.

8 Lewis Henry Morgan Lewis Henry Morgan, a nineteenth-century evolutionist, held that all societies pass through certain distinctive evolutionary stages.

9 Morgan’s Evolutionary Stages 1. Lower savagery: From the earliest forms of humanity subsisting on fruits and nuts. 2. Middle savagery: Began with the discovery of fishing technology and the use of fire. 3. Upper savagery: Began with the invention of the bow and arrow.

10 Morgan’s Evolutionary Stages 4. Lower barbarism: Began with the art of pottery making. 5. Middle barbarism: Began with domestication of plants and animals in the Old World and irrigation cultivation in the New World.

11 Morgan’s Evolutionary Stages 6. Upper barbarism: Began with the smelting of iron and use of iron tools. 7. Civilization: Began with the invention of the phonetic alphabet and writing.

12 Savagery The first of three basic stages of cultural evolution in the theory of Lewis Henry Morgan; based on hunting and gathering.

13 Barbarism The middle of three basic stages of a nineteenth-century theory developed by Lewis Henry Morgan holding that all cultures evolve from simple to complex systems: savagery, barbarism, and civilization.

14 Diffusionism in Brief Societies change as a result of cultural borrowing from one another. A deductive approach is used by applying general theories to explain specific cases. Overemphasized the essentially valid idea of diffusion.

15 American Historicism in Brief Ethnographic facts must precede development of cultural theories (induction). Any culture is partially composed of traits diffused from other cultures. Direct fieldwork is essential. Each culture is, to some degree, unique. Ethnographers should try to get the view of those being studied, not their own view.

16 Franz Boas Franz Boas, the teacher of the first generation of cultural anthropologists in the United States, put the discipline on a firm empirical basis.

17 Functionalism in Brief Through fieldwork, anthropologists can understand how cultures work for the individual and the society. Society is like a biological organism with many interconnected parts. Empirical fieldwork is essential. The structure of any society contains indispensable functions without which the society could not continue.

18 Bronislav Malinowski During one of the longest uninterrupted fieldwork experiences on record, Bronislav Malinowski not only set the standard for conducting fieldwork but also developed an important new way of looking at cultures known as functionalism.

19 Gerald Murray Working for USAID, anthropologist Gerald Murray applied what he knew about Haitian farmers to make the nationwide reforestation project wildly successful.

20 British Functionalists Malinowski and Radcliffe-Brown were strong advocates of fieldwork. Concentrated on how contemporary cultures meet the needs of individuals and perpetuate the society. All parts of a culture are interconnected so a change in one part of the culture is likely to bring about change in other parts.

21 Psychological Anthropology in Brief Anthropologists need to explore the relationships between psychological and cultural variables. Personality is largely the result of cultural learning. Universal temperaments associated with males and females do not exist.

22 Psychological Anthropology Psychological anthropologists are interested in questions such as how the television-watching habits of children affect their personality structure, and how these personalities affect other parts of the culture.

23 Margaret Mead Margaret Mead devoted much of her long and distinguished career in anthropology to the study of how culture affects the process of growing up.

24 Psychological Anthropologists Benedict and Mead Interested in exploring relationship between culture and the individual. Benedict described whole cultures in terms of individual personality characteristics. Mead’s early research brought her to Samoa to study emotional problems associated with adolescence. Later she studied male and female gender roles in New Guinea.

25 Neoevolutionism in Brief Cultures evolve in proportion to their capacity to harness energy. Culture is shaped by environmental conditions. Human populations continuously adapt to techno-environmental conditions.

26 Quiz: Holding that humans are basically uninventive, _____ is a theory that claims certain cultural features were invented in one or several parts of the world, and then spread to other cultures. 1. cultural materialism 2. structural functionalism 3. diffusionism 4. evolutionism

27 Answer: 3 Holding that humans are basically uninventive, diffusionism is a theory that claims certain cultural features were invented in one or several parts of the world, and then spread to other cultures.

28 Quiz: Claude Levi-Strauss' _____ concentrates on identifying the mental structures that undergird social behavior. 1. American historicism 2. French structuralism 3. structural functionalism 4. economic determinism

29 Answer: 2 Claude Levi-Strauss' French structuralism concentrates on identifying the mental structures that undergird social behavior.

30 Anthropological Theories and Their Proponents SchoolMajor AssumptionAdvocates Evolutionism All societies pass through a series of stages. Tylor, Morgan Diffusionism All societies change as a result of cultural borrowing, Graebner, Smith

31 Anthropological Theories and Their Proponents SchoolMajor AssumptionAdvocates Functionalism Understand how cultures work for well- being of the individual. Malinowski Structural functionalism Determine how cultural elements function for the well- being of the society. Radcliffe-Brown

32 Anthropological Theories and Their Proponents SchoolMajor AssumptionAdvocates Psychological anthropology Show the relationship among psychological and cultural variables. Benedict, Mead Neoevolutionism Cultures evolve in proportion to their capacity to harness energy. White, Steward

33 Anthropological Theories and Their Proponents SchoolMajor AssumptionAdvocates French structuralism Human cultures are shaped by preprogrammed codes of the human mind. Lévi-Strauss Ethnoscience Cultures must be described in terms of native categories. Sturtevant, Goodenough

34 Anthropological Theories and Their Proponents SchoolMajor AssumptionAdvocates Cultural materialism Material conditions determine human consciousness and behavior. Harris Postmodernism Human behavior comes from how people perceive and classify their world. Geertz


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