Presentation on theme: "1 Introduction to Social Anthropology B Lecture 1."— Presentation transcript:
1 Introduction to Social Anthropology B Lecture 1
2 Lecture 1 Why study Anthropology? How did the subject develop?
3 What is Social Anthropology? The study of ‘other’ cultures The study of the unity and diversity of humankind
4 Anthropology as the antidote to Ethnocentrism Seeing the world from the perspective of your own culture Culture is fundamental to the perception and understanding of the world
5 The historical origins of the subject The expansion of Europe from the C15th Enlightenment
6 Characterisation of the ‘primitive other’ Primitive man v noble savage
7 Noble savage In a state of nature to people live in a harmonious equalitarian utopia Jean Jacques Rousseau born free but everywhere in chains Karl Marx Society harmony/ absence of conflict or violence co-operation and sharing/equalitarian harmony with nature Individual child-like innocence naturally inquisitive virtuous
8 Primitive man - red in tooth and claw life was... nasty brutish and short... war of all against all Thomas Hobbes Society violent conflictual/despotic victim of nature and each other Individual child-like no self-control ignorant / irrational evil
12 Imperialism The march of progress and the ‘white man’s burden’. Colonial origins of the discipline. Ideology and control
13 Progress Lewis Henry Morgan’s “...demonstration that progress is a fundamental law of human society, and one which has always prevailed - progress in thought and knowledge, in industry, in morality, in social organization, in institutions, and in all things tending to, or advancing civilization and general well-being.” McIlvaine 1867 “Malthusianism” The Biblical Repertory and Princeton Review 39:103- 38
15 Evolutionary perspectives. Lamark, Darwin, Spencer, Morgan, Marx Cultural evolution: ‘earlier’ :: ‘different’ The evolutionary legacy in anthropology
16 The rise of ethnography and functionalist perspectives Pitt-Rivers: Genealogical method Spencer and Gillan: Torres Straits expedition Franz Boaz: Inuit, Cultural relativism Bronislaw Malinowksi: Trobriand Islands, Functionalism
17 Spencer and Gillan and the Torres Straits Expedition
20 Structural Analysis of Culture Levi-Strauss The equivalence of languages and cultures
21 The study of non-tribal people. Natives v ‘Us’ :: Peasants v Elites Chicago School, Redfield – Tepotzlan. Zaneiki – Polish Peasant. Arensberg – Ireland.
22 Migrants and minorities Minorities v. Majorities Study of ethnicity and nationalism. Anthropology as study of marginal peoples in state societies.
23 Post-modernism and post- colonialism Radical cultural relativism; whose ‘voice’ is to be heard Said, Orientalism
24 The oriental other The other feature of Oriental-European relations was that Europe was always in a position of strength, not to say domination.......The Oriental is irrational, depraved (fallen), childlike, “different”; thus the European is rational, virtuous, mature, “normal”. Knowledge of the Orient, because generated out of strength, in a sense creates the Orient, the Oriental, and his world.... the Oriental is depicted as something one judges (as in a court of law), something one studies and depicts (as in a curriculum), something one disciplines (as in a school or prison), something one illustrates (as in a zoological manual). The point is that in each of these cases the Oriental is contained and represented by dominating frameworks. Edward Said 1978 Orientalism p40
25 Last Alaska language speaker dies BBC. Last Updated: Thursday, 24 January 2008, 10:56 GMT http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7206411.stm A woman believed to be the last native speaker of the Eyak language in the north-western US state of Alaska has died at the age of 89. Marie Smith Jones was a champion of indigenous rights and conservation. She died at her home in Anchorage. She helped the University of Alaska compile an Eyak dictionary, so that future generations would have the chance to resurrect it. Nearly 20 other native Alaskan languages are at risk of disappearing. Ms Jones is described by her family as a tiny chain smoking woman who was fiercely independent, says the BBC's Peter Bowes in Los Angeles. "To the best of our knowledge, she was the last full-blooded Eyak alive," her daughter Bernice Galloway told the Associated Press news agency. "She was a woman who faced incredible adversity in her life and overcame it. She was about as tenacious as you can get." She believed passionately in preserving the Eyak language and wanted a written record of it to be kept so for future generations.