Presentation on theme: "CULTURE Distinctively Human Adaptation Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities."— Presentation transcript:
Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society" (E.B. Tylor 1871). What is this thing called culture, anyway?
Culture However, a more modern source, the American Heritage English Dictionary, gives a primary definition of culture which is substantially different than earlier primary definitions: " The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought."
Culture Word of many uses…”high”culture, “low” culture, agriculture, cultivate, cult…”way of life” CULTURE / culture CULTURE - way of life of human beings - ethnology culture - way of life of a specific group of human beings - ethnography MAINLY learned S-R conditioning Symbolic Imprinting (Prägung)
Culture Initially learning was considered to occur on a tabula rasa or “blank slate.” Today, the term “palimpsest” seems more accurate.
Culture We acquire culture as a process of maturation - growing up….the various processes involved in the transmission of culture are called enculturation. Similar to socialization, but does not start until we are capable of symbolic learning. Enculturation is a major factor in the development of personality...our identity. Identification with one’s culture is known as ethnocentrism.
Culture Ethnocentrism is a major challenge to understand another culture. Cultural relativism is a method that anthropologists have developed to try to take account of their own ethnocentrism. Cultural relativism is simply an attempt to understand another culture from the point of view of the people in that culture.
How Cultures Are Studied Participant Observation Culture Shock Comparative Method Important Dichotomies Emic/Etic Inside/Outside Overt/Covert Real/Ideal
subculture How Cultures Are Studied Culture Change acculturation functional prerequisites culture loss cultural evolution cultural diffusion
The Trobriand Islands: Two Aspects of Culture Change First Aspect: Branislaw Malinowski Argonauts of the Western Pacific (1922) The initial study of the Trobrianders. One of the classic studies in anthropology…describes ethnographic fieldwork and establishes a functionalist approach in ethnology…his analysis of the “Kula Ring” remains one of the most assigned topics in anthropology. He: -----compelled anthropology out of the armchair -----advocated modern methods of ethnography such as participant observation and learning the language -----societies are integrated wholes; one must study interrelationships -----stressed need to document the native's perspective (emic)
The Trobriand Islands: Two Aspects of Culture Change Second Aspect: Annette Weiner Initiating her fieldwork about 50 years after Malinowski, Weiner revised his conclusions, taking into account women’s value in Trobriand economics….A major contribution to the field of cultural anthropology was her in-depth study of the value and circulation of goods among the Trobrianders of Papua, New Guinea. Her publications include Women of Value, Men of Renown: New Perspectives in Trobriand Exchange (1976).