Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology- Alexander Torres

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Cultural Anthropology by Mind Map: Cultural Anthropology

1. Chapter 1: Anthropology in the Global Age

1.1. Anthropology: the study of the full scope of human diversity, past and present, and the application of that knowledge to help people of different backgrounds better understand one another's culture and connections

1.1.1. Cultural Anthropology: the study of people's communities, behaviors, beliefs, and institutions, including how people make meaning as they live, work, and play together

1.1.2. "Our work cover the whole world and is not constrained by geographic boundaries" (Guest, 10)

1.2. Lenses Used in Anthropology

1.2.1. Four-Field Approach- The use of four interrelated disciplines to study humanity: physical anthropology, archaeological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and cultural anthropology

1.2.2. Holism: Similar to the four-field approach learning about the full scope of human life, including culture, biology, history, and language, across space and time.

1.3. Ethnographic Fieldwork: a primary research strategy in cultural anthropology involving living with a community of people over an extended period to better understand their lives

1.3.1. Participant Observation: a key anthropological research strategy involving both participation in and observation of the daily life of the people being studied

1.3.2. Ethnographic: "Walking in their shoes" (Guest,10)

2. Culture

2.1. Learned and Taught: culture can learned (enculturation) and taught in an informal or formal situation

2.1.1. Informal: unconscious learning and teaching through family, friends, and social events (like a birthday party)

2.1.2. Formal: cultural institutions like schools, medical systems, media, police/military, and religious institutions

2.2. Culture is "A system of knowledge, beliefs, and institutions that are created, learned, shared and contested by a group of people" (Guest, 35)

2.3. Franz Boas

2.3.1. He rejected the idea of unilineal cultural evolution: all cultures naturally evolve through the same sequence of stages Savagery (early)--> Barbarism (middle)--> Civilization (later states)

2.4. Nature vs Nurture: the idea that people learn and develop based on their environment or genetics

2.4.1. Nature entitles the determination of gender differences, racial categories, ethnic divisions, and sexuality (debatable)

2.4.2. Nurture involves culture, values, and experiences that shape a person's behavior

3. Human Origins

3.1. Dating: Scientists use the process to determine how old fossil or rock is which can be beneficial for a lot of information

3.1.1. Relative Dating: is based on material found near the object getting dated. This could be a stone, artifact, or any other fossilized object

3.1.2. Absolute Dating: uses more precise tools. Example, using carbon-14's half life, carbon dating has become popular in dating how long ago the bodies of the fossils existed

3.2. Evolution: (Darwinism) every living thing is representative of multiple biological adaptations over thousands of generations. This happens in response to changes in a natural environment.

3.2.1. Natural Selection: is the process by which organisms with features that are adaptable to the environment survive and reproduce and increase frequency (like the blue dodo bird or the month)

3.2.2. Positive Selection: process in which advantageous genetics variants quickly increase in frequency in a population

3.3. Human Ancestors: humanity has evolved from varies species of hominid; from the Australopithecus, homo habilis, homo erectus, homo florensiensis, Neanderthals to the now existing homo sapiens

3.3.1. Bipedalism: the ability to habitually walk on two legs; ancestors spent a lot of time on the ground. With this hands and arms were free which were able to create tools to survive and hunt

3.3.2. Skulls: over time, as humanity gained more resources, skulls evolved to fit new diets and a larger brain

3.3.3. Fossils: the remains of an organism that have been preserved by a natural chemical process that turns them partially or wholly into rock.

3.4. Genetics: affected the evolution process through mutations in human DNA, gene flow, and genetic drift

3.4.1. Gene Flow: the movement of genetic material within a population and among diverse populations

3.4.2. Genetic drift "is more rapid in smaller more isolated populations as a small number of changes can have a statistically more significant influence" (Guest, 168) Random and unpredictable changes in DNA The process whereby one segment of a population is removed from the larger pool, thereby limiting the flow of genetic material between the two groups.