studied byStudied by 11 people
get a hint

What is anthropology?

1 / 56

Tags and Description


57 Terms


What is anthropology?

The scientific study of the origin, behaviour, and the physical, social, and cultural development of humans

New cards

What is physical anthropology?

  • Looks at how humans are similar and different from other species

  • Looks at the development of humans (evolution of species)

New cards

What is paleoanthropology?

The study of bone and stone remains of our ancient ancestors from millions of years ago 

New cards

What are the research methods of paleoanthropologists?

  • Excavation of remains and objects

  • Radiometric dating (helps determine age of object)

New cards

Who is Raymond Dart?

  • An anthropology teacher in South Africa (1920s)

  • Found a skull and fossilized brain of a human child that was 3 million years old

  • The first person to provide evidence of the African origin of humanity

New cards

Who are Louis and Mary Leakey?

  • Worked at a site in Tanzania, Africa searching for evidence of our earliest human ancestors

  • In 1959, they found a nearly complete fossil skull and determined it to be 1.75 million years old

  • Found further proof of an African origin

New cards

What is primatology?

  • The study of anatomy, behaviours, social structures, and genetic evolution of living primates

    • Such as monkeys, gorillas apes, and mammal that have hands, hand-like feet, and forward facing eyes

New cards

What are the research methods in primatology?

  • Conduct experiments

  • Immerse themselves as an observer for field work in the natural environment of primates

  • Observe in a semi-free ranging site where the habitat of primates is replicated in a more captive setting

New cards

What are the similarities between humans and primates?

  • All mothers and infants have a bond that is important for survival

  • Can use and make tools

  • Communicates through facial expressions, touch, and body language

  • Rotating forearms, grasping hands and feet, forward facing eyes, and large brains

New cards

What are the differences between humans and primates?

  • Only humans walk on two feet

  • Primates DO NOT have a spoken language and the physical ability to speak

  • Humans live in groups and mate in pairs

  • Humans can develop ideas and beliefs about the world

New cards

Who is Jane Goodall?

  • Worked in Tanzania

  • Worked with chimps

  • Was an assistant for Louis Leakey

  • Observed chimps eating meat

  • Observed that primates used and made tools

  • Co-founded the Gombe Stream Research Center

New cards

Who is Dian Fossey?

  • Worked in Rwanda

  • Worked with gorillas

  • Helped Louis Leakey study gorillas

  • Founded the Karisoke research center

  • Imitated scratches and grunts of the gorillas to study them

  • Went from research to protection against poaching

  • Set up the digit fund

New cards

Who is Birute Galdikas?

  • Worked in Borneo

  • Worked with orangutans

  • Helped Louis Leakey study orangutans

  • Made over 100,000 hours of orangutan observations

  • Co-founded orangutan foundation international

  • Established the concept that non-human animals can have culture too

New cards

Why are humans different from one another?

  • Humans have evolved over time in order to survive in different conditions

    • Evolution: the process of species change survival or extinction

New cards

What are the three principals of natural selection?

  • Variation: a lot of variety (every species)

  • Heritability: individuals pass on traits to offspring

  • Environmental fitness: those who are better adapted to their environment will produce more offspring and pass on traits to the next generation

New cards

Do human subgroups exist?

  • The concept of race (cultural concept) is “socially” constructed

    • It is defined by our society

  • The American Anthropology Association (AAA) states that race does not exist in a scientific category

  • More genetic variations exist WITHIN races than between them

New cards

What is cultural anthropology?

  • Looks at how culture shapes the way people live

  • Looks at present cultures and past cultures

    • How is our behaviour shaped by the culture we live in?

New cards

What is culture?

  • The total system of ideas, values, behaviours, and attitudes of a society commonly shared by most members of society

New cards

What is culture made up of?

  • What people do:

    • Ex: shower regularly, bathe once a year

  • What people make:

    • Ex: cell phones, poison arrows

  • What people believe:

    • Ex: honour your ancestors, everyone is equal

New cards

What is ethnology?

  • The study of the characteristics of various peoples and the differences and relationships between them

    • Researchers immerse themselves in a culture for months or years

New cards

What research methods do ethnologists use to study culture?

  • Participant observation:

    • Observing and recording the behavior of the subject in their natural environment or a controlled setting

    • Living in another culture and learning a new language, adapting to new foods, new hygiene standards, different social conventions, and sometimes different climates

  • Can be highly subjective

New cards

What is linguistic anthropology?

The study of the history and structure of language and the ways humans use language

New cards

What is historical linguistics?

Comparing similarities and differences of language structures so we can understand how languages are related and how people migrated in the past

New cards

What is structural linguistics?

  • The study of how sounds are put together to make meaning

    • 5000 + languages of the world share rules & principles

New cards

What is sociolinguistics?

  • The study of how people use language within their culture to express status and content

    • Slang

New cards

What is archaeology?

The study of the physical remains of a past culture through excavation and reconstruction

New cards

What is prehistoric archeology?

The study of the human past before historical records began

New cards

What is historic archeology?

The study of sites and artifacts that date to the period of time when written records are also available

New cards

What is a school of thought?

  • A common view or approach taken by a group of like-minded people on a specific topic

    • Ex: cultural Anthropologists develop theories to make sense of evidence they have gathered

New cards

What is cultural relativism?

The idea that we cannot compare two cultures because each culture has its own internal rules that must be accepted

New cards

What is functional theory?

  • The theory that beliefs, actions, or relationships within society must meet the need of the individuals

    • Culture is like a system that need all of its parts in working order

  • Bronislaw Malinowski - Trobriand islanders

New cards

What is cultural materialism?

  • Something that holds value to a society

  • If something is not of value to a society, it will disappear

    • Ex: Among hindus, the cow is considered a sacred animal

New cards

What is feminist anthropology?

  • The study of gender issues and culturally constructed gender roles that are determined within a culture

  • Women have lost their voice because of male domination of the past

New cards

What is postmodernism?

  • What we know about the world is our own construct

  • It is impossible to have any “true” knowledge about the world, as there is no objective truth

  • Anthropologists can’t study their subjects in an objective way

New cards

What are rites of passage?

  • A ceremony, ritual, or event that marks an individual's passage from one stage of life to another

  • Most cultures have ceremonies to mark birth, adolescence, marriage, and death, but cultures vary enormously in how to mark these occasions

New cards

Why do rites of passage exist?

  • Move from one stage to another

  • Reduce stress

  • Create emotional bonds

  • Strengthen the fabric of society

New cards

What are commons rites of passages in Canada?

  • Reaching puberty

  • Getting a driver’s license

  • Graduating high school

  • Drinking alcohol

  • Moving out of parents home

  • Getting married

  • Having children

New cards

What is socialization?

  • A continuing or ongoing process whereby an individual acquires or learns the norms, values, behaviours, and social skills

  • These skills and habits are considered essential for successful participation in one’s culture or society

  • We learn the language of the culture we are born into as well as the riles we are to play in life

New cards

What are social norms?

The conceptions of appropriate and expected behaviour that are held by most members of a society

New cards

What are foraging cultures?

  • Until 10,000 years ago

  • Men and women hunted and gathered

  • Starvation was a possibility

  • Band was small and moved regularly to follow game and plants in seasons

    • Ex: early Inuit and Aboriginal people

New cards

What are horticultural cultures?

  • About 10,000 years ago

  • “Slash and burn civilization”

  • People began to cultivate plants and domestic animals

  • Used hand held tools for farming

  • Leaders of groups developed communities

    • Ex: Yanomamo of Amazon rain forest

New cards

what are agricultural cultures?

  • About 8000 years ago

  • Involved working the land using new techniques

  • Improved farming techniques and modern tools

  • People stayed on their land

  • Towns and cities grew

    • Ex: 19C and early 20C Canada

New cards

What are pastoral cultures?

  • About 8000 years ago

  • Domesticated herds of animals

  • Lived off livestock

  • They moved with herds in different seasons

    • Ex: The Middle East and Old West

New cards

What are industrial cultures?

  • 19th century - 1800s

  • Experienced industrial revolution

  • Factories built

  • Created wealth but also inequalities

    • Ex: Great Britain

New cards

What are communication-based cultures?

  • Mid 20th century - 1950s

  • “Information age”

  • First stage:

    • Mass media provided information to broaden audience

  • Second stage:

    • Development of computer technology

New cards

Who is Charles Darwin?

Developed the theory that all life may have evolved from a single original source (evolution)

New cards

Who is Margaret Mead?

  • One of anthropology’s most influential and controversial figures

  • Known for her study of Samoan adolescent girls in the 1920’s

  • Examined whether stresses during adolescence were caused by adolescence itself or by society

  • Observed that in contrast to American adolescent girls, adolescence was a stress-free time for Samoan girls

  • Believed that this easy transition to adulthood was due to the sexual freedom Samoan girls experienced

  • Concluded that sex roles were determined by culture, not biology

New cards

Who is Derek Freeman?

  • Began working in Western Samoa in the 1960s

  • Concluded based on his own research and interviews, that Samoa actually had very restrictive sexual practices

New cards

Who was right, Freeman or Meed?

  • Anthropologist Paul Shankman concluded that both anthropologists were correct

  • Mead was working in American Samoa in the 1920s at a time when premarital sex

    in the United States was uncommon

  • By the 1960s, American attitudes around premarital sex had

    changed greatly

  • The researchers were coming from different contexts and had

    different experiences in Samoa

New cards

Who is Richard Lee?

  • One of Canada’s most distinguished ethnographers

  • Conducted his research among the Dobe Ju/’hoansi, a group of San people of Southern Africa for almost 40 years in the 1960s

  • Was hoping to gain some insight into human behaviour and how our hunting and gathering ancestors may have behaved

  • In that time the Dobe Ju/’hoansi have changed from a relatively isolated hunter-gatherer society, who foraged for food, to an integrated herding and farming society

New cards

What is forensic anthropology?

A special sub-field of physical anthropology that involves applying skeletal analysis and techniques in archaeology to solving criminal cases

New cards

What do forensic anthropologists do?

  • They help legal agencies to identify human remains after mass disasters, wars, homicides, suicides, or accidental deaths

  • Determine whether remains are human, animal, or just some wood or rock

  • Attempts to identify the deceased

  • Must travel frequently to different death sites

New cards

What are the research tools of cultural anthropologists?

  • Finding informants

  • Unstructured interviews

  • Semi-structured interviews

  • Structured interviews

New cards

What are informants?

  • People in the community who are willing to share information about their culture and their community

  • Should be reliable and knowledgeable about what the anthropologist is studying

  • Can be difficult to find

New cards

What are unstructured interviews?

  • Between an anthropologist and an informant

  • Allow the researcher to test out his or her initial ideas and can lead to a greater understanding of the topic

  • Provide an excellent way for new directions to emerge

  • It is important that there is no deception between the interviewer and the interviewee

New cards

What are semi-structured interviews?

  • Often used by anthropologists who stay in a community for only a few weeks and need to use their time efficiently

  • Allow the researcher to prepare some questions in advance and end up with reliable qualitative data

  • It is flexible

  • Can be easy to stray away from the topic

New cards

What are structured interviews?

  • Uses a set list of questions that do not change

  • Should be used when the researcher is very clear on the topic and there is other information that is easily available

  • The researcher might obtain limited answers

New cards

Explore top notes

note Note
studied byStudied by 5 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
note Note
studied byStudied by 4 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
note Note
studied byStudied by 17 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
note Note
studied byStudied by 3 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
note Note
studied byStudied by 165 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
note Note
studied byStudied by 8 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
note Note
studied byStudied by 25 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
note Note
studied byStudied by 61 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(2)

Explore top flashcards

flashcards Flashcard59 terms
studied byStudied by 10 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
flashcards Flashcard40 terms
studied byStudied by 9 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
flashcards Flashcard23 terms
studied byStudied by 2 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
flashcards Flashcard104 terms
studied byStudied by 2 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
flashcards Flashcard70 terms
studied byStudied by 6 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
flashcards Flashcard125 terms
studied byStudied by 25 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
flashcards Flashcard54 terms
studied byStudied by 7 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)
flashcards Flashcard59 terms
studied byStudied by 10 people
Updated ... ago
5.0 Stars(1)