Anthropology

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Anthropology
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2014-12-16 19:17:03
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  1. Emily Martin
    • The Egg and The Sperm
    • examines how medical textbooks rely on stereotypes central to our cultural definition of male and female
    • person is thought to arise from the combination of genetic material 
    • argues that our emphasis on birthing models flows through into birthing practices

    body conception personhood
  2. Beng
    • West Africa, Gottleib
    • emphasise a spiritual mode of conception - babies conciebed through emergence of a spirit in the afterlife ("wrugbe") 
    • reincarnation of a deceased relative - "ancestral identity"
    • rituals take place on the baby eg enema to prepare its existence here


    • parents take care of every need to prevent from spirit returning to wrugbe
    • respect given to babies as they are considered highly spiritual
  3. Zafiminary - conception, birth etc
    • Madagascar, Bloch
    • idea of conception is vague - different understandings
    • impact on the significance of birth - does not see it as something that shapes social self

    see birth as an affirmation of marital status - parent-focussed

    attaches responsibility early on "hunter-gatherers"
  4. Zafiminary, housing
    • Houses and marriage two sides of one person
    • Public declaration, parents informed
    • husband starts to build the house using soft wood - it is unstable and fragile like the marriage
    • house hardens as the marriage and acquires bones - analogy of the body and house

    home marriage body
  5. Vezo
    Madagascar

    believe children gain social identity when they learn trade of their parents (fishing) and are at one with the sea
  6. Vezo kinship
    • Madagacar
    • relatedness is bilateral and looks downwards to its descendents
    • both matrilineal and patrilineal ties
    • after death tombs are of vivid importance and there is a unilineal kinship structure as you are placed with a group of kin - 1 of 8

    descent, male and female, death
  7. Initiation ethnographies
    • Orokaiva, Papua New Guinea 
    • boys represent wild pigs into men, the hunter of pigs
    • seperated, beaten, taught ways of the hunter
    • violence is necessary to show symbolic death
    • return to society as a new person, a man.

    • Ndembu, Zambia
    • boy to men - seperation from mothers and a night of feasting
    • isolated to a camp known as "the place of dying"
    • undergo violence - 4 months - psychological motives
    • return smeared in white clay, symbolic of rebirth
  8. Alto de Cruzeiro
    • Brazil, Scheper-Hughes
    • high infant morality rate so delay in maternal bonding until child is deemed strong enough ti survive
    • "selective neglect" as weak babies deaths are inevitable

    childhood, birth, death, wellbeing/health
  9. Work - Richard
    • Richard Lee, Kung San, Botswana
    • quantified mix of tasks and time spent in work hours per week
    • men devoted mote time to food quest but women spent more time working overall
    • women had steadier jobs - childcare, housework
  10. Marxist theory work
    • work is the quintessence of being human
    • "workers of the world unite!"
    • humans create consciousness by trandsforming the material world
    • so work /production is the key to consciousness and so can shape personhood
    • BUT societies have a division of labour -- fractured consciousness eg monotonous factory jobs
  11. Weber - work
    • "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism"
    • religion will shape the way people conduct themselves in every day work
    • Protestantism - ethic of everyday life focussed entirely on gaining wealth (to be reinvested in business)
    • Hindus: notions of karma influence work
    • karma means "action, deed, work" - anything that is done
    • the kind of work you do has consequences for your fate in this life and next
  12. Olivia Harris
    • "What Makes People Work"
    • Andes - "work parties" festival where people work together - a celebration of human energy and capacity to make and expand relationships at work
    • work is not mindless toil
    • Nature of humans to work and it makes personhood and community
    • "Feeding is a key value" through work parties social units come together as commensual groups
  13. Harris on European work traditions
    • work as a form of slavery
    • true freedom is freedom from necessity
    • Bible eg Genesis
    • BUT Andes example suggests that the obligation to work is not to be equated with coersion
  14. Cartesian Dualism
    • Descartes
    • established an absolute split between mind/body
    • with this split came an absolute distinction between subjective experience and an objective reality
    • Cartesian Dualism means the body is purely a biological organism
    • blamed for subordinating the sensual body to the rational mind

    • BUT argued our bodies are non-dualist in one way or another
    • blob - other people's persohood is connected and fluid
    • assume non W have fluid mind/body boundries where W have distinction between the two
  15. Carrier definition  on Consumption
    "the meaningful use people make of the objects around them - objects can be things, ideas or relationships and the association can range from ownership to contemplation"
  16. Daniel Miller
    • "A Theory of Shopping" N London
    • assumption is that consumption glossed as moral failing when it is in fact a necessary constituent of culture
    • reflexive relationship with things defines the human condition
    • mundane rather than hedonistic
    • mundane shopping is an act of devotional love to glorify family
  17. Greek Coffee Shop
    • Papataxiarchis
    • drink raki for heightened sense of social conductivity
  18. Zafiminary commensuals
    • Family is visualised in terms of circles of commensuals (stereotypically elementary family but could be extended)
    • discomfort - fear of poisioning
  19. Wana
    • Indonesia, Atkinson
    • egalitarian society emphasizing similarites between men and women
    • yet men still have an "edge" wield social and political power
    • able to travel more, have access to spells and "dangerous magic"
    • thus possess strong sense of courage
    • shows how non-physical attributes are important in the definition of men and women
  20. Marriage - Campbell
    • Sarakatsani Greece 
    • tensions of marriage negotiations, sense of mutual suspicion and distrust
    • intermediaries dissolve tensions
    • bride incorporated in the grooms house and treated as guest in natal home
  21. Malay marriage
    • bilateral (equal status of both families emphasized)
    • spouses should be close eg in location, geneology
    • Brides father and grooms father are brothers = patrilineal parallel cousin marriage
    • also involves intermediaries
    • live in wife's house - matrilocality
    • (Western - nelocality, couple live separately from parents)
  22. Universality of marriage?
    • living alone - Catherine Allerton 
    • Manggarai of Indonesia
    • Singledom does not necessarily have negative connotations 
    • being alone does not mean being lonely
    • place an importance of kinship and siblingship
    • advocates women's status and economic independence

    marriage personhood women
  23. Kabyle House
    • Boudre
    • Houses embody social principles through spacial distinctions
    • illustrates how opposites are found within the house such as inside/outside, male/female
  24. Malay feeding
    • hearth is central element in a house for many cultures 
    • animates houses and a source of cooked food
    • Malay children tend to eat in their own home
  25. "Argonauts of the Western Pacific" - exchange/personhood
    • "kula rings" circle of exchanges between 18 island communities
    • goods are not exchanged for economic gain - regulated by strict rules that were about power and political status of those who traded
    • you could enhance your power and status by what kind of exchange you received
    • shaping your social identity
  26. Witchcraft
    • Azande
    • when misfortune is present, practised involuntary
  27. Plastination for Display
    Tony Walters
  28. Cannibalism
    • Wari, Brazilian Amazon 1960
    • "compassionate cannibalism" consume dead was to honour and respect them
    • moral obligation
    • emotional detachment
    • wating the body changes the relationship between the living and the dead

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