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  1. Globalization has changed anthropology and how anthropology is done. How? Discuss using three examples from the readings. At least one must be from a 21st century anthropologist.
    • Globalization threatens anthropology by integrating the world and making it smaller as societies become interdependent upon one another.
    • This forces anthropologists to focus their questions on the concepts and practices of how globalization has broken up traditional aspects of a society such as kinship and tradition that was once the focus of their ethnographic fieldwork.
    • Boas would not recognize globalization as part of Anthropology because he believed in saving societies through documentation.
    • Anthropologists studying in contemporary settings are not asking big scientific or evolutionary questions.
    • Instead, they are using other methods to look at what’s going on in the world because of how modes of communication and the immediacy of contact have changed the way people interact.
    • Therefore, the ways of doing fieldwork has changed because there is no longer the past as a mode of study, but instead these new contemporary issues that have risen as a result of globalization and modernity.
    • Anthropologists tended to study social stratification from elite point of view, but contemporary anthropologists study people form the bottom up and how power and agency is utilized.
    • Phillipe Bourgois for example looks at the social, political, and economic force that is used to suppress people. He seeks to explain how inequality and suffering affects minorities and how hegemony plays a role on peoples behavior. Socioeconomic class standing can affect individual suffering and that there are greater forces at play that influence human behavior due to class standing.
    • Theodore Bestor demonstrates that global capitalism has profound effects on traditional food practices and behavior of people as a result of mechanized food processing and convenience. This shows that anthropologists are using globalization as a way to understand consumer behavior and economic and environmental sustainability issues.
    • Arjun Appadurai uses his “scapes” model to demonstrate the disconnections of global economy through the movement of people, money, ideas, technology, and media. Globalization constantly changes our understanding of the economy and culture in which groups of people eventually have to adapt to these situations of change.
  2. Characterize the impact and influence that the Neo-evolutionary movement had on both cultural and archaeological anthropology. Be sure to refer to prominent figures associated with the movement and who you think was the most influential and why. What terms/conceptual approaches are associated with these figures?
    • According to boas archaeologists should not deal with things they can’t see such as social organization.
    • Overtime archaeology’s place within anthropology came into question because they weren’t really talking about people just collecting artifacts.
    • Gordon Childe in particular recognized people were missing from archaeology and so he modified the 3-age system to be more socioeconomic. Childe wanted people to think of artifacts as influences of the way people were socially organized. Childe wanted to make inferences about social organization through material remains, and wanted archaeology to show human adaptation and change by looking at technology. He also aimed to make archaeology more of a science by merging evolution and diffusion.
    • Leslie White on the other hand thought of cultures as being abstract and emphasized that it should be studied as its own separate entity through what he termed culturology. White believed that societies go through universal stages of technological innovation that mark human revolution. The Tool making, agriculture, industrial revolution, and atomic categories of his technological revolution model is what allows for increased energy harnessing.
    • Julian steward viewed cultures as multilinear and did not follow a single line of development because they were constantly changing due to their environment – he’s trying to account for differences in different societies. However, Julian Steward did not share the same marxist influence the way that white did due to the political pressures surrounding the times. Steward is interested in how technology and economics interact with the environment to solve problems. He wants to account for differences in societies through multiple lines of development, but that are still bound by regularities indicating that all societies have different levels of complexities. Steward was interested in change over time and wanted to see environment and economy as independent variables that help to shape society. His cultural ecology approach would also seek to understand this society in their physical and natural environment. For steward he brought to the forefront that neoevolution was the way to understand how societies adapted to their environment.
    • I think that steward is most influential especially over White because white took a top down approach to evaluating societies stating that cultures developed through a single line. I’m an avid believer in freewill and external influences and so Steward’s multilinear explanation of cultures developing through multiple lines sounds less confining than White’s explanation.
  3. Feminist anthropology argued for an inclusive anthropology that includes the study of all ”types” of people. How do you see this concept used in other contemporary theories of anthropology? Explain how three anthropologists, who you have read in McGee and Warms, show such inclusion in their works.
    • For a long time anthropology had an androcentric lens focusing their studies on males and their importance in a society, thus leaving out the other half of the population of women.
    • Contemporary theories of anthropology now look at uncovering how women influence society rather than just focusing on this battle between male and females dominance in society.
    • Today, contemporary theories look at the roles women play in political, social, and economic areas of civilization acknowledging that the inclusion of women in research is essential to understanding the whole human experience.
    • Sally Slocum advocates for reevaluating the data revolving around men because women were doing more than just cooking and reproducing, and to remove the fixation that men were the most important assets in society because there is no way to know this considering that men usually only wrote about what men were doing and not what women were doing.
    • Eleanor Leacock argues that capitalism and colonialism is responsible for why women are subordinate to men. Patriarchy accounts for a lot of historical isolation of women and that historically this gender hierarchy knowledge is problematic for women’s production and use in society.
    • Lila Abu-Lughod also shines some light onto traditional anthropological works by including the lives and experiences of women especially those in developing countries. She aims to portray the dynamics of gender in western and nonwestern cultures through their experiences and resilience with fertility and the lack thereof.
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2015-11-12 11:08:20

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