CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALISM
Download
1 / 40

CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALISM - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 649 Views
  • Uploaded on

CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALISM. What is the Functionalist view of Human Nature? What is the Relationship between the individual and the society? How do Functionalists account for change? How do functionalists deal with conflict? How is the function of a given institution determined?

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALISM' - kat


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALISM

What is the Functionalist view of Human Nature?

What is the Relationship between the individual and the society?

How do Functionalists account for change?

How do functionalists deal with conflict?

How is the function of a given institution determined?

Must all institutions have a function?


FRANZ BOAS

1858-1942

Boas en route to Baffin Island 1883 and Central Inuit; to study of reflectivity of sea-water


  • CENTRAL ESKIMO (IGULIK) STUDY

  • Inuit can perceive and name hundreds of colors and qualities of sea-water and surfaces unknown in European languages…

    • distinctions which can be described ‘scientifically’ in physics and optics

    • and which are of adaptive value to a sea-mammal hunting culture

  • Boas’ study: earliest anthropological attempt to describe a non-European ‘ethno-science’ in phenomenological terms


Analyst seeks to understand phenomena by grasping how they make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively


1885: First expedition to Northwest Coast (Bella Coola) make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively

1886: First collecting trip for American Museum of Natural History (New York City) to Nootka and Kwakiutl — massive documentation of Northwest Coast culture


Anti-Evolutionist make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively

  • Evolutionism assumes what it is trying to prove

  • Order of cultural traits is arbitrary, eg representative and geometric art forms

  • positioning individual cultures on the savagery-barbarism-civilization ladder discounts their particularity and integrity

  • sidesteps the important task of reconstructing unwritten histories for non-Western peoples

  • Rational psychological explanation is misleading i.e. people did not reason themselves out of their primitive state because one of the fundamental characteristics of people is that they act automatically and unconsciously


  • Anti-Diffusionist make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively

  • Claims for historical contact for enormously large areas unlikely

  • Improbable that cultural traits remained unchanged for thousands of years

  • traits are arbitrarily selected only to prove the theory

  • No attempt to demonstrate whether similar cultural traits are due to independent invention eg. Marriage patterns

  • Uninterested in how cultures change


CULTURAL/HISTORICAL PARTICULARISM make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively

  • Three pillarsexplain cultural customs

  • Cultures can only be understood with reference to their particular historical development. Therefore each culture is unique

  • Environmental conditions

  • Individual psychological factors


CULTURAL/HISTORICAL PARTICULARISM make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively

  • idea was not to make a preconceived hypothesis,

  • but to collect as much data about a particular culture without any theory

  • general theories of human Behaviour would arise once enough data had been collected

  • “We refrain from the attempt to solve the fundamental problem of the general development of civilization until we have been able to unravel the processes that are going on under our eyes”

  • Hallmark of historical particularism became the intensive study of specific cultures through long periods of fieldwork


  • BOASIAN CONCEPT OF CULTURE make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively

    • superorganic —the product of collective or group life; but the individual has an influence

    • unconscious — a filter through which reality is perceived, but which is not itself the object of attention

    • adaptive — culture ultimately helps indivudlas adapt to their environment.


ARCHAEOLOGY make sense within the framework of the subject’s thought-world i.e relatively

SOCIAL

AND

CULTURAL

ANTHROPOLOGY

PHYSICAL

ANTHROPOLOGY

LINGUISTICS

Four Field Approach



FRANZ BOAS at Columbia University and established Boasian doctrines in North American universities:

  • Cultural/historical particularism

  • “race, language, and culture” as independent variables

  • Relativism

  • superorganic

  • Cultural Determinism

  • Data Collection “without” theory

  • Emphasis on Fieldwork

  • 4-field approach


Alfred Louis Kroeber (1876-1960) at Columbia University and established Boasian doctrines in North American universities:

1897 enrolled in a course in American Indian languages at Columbia Universityoffered by Franz Boas


“ no culture is wholly intelligible without reference to the noncultural or so-called environmental factors with which it in relation and which condition it" (Kroeber, 1939: 205).

“cultures occur in nature as wholes; and these wholes can never be entirely formulated through consideration of their elements.


Cultural and natural areas of Native North America the noncultural or so-called environmental factors with which it in relation and which condition it" (Kroeber, 1939: 205). (1939)

ARCTIC

NORTHWESTCOAST

SUBARCTIC

PLAINS

PLATEAU

BASIN

EASTERN

WOODLANDS

PRAIRIE

CALIFORNIA

BAJACALIFORNIA

N-EMEXICO

SOUTHWEST

NATIVE NORTH AMERICA:

CULTURE AREAS

MESOAMERICA


  • The Superorganic the noncultural or so-called environmental factors with which it in relation and which condition it" (Kroeber, 1939: 205).

  • “The superorganic or superspsychic or super-individual that we call civilization appears to have an existence, an order, and a causality as objective and as determinable as those of the subpsychic or inorganic”

  • individuals have very little if any impact on a culture’s development and change

  • Culture plays a determining role in individual human behaviour.

  • Culture has an existence outside of us and compelled us to conform to patterns that could be statistically demonstrated

    • e.g. changes in fashion show that cyclical patterns of change have occurred beyond the influence or understanding of any given individual. Kroeber showed that hem length, height, and width tended to move up and down in regularcycles,


  • Alfred Kroeber the noncultural or so-called environmental factors with which it in relation and which condition it" (Kroeber, 1939: 205).

  • Culture Areas

  • Superorganic

  • Deterministic

  • First American Textbook in anthropology (1923)


Culture and Personality the noncultural or so-called environmental factors with which it in relation and which condition it" (Kroeber, 1939: 205).

seeks to understand the growth and development of personal or social identity as it relates to the surrounding social environment

  • Ruth Benedict

  • Margaret Mead


1922 begins teaching at Barnard College as assistant to Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead

Ruth Fulton Benedict

1887-1948


Patterns of Culture Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead 1934

Demonstrated the primacy of culture over biology in understanding the differences between people

Contrasted the ways of life of the Zuni, Natives of Dobu and Kwakiutl


  • Zuni Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead

    • Wealth is a sign of greediness.

    • Individual fame is a sign of selfishness

    • Solutions

      • Share all the wealth with other members of the tribe.

      • Dare not to do anything that brings them individual fame.

    • Extremely passive.


Dobuan Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead

The Dobuan…is dour, and passionate, consumed with jealousy and suspicion and resentment. Every moment of prosperity he conceives himself as having wrung from a malicious world by a conflict in which he has worsted his opponent. The good man is one which has many such conflicts to his credit…

paranoiac and mean spirited


  • Kwakiutl Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead

  • Overbearing

  • Vigorous

  • Zest for life

  • Strive for ecstasy in ceremonies

  • self-aggrandizing

  • Megalomaniac paranoid


  • Why are they so different? Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead

  • Can’t be “fixed human nature.”

  • Why not?

    • Suppose - Newborn Zuni baby is raised by Dobu parents (or vice versa).

    • How would this baby behave when he or she becomes adult?

    • Like their adoptedparents.


Culture and Personality Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead

  • A set of core values shapes larger cultural practices resulting in a distinctive pattern of culture

  • cultural differences were multifaceted expressions of a society’s most basic core values

  • cultural values relative

  • Societies have a dominating cultural personality

  • Culture is “Personality writ large”

  • The goal of anthropology was to document these different patterns


Culture and Personality Franz Boas and meets Margaret Mead

“We have seen that any society selects some segment of the arc of possible human behaviour”… and in so far as it achieves integrations its institutions tend to further the expression of its selected segment and inhibit opposite expressions”.

  • Integrated

  • Holistic

  • Deterministic

  • Individual psychology is plastic, i.e. Is molded principally by cultural experience



Culture and Personality - Critique Information, applying anthropological methods to the study of contemporary cultures.

  • Where’s the history?

  • How are culture & individual psychology related? For example, does culture somehow 'cause' individual personality?

  • Is individual behaviour patterned? How? What best accounts for the observed patterns?

  • Circular -- Basic personality structure was inferred from some aspects of behaviour then used to explain other behaviour

  • linked anthropology with psychology


Margaret Mead 1901-1978


Coming of Age in Samoa 1926 Information, applying anthropological methods to the study of contemporary cultures.

  • Is adolescence a universally traumatic and stressful time due to biological factors or is the experience of adolescence dependent on one's cultural upbringing?

  • nature vs nurture


  • based on a detailed study of 68 girls between 8 and 20 in three contiguous villages

  • Mead described sexual relations as frequent and usually without consequence – or issue

  • The basic conclusion was

    that adolescence in Samoa

    was not a stressful period

    for girls

  • Because, in general, Samoan

    society lacked stresses


“This tale of another way of life is mainly concerned with education with the process by which the baby, arrived cultureless upon the human scene, becomes a full-fledged adult member of his or her society. The strongest light will fall upon the ways in which Samoan education, in its broadest sense, differs from our own. And from this contrast we may be able to turn, made newly and vividly self-conscious and self-critical, to judge anew and perhaps fashion differently the education we give our children (1928: 13)


1983 Margaret Mead and Samoa: The Making and Unmaking of an Anthropological Myth

  • Mead did not spend enough time in Samoa and lived in naval dispensarywith an American family rather than in a Samoan household

  • was not familiar with the Samoan language

  • ignored violence in Samoan life,

  • Failed to consider the influence of biology on behavior

Derek Freeman (1916-2001)

  • Mead had been lied to by two of her female informants and thus came to erroneous conclusions about Samoan culture and the sexual freedom of the girls

  • She also went to Samoa with preconceived intention of showing that culture, not biology, determined human responses to life’s situations.


Growing Up in New Guinea Anthropological Myth1930

  • Mead wanted to study the thought processes of children in preliterate cultures and the way they were shaped by adult society.

  • developed psychological tests to administer to the children of Pere New Guniea

  • collected approximately 35,000 pieces of children's artwork.



  • Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935) cultural differences imparted in childhood

  • sought to discover extent temperamental differences between the sexes were culturally determined rather than innate biological

  • Mead found a different pattern of male and female behavior in each of the cultures she studied, all different from gender role expectations in the United States at that time.


The gentle mountain-dwelling Arapesh, cultural differences imparted in childhood

  • Arapesh child-rearing responsibilities evenly divided among men and women

The fierce cannibalistic Mundugumor

  • a natural hostility exists between all members of the same sex”. Mundugumor fathers and sons, and mothers and daughters were adversaries.

The graceful headhunters of Tchambuli,

  • While men were preoccupied with art the women had the real power, controlling fishing and manufacturing

  • Mead's contribution in separating biologically-based sex from socially-constructed gender was groundbreaking, gender roles."


  • 1942 cultural differences imparted in childhoodAnd Keep Your Powder Dry, a book on American national character for War effort

  • National Character studies

    • Small scale techniques applied to large scale societies

    • Culture at a distance

    • guide government and military policy

  • early 1960s a vocal commentator on contemporary American life.


Characteristics of Mead’s anthropology cultural differences imparted in childhood

  • Relativism

  • Ahistorical

  • Holistic

  • Participant observation

  • Romanticism

  • Humans select their culture, choosing some traits and ignoring others.


ad