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What is Anthropology?. From Greek anthropos (human) and logia (study) Study of Humankind Who we are, how we came to be that way Social, cultural, and biological beings Four Subfields Archaeology Physical Anthropology Linguistics Social/Cultural Anthropology.

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What is Anthropology?


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. What is Anthropology? • From Greek anthropos (human) and logia (study) • Study of Humankind • Who we are, how we came to be that way • Social, cultural, and biological beings • Four Subfields • Archaeology • Physical Anthropology • Linguistics • Social/Cultural Anthropology

    2. Five Hallmarks of Anthropology • Cultural relativism • Suspension of value judgment • Opposite of ethnocentrism • Subjective understanding (emic perspective) emic: Inside, “native’s point of view” etic: Outside, ethnographer’s view, analysis • Holism • Fieldwork – participant observation • Comparison (etic perspective)

    3. GENDER • Social classification of feminine and masculine • Cultural construction of sexual difference • Perceptions, evaluations, behavioral expectations, roles • Meanings given to the physical traits that differentiate males, females, and others • Central to power relations, identity, kinship, meaning • Conscious and unconscious ideas & practices • Enactment, performance, flexible

    4. Sex – Gender - Sexuality • Sexual dimorphism • Sex vs. gender: • Biological difference • Cultural construction • Sexuality • Practices, orientations, preferences • Sexuality vs. gender • Correlation • Independent variation • ‘Heteronormative’ assumptions • Correlation among sex, gender, sexuality • Male, female, heterosexual • ‘Normal’ vs. culturally specific • Cross-cultural variation – think outside the box

    5. Gender Diversity • Universals • Male/female distinction, but meanings vary • Two sexes, two genders, but sometimes more • Anthropology: ethnography and theory • Challenge Western assumptions, generalizations • Cross-cultural comparison • Holism, subjective understanding, emic/etic, cultural relativism • ‘Nature/nurture’, genes and environment • Sexual dimorphism • XX, XY • Overlap • Continuum