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									Cultural Anthropology 102
         Fall 2009
   Notes & Assignments Packet
  Professor K. Markley

  Where Do We Come From?
        What Are We?
    Where Are We Going?
                                      Table of Contents
Information for a Successful Semester 6-9
        Extra Credit
        Textbook and Assignments Information

Exam 1- Text Study Guide and Article Questions 10-14
The Human Story 15-19
         Hominin Fossil Record Overview
Key Terms and Concepts in Cultural Anthropology 20-21
         Cultural Orientations
Anthropological Linguistics, Sociolinguistics 22-23
Anthropological Fieldwork 24-25
American Mainstream Culture 26-40
         Aspects of Mainstream United States Culture
         Collapse: How Societies Chose to Fail or Succeed‖ Lecture by Jared Diamond 1/22/06
         Horatio Alger- The Oprah Society
         America’s Role in the World
         Shadowy Lines that Still Divide (article) - Class in America
Brief History of Anthropology, Fieldwork 41-44
         Two Case Studies in Anthropological Fieldwork and Theory
         Margaret Mead, Samoa, and Derek Freeman
         Napoleon Chagnon and the Yanomamo
What is Race? 45-50
         Biological Determinism
         How to Be an American-The Elephant in the Room- To See or Not to See
         10 Things Everyone Should Know About Race- Answers

Text Study Guide Exam 2 51-56
Section Two Introduction- Food Getting Strategies, Economics, Political Systems 57-60
         Five Basic Means of Subsistence or Food Getting Strategies
Economics 61-62
         Richard Robbins: Global Problems & the Culture of Capitalism
Egalitarian & Stratified Societies 63-65
         Class systems- USA as an example
         Caste systems- India as an example
Diamond Exercise- History and the Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race 66-71
         History a Case Example
         Living on One Dollar a Day (article)
         Diamond Exercise
Enculturation 72
Sex, Gender, Sexual Behavior/Orientations 73-74
Marriage, Family, and Kinship 75-83
         American Anthropological Association (AAA) Statement on Marriage
         Kinship Classification in the USA & Northern India

Text Study Guide Exam 3 84-90
Anthropology of Religion- Anthropology of the Supernatural 91-92
         Social Evolutionary Theory
State of the World 93-104
         Richard Robbins ―Global Problems and the Culture of Capitalism
         The State of the Nation
         AAA Statement on Human Rights
         AAA Statement on 9/11, Terrorism
An Anthropological Perspective of War: Is it Inevitable or Manufactured 105-109
Become a Citizen Activist 110
Career Advice for Undergraduates 111-115

Anthropological Theory 116-123
Natural Selection
Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology
Theories in Cultural Anthropology
        Social Evolutionary Theory, Historical Particularism, Functionalism, Post Modernism
Anthropological Theory: Should the study of Humans be scientific or humanistic?
        Case Example: The Prohibition on eating of beef in India
Theories to explain the existence of social stratification within nation-states
        Functionalist/Order Theories, Conflict/Critical Theories

Assignments 124-151
True/False Cultural Anthropology First Day Survey
Positionality Assignment
Man Who Would Be Chief- Video Questions
Ascribed and Achieved Statuses
Shadowy Lines that Still Divide
Napoleon Chagnon, Fieldwork, and the Yanomamo
Applied Anthropology- Obesity in the USA
Cell Phone Fieldworks
Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race
Race Fieldwork
Race the Power of an Illusion- Video Questions
Economics Assignment
A Poor Man Shames Us All- Film Questions
India Caste System – Film Questions
NOW Video Questions on Stratification in the USA
Barbie Nation Fieldwork
Gender and Sex Fieldwork
Closet Assignment

Notes and Assignments Packet: This packet contains; lecture notes, exam study guides, and
assignments. Bring this Notes Packet to class every day.

Read the syllabus! The syllabus gives you the information you need to be successful in the class.
If you have a question, more often than not your syllabus will contain the answer. The class
schedule has three columns; the date, readings and topics, and assignments due. Refer to your
class schedule EVERY week to keep up to date on reading assignments and homework
assignments. The dates for when your assignments are due is listed in your class schedule but
may also be announced in class (any changes will be announced in class- make sure that you
either attend class every day or get notes from a fellow student).

Attendance: Success in this class (success= passing this class with a C or better) will require that
you attend class regularly. It is not uncommon to miss one class at some point during the
semester, either due to an illness or some other serious problem. If you miss class it is your
responsibility to get the information that you missed. I do not give out notes from a missed
lecture. I advise you to get to know a couple of other students in the class and exchange email or
phone numbers (if you feel comfortable doing this) so that you can find out what you missed if you
are absent. It can be helpful to connect with a fellow student in class who is reliable note taker. If
you still have questions about the material covered while you were absent (and you have already
gotten notes from another student) feel free to make an appt. during my office hours.

Read your textbook articles and class notes before class lecture. Check your class schedule
for the topics/readings for the day’s lecture. It is a good idea to first skim over the material to get
an idea as to what the reading is about, where it is going and what you should look for. Then read
the material before class lecture. Familiarize yourself with the terminology used. Make sure that
you have a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words (words are often in the back of the text).

Class lecture & Note taking: Use this notes packet and be an active note taker during lectures.
Overheads are used to highlight important concepts and are useful for test reviews.
    One of my old professors gave students the following recommendations to do well in
        college classes; read your text at least 3 times (first just read it, then underline/highlight
        key points, lastly take notes on key parts and terms), read class notes at least 3 times
        (similar strategy as above), then write up your notes and review them at least 6 times.
    When I was in school I always made 3 x 5 cards for important concepts and terms. I found
        this very helpful in learning the material.

Exam essay questions: Essay questions will be given to you at least one week ahead of time. To
do well on an essay question you will generally need to outline your answer ahead of time and
study your answer ahead of time. Make an outline of your essay on a 3 x 5 card and use it to study
for the exam. Notes cannot be used while taking the exam, notes are for study purposes only.

ASK QUESTIONS, if you are in doubt or unsure about something ask!

Learning is an ACTIVE endeavor. At the college level if you are passively listening or passively
reading/memorizing classroom material you will not gain the type of understanding that is needed
to be successful. To be successful you will need to know the definitions for concepts and terms but
this is only the start. To do well on exams you will need to be able to recognize and apply what
you are learning. If you can explain what you are learning to someone else that is generally a good
test as to how well you know the material. Make sure you can put concepts into your own words
(although make sure the words mean the same thing!). Ultimately to be successful you will need to
be engaged in class lecture, discussion, and outside studying and assignments. Being an active
learner includes; raising your hand and asking questions, making observations and comments on
the material presented.

How to figure out your grade
It is important for you to keep track of your grades over the semester. This allows you to monitor
how well you are doing in the class. I will pass back all of your assignments and exams so that you
can keep track of how you are doing. To calculate your grade you will need to determine how
many points you have earned in relationship to how many points are possible.
         Sample: If you want to figure out your grade after the first exam you can see from the
grading page in your syllabus that the maximum points you can have earned is 120 points
         Maximum Points Possible                                Points that you earned
         Exam 1 - 100 pts.                                      72 pts
         Quiz 1 - 10 pts.                                         6 pts
         Quiz 2 - 10 pts.                                         9 pts
          120 pts. possible                                       84 points earned

Take the 84 points you have earned and divide it into the 120 points that were possible and you will
get .70 this means that you are getting a C at this point (70% = C, 80%= B, etc.). Although if you
have read your syllabus you will see that you get to drop one quiz so if you do well on your future
quizzes you will likely want to drop quiz 1.

Your syllabus contains a list of all the assignments and the points they are worth. I advise you to
keep a list of the scores on each assignment in your syllabus. I also recommend that you keep all
of your graded assignments until you receive your grade at the end of the semester.

Extra Credit: Students have the option of turning in two extra credit assignments worth up to 20
points total. Extra credit work can be turned in at anytime during the semester just so long as it is
before the deadline listed in your class schedule. You may only complete each option ONCE.

        Option One: Take advantage of one of the services offered on campus; skills center,
        library orientation, transfer center, campus activity, etc. Then write a ½ to 1 page
        description of what you did and what you learned. This option is worth up to 5 points.

        Option Two: Attend a museum, view a film, or read a book or article pertaining to cultural
        anthropology. This option gives you a chance to further your knowledge of physical
        anthropology and it is worth up to 15 points. Write a three page, typed, double-spaced
        paper, with three subheadings:

                 (1) What you read or observed, be specific as well as descriptive. Where did you
                     go, what did you read, etc. Make sure to identify your source(s).
                 (2) Incorporate three concepts or terms learned in class. This should be the bulk
                     of your paper. Discuss what you did in relationship to what you have learned
                     in this class this semester. You will earn the highest amount of points for the
                     way in which relate what you did with terms and concepts from class.
                 (3) Give your personal analyses and reaction to the event/reading/film. Prior
                     verbal approval of the instructor is recommended for the Option Two extra
                     credit assignment

        Cultural Anthropology Museum Options: Bowers Museum (in Santa Ana), San Diego
        Museum of Man, Museum of Tolerance (in LA), and the UCLA Fowler Museum.
        Depending on their exhibits there are other museums that might work for extra credit (such
        as the Fullerton Museum or The Getty). The key is that the exhibit must cover material
        covered in this class.

Textbook & Assignments Information
The class schedule lists the articles that you are assigned to read each week. You should read
the class notes and articles listed PRIOR to class. For each article make sure you can articulate
the main idea or theses as well as be able to answer the questions in your Notes Packet (for each
article use the questions in THIS note packet, not the questions in the textbook).

Every time you read an article you will be required to turn in an MIR. The MIR, main idea review, is
two to three sentences that capture the main idea or point of the article. You also need to include
at least one bit of supporting data and or reasoning used by the author to support their main idea.

MIR’s must be; TYPED, and along with the main idea and one supporting bit of information should
contain; your full name, your class day and time and the article title. MIR’s will generally only be a
few sentences long. If you have two MIR’s due on the same day put them on the same sheet of
     Hints for MIR assignments: The main idea is the key point or points that the author is
    trying to get across, along with the data and or reasoning that the author uses to support the
    main idea. The main idea will often be stated in the introduction and/or at the end of the
    article. You may have to read the article a couple of times before you are able to discern the
    main idea(s). The MIR is not a description of the article. MIR assignments do not require that
    you answer the questions in the Text Study Guide but be prepared to discuss the terms and
    questions in class. The questions and terms in the Text Study Guide will also be likely exam
    and quiz questions.
 MIR’s are a part of your Class Credit points and are basically credit/no credit. For the most
    part I will not grade your MIR’s I will just check that you have completed the assignment. We
    will go over most all of the articles assigned in class.
You will not receive ANY credit for assignments that are not typed.

Other Assignments
         You will be expected to complete other, various assignments during the semester (these
all form a part of your class credit points). Some of these assignments will be completed in class
and others outside of class. All of your assignments are at the end of your Notes Packet, and each
assignment contains individual instructions.
         A general rule of thumb to get the maximum amount of points for each assignment is to;
follow the directions carefully, if the assignment allows you to handwrite the information be neat
and legible, put your name, class day and time, and the title of the assignment at the top. Make
sure you turn your assignments in on the day they are due in class. Do not turn in assignments to
the mailroom or to my office.

NO LATE PAPERS WILL BE ACCEPTED. All assignments must be handed in IN CLASS on the
due date. I will NOT accept any papers outside of class (do turn in papers to my office). There
are extra credit options to make up lost points from missing assignments. Keep in mind that all
MIR’s must be typed.

                 *** Text Study Guide & Article Review Questions EXAM 1 ***
The class schedule lists the articles that you are expected to read prior to each class session as
well as the assignments that are due each class session. For most of the articles you have been
assigned to read you will be required to turn in an MIR (see your Notes Packet for details).
When you finish reading each article you should be able to grasp the authors key theses,
understand the terms listed and be able to answer the questions listed for each article (the
questions and terms for each article are in your notes packet – don’t answer the questions in the
text). The main idea for each article, the terms and the questions below are all sources for quiz
and exam questions. It will help if you read the introduction for each article.

Introduction: Understanding Humans and Human Problems
Anthropology                             4 fields of anthropology      ethnocentrism
Holistic                                 culture                       ethnographic method
Comparative approach                     cultural relativity           participant-observation
1. What is the difference between basic and applied research? What are each used for?
2. What is the paradox of culture?
3. What is culture shock? Have you ever experienced culture shock?

Shakespeare in the Bush: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 21
Terms: Age grade, cultural relativism
1. An ongoing debate in the social sciences is over human nature. Do humans have a nature?
Do we have instincts? Do we have drives? To what degree are we influenced by our genes? By
our culture? Do you think humans have a set nature that exists in our species? What data and
reasoning can you use to evaluate this question?
2. In your opinion are there universal human stories? What thing are universal for humans
worldwide and over time? Is Hamlet a universal story? What is universal about this story?
3. List two specific aspects of culture that are different between the Tiv and the author’s culture
that led to the different interpretations of Hamlet? (you can reference- marriage rules, kinship
rules, age grading, hierarchies)

Chinese Table Manners: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg 57
terms: cultural values, cultural norms, symbol
1. Confucius recommended that ―When entering a country inquire of its _______________. When
crossing a _____________________ inquire of the ____________________________.
2. In China it is not a meal without ____________________. Because ______________ is
necessary for meal, the Chinese consider that they eat ______ meals a day.
3. The overriding rule of Chinese table customs is __________________________?
4. It can be stated that the degree to which a Chinese practices the rules of _________________
marks his _____________ position with respect to his fellow Chinese.
5. What judgments do we make about people in regards to their table manners? What is the basis
of these judgments (why do we make judgments based on table manners)?
6. Are the expectations for table manners a value or a norm? What is the difference between a
value and a norm?

Body Ritual Among the Nacirema: page 5, Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
terms: ritual, magic
1. How is ritual and magic used in the Nacirema society? Does the use of magic and ritual bring
about desired events for them?
2. Do most humans, in most cultures rely on magic and ritual for their physical and/or
psychological survival?
3. Is the use of magic and ritual a problem in human societies, is it a harmless practice, and/or is it
essential for survival?
4. How do the Nacirema feel about the human body (with its tendency towards sickness and
aging)? In the USA how do we feel about the human body? What influences our perceptions of
the human body?
5. Is the author ethnocentric?

Slumbers Unexplored Landscape: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, pg 9
1. How does culture impact what is seen as ―normal‖ in regards to sleep? In answering this
question make sure to note the following as regards the norms for human sleeping patterns;
         the times at which people go to sleep,
         the length of the sleep cycle,
         do people engage in single or multiple periods of sleep,
         do people sleep alone or with others (who are those others),
         what is the norm as regards sounds in the sleeping environment,
         what is insomnia (is it culturally defined)?
2. Which of the four fields of anthropology can be used to understand ―what it means to sleep
3. List at least two key concept(s) in anthropology are useful in understanding ―what it means to
sleep normally?‖ (key concepts include; culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism)
4. How does the means of subsistence in a culture affect sleep and sleep habits?

Tricking & Tripping: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article. Pg 13
terms: demography, key respondent, sample
1. How did Sterk’s ―status‖ or ―positionality‖ (who she is, the cultures she belongs to) impact her
ability to do research in this study? Based on your status is it likely you would be able to engage in
participant-observation with prostitutes? Why or why not?
2. Are prostitutes ―victims of circumstance‖? What micro factors (individual, family, peer group)
affected the entry of the women in to prostitution? What macro factors (economic system, political
system) affected the entry of the women into prostitution?
3. Are prostitutes the ―other‖ in our society? What traits do they have that would make them the
―other‖? React to the poem at the beginning of the article and the stanza ―we are easy to blame
because we are lame.‖
3. Which of the six themes described in the end of this article to you think is the most important in
understanding the culture of prostitution?

Cell Phones, Sharing and Social Status in an African Society, Author’s main idea or thesis for
the article, pg. 254
Terms: consumable commodity, reciprocity, social status
1. Is it an irrational belief to think that cell phone calls could kill? Do we have any mainstream,
irrational beliefs in the USA?
2. Cell phones called ―the ______________that consumes _________________‖ What does this
3. What is the status of text messaging as compared to a cell phone call in Nigeria? Why is a text
message viewed differently from a cell phone call?
4. What is it to ―flash‖ someone with a cell phone?
5. The author states that ―Nigerians are highly conscious of the economics of cell phone use and
deeply aware of the social implications of cell phone behavior.‖ To what degree do cell phones
play an economic and social role in the social relations of people in the United States?
Are there other consumable commodities that play a comparable role to the cell phone in Nigeria in
the United States (i.e. cars, clothes, food, etc.)?
6. What is Uzoma’s view of the author and the cell phone that he has?
7. What are the different speculations as to the origin of the ―killer numbers‖ in Nigeria

Viral Superhighway: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 202
Terms: epidemiological transition, diseases of civilization
1. In the 1970’s scientists claimed that the age of ______________________diseases was past,
what are the views of scientists today in regards to infectious diseases? What process of evolution
is responsible for our inability to rid ourselves of most infectious diseases?
2. For _____________% of the five million years of hominin existence ___________________
and ____________________ was the primary mode of subsistence.
3. The first epidemiological transition took place _________________ years ago when people
abandoned their _____________________ existence and began ________________________.
4. The adoption of ______________________ came with certain costs. Clearing fields brought
farmers into _________________ infested terrain Irrigation brought further ______________. The
domestication of ______________________ cleared another pathway for microorganisms.
Agriculture also lead to increasing ____________________________ growth.
5. The second epidemiological transition really only took place in _______________________
countries, because only developed countries have had the technology and _______________ to
invest in medicine, and ________________________.
6. The third epidemiological transition includes the effects of globalization, __________________
warming, and the emergence of ______________ resistant strains of microbes.
7. Have you or someone you know been affected by the emergence of drug resistant strains of
microbes? (this would include staph infection, tuberculosis, etc.).
8. List at least one effect of globalization on the viral superhighway.
9. List at least one effect of climate change on the viral superhighway.
10. What can you can do to mitigate the viral superhighway we live on?

Culture and the Evolution of Obesity: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 64
terms: obesity (hint: this is not a simple definition), ideology
1. The author notes that at least a quarter of a century ago an explanation for rising obesity rates
was that ―_________________ phenotypes were rendered detrimental by _________________.‖
Why type of explanation was this for obesity, a cultural or physical explanation? How does it work
to explain rising obesity rates?
2. What is the strength of an anthropological model in generating hypotheses to explain behavioral
causes of obesity (instead of an undifferentiated concept of ―environment)?
3. A proximate explanation for obesity would include ____________________________________
4. An ultimate explanation for obesity would include _____________________________________
5. According to the author the diet industry thrives because of our cultural ideas as to the _______
body and sexual ________________________, not because of _________________ benefits.
6. In the USA some _________ million people are hungry every day because they are on a _____
and some ____________ million people are hungry and poorly ___________________ because of
7. What is the most common explanation people in America give to explain obesity (emic)?
8. What do most scientists state in regards to why people are obese (emic/etic)?
9. Economic modernization is associated with ____________________ energy expenditures and
an increase in the consumption of ______________ and ________________.
10. Biological evolution involves change through time in the frequency of particular ___________,
primarily because of the effect of ________________ ______________ on individuals.
11. ___________________ evolution encompasses humans primary mechanism of evolutionary
adaptation. According to the author it has the advantages of ___________________ __________
and _______________________ than genetic evolution. Can you come up with one negative of
relying on cultural evolution?
12. Culture is an ______________________ system. A change in one part causes changes in the
other _________________________.
13. List the three levels in the cultural materialist model.
14. Give one example of how fatness can be a positive symbol for women? Come up with one
example of how fatness functions as a means of defense.
15. One conclusion that can be drawn from a look at culture and its relationship to obesity is that
____________________ values and beliefs must be _____________________ into health
programs aimed at decreasing obesity.
16. The author notes that historically cultural ___________________ has been treated like
―noise.‖ He states an essential goal of the future must be to differentiate between the cultural
factors that impact obesity, whether it is ______________________________, _______________,
or ____________________________.

Race Without Color: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article. Pg. 75
1. When we deconstruct the race concept we find that race is a ______________________
category, not a ________________________ one.
2. What biological criteria have been traditionally used to classify humans into separate races?
3. What alternative biological criteria has Diamond provided as means to classify humans into
races? (Make sure to come up with at least 2 other options)
4, Diamond notes that we could have classified races based on any number of geologically
variable traits but the resulting classifications would not be at all _______________________.
What does this mean and why is it a problem?

White Privilege: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, pg. 81
terms: stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination, meritocracy, privilege
1. What is the difference between stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination? Are they all beliefs
and/or actions?
2. Do you think that stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination against specific groups (i.e. ethnic,
gender, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, nationality, religious,) is a significant problem in
the United States today? What data and reasoning are you using to make this assessment?
3. Can you truly walk in another person’s shoes? Why or why not?
4. McIntosh states that men may acknowledge that women are disadvantaged in our society but
they will seldom acknowledge the other side of the coin, which is that __________ are privileged.
She states that denial of the other side of the coin amounts to a ________________ in our
5. Do you think that Whites are taught to not be aware of White privilege in our society? Is
unacknowledged ___________________ a serious problem in our society? How would you go
about analyzing this question? What type of data and reasoning could you employ?
6. What do our schools, K-12, teach about the treatment of different ethnic groups in regards to
employment, schooling and housing? About the treatment of the indigenous peoples? About the
history of enslavement of West Africans? About the treatment of Mexicans? Do you think there is
something missing from our K-12 curriculum?
7. McIntosh states that Whites in the USA have an invisible knapsack of privileges. If Whites are
unaware of these privileges who is aware of them?
8. McIntosh wrote this article in 1988. What items would you take off the list and what items would
you add to the list of privileges in the invisible knapsack?
9. List at least one other group in the United States that you think has an invisible knapsack of
10. It is typical for students to react strongly to this article, either in full agreement with McIntosh or
in adamant disagreement with her contentions. What is your reaction? What is your ―status‖ or
positionality in American Mainstream society? How do you think your status in our society has
impacted your reaction (either positive or negative)?
11. What mainstream value does the acknowledgement of the invisible knapsack of skin color
privilege diminish? Is the diminishment of this value uncomfortable?

The Human Story and Anthropology
Anthropology is unique as an academic discipline in that anthropologists straddle both the natural
and social sciences and engage in both a scientific and humanistic approach to the study of
humans. There are four fields that anthropologist use to study humankind; physical, cultural,
linguistic and archeology. Pretty much any question you have about humans, past, present, and/or
future has likely been asked by an anthropologist. The human story goes back some 200,000
years but first we’ll take a brief look at the context of human biological and cultural evolution.
          Question: In what way is Anthropology unique as a discipline?

Physical Anthropology looks at Homo sapiens as a genus and species, in the Primate Order.
They trace the biological origins, evolutionary development, and genetic diversity of Homo sapiens.
Biological anthropologists study the biocultural prehistory of our genus, Homo, to understand
human nature and, ultimately, the evolution of the brain. Physical anthropology is used to study
hominin evolution (hominin’s are defined as humans and human like ancestors). The oldest
hominin’s are some 6-7 million years old.
        Question: What is a hominin and how old are they?

Primate Order
The history of life on earth is told through fossil remains and the DNA molecular time clock. Fossil
remains show us that primates evolved some 55 million years ago. We find primates in the fossil
record changing, and evolving over time. Humans are in the primate order and we share a number
of physical and behavioral features with other primates (apes, monkeys and prosimians). Primates
have stereoscopic vision, prehensile hands and feet, opposable thumbs and all are dedicated
quadrupeds except for humans. Behaviorally primates share a number of features, they live and
survive in social groups, have individual status in social dominance hierarchies that they negotiate.
         Question: How old is the primate order?

Hominin Evolution- A Brief Outline
Hominins are defined as humans or human like ancestors. Some six to seven million years ago
there were multiple populations of ape like creatures moving around Eastern Africa. About 5 1/2
million years ago we find in the fossil record primates with a physiology dedicated to bipedalism,
these are the first hominins. Hominin’s survived and evolved as ―bipedal apes‖ until some 2 million
years ago at which point brains started getting bigger. The hominin’s whose brains are larger are
placed in our genus, the genus Homo. These larger brained hominin’s start making and using a
stone tool technology. The use of our brains to make and use tools, and our reliance on tools and
technology is a trademark for our genus and species (Homo sapiens).
         Question: How old are the oldest hominin’s? What is the feature that defines a fossil as a
         hominin versus an ape like ancestor? When did hominin brains start getting bigger?

The hominin fossil record is extensive and there are hundreds and hundreds of fossils that have
been found and studied to give us a insight in the transitions over time. Some 200,000 years ago
we find the remains of individuals who look like we do in East Africa. They have a body that looks
like ours and have brains that are similar in size to modern day humans.
         Question: How old are Homo sapiens as a species?

About 40,000 years ago the Upper Paleolithic Revolution took place in which humans started
engaging in the production of art (on cave walls and for personal ornamentation), music, and
regularly buried their dead with artifacts. Humans survived as foragers, and hunters for the
majority of our existence. Some 6,000 to 10,000 years ago humans started domesticating plants
and animals and for the first time in human history began to grow and produce our own food.
Archeology, one of the four fields of anthropology involves the study of human remains and
human artifacts to understand human pre-history.
         Question: When do we first find humans in the fossil record? When did humans first start
         domesticating plants and animals?

Hominin Fossil Record Overview: You will NOT be tested on this information. I am providing this
information to give you a brief overview of the hominin fossil record. If you are interested in the hominin
fossil record take a physical anthropology class! 

Sahelanthropus tchadensis “Toumai”: found 2002 in Chad (North, Central Africa), dated 6-7 mya, nearly
complete cranium, which has both ―chimp-like‖ and ―human-like‖ features. Some see Toumai as an early
ape, others as an early hominid. Key questions/points: 1) Do Toumai’s fossil remains reveal a skeletal
anatomy for quadropedalism or bipedalism? There is no definitive determination at this. 2) The location
and age of Toumai (North Africa) has been quite shocking to some because it implies that hominids may
have evolved in two locations (East and North Africa) and hominids may have evolved later than previously

Orrorin tugenesis: (―original man‖) found 2001 in Ethiopia (East Africa) dated 6-7 mya, some 12 bones
including teeth, jaw, arm and femur bones were found. Key questions/points: Do Orrorin tugenesis fossil
remains reveal a skeletal anatomy for bipedalism or quadropedalism ? At this point there is no definitive
determination bit there is less evidence and more debate over Orrorin than ―Toumai.‖ Orrorin tugenesis was
found in East Africa.

Ardipithecus ramidus: 4.4 mya, Ethiopia (East Africa), bipedal, ―ape-like facial features,‖ foramen magnum
and arm bone shows bipedalism. Found in a forest/ woodland environment. Remains of some 50+
individuals found. Key questions/points: Ardipithecus ramidus is the oldest definitive hominid, what was
the environment they lived in? What role did the environment play in the selection for bipedalism?
Ardipithecus ramidus kadabba: found 2001 Ethiopia, dated 5.2-5.8mya. Key questions/points: Critics
state fossil data is too limited for subspecies designation, supporters state there enough data to support
kadabba subspecies designation (also large time frame difference from ramidus species).

Australopithecus: genus with multiple species, 4.2-2.3 mya, East & South Africa, ―small-brained gracile
hominids w/mixed vegetable diet‖, ―bipedal apes‖
Key questions/points: What was their lifestyle like, how similar were they to chimps in their adaptations?
How refined was the bipedalism of Australopithecus? Was Australopithecus solely terrestrial or were they
still partially arboreal? They had reduced canines, increased manual dexterity, and were sexually dimorphic
what type of mating patterns did they engage in and what was their social group formation like?
A. anamensis: 4.2-3.9 mya, Kenya, (East Africa) forest/woodland environment, 21 individuals
A. afarensis: 4-3 mya, Ethiopia, ―Lucy,‖ 3’5‖-5ft. 65-100lbs., 440cc average brain size, some adaptations for
arboreal lifestyle, long arms, short legs, prognathus face, sexually dimorphic, 300+ specimens.
A. africanus: 3-2.3mya, South Africa, few differences from afarensis, 1st find 1925.
A. garhi: found 1999, Ethipia (East Africa), 5 individuals. Key points: garhi found with animal remains
subject to stone scrape marks and bones crushed to get marrow, it was very surprising to find stone tool use
in a small brained Australopithecus.
A. bahrelghazalia: found 1995, Chad (North Africa), find initially subject to much debate because of age
and location, unusual to find Australopithecus in northern Africa. This find now has more validity with the
recent find of Sahelanthropus tchadensis in Northern Africa.

Paranthropus: genus with multiple species (about half the textbooks put the Paranthropus species under
the Australopithecus genus designation) 2.8-1mya, East & South Africa, ―small-brained robust hominids
w/mixed grassland, vegetable diet.‖ ―Robusticity‖ is in molars, chewing muscles, otherwise similar to
―gracile‖ hominids in overall physical size. Species: aethiopithecus, boisei, robustus.
Key points/ questions: 1) Paranthropus overlaps with Australopithecus and early Homo, what allowed it to
―out compete‖ Australopithecus? Why did it go extinct with the arrival of early Homo? Are the differences in
teeth and chewing muscles enough to put these species in a different genus from Australopithecus? Should
all of the Paranthropus species be included in the Australopithecus genus?

Kenyathropus platyops: announced find 2001, in Kenya (Eastern Africa), dated 3.5 mya. Features
include; fairly modern face, a ―flat face‖, small molars, near vertical cheekbones (all features associated with
later hominids). Key questions/points: Is K. platyops a more direct ancestor to the genus Homo than
Australopithecus? Do the morphological features of K. platyops warrant a new genus designation?

Homo: genus with multiple species ―large brained, omnivorous, stone tool using hominids.‖ Homo has trend
towards larger brains, meat in diet, reduction of face & molars, making and using of stone tools.
“Early Homo” 2.3 –1.5 mya, East & South Africa (with some question about recent finds in the Republic of
Georgia- debate as to whether or not these finds are early or middle Homo)
Homo habilis & Homo rudolfensis: features include less prognathus facial features, bit less sloping
forehead, no sagittal crest, brain size 680 avg. (500-800). Body similar to Australopithecus, still longer arms
& shorter legs (4-5 feet, 70-115 lbs.). Oldewan Tool Tradition/Pebble Tools. Key questions/points
include: does habilis have a large enough brain to warrant inclusion in genus Homo? Did habilis process
meat at home bases? Did early Homo leave Africa with a ―small‖ brain, short legs, and ―primitive‖ tools
(Dmansi finds)?

Middle Homo: 1.8-100,000 (27,000?), Africa, Southeast Asia, China, Europe
Homo eragaster (generally seen as the ―African‖ erectus) & Homo erectus. Features of middle Homo
include bigger brains, more complex behaviors, more complex stone tools, and living in a variety of
environments. Skull: heavy brow ridges, some prognathism, thick cranium, little forehead development,
wide cranium base. Brain size: 980 avg (800-1250). Body: modern looking neck-down, modern gait,
hairless?, 5-6 ft., 100lbs+. Auchulian Tools: flaked entire stone, controlled shape of core. Key questions/
points: Why did erectus leave Africa? When were hominids able to make and use fire? When did infants
become so helpless?

Archaic Homo sapiens : contested taxonomic classifications with a large number of fossils found on three
continents and over a large time-frame. Debates include whether or not species should be labeled as
various species in genus Homo or as subspecies of Homo sapiens.
Homo antecessor: Spain, 780,000-300,000 found with primitive tools 1mya,hunters? Cannibals?
Homo heidlbergensis: China, England, Africa, India; 500,000-100,000, more vertical foreheads, 1300cc
avg. brain size, Levallois Tool Tradition: ―prepared core‖ careful preparation of core to produce desired
flake shape, more specialized purpose tools.
Homo neanderthalensis (Neandertals): 225,000-36,000 Europe, Croatia, Iraq, Israel (275+ individuals),
Skull: sloped forehead, back of skull broad, large discontinuous brow ridges, large face, slightly prognathus,
receding chin, large sinus cavities, Brain size: 1480 avg. (1200-1740), Body: robust, stocky, muscular, 5’3‖-
5’6‖, Mousterian Tool: elaboration of Levallois, careful retouching of flakes, up to 63 tool types (Butchering,
wood-working, some bone/ antler carving, cut animal hides, Haft stone points for spears). Key questions/
points: Neandertals are a ―cold-adapted‖ species, did they interbreed with early modern Homo sapiens?
Did neandertals have modern language? How different were neandertals in behavior and abilities from
early modern Homo sapiens?

“Homo” floresiensis: 95,000-12,000, Indonesia, found 9/03, reported 10/27/04. ―Hobbit‖ species, island
environment, small brain (chimp-sized), small stature (3 foot adult female almost complete skeleton & 7
other individuals), made small, sophisticated stone tools, co-existed with giant tortises, pony sized
elephants, dog sized rats, Komodo dragons. Hunted, cooked food, lived communally, language?

Early modern Homo sapiens- Upper Paleolithic peoples: Africa 200,000 (oldest sites), Europe, Asia,
Australia (40k-80k), Americas (17k-40k), Skull: flat/small face, small teeth, no heavy brow ridges, globular
skull, vertical forehead. Body: slender, taller, not as robust. Not visibly different from modern humans today.
   Upper Paleolithic Tools: long, bifacially flaked spear points, punch technique, tools decorated, use
  bone, antler & ivory, Big Game Hunting: spears, bow & arrow, nets used in hunting, run game off cliffs,
  Cultural “Revolution”: frequent burial of dead w/artifacts, music, personal adornment, Cave Art: 100+
  sites in Europe, sites in Africa, Australia, purpose of cave art?

Homo Sapiens idaltu: found June 2003, dated at 160,000 (previously oldest fossils were 200,000), three
skulls (two adults, 1 child), living close to freshwater lake in Ethiopia, butchered remains of hippopotamuses,
fish remains, and 640 stone tools found, skulls subject to de-fleshing, mortuary purposes? Cannibalism?

                       Key Terms and Concepts in Cultural Anthropology
                            Anthropology: Holistic study of humans

Holistic Discipline: ―wholelistic‖, look at the whole picture. Use the comparative approach.
Examine how the micro level (individual, family, small group) interrelates with the macro level
(institutional level-economic, political, societal level). Draw connections as to the nature of humans
and human activities from all four fields of anthropology (cultural anthropology, linguistic
anthropology, physical or biological anthropology and archeology).

Comparative Approach: compare and contrast humans in cultures around the world and in
various cultures over time, gain insight into human universals (things all human groups do or have,
marriage for example) and how these cultural universals vary among societies

Ethnocentrism: all human groups view other groups thru their own ―cultural lens‖ and judge their
own culture as normal, rational and natural. Other cultures are perceived (consciously and
unconsciously) as ―less than‖ your culture (less normal, less rational, less reasonable, etc.)

Cultural Relativism: anthropological guiding principle, when studying and interacting with other
cultures you should work to view these other cultures from their ―cultural lens‖, you should suspend
judgment. All cultures are seen as being equally valid expressions of the human essence. This is
not moral relativism, it doesn’t require your approval of other’s cultural values & norms.






Subjective Aspects of Culture: Values (what is right and true), Norms (how things ―ought‖ to be),
Worldview (basic way in which you perceive, and experience the world)

Objective Aspects of Culture: arts, political, economic systems

Mainstream/macro culture (―national‖ or ―nation-state‖ cultures)

Sub or micro cultures (ethnic, class, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, region, etc.)

                                         Cultural Orientations
Cultural orientations are the key aspects of the worldview of peoples in cultures around the world.
We all learn basic cultural orientations from the culture in which we’re raised. Below are listed a
few basic cultural orientations that vary in cultures around the world. We will be referencing these
throughout the semester.

The unit of measure; Individualistic or Group Oriented: cultures tend to emphasize rights and
responsibilities as existing at the individual or group level.
 Individualistic: independence, self-reliance, ―I‖ as the focus

   Group: collectivist, interdependence, ―we‖ as the focus

Power Orientation: attitudes and behaviors in relationship to power, wealth and prestige
 Equality, Achieved Status, Competition

   Hierarchy, Ascribed Status, Cooperation

Time Orientations: orientations in regards to time
 Monochronic: schedules/agendas, time is a commodity, linear, one thing at a time

   Polychronic: people-centered, multi-task, time is experienced, context is important

Cautions for Cultural Orientations: the above orientations are just a small sample of the
different ways in which culture impacts peoples worldview, we will go over many more aspects of
culture throughout the semester. It is important to keep in mind that we all use stereotypes to
make sense of the complicated world around us but we should always be aware of the diversity
both between and within cultures. Keep in mind the following cautions when learning the cultural
orientations of different cultures.
 Cultural orientations operate on a continuum (from more to less) you aren’t just one
     orientation or another (i.e. individualistic or group oriented). Orientations aren’t mutually
     exclusive, you can be oriented in a variety of ways depending on your mainstream culture and
     the sub cultures you belong to.

   Always assume complexity, everyone is an individual impacted by their various subcultures.

   Keep in mind the ideal versus the real. The ―ideal‖ is what people say they do and value.
    The ―real‖ is what people actually do (their actions). Both individuals and cultures often have a
    disconnect between what they say they value and what their actions are. This doesn’t
    necessarily mean that the person or culture is lying about their values (although they may be)
    but that there is a gap between what they say and what they do. Disparities between the ideal
    and real exist for a variety of reasons.

Anthropological Linguistics
Linguistics is one of the four fields in anthropology. Anthropological linguistics covers a broad
range of topics including; comparative linguistics, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, language
and culture, etc. Questions asked in anthropological linguistics include;
          How is language different from communication?
          How do children acquire language?
          How and why do languages change?
          What is the relationship between language and culture?

Language is seen by many to be the only truly unique capacity that humans have in comparison to
other animals. All animals communicate, using a variety of means including vocalizations, body
language, smell, etc. Communication is distinctly different from language in that it is limited in its
ability to communicate meaning, it is generally involuntary and it is general.

Language as a means to communicate is unique in that;
     unlimited meanings can be imparted (it is productive)
     language is voluntary (versus communication which is said to be involuntary)
     language has displacement (the ability to communicate about the past, the future and
    about abstractions)

Human language is made up of three systems;
    phonemes: units of sound that signal a difference in meaning
    morphemes units of meaning
    syntax or grammar: rules to combine units of meaning into sentences and phrases

Language & Culture: is the study of the relationship between language and culture. Ruth Nanda
Anshem states ―language is an energy, and activity, not only of communication and self-expression
but of orientation in the universe.‖

Language is the means by which humans describe and categorizes the world but no language is
an exact representation of world. All languages have categories but the categories are different in
each language. For instance there are differences in kinship terms and categories depending on
the culture and the language. These differences in the categories in language shape individuals
perceptions and experiences in the world around them.

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: this hypothesis states ―language determines how we experience
and perceive space, time and reality.‖ Whorf conducted research into different languages and he
concluded that the labels or categories available in a language determined people’s perceptions
and actions. Today most anthropologists would agree that language influences how we
experience and perceive the world around us but it does not determine the way we experience
space, time and reality.

        Question: In the article Shakespeare in the Bush how did the culture of the anthropologist
        and the Tiv affect their ability to communicate with each other (even when the
        anthropologist was able to speak their language)?

Sociolinguistics: is the study of speech performance. Sociolinguists listen to the speech of
individuals from different groups or subcultures in society to gain insights into the variation in
speech patterns depending on the group the individual is from, and the social context or situation in
which the speaker is operating.

Sociolinguists research hits on a number of cultural issues such as linguistic relativity. Linguistic
Relativity is a stance held by anthropological linguists. It states that, all dialects, languages, and
speech patterns which are used to communicate are equally valid. That is, no one speech pattern
is linguistically superior to any other speech pattern. So, Valley Speak or Surf Talk or Black
English are all held to be equally valid forms of speech, just so long as the community that uses
those speech forms can understand each other.

Linguists do realize that in stratified societies the speech patterns of an individual can dramatically
impact their ability to gain power, wealth, and status. Speech patterns are said to both reveal an
individuals status and reinforce their status in society. The speech patterns of those whom hold
political and economic power are generally viewed in the society as proper, and valid. While the
speech patterns of others are designated as slang, invalid, and/or improper speech.

Linguists have observed that in stratified societies individuals often learn to code switch. Code
switching involves being able to switch from one speech pattern or dialect to another speech
pattern or dialect depending on the context.

Nature of Language: It is the nature of language to change or evolve over time. One aspect of
language change is that dialects form with geographic and social isolation. If groups are separated
for long enough the dialects can diverge into different languages.

     Dialects are speech patterns that are mutually intelligible, with some differences in
    vocabulary and grammar.
     Languages are speech patterns that are mutually unintelligible.

The designation of a speech pattern as a dialect or a language often rests more on social and
political power and factors than on linguistic understandings. The group that holds power
traditionally designates their form of speech as ―standard‖ or ―normal‖ and other speech patterns
are labeled as either slang, incorrect speech or a dialect.

Anthropological Fieldwork

Participant-observation is the hallmark of anthropological fieldwork. Anthropologists emphasize
qualitative methods(open-ended interviews) to study humans rather than quantitative (surveys,
questionnaires). Anthropological fieldwork involves:

        o Participant-observation- the cornerstone of anthropological fieldwork, it involves
          observing, living and participating in the culture of study

        o Key informants: are individuals who are fully integrated into the culture of study and
          are willing to work with an anthropologist to give them insight into the culture of study.

        o Ethnography: is the written report of the fieldwork

Emic: insider perspective, work to gain ―uncritical representations of reality shared by members of
a given culture,‖ how do ―they‖ see their culture in their own words

Etic: outsider perspective, after gathering emic perspectives step back and work to objectify what
has been learned and observed about the culture, utilizing concepts and terms from the scientific

Utilize a couple of different contexts (body odor, kinship systems, education) and describe the
differences between the emic and the etic perspectives.

While conducting fieldwork: researchers must set aside ethnocentrism and be reflexive (self-
questioning and with an explicit understanding of their ―positionality‖ or status within their culture)

 Positionality: your position within your culture and within the world based on the mainstream
culture you were raised in as well as the various sub cultures you belong to, and your status (your
status is both ascribed and achieved)

 Tacit (unconscious) & Explicit (conscious) knowledge: there is knowledge that people
know explicitly and consciously and understandings that reside below the surface (tacit)

 Ideal and Real: Participant observation is very helpful to get behind the ―Ideal‖ (what people
say they do) and to ascertain the ―Real‖ (what people actually do)

Ethical Issues: The American Anthropology Code of Ethics includes; being responsible to protect
their research subjects from risk and getting informed consent from those under study.

Epistemology: is the study of and theory of knowledge. Epistemological questions include; what
can we know (what kinds of knowledge are possible), how can we know it (what sources can we
use to gain knowledge), and the degree to which we can be certain of what we know.
         With the rise of science in the West, humans became the subject of scientific study.
Science is ideally an objective means by which to gain knowledge about the world. It was
formulated that scientists were objective observers working to understand the nature of humans. If
scientists engaged in a systematic study of a humans and human culture they could write an
ethnography that accurately and completely described a culture. It was thought that absolute
understandings could be gained about humans and human cultures. This can be said to be a
modernist perspective of knowledge and epistemology.
         In the 1960’s a new perspective developed called “postmodernism.‖ Questions were
asked about what scientists could really learn about humans and human culture through their
observations. Postmodernists critiqued scientists and stated that they were not objective,
observers of reality, they were subjective observers. They stated that all research is impacted by
the status and position a scientist has within their own culture. The researcher’s status (i.e. sex,
gender, age, class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, etc.) impacted how they conducted
their research and how they interpreted their data. Postmodernists worked to ―deconstruct‖ the
knowledge that was accepted as absolute. See your theory sheet for more details.

Note: The debate over what knowledge we can have about humans and how we can get this
knowledge is an ongoing debate in anthropology, philosophy, psychology, biology, sociology, etc.
There are extremists on both sides of this debate, those who say we can gain absolute, objective
knowledge and others who state we can know nothing and all understandings are subjective.

                                  American Mainstream Culture
Key points to know for this section include: What are the core values and norms of American
mainstream culture? Where do the values and norms in American mainstream culture come from?
How do Americans view themselves in relationship to other cultures (their values, norms, economic
system, political system, etc.)? How do people in other cultures view Americans?

 Before you read the following take a moment and close your eyes and then imagine what is a
―typical American‖? What image came to mind? What was the person’s gender, skin color,
ethnicity, etc.?

Feagin and Feagin: state that ―our American culture, our speech, our laws are basically Anglo-
Saxon in origin...If there is anything in American life which can be described as an overall
American culture which serves as a reference point for immigrants and their children it can best be
described...as the middle-class cultural patterns of largely, white, Protestant, Anglo-Saxon origins‖
(Feagin and Feagin 1993:62). They note that White, middle-class, protestant, males do not
comprise a numerical majority in the United States but their cultural values form the basis of
American mainstream culture because of their political and economic power to shape American

Francis L.K. Hsu, a Chinese anthropologist states that ―self-reliance‖ is mainstream America’s
core value. The value of self-reliance stems from the value of individualism. In American
mainstream culture every individual is judged on their ability to operate alone, to be their own
master. Everyone is expected to move up or down the ladder of success according to their own
efforts. Individuals in American culture are judged as worthy or unworthy depending on their ability
to be self-sufficient

Habits of the Heart, by Robert Bellah et al. This book focuses on how the American value for
individualism has impacted our personal lives, communities and our nation:
 American individualism demands personal effort and stimulates ambition but does not promote
     caring or nurturance, the extremes to which individualism has been taken have negatively
     affected our sense of community and public relationships
 Americans think in terms of the individual (micro) and we do not take into account how our
     economic and industrial structures (macro) affect us and our lives
 Americans compartmentalize and de-contextualize situations and circumstances and they
     generally do not draw linkages and inferences as to the nature of interplay between micro and
     macro factors (the focus is on the individual and their choices and efforts not the group or
     institutions). Americans are suffering from ―real-wage‖ reductions but instead of looking to
     economic, corporate, and political structures the individual is blamed for not achieving and
     succeeding. Americans blame ―welfare queens and illegal immigrants‖ for structural and
     economic woes, instead of looking at corporate welfare and other macro issues.
 There is a profound lack of micro/macro coherence in American thoughts and analysis, we
     place an inordinate amount of emphasis on the individual and do not think in terms of the
     institutional structures and how they impact our lives and our choices

Aspects of Mainstream United States Culture: Dr. Mikel Hogan, CSUF
From her research in the United States Dr. Mikel Hogan has stated she has found three key
themes of American mainstream culture include. Her five themes include the following:

        1) Americans don’t have a culture; ―other‖ peoples have culture, ―we’re‖ just normal and
        natural, those ―other‖ people have ―culture‖

        2) If it is different, it is wrong- ―we‖ should all be ―American‖, we should look like American’s
        and act like Americans, from colonial times ―nativism‖ prevails (anti-foreign)

        3) Don’t talk about cultural diversity- if you talk about it you will cause prejudice, racism
        (just like the idea that if you talk to kids about sex they’ll go out and have sex)

        4) Never admit to personal prejudice- no ―good‖ American is prejudiced

        5) The system is fair (meritocracy)- everybody gets ahead in life based on their ―merit,‖ all
        of our statuses are ―achieved‖

What is your opinion of her research into American culture? Do you agree or disagree with the
themes she has found? Would you add or delete some of these themes?

Dr. Hogan also has found the following mainstream cultural value orientations in American culture.
If you are interested in this topic I highly recommend her book The Four Skills of Cultural Diversity
     Patriarchal family structure
     Genders are considered ―opposite‖
     Emphasize ―doing‖, getting things done, be busy (being is not valued)
     Emphasis on measurable and visible accomplishments
     Emphasis on individual choice, responsibility and achievement, self-reliance, self-motivation
     Emphasize newness, change is viewed as progress
     Things do not just happen, emphasize casual agents
     Dualistic thinking, either/or thinking
     Value equality, informality, fair play along w/discrimination at micro & macro social levels
     Value competition
     Value being liked and value ideal of friendships but de-emphasize social obligations
     Emphasize the control of nature, nature should serve humans
     Value material goods, machines, technology

In his book, American Myth American Reality, James Oliver Robertson discusses American
history and culture. In his book he writes of five prevalent myths that he sees in American
mainstream culture. Each of these myths, according to Robertson pervades American thinking.
He says that we learn these myths in school, on TV, in movies and books. As you read through his
list state whether or not you agree or disagree with him

        1. America is a democracy: Not only do we believe we’re a democracy (actually we’re a
        republic) but we tend to see ourselves as the ―best‖ democracy.

        To what degree do individuals actually have a voice in our society? How would we
        measure this? Whose ―voices‖ are the most powerful in the governing of this nation?
        Whose views are taken into account in the formulation of political, economic, and societal

        2. America is a New World: The myth that America was ―found‖ and it was a wide open,
        empty land ready to be used. It was ―our‖ ―destiny‖ to utilize this land ―appropriately.‖

        To what degree is this accurate? What do you know of the America’s before Columbus’s
        ―discovery‖? Have you ever heard the statements ―manifest destiny‖ or ―white man’s

        3. America has a special and important destiny in the world: The belief that America
        is a new land, untainted by the past. America is filling a special role in world to benefit the
        people of the world. We are a unique, different, better breed than has ever existed.

        What is your opinion of America as a nation compared to other nations? How do other
        peoples see America as a nation? Europeans? Mexicans? Middle Easterners? Chinese?
        Could this belief lead to Exceptionalism?

        4. America is uniquely influential in the world. America works to influence and
        impact the world. We bring good to a world that is beset by evil. America is above
        the fray and out to make sure everyone is treated equally and justly. We use our power for
        good and we know what is best for people around the world.

        To what degree do you believe this is accurate? To what degree do people in the rest of
        the world believe this to be true? Could this lead to American engaging in hegemonic

        5. America is some kind of paradise: that is why we’re so attractive to immigrants, our
           economic system, and our value system, is special and different.

        What is the standard of living in the United States as compared to other developed
        nations? What about developing nations? What type of social, political, and economic
        indicators could be used to evaluate this question?

                      “Collapse: How Societies Chose to Fail or Succeed”
                              Lecture by Jared Diamond 1/22/06

Jared Diamond lectured for the Skeptics Society on his book ―Collapse: How Societies Chose to
Fail or Succeed.‖ He discussed three core values that comprise American lifestyle. His
perspective is that we are in the midst of a crisis in regards to these three values.

The three core values that Diamond focused on were: Consumption, individualism, and
isolationism. He states that all three of these values are under siege today.

       Consumption: The United States consumes some 25% of the world’s resources and we
        are only some 6% of the world’s population. The production and consumption of goods
        and services is seen as crucial to our way of life and our economy.

       Individualism: The United States is one of the most individualistic nations on earth. We
        judge everyone in relationship to their ability to be self-reliant and to handle things on their
        own. Our value for individualism is affecting our ability to develop and utilize social
        programs such as health care.

       Isolationism: The United States is the world’s only superpower and we feel empowered
        to make our own decisions without reference to other nations or global bodies (i.e. United
        Nations). Our refusals to sign onto treaties such as Kyoto Treaty on climate change, the
        International Criminal Court, and the International Land Mine Treaty put us in the minority
        and sets us apart from nations that we consider our allies. The pre-emptive strike against
        Iraq, in large part without the endorsement of other nations, is also an aspect of our

What is your opinion? Do you agree with Diamond that these three values are core to American
culture? Do you believe these values are in crisis, or precipitating a crisis? What are the pros and
cons of these values for American’s and American society?

         Diamond began reflecting on American cultural values after he heard Vice-President
Cheney in a speech state ―The American way of life is non-negotiable.‖ Diamond reflected on what
comprises our way of life and consider what it means if these values are non-negotiable. Do you
think our way of life is negotiable?
         Diamond’s research into past societies has revealed to him that there are many examples
in the past of societies that were unwilling to recognize that they were in crisis. Or if they did
recognize their impending doom they were unwilling to make the changes necessary to survive.
The Norse in Greenland, the inhabitants of Easter Island, and the Maya are just three examples he
looked at in which the people died out because they were either unwilling to change their values
and ways of life or they were unaware they needed to. In all three of these situations the
environment was changing and there were steps that could have been taken to save them from
environmental collapse. Diamond also found cultures in which they were able to change their
values and survive catastrophic events. Japan after WWII is an example of a nation which had to
dramatically change their values and economic focus after they surrendered and were under
American control.

Diamond has researched how people and societies respond to a crisis. Crisis counselors have
found that what is crucial for individuals is to have the ability and willingness to reappraise their
values. To re-appraise their ideas of what is necessary for their self-identity and their ability to
enact changes that will work for them. Individuals who are dealing with divorce, death, illness, job
loss, etc. will often enter a crisis and their ability to recover in large part depends on the above
stated critical variables. Societies face threats that threaten their survival such as environmental
problems, civil unrest, famine, outside threats, etc.

Do you think there are things we can we learn from societies that either collapsed or changed
when faced with the aforementioned threats?

Horatio Alger: Horatio Alger was an author from the mid-1800’s who wrote books about
―underprivileged youths who achieve fame and wealth by practicing virtues such as honesty,
diligence & perseverance.‖ Below is the definition for ―Horatio Alger.‖

        Horatio Alger (huh-RAY-shee-oh, ho- AL-juhr) adjective: Of, or characteristic of the
        novels of Horatio Alger, Jr. which depicted an impoverished youth who achieved success
        and great wealth through hard work, honesty, and virtue.

Horatio Alger Myth
The belief that anyone can make it big (become rich, or even become the President of the United
States) solely through their own efforts and abilities is strong in the United States. We value the
ideal of achieved status as the way to make it and we minimize the effect of any ascribed statuses.
The Horatio Alger Myth puts forth the idea that it is the actions of the individual which determines
whether or not they will be successful. This myth states that it is not the social status that an
individual is born into that is the key to their success (their ascribed status), it is their individual
effort (their achieved status) that is key to their success in life. It is believed that anyone can be a
success (get a good job, become wealthy) if they follow the rules (i.e. get an education) and work

“The Death of Horatio Alger”
In the Jan. 5th 2004 edition of the Nation magazine Paul Krugman wrote an article about the ―death
of Horatio Alger.‖ His article was in response to anther article written in Business Week called
―Waking up from the American Dream. Both of these articles contained data documenting the fact
that upward social mobility is diminishing in the United States (i.e. people are not able to move up
the social ladder as they did in the past). Here is key data from each article:
 ―social mobility in the USA has declined considerably‖ the poor are staying poor (no matter
how hard they work), and data shows that your future social status is most closely linked to your
fathers social status (i.e. the best predictor of your future status is the status of your father/parents)
 the middle class is diminishing in the U.S.- a strong middle class requires strong unions, taxes
on inherited wealth, taxes on corporate profits and taxes on high incomes. In the U.S. today unions
are being dismantled, we are not taxing inherited wealth nor are corporations paying taxes
 1973 versus 2000: average real income of the bottom 90% of American taxpayers fell 7%, and
income for the top 1% rose by 148%, the income of the top .01% rose by 599%
 post-WWII upward social mobility was the norm for many Americans; 23% of adult men whose
father’s were in the bottom 25% of the population made it to the top 25% - today only 10% of these
individuals make this leap
 ―Wal-Martization‖ of the economy: there’s a proliferation of dead-end, low-wage jobs, and the
disappearance of jobs that provide entry to the middle class

The Oprah Society by Beth Shulman April 12, 2005. Beth Shulman is the author of The Betrayal of
Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans (The New Press, 2003) and works with the Russell
Sage Foundation’s The Future of Work and Social Inequality projects

It’s inspiring to watch someone beat the odds. If you see the deck is stacked, their triumph is especially
sweet. Day after day, in our made-for-TV society, that’s what we’re shown: inspiring exceptions—women
and men who, by some miracle, overcome insurmountable barriers. They often weep as we do when we
hear their tales of woe. Indeed, whether it’s addiction or affliction, layoffs or payoffs, their stories are meant
to convince us ―Hey, they made it, why can’t we?‖

From yesterday’s daytime gabfests to today’s reality shows, somehow in America, the insurmountable
became the inevitable. We went from counting on a family-sustaining job to expecting a pink slip. We’ve
seen whole towns rust and millions lose decent jobs. We've seen still others trapped in jobs that fail to
provide the basics of a decent life. Meanwhile, there aren’t enough reality show makeovers to transform
whole blocks—let alone entire towns—or get us all college diplomas or decent jobs. So a few are chosen,
and the rest of us are made to feel like we failed. If only we had tried harder, worked smarter, learned more,
invested better, we’d be on TV for all to envy. It’s one thing to admire those who beat the odds, quite
another to create a society which makes the odds nearly impossible to overcome.

Whatever happened to the Land of Opportunity? To the melting pot that pulled millions from every corner of
the world? Drawn by the American Dream, we were told that if you just worked hard, you could support
yourself and raise a family, send your children to college, take family vacations, build a nest egg and retire?

Today, one in four workers—30 million Americans—hold jobs that pay below $9.00 an hour, putting them
and their families below the federal poverty line. The work is often grueling, dangerous or humiliating. Most
low-wage jobs lack health care, vacation pay, sick leave or pension plans. They provide little flexibility or
training. These jobs sentence child caregivers, janitors and pharmacy techs to a lifetime of poverty, and
mock those who work in nursing homes, clean our hotel rooms and offices and process our food. Most of
these workers are adults with at least a high school education who have families to take care of just like the
rest of us. More and more middle-class jobs are taking on the characteristics of low-wage jobs, with little job
security, stagnant wages and decreasing health and retirement benefits. In 1987, employers provided health
coverage to 70 percent of workers, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, yet today that
number has declined by 10 percent. At the same time, employees are picking up more and more of their
health premium costs. Fewer than one-fifth of large and medium-sized companies now pay the full cost of
employees’ health premiums. A similar shift has occurred with pensions. Nearly half of full-time workers
were covered by traditional pensions 30 years ago. Today, that number has plummeted to below 20
percent. Then there's job security: the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that today a middle-aged man is
likely to be in his job for 71/2 years, down from 11 years just 25 years ago.

These conditions are not an act of nature. We can make different choices. We could offer quality child care
to give all our kids a fair start. We could insist our jobs provide at least a week of paid sick leave. We could
raise the federal minimum wage—as a start to $7.25 an hour, an option our Congress just turned down last
month. We could insist every American have affordable health care. We could ensure that every qualified
young man and woman can afford to attend college and graduate without mortgaging their future. And at the
end of one’s work life, we could make sure that all Americans have enough to support themselves.

So what will it be? Will we remain content with a society that rewards the few and continues to erect
roadblocks for most Americans, or are we going to live up to the ideals of the American Dream—that if you
work hard, you will be able to take care of yourself and your family? The choice is ours.

America’s Role in the World
An important learning goal in this class is for you to gain insight and understanding into how
America is viewed by other cultures and countries around the world. What is it to be an American?
What is the role of America in the world? How do Americans view themselves and how do those
outside of American view us? In January 2001 Colin Powell took office as the Secretary of State
and he made a number of speeches in which he laid forth both his and the current administrations
view of America and America’s role in the world. Powell stated that ―Other systems do not work.
We are going to show a vision to the world of the value system of America.‖ This policy has been
described as revolving around two key themes, exceptionalism and unilateralism.

Exceptionalism: is when a country believes it plays such a unique role in the world that they
should not be subject to the same rules or laws that govern everyone else. The United States has
claimed that we play such a special, important role in the world that we should not be held to the
same standards as everyone else. For instance we should not have to adhere to; the International
Criminal Court, the Kyoto Environmental Treaty, the ban on the testing of nuclear missiles or the
generalized prohibition against ―pre-emptive‖ war. In other words ―nuclear testing by the United
States is good, but if India tries, it’s bad.‖

Unilateralism: is a policy of ―going it alone.‖ Increasingly American policy is based on the belief
that American interests are not tied to the interests of others around the world. Unilateralism is the
belief and policy that American interests are best served by ―going it alone.‖ Part of going it alone
means that we do not feel the need to take the rest of the world’s needs or opinions into account in
our actions.

Your reaction and perspective. What is your reaction and perspective in regards to the
American policies above? Do you think they are accurate or inaccurate in reference to America
and American policy? Do you think these policies are workable? Another term that has been used
to describe American policies and practices is hegemony.

Hegemony: is when one group has dominance over other groups. This dominance includes a wide
variety of arenas; economic systems, political systems, ideologies, values and norms. Hegemony
is when one groups cultural beliefs, values, and practices are held as superior and better than
other groups cultural beliefs, values, and practices. For instance the idea that capitalism and
democracy are the best economic and political systems and everyone should have these systems.
America’s view that other countries should either adopt these systems voluntarily (because they
are the best) or involuntarily (being forced through violence, war, treaties, embargos, etc.).
Hegemony is enacted in a variety of ways, through economic power, social power and military

May 15, 2005 Shadowy Lines That Still Divide By JANNY SCOTT and DAVID LEONHARDT
New York Times

There was a time when Americans thought they understood class. The upper crust vacationed in
Europe and worshiped an Episcopal God. The middle class drove Ford Fairlanes, settled the San
Fernando Valley and enlisted as company men. The working class belonged to the A.F.L.-C.I.O.,
voted Democratic and did not take cruises to the Caribbean. Today, the country has gone a long
way toward an appearance of classlessness. Americans of all sorts are awash in luxuries that
would have dazzled their grandparents. Social diversity has erased many of the old markers. It has
become harder to read people's status in the clothes they wear, the cars they drive, the votes they
cast, the god they worship, the color of their skin. The contours of class have blurred; some say
they have disappeared.

But class is still a powerful force in American life. Over the past three decades, it has come to play
a greater, not lesser, role in important ways. At a time when education matters more than ever,
success in school remains linked tightly to class. At a time when the country is increasingly
integrated racially, the rich are isolating themselves more and more. At a time of extraordinary
advances in medicine, class differences in health and lifespan are wide and appear to be widening.
And new research on mobility, the movement of families up and down the economic ladder, shows
there is far less of it than economists once thought and less than most people believe. [Click here
for more information on income mobility.] In fact, mobility, which once buoyed the working lives of
Americans as it rose in the decades after World War II, has lately flattened out or possibly even
declined, many researchers say.

Mobility is the promise that lies at the heart of the American dream. It is supposed to take the sting
out of the widening gulf between the have-mores and the have-nots. There are poor and rich in the
United States, of course, the argument goes; but as long as one can become the other, as long as
there is something close to equality of opportunity, the differences between them do not add up to
class barriers. Over the next three weeks, The Times will publish a series of articles on class in
America, a dimension of the national experience that tends to go unexamined, if acknowledged at
all. With class now seeming more elusive than ever, the articles take stock of its influence in the
lives of individuals: a lawyer who rose out of an impoverished Kentucky hollow; an unemployed
metal worker in Spokane, Wash., regretting his decision to skip college; a multimillionaire in
Nantucket, Mass., musing over the cachet of his 200-foot yacht.

The series does not purport to be all-inclusive or the last word on class. It offers no nifty formulas
for pigeonholing people or decoding folkways and manners. Instead, it represents an inquiry into
class as Americans encounter it: indistinct, ambiguous, the half-seen hand that upon closer
examination holds some Americans down while giving others a boost. The trends are broad and
seemingly contradictory: the blurring of the landscape of class and the simultaneous hardening of
certain class lines; the rise in standards of living while most people remain moored in their relative
places. Even as mobility seems to have stagnated, the ranks of the elite are opening. Today,
anyone may have a shot at becoming a United States Supreme Court justice or a C.E.O., and
there are more and more self-made billionaires. Only 37 members of last year's Forbes 400, a list
of the richest Americans, inherited their wealth, down from almost 200 in the mid-1980's.

So it appears that while it is easier for a few high achievers to scale the summits of wealth, for
many others it has become harder to move up from one economic class to another. Americans are
arguably more likely than they were 30 years ago to end up in the class into which they were born.
A paradox lies at the heart of this new American meritocracy. Merit has replaced the old system of
inherited privilege, in which parents to the manner born handed down the manor to their children.
But merit, it turns out, is at least partly class-based. Parents with money, education and
connections cultivate in their children the habits that the meritocracy rewards. When their children
then succeed, their success is seen as earned. The scramble to scoop up a house in the best
school district, channel a child into the right preschool program or land the best medical specialist
are all part of a quiet contest among social groups that the affluent and educated are winning in a
rout. "The old system of hereditary barriers and clubby barriers has pretty much vanished," said
Eric Wanner, president of the Russell Sage Foundation, a social science research group in New
York City that recently published a series of studies on the social effects of economic inequality.
In place of the old system, Dr. Wanner said, have arisen "new ways of transmitting advantage that
are beginning to assert themselves."

Faith in the System Most Americans remain upbeat about their prospects for getting ahead. A
recent New York Times poll on class found that 40 percent of Americans believed that the chance
of moving up from one class to another had risen over the last 30 years, a period in which the new
research shows that it has not. Thirty-five percent said it had not changed, and only 23 percent
said it had dropped. More Americans than 20 years ago believe it possible to start out poor, work
hard and become rich. They say hard work and a good education are more important to getting
ahead than connections or a wealthy background. "I think the system is as fair as you can make
it," Ernie Frazier, a 65-year-old real estate investor in Houston, said in an interview after
participating in the poll. "I don't think life is necessarily fair. But if you persevere, you can overcome
adversity. It has to do with a person's willingness to work hard, and I think it's always been that

Most say their standard of living is better than their parents' and imagine that their children will do
better still. Even families making less than $30,000 a year subscribe to the American dream; more
than half say they have achieved it or will do so. But most do not see a level playing field. They
say the very rich have too much power, and they favor the idea of class-based affirmative action to
help those at the bottom. Even so, most say they oppose the government's taxing the assets a
person leaves at death. "They call it the land of opportunity, and I don't think that's changed
much," said Diana Lackey, a 60-year-old homemaker and wife of a retired contractor in Fulton,
N.Y., near Syracuse. "Times are much, much harder with all the downsizing, but we're still a
wonderful country."

The Attributes of Class One difficulty in talking about class is that the word means different
things to different people. Class is rank, it is tribe, it is culture and taste. It is attitudes and
assumptions, a source of identity, a system of exclusion. To some, it is just money. It is an accident
of birth that can influence the outcome of a life. Some Americans barely notice it; others feel its
weight in powerful ways. At its most basic, class is one way societies sort themselves out. Even
societies built on the idea of eliminating class have had stark differences in rank. Classes are
groups of people of similar economic and social position; people who, for that reason, may share
political attitudes, lifestyles, consumption patterns, cultural interests and opportunities to get ahead.
Put 10 people in a room and a pecking order soon emerges.

When societies were simpler, the class landscape was easier to read. Marx divided 19th-century
societies into just two classes; Max Weber added a few more. As societies grew increasingly
complex, the old classes became more heterogeneous. As some sociologists and marketing
consultants see it, the commonly accepted big three - the upper, middle and working classes -
have broken down into dozens of microclasses, defined by occupations or lifestyles. A few
sociologists go so far as to say that social complexity has made the concept of class meaningless.
Conventional big classes have become so diverse - in income, lifestyle, political views - that they
have ceased to be classes at all, said Paul W. Kingston, a professor of sociology at the University
of Virginia. To him, American society is a "ladder with lots and lots of rungs." "There is not one
decisive break saying that the people below this all have this common experience," Professor
Kingston said. "Each step is equal-sized. Sure, for the people higher up this ladder, their kids are
more apt to get more education, better health insurance. But that doesn't mean there are classes."

Many other researchers disagree. "Class awareness and the class language is receding at the very
moment that class has reorganized American society," said Michael Hout, a professor of sociology
at the University of California, Berkeley. "I find these 'end of class' discussions naïve and ironic,
because we are at a time of booming inequality and this massive reorganization of where we live
and how we feel, even in the dynamics of our politics. Yet people say, 'Well, the era of class is
over.' " One way to think of a person's position in society is to imagine a hand of cards. Everyone
is dealt four cards, one from each suit: education, income, occupation and wealth, the four
commonly used criteria for gauging class. Face cards in a few categories may land a player in the
upper middle class. At first, a person's class is his parents' class. Later, he may pick up a new
hand of his own; it is likely to resemble that of his parents, but not always. Bill Clinton traded in a
hand of low cards with the help of a college education and a Rhodes scholarship and emerged
decades later with four face cards. Bill Gates, who started off squarely in the upper middle class,
made a fortune without finishing college, drawing three aces. Many Americans say that they too
have moved up the nation's class ladder. In the Times poll, 45 percent of respondents said they
were in a higher class than when they grew up, while just 16 percent said they were in a lower one.
Over all, 1 percent described themselves as upper class, 15 percent as upper middle class, 42
percent as middle, 35 percent as working and 7 percent as lower. "I grew up very poor and so did
my husband," said Wanda Brown, the 58-year-old wife of a retired planner for the Puget Sound
Naval Shipyard who lives in Puyallup, Wash., near Tacoma. "We're not rich but we are comfortable
and we are middle class and our son is better off than we are."

The American Ideal The original exemplar of American social mobility was almost certainly
Benjamin Franklin, one of 17 children of a candle maker. About 20 years ago, when researchers
first began to study mobility in a rigorous way, Franklin seemed representative of a truly fluid
society, in which the rags-to-riches trajectory was the readily achievable ideal, just as the nation's
self-image promised. In a 1987 speech, Gary S. Becker, a University of Chicago economist who
would later win a Nobel Prize, summed up the research by saying that mobility in the United States
was so high that very little advantage was passed down from one generation to the next. In fact,
researchers seemed to agree that the grandchildren of privilege and of poverty would be on nearly
equal footing.

If that had been the case, the rise in income inequality beginning in the mid-1970's should not have
been all that worrisome. The wealthy might have looked as if they were pulling way ahead, but if
families were moving in and out of poverty and prosperity all the time, how much did the gap

between the top and bottom matter? But the initial mobility studies were flawed, economists now
say. Some studies relied on children's fuzzy recollections of their parents' income. Others
compared single years of income, which fluctuate considerably. Still others misread the normal
progress people make as they advance in their careers, like from young lawyer to senior partner,
as social mobility.

The new studies of mobility, which methodically track peoples' earnings over decades, have found
far less movement. The economic advantage once believed to last only two or three generations is
now believed to last closer to five. Mobility happens, just not as rapidly as was once thought. "We
all know stories of poor families in which the next generation did much better," said Gary Solon, a
University of Michigan economist who is a leading mobility researcher. "It isn't that poor families
have no chance." But in the past, Professor Solon added, "people would say, 'Don't worry about
inequality. The offspring of the poor have chances as good as the chances of the offspring of the
rich.' Well, that's not true. It's not respectable in scholarly circles anymore to make that argument."

One study, by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, found that fewer families moved from one
quintile, or fifth, of the income ladder to another during the 1980's than during the 1970's and that
still fewer moved in the 90's than in the 80's. A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics also found
that mobility declined from the 80's to the 90's. The incomes of brothers born around 1960 have
followed a more similar path than the incomes of brothers born in the late 1940's, researchers at
the Chicago Federal Reserve and the University of California, Berkeley, have found. Whatever
children inherit from their parents - habits, skills, genes, contacts, money - seems to matter more
today. Studies on mobility over generations are notoriously difficult, because they require
researchers to match the earnings records of parents with those of their children. Some
economists consider the findings of the new studies murky; it cannot be definitively shown that
mobility has fallen during the last generation, they say, only that it has not risen. The data will
probably not be conclusive for years. Nor do people agree on the implications. Liberals say the
findings are evidence of the need for better early-education and antipoverty programs to try to
redress an imbalance in opportunities. Conservatives tend to assert that mobility remains quite
high, even if it has tailed off a little.

But there is broad consensus about what an optimal range of mobility is. It should be high enough
for fluid movement between economic levels but not so high that success is barely tied to
achievement and seemingly random, economists on both the right and left say. As Phillip Swagel,
a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, put it, "We want to give people all the
opportunities they want. We want to remove the barriers to upward mobility."

Yet there should remain an incentive for parents to cultivate their children. "Most people are
working very hard to transmit their advantages to their children," said David I. Levine, a Berkeley
economist and mobility researcher. "And that's quite a good thing." One surprising finding about
mobility is that it is not higher in the United States than in Britain or France. It is lower here than in
Canada and some Scandinavian countries but not as low as in developing countries like Brazil,
where escape from poverty is so difficult that the lower class is all but frozen in place.

Those comparisons may seem hard to believe. Britain and France had hereditary nobilities; Britain
still has a queen. The founding document of the United States proclaims all men to be created

equal. The American economy has also grown more quickly than Europe's in recent decades,
leaving an impression of boundless opportunity. But the United States differs from Europe in ways
that can gum up the mobility machine. Because income inequality is greater here, there is a wider
disparity between what rich and poor parents can invest in their children. Perhaps as a result, a
child's economic background is a better predictor of school performance in the United States than
in Denmark, the Netherlands or France, one recent study found.

"Being born in the elite in the U.S. gives you a constellation of privileges that very few people in the
world have ever experienced," Professor Levine said. "Being born poor in the U.S. gives you
disadvantages unlike anything in Western Europe and Japan and Canada."

Blurring the Landscape Why does it appear that class is fading as a force in American life? For
one thing, it is harder to read position in possessions. Factories in China and elsewhere churn out
picture-taking cellphones and other luxuries that are now affordable to almost everyone. Federal
deregulation has done the same for plane tickets and long-distance phone calls. Banks, more
confident about measuring risk, now extend credit to low-income families, so that owning a home
or driving a new car is no longer evidence that someone is middle class.

The economic changes making material goods cheaper have forced businesses to seek out new
opportunities so that they now market to groups they once ignored. Cruise ships, years ago a
symbol of the high life, have become the ocean-going equivalent of the Jersey Shore. BMW
produces a cheaper model with the same insignia. Martha Stewart sells chenille jacquard drapery
and scallop-embossed ceramic dinnerware at Kmart. "The level of material comfort in this country
is numbing," said Paul Bellew, executive director for market and industry analysis at General
Motors. "You can make a case that the upper half lives as well as the upper 5 percent did 50 years

Like consumption patterns, class alignments in politics have become jumbled. In the 1950's,
professionals were reliably Republican; today they lean Democratic. Meanwhile, skilled labor has
gone from being heavily Democratic to almost evenly split. People in both parties have attributed
the shift to the rise of social issues, like gun control and same-sex marriage, which have tilted
many working-class voters rightward and upper income voters toward the left. But increasing
affluence plays an important role, too. When there is not only a chicken, but an organic, free-range
chicken, in every pot, the traditional economic appeal to the working class can sound off key.

Religious affiliation, too, is no longer the reliable class marker it once was. The growing economic
power of the South has helped lift evangelical Christians into the middle and upper middle classes,
just as earlier generations of Roman Catholics moved up in the mid-20th century. It is no longer
necessary to switch one's church membership to Episcopal or Presbyterian as proof that one has
arrived. "You go to Charlotte, N.C., and the Baptists are the establishment," said Mark A. Chaves,
a sociologist at the University of Arizona. "To imagine that for reasons of respectability, if you lived
in North Carolina, you would want to be a Presbyterian rather than a Baptist doesn't play anymore."

The once tight connection between race and class has weakened, too, as many African-Americans
have moved into the middle and upper middle classes. Diversity of all sorts - racial, ethnic and
gender - has complicated the class picture. And high rates of immigration and immigrant success

stories seem to hammer home the point: The rules of advancement have changed. The American
elite, too, is more diverse than it was. The number of corporate chief executives who went to Ivy
League colleges has dropped over the past 15 years. There are many more Catholics, Jews and
Mormons in the Senate than there were a generation or two ago. Because of the economic
earthquakes of the last few decades, a small but growing number of people have shot to the top.
"Anything that creates turbulence creates the opportunity for people to get rich," said Christopher
S. Jencks, a professor of social policy at Harvard. "But that isn't necessarily a big influence on the
99 percent of people who are not entrepreneurs." These success stories reinforce perceptions of
mobility, as does cultural myth-making in the form of television programs like "American Idol" and
"The Apprentice."

But beneath all that murkiness and flux, some of the same forces have deepened the hidden
divisions of class. Globalization and technological change have shuttered factories, killing jobs that
were once stepping-stones to the middle class. Now that manual labor can be done in developing
countries for $2 a day, skills and education have become more essential than ever. This has
helped produce the extraordinary jump in income inequality. The after-tax income of the top 1
percent of American households jumped 139 percent, to more than $700,000, from 1979 to 2001,
according to the Congressional Budget Office, which adjusted its numbers to account for inflation.
The income of the middle fifth rose by just 17 percent, to $43,700, and the income of the poorest
fifth rose only 9 percent.

For most workers, the only time in the last three decades when the rise in hourly pay beat inflation
was during the speculative bubble of the 90's. Reduced pensions have made retirement less
secure. Clearly, a degree from a four-year college makes even more difference than it once did.
More people are getting those degrees than did a generation ago, but class still plays a big role in
determining who does or does not. At 250 of the most selective colleges in the country, the
proportion of students from upper-income families has grown, not shrunk. Some colleges, worried
about the trend, are adopting programs to enroll more lower-income students. One is Amherst,
whose president, Anthony W. Marx, explained: "If economic mobility continues to shut down, not
only will we be losing the talent and leadership we need, but we will face a risk of a society of
alienation and unhappiness. Even the most privileged among us will suffer the consequences of
people not believing in the American dream."

Class differences in health, too, are widening, recent research shows. Life expectancy has
increased over all; but upper-middle-class Americans live longer and in better health than middle-
class Americans, who live longer and in better health than those at the bottom. Class plays an
increased role, too, in determining where and with whom affluent Americans live. More than in the
past, they tend to live apart from everyone else, cocooned in their exurban chateaus. Researchers
who have studied data from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses say the isolation of the affluent has

Family structure, too, differs increasingly along class lines. The educated and affluent are more
likely than others to have their children while married. They have fewer children and have them
later, when their earning power is high. On average, according to one study, college-educated
women have their first child at 30, up from 25 in the early 1970's. The average age among women
who have never gone to college has stayed at about 22. Those widening differences have left the

educated and affluent in a superior position when it comes to investing in their children. "There is
no reason to doubt the old saw that the most important decision you make is choosing your
parents," said Professor Levine, the Berkeley economist and mobility researcher. "While it's always
been important, it's probably a little more important now."

The benefits of the new meritocracy do come at a price. It once seemed that people worked hard
and got rich in order to relax, but a new class marker in upper-income families is having at least
one parent who works extremely long hours (and often boasts about it). In 1973, one study found,
the highest-paid tenth of the country worked fewer hours than the bottom tenth. Today, those at the
top work more.

In downtown Manhattan, black cars line up outside Goldman Sachs's headquarters every
weeknight around 9. Employees who work that late get a free ride home, and there are plenty of
them. Until 1976, a limousine waited at 4:30 p.m. to ferry partners to Grand Central Terminal. But a
new management team eliminated the late-afternoon limo to send a message: 4:30 is the middle of
the workday, not the end.

A Rags-to-Riches Faith Will the trends that have reinforced class lines while papering over the
distinctions persist? The economic forces that caused jobs to migrate to low-wage countries are
still active. The gaps in pay, education and health have not become a major political issue. The
slicing of society's pie is more unequal than it used to be, but most Americans have a bigger piece
than they or their parents once did. They appear to accept the tradeoffs.

Faith in mobility, after all, has been consciously woven into the national self-image. Horatio Alger's
books have made his name synonymous with rags-to-riches success, but that was not his personal
story. He was a second-generation Harvard man, who became a writer only after losing his
Unitarian ministry because of allegations of sexual misconduct. Ben Franklin's autobiography was
punched up after his death to underscore his rise from obscurity.

The idea of fixed class positions, on the other hand, rubs many the wrong way. Americans have
never been comfortable with the notion of a pecking order based on anything other than talent and
hard work. Class contradicts their assumptions about the American dream, equal opportunity and
the reasons for their own successes and even failures. Americans, constitutionally optimistic, are
disinclined to see themselves as stuck.

Blind optimism has its pitfalls. If opportunity is taken for granted, as something that will be there no
matter what, then the country is less likely to do the hard work to make it happen. But defiant
optimism has its strengths. Without confidence in the possibility of moving up, there would almost
certainly be fewer success stories

                                  Brief History of Anthropology

Anthropology as a discipline started off with the study of ―far off, exotic peoples‖ who live in
traditional cultures (foraging, hunting or practicing horticulture for subsistence). It was considered
a rite of passage for an anthropologist to engage in participant-observation of a culture for at least
one to two years (in some universities this is still the case). Over time the focus of anthropology
has expanded to the study of modern, industrial and post-industrial cultures. Anthropologists
realized that to engage in the study of ―humans‖ they needed to study humans in all the various
settings that humans live. Below are some of the key issues, dynamics and theoretical orientations
in anthropology.

The “self”and ”other” dynamic in anthropological fieldwork studies
Initially anthropologists studied peoples who were very different from themselves. The earliest
anthropologists were Western European, upper class, White, males who went to ―far off‖ places
like New Guinea, Africa, India, China, South America, etc. The people that they studied were
physically and culturally very different from them. Utilizing the comparative approach these early
anthropologists compared and contrasted these peoples with themselves and their cultures. This
led to a dynamic in anthropology in which the people under study were gradually formulated as the
―other.‖ These process wasn’t necessarily explicit, it developed over a period of time.

These ―other‖ people were typecast as being very different from the anthropologists doing the
fieldwork. These ―other‖ peoples were often stereotyped as being less rational, and less normal,
as primitive and often as less intelligent. Many of the anthropologists in the early years of
anthropology were very ethnocentric, often to the point of racism. There were, however, a number
of anthropologists who saw these ―other‖ peoples as just as rational, reasonable and intelligent as
they were.

Over time more and more anthropologists have engaged in the study of the ―self.‖ Instead of just
objectifying those ―others‖ we are working to objectify ―our‖ culture. To utilize the comparative
approach we need to look at ALL human cultures. The ―self - other‖ dynamic continues to impact
anthropological studies to this day. Today most anthropologists are much more aware of their own
ethnocentrism. Currently anthropologists live in countries and cultures all over the world. Many
anthropologists specialize in studying modern day cultures, not just those traditional, far off

Noble and Ignoble Savages or Others: It is not uncommon to have traditional people’s typecast
as either Noble or Ignoble Savages. In both cases these other peoples are portrayed as very
different from us (whoever Us may be comprised of). As Noble Savages traditional peoples are
viewed as peaceful, spiritual, mystical guardians of the land who exists in harmony with nature. As
Ignoble Savages they are viewed as wild, ignorant, vicious, ignorant beings. Key to these
changeable views is the context within which they are formulated and propagated, contexts such
as colonialism, enslavement and genocide.

Nature/Nurture Debate
The nature/nurture debate is big in anthropology (also in psychology, sociology and philosophy).
Those that advocate the ―nature‖ position maintain that for the most part human behaviors stem
from our genetic make-up (see natural selection, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology in the
theory section). Those that advocate the ―nurture‖ position maintain that for the most part human
behaviors stem from the environment or culture that we are raised in. This debate gets really
intense especially when we look at behaviors such as violence and aggression. If these behaviors
stem from our ―nature‖ (our genes) then the only way to deal with them is to either try to circumvent
our biology or to engage in a eugenics movement (improve the species through selective
breeding). If these behaviors stem from our environment or culture then we need to work to
change our culture or society (often focusing on such things as stratification and poverty). The
nature/nurture debate has far reaching implications, both personally and politically (social policies).
The nature/nurture debate is also very intense in the arena of sex and gender differences as well
as sexuality.

Make sure to read the notes on natural selection, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology to gain
more insights into this debate (in the Appendix under Theories).

                     Two Case Studies: Anthropological Fieldwork & Theory
For these two case studies these are the key issues to think about: 1) what is the primary
influencer of our behavior- culture or genes (this is the classic ―nature/nurture‖ argument, 2) what
are the theoretical orientations that each researcher adhers to, 3) what can we learn from fieldwork
studies, and 4) how do anthropologists impact the cultures they are studying.

Margaret Mead, Samoa and Derek Freeman
In 1925 Mead went to American Samoa to study adolescents. Mead’s research set out to answer
the question ―Is the rocky transition from adolescence to adulthood due to biology or culture?‖ She
observed that in the USA we see adolescence as being a time of rebellion, strife and
experimentation (sex, drugs, etc.) . If biology (surging hormones) was the basis of the strife of
adolescence then adolescents all over the world should go through this rocky stage. If culture is
the answer then not all adolescents will go through this rocky stage.

Mead’s research in Samoa revealed that adolescents in Samoa did not have a turbulent transition
to adulthood. The transition from childhood to adulthood in Samoa was fairly easy as compared to
what occurred among adolescents in the USA. Mead concluded that the rocky transition of teens
in the USA was due to culture (nurture) and not due to biology (nature). Mead thought that the
different attitudes about sexuality in each culture impacted the way in which adolescents
experienced adolescence. Mead saw the USA as being fairly repressive as regards sexuality. She
noted that the Samoans had fairly permissive sexual attitudes. Margaret Mead put forth culture as
the primary determinant of human behavior. Mead was trained by Franz Boas who emphasized
culture as the primary influencer of human behavior.

In the 1960’s Derek Freeman went to Western Samoa and after he had conducted his research he
claimed that Mead’s work was flawed and inaccurate. He said that the Samoan’s had puritanical
sexual attitudes and that Mead had been lied to and fooled by her Samoan informants. Freeman
was an anthropologist who adhered to the belief that biology is a primary influence in behavior.

Based on what you’ve read above what do you think about Mead’s and Freeman’s claims?
What additional data would you want to gain insight as to the “truth” about Samoa and the
nature of adolescence?

Napoleon Chagnon & the Yanomamo
Starting in the 1960’s Chagnon conducted a classic, long-term study of the Yanomamo, an
indigenous people in Brazil and Venezuela. The Yanomamo live in a tropical rain-forest
environment and they subsist by gathering and hunting as well as planting gardens (horticulture).
They have an informal political leadership. Reciprocity is their main economic distribution system
and kinship relations are key to the structure of their society.

Chagnon’s observations led to him stating that the Yanamomo were a very ―fierce‖ people. The
Yanomamo were a very violent and aggressive culture and much of their conflicts centered around
men fighting other men over access to women. Chagnon stated that the most violent, aggressive
men had the highest number of wives and the most offspring. These men passed their ―violent
genes‖ on to their offspring and this kept the culture violent. The Yanomamo, per Chagnon reflect
humans basic nature, untouched by ―civilization.‖ And, the basic nature of humans is violent and

Chagnon is a sociobiologist (see theory sheet). Sociobiologists believe human behaviors stem
largely from our nature (genes) and not from culture (our environment, nurture). Chagnon sees
violence and aggression as traits that enhance humans ability to survive and pass on their genes.

The Yanomamo/Chagnon Controversy- Part One: Napoleon Chagnon put forth the view that
the Yanamomo were more violent that other cultures and that this violence was largely due to their
nature. Chagnon stated that the Yanomomo were a good study to answer the nature/nurture
question because they were living in a ―natural state‖ before civilization. Other anthropologists
disagree with Chagnon. Some anthropologists have stated that the Yanomomo are not naturally
more violent than other groups but that the impact of missionaries, colonists, traders, etc. led to
their being more violent and aggressive than they were in the past. With contact from Europeans
the Yanomomo suffered large decreases in their populations (due to disease, enslavement,
violence), the loss of much of their land for hunting and gardening, the introduction of guns and
steel axes and other types of disruption to their traditional ways of life (missionaries working to
convert them). Other anthropologists have disputed the claim that the Yanomomo are more violent
than other groups.
The Yanomamo/Chagnon Controversy- Part Two: In October 2000, Patrick Tierney wrote a
book ―Darkness in El Dorado‖ in which he suggested that Napoleon Chagnon had harmed the
Yanomomo during his three decades of participant-observation. Tierney stated Chagnon had a
pre-determined view as to the nature of humans (that we are violent and it is genetic) and that he
both consciously and unconsciously worked to make the Yanomomo fit his ideas. Tierney accused
Chagnon of causing aggression and violence between Yanomomo groups. These accusations
caused a huge uproar in the anthropological community and led to an investigation by the
American Anthropology Association (AAA). The conclusion of the investigation was that Chagnon
had not deliberately worked to harm the Yanomomo nor had he acted in an unethical manner,
although they did note that he made some poor decisions on occasion. The AAA investigation also
noted that the standards for ethical behavior have changed in the last 30-40 years.

What is Race? Does the term race imply a categorization of humans using physical or cultural
criteria? The key difference between the two is that physical traits are inherited and culture
attributes are learned.

Human Physical Variation: It is clear from looking around this classroom, this campus and the
world that physical differences exist between human populations around the world. What is the
significance of these differences? Do humans exist in discrete, separate, biological categories or
do the differences between human groups exist on a scale of gradations from more to less.

Biologists know the following about human variation within and between groups:
 Some variation between groups evolved as an adaptive response in relationship to the
environment and in response to different adaptive strategies. Natural selection is the process of
evolution responsible for these differences. Examples include; skin color, body shape and size,
lactose tolerance.
 Some variation between groups evolved in relationship to sexual selection, where males
compete with each other over access to females and females choice between the males that are
 Some variation between human groups has come about due to random processes of evolution
(gene drift, gene flow, mutation). Examples include; ear wax, blood type, tongue rolling.

American Anthropology Association has stated that human groups cannot be classified into
discrete biological categories. The problems with a biological classification of human
groups into separate “races” includes all of the following:
 There has been no agreement by scientists as to the number of races or the division of human
―races‖ after some 200 plus years of trying
 The methods used to classify humans into ―races‖ haven’t worked to categorize humans into
generally supposed racial groups:
         o Continuous traits cannot be used to discretely divide humans into races (i.e. skin color)
         o Discrete traits cannot be used to discretely divide humans into races (i.e.ABO blood
         o There is no correspondence of traits that can be used to divide humans into races (i.e.
              the traits used for racial classification aren’t inherited together, for instance facial
              features and skin color are not genetically linked)
 There is more genetic variation within populations of humans than between them. The majority
    of differences between humans exists within groups, not between them. The recent
    information gained from the Human Genome Project confirms this.

Biological Determinism: is a concept that came out of the race concept. Biological determinism
states that there is a connection between physical, temperamental, and intellectual characteristics
in groups of people. For instance certain physical traits (skin color, facial features, etc.) are seen
as ―marking‖ a group as having a certain temperament (impulsive and childlike or rational and
thoughtful) or average intellectual ability. Biological determinists not only link physical traits with
temperaments and intellectual ability but they see some groups as inferior and some groups as
superior. Biological determinism was generally accepted by western scientists from the mid 1800’s
to the mid 1900’s. Acceptance of this concept assumes: socioeconomic class differences
among groups of people reflects biological differences among these groups (both ―race‖ & sex as
criteria). Eugenics: the improvement of a species through selective breeding (biological
improvement of species) came out of the acceptance of biological determinism

Intelligence Tests: have historically been used to ―prove‖ differences in average ability between
groups of people. What is IQ? What do IQ tests measure?
 Measure certain, select, verbal, mathematical, and cognitive skills
 Measures performance on one event (does not measure overall ability)
 Most social scientists acknowledge IQ tests are culturally biased
 Measures some of the tools an individual needs for academic & ―life‖ success
 Many scientists would state that human intelligence (or cognitive abilities) is something that
    has been inappropriately reified

American Anthropological Association: has come out with a statement noting that the race
concept, which historically has implied discrete biological differences between groups of humans,
is invalid. Race is a cultural construct which has been used to explain an justify social, economic,
and political inequalities (without reference to history).

                    How to Be an American
Speaker/Source                                                 Text
source: "The
                    America is God’s Crucible, the great Melting Pot where all the races of Europe are
Melting Pot" by
                    melting and reforming! German and Frenchman, Irishman, and Englishman, Jew and
Israel Zangwill
                    Russian – into the crucible with you all!
Eduardo Bonilla- The idea of the melting pot has a long history in the American tradition, but it really was
Silva sociologist a notion that was extended exclusively to white immigrants. That pot never included
                  people of color: Blacks, Chinese, Puerto Ricans, etc., could not melt into the pot. They
                  could be used as wood to produce the fire for the pot, but they could not be used as
                  material to be melted into the pot.
"Carol"             So much of what happens to us is based on the race that we are, you just can’t get
street interview    away from it. And I think for white people, you can kind of blend in.
Mae Ngai            The notion that Asians are unassimilable, as non-Americans, enabled many Americans
historian           to see them (Japanese Americans) as the enemy, and to strip them totally of their civil
                    liberties and put them into internment camps during World War II. Even those who are
                    third or fourth generation Asian Americans are still perceived as foreigners.
"Mary"              Once when I was coming back from a ski trip and we were at a gas station, the gas
street interview    station attendant paused and spoke to my boyfriend, who was Caucasian, and looked at
                    me and said, "Does she speak English?"
john a. powell      Race has been so important in terms of constructing identity that to be an American
legal scholar       early on, really meant to be white.
Pilar Ossorio
                  In order to be a naturalized citizen in this country, you had to be categorized as white or
                  Black. The court had to make decisions about who was white and who was not.
"Carol"             White people tend to lose their sense of culture and race: "I’m American. That’s all I
street interview    am." They don’t really know their heritage.
Tim Wise            There's no cultural history to whiteness. We voluntarily gave it up in order to have
activist/writer     privilege
"Ted"               What is American? My hope for America is that, whether I'm white, Black, Spanish,
street interview    whatever, it shouldn't matter. That's my hope. It may not be the real – it may not be
                    what's going on, but that's my hope.
quote:              No one was white before he/she came to America. It took generations and a vast
James Baldwin       amount of coercion, before this became a white country.

                          The Elephant in the Room
         Speaker/Source                                       Text
john a. powell            Supreme Court Justice O'Connor made the observation that, of
legal scholar             course, this is a white country. So, if this is a white country, what does
                          it mean if you're not white? What is your place?
Tim Wise                  We know what has happened in this country; we know that slavery,
activist/writer           that conquest, colonization has taken place. But at a very deep level,
                          we don't understand what that means for us today.
john a. powell            And a lot of white people say, well, you know, I don't want to hear
legal scholar             about slavery. You know, I had nothing to do with that, and my parents
                          came much later.
"Carol"                   White people are in the power position in our culture, and whether they
street interview          like to admit that to themselves or not, there are just certain things that
                          go their way more easily with being white.
Tim Wise                  Even though people of color are the primary victims of racism,
activist/writer           obviously in this culture, whites also are damaged by it. We adopt
                          these sort of guilt feelings, instead of realizing that, in fact, guilt isn’t
                          the best emotion to feel here. The best emotion to feel, the most
                          productive one, is a sense of righteous anger that this inequality has
                          been cemented in our culture - not only robbing the victims of it - but
                          even really robbing the beneficiaries of having the sense of community
                          with others.
"Clark"                   As much as I can try to put myself in someone else's shoes, I'm still a
street interview          white guy.
"Patricia"                I mean, I've got a lot of privileges as a white person. I'm not sure I
street interview          want to give up my privileges. It's a frightening thing. It would be very
                          frightening, you know?
john a. powell            Why after 50 years of civil rights, are our schools still segregated?
legal scholar             Why is our housing market still segregated? Why are our jobs still
                          segregated? I think that most people – white, Black, Latino, and
                          otherwise – would like to see something different.
"Frank"                   You've got to put yourself in a place to be able to dialogue first,
street interview          instead of just wanting to ignore it, and run from it. We have to be
                          proactive to set ourselves in a place where we can feel a little
                          uncomfortable, and really start talking.
john a. powell            As long as each group stays comfortably in their space, there’s no
legal scholar             struggle. It doesn’t mean there’s equality, it doesn’t mean there’s
                          justice, but there’s just no struggle. It's the boundaries where we see
                          those struggles occur.
quote:                    Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be
James Baldwin             changed until it is faced.

                                      To See or Not to See
          Speaker/Source                                                Text
Dalton Conley sociologist             On the one hand, Civil Rights era officially ended inequality of
                                      opportunity. At the same time, those Civil Rights times did nothing
                                      to address the underlying economic and social inequalities that had
                                      already been in place because of hundreds of years of inequality.
Sources: United for a Fair            In 1995, the average white family had over 8 times the wealth of the
Economy, 1999; Dalton Conley,         average nonwhite family. Even at the same income levels, whites
Being Black, Living in the Red (UC    had twice as much wealth as nonwhites.
Press, 1999)
Melvin Oliver sociologist             Assets really divide America more than income. People are still
                                      quite unequal, even when they have similar achievements in life.
Micaela DiLeonardo anthropologist Why is there such a big differential? Histories of segregated
                                  housing, histories of mortgage denials, histories of credit denial,
                                  histories of employment denial.
Dalton Conley sociologist             As individuals, we like to think that our property is a result of our
                                      talent, hard work or even luck.
Eduardo Bonilla-Silva sociologist     No one wants to believe that he or she is at the top of any kind of
                                      social structure, based on an unfair situation.
Dalton Conley sociologist             Wealth is passed down in many ways. 50-80% of one's lifetime
                                      wealth depends on opportunities created by past generations - gifts,
                                      informal loans, a good education, and job connections.
Dalton Conley sociologist             The rewards, the house, the Lexus, the big bank account, those are
                                      not only the rewards, the pot of gold at the end of the game. They
                                      are also the starting position for the next generation.
Nancy DiTomaso sociologist            Whites in general in the U.S. articulate a value system that says
                                      that color blindness is a good thing, that noticing race, mentioning
                                      race, calling attention to race is a bad thing.
john a. powell                        You have to notice the difference in order to address it. Racism and
legal scholar                         white supremacy are embedded in institutional structures of society.
Dalton Conley sociologist             We are stuck with this sort of paradoxical idea of a colorblind
                                      society in a society that is totally unequal by color.

Answers to 10 Things everyone should know about race.

1. Race is a modern idea. True. Ancient societies, like the Greeks, did not divide people according to
physical distinctions, but according to religion, status, class, even language. The English language didn't
even have the word 'race' until it turns up in 1508 in a poem by William Dunbar referring to a line of kings.

2. Race has no genetic basis. True. Not one characteristic, trait or even gene distinguishes all the
members of one so-called race from all the members of another so-called race.

3. Human subspecies (races) don't exist. True. Unlike many animals, modern humans simply haven't
been around long enough or isolated enough to evolve into separate subspecies or races. Despite surface
appearances, we are one of the most similar of all species.

4. Skin color really is only skin deep. True. Most traits are inherited independently from one another. The
genes influencing skin color have nothing to do with the genes influencing hair form, eye shape, blood type,
musical talent, athletic ability or forms of intelligence. Knowing someone's skin color doesn't necessarily tell
you anything else about him or her.

5. Most variation is within, not between, "races." True. 85% of all human variation exists within any local
population, be they Italians, Kurds, Koreans or Cherokees. About 94% of human variation can be found
within any continent. That means two random Koreans may be as genetically different as a Korean and an

6. Slavery predates race. True. Throughout much of human history, societies have enslaved others, often
as a result of conquest or war, even debt, but not because of physical characteristics or a belief in natural
inferiority. Due to a unique set of historical circumstances, ours was the first slave system where all the
slaves shared similar physical characteristics.

7. Race and freedom evolved together. True. The U.S. was founded on the radical new principle that "All
men are created equal." But our early economy was based largely on slavery. How could this anomaly be
rationalized? The new idea of race helped explain why some people could be denied the rights and
freedoms that others took for granted. Some people were labeled biologically different and inferior and
therefore not deserving of freedom.

8. Race justified social inequalities as natural. True. As the race idea evolved, white superiority became
"common sense" in America. It justified not only slavery but also the extermination of Indians, exclusion of
Asian immigrants, and the taking of Mexican lands by a nation that professed a belief in democracy. Racial
practices were institutionalized within American government, laws, and society.

9. Race isn't biological, but racism is still real. True. Race is a powerful social idea that gives people
different access to opportunities and resources. Our government and social institutions have created
advantages that disproportionately channel wealth, power, and resources to white people. This affects
everyone, whether we are aware of it or not.

10. Colorblindness will not end racism. True. Pretending race doesn't exist is not the same as creating
equality. Race is more than stereotypes and individual prejudice. To combat racism, we need to identify and
remedy social policies and institutional practices that advantage some groups at the expense of others

                 *** Text Study Guide & Article Review Questions EXAM 2 ***

Eating Christmas in the Kalahari: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 52
terms: hunter-gatherers, egalitarian, reciprocity
1. Did Lee have any other option but to be a miser while living among the !Kung? To what degree
do you think the different class differences between Lee and the !Kung affected his fieldwork?
2. Why did the !Kung criticize Lee’s gift to them? Was it all a big joke?
3. Compare and contrast the values of the !Kung versus those in American mainstream culture.
For instance is it bad or good to be; miserly, arrogant, braggart, the center of attention in the
Kalahari? In the USA?
4. How does the type of economy the !Kung have impact their values? How does the type of
economy we have impact our values?
5. List at least two rules that govern the giving of gifts among the !Kung. List at least two rules that
govern gift giving in the USA.
6. In your own words explain what Lee means when he says ―There are no totally generous acts‖
Do you agree or disagree with Lee? Give an example and/or rationale to support your answer.

Search for Sustainable Markets: The Promise and Failures of Fair Trade: Pg 223
(I don’t expect you to read this article all the way through, just work to understand the terms and be
able to answer the questions listed below)
Terms: fair trade, organic, social justice, globalization
1. Globalization has impacted those in the developing world and the developed world differently.
What role does Fair Trade play in regards to globalization? What is the goal of Fair Trade?
2. Is it important to you that the bulk of the money you spend on consumption goods go to the
producer instead of the middlemen (distributors, etc.). Why or Why not?
3. If you want to make sure that the money you spend on goods goes primarily to the producer,
what steps can you take?

Just Another Job? The Commodification of Domestic Labor, Pg. 166
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
Terms: Commodification, domestic labor, maternalism
1. What is meant by the statement ―the commodification of domestic labor‖? What factors have
contributed to the rise in demand for domestic workers in Western Europe?
2. How does having domestic labor change the role of women as wives and mothers?
3. What are the pros and cons of live-in versus live-out domestic labor for the workers?
4. There is a saying ―you can’t go home again.‖ Why is it difficult for domestic laborers to back
home after working abroad for a period of time?
5 How do racial stereotypes and other forms of prejudice contribute to the mistreatment of some
domestic workers?
6. Is employing a migrant domestic worker an act of sisterhood toward a women in need or an act
of complicity with abusive power structures? Make sure to include data and reasoning in your
7. Does domestic labor work to deny the humanity of the employers and/or the employees?

Price of Progress: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 273
1. What are the unexpected consequences of economic development (be specific)?
2. What criteria is used to measure the ―standard of living‖? Does the ―standard of living‖ equate
to ―quality of life‖? What is different about Goldschmidt’s criteria in regards to the quality of life?
3. What are the ―diseases of development‖?
4. What are the circumstances under which ―tribal peoples feel deprivation‖? When do you feel
materially deprived (be specific)?
5. What is progress? How do individual and societal concepts of progress differ, and come in

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race: Author’s main idea for the article, Pg.48
terms: agriculture, domestication of plants & animals, social stratification
1. What is the fundamental difference between the progressivist interpretation of history and the
revisionist interpretation of history?
2. Do you think the majority of Americans view human history as one long tale of progress or
would they likely have a revisionist interpretation? Do you think that the class an individual comes
from would affect their view?
3. Do you think the majority of the world’s third world inhabitants view human history as one long
tale of progress or would they likely have a revisionist interpretation?
4. Diamond states that at different times and in different places human groups had to make a
choice between increasing food production or limiting population growth. What does he see as the
consequences of choosing to increase food production? How was food production increased?
5. What are the specific effects on humans’ health with the adoption of agriculture? Are they
overall positive or negative in their impact?
6. How is it that the adoption of agriculture leads to social and gender inequality? Why isn’t there
the same type of social and gender inequality on average in foraging and hunting groups?
7. What is a ―sacred cow‖? What is Diamond’s example of a sacred cow?
8. We live in a world in which the majority of people are poor, the ―have nots,‖ and there is a
minority of wealthy people, ―the haves.‖ What are the costs and consequences (emotional,
physical, political, economic, and societal) of living in a world with such gross inequalities? Come
up with at least two specific examples.
9 Do you think we should work to change the status quo in the world today? Reflect on the basis
of your analysis to this question, to what degree is your opinion based on your religious morals,
your current economic situation, your nationality?
10. If you think we should be working to minimize the number of individuals and groups that live
(or often die) in extreme poverty what do you think we can do as a society? What can you as an
individual do?

A Cultural Approach to Male-Female Miscommunication, Pg. 37
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
Terms: gender, sex roles, sociolinguistics, subculture
1. The authors major argument is that the general approach developed to study difficulties in cross
______________ communication can be applied to cross _____________ communication. They
are both examples of the same phenomena: ______________difference and _________________
2. Features of Women’s communication includes;
         1. Women tend to ask ___________________ more often
         2. Women are characterized as doing more of the shit __________ of conversations to
         facilitate the flow of conversation. Basically women are ―more actively engaged in
         ensuring ___________________ than men.‖
         3. Women tend to make use of ________________ minimal responses than men
         4. Women are more likely to make sure of ________________ protest.
         5. Women tend to use _________ and ___________ more often.
3. Features of Men’s communication includes;
         1. Men are more likely to ______________________ the speech of those they are
         conversing with.
         2. Men are more likely to __________________ or _______________ partners utterances
         3. Men are more likely to _____________ comments of the other speaker or make _____
         response or acknowledgement
         4. Men tend to use mechanisms for _______________________ the topic of conversation
         5. Men tend to make more declarations of ______________ or _________________ than
         women do.
4. Most explanations have focused on ____________________ in social power or in the
___________________ of women and men. West sees interruptions and topic control as male
displays of ___________________ . Fishman sees differences as coming from social
_______________________. To be _________________ acceptable women cannot exert control
and must support men in their ____________________. Lakoff states that women taught to act
and speak like ___________________ become as unassertive and _________________ in their
5. The authors place their emphasis not on ____________________ differences or ___________
differentials but on _____________________ differences between women and men.
6. If women and men posses different ____________________ rules for speaking what happens
when they try to interact with each other?
7. Conversation is a ______________________ activity. It works well when there are
_______________ assumptions about what is going on.
8. To what degree is there miscommunication between individuals from different subcultures?
Ethnic, gender, national, regional subcultures? To what degree have you experienced this
9. Gumperz’s framework assumes that problems are the result of individuals _____________
interpreting cues according to their own _________________. Miscommunication is not the result
of bad _________________.
10. What are the different ways in which minimal responses can be interpreted?
11. How is it that women and men have separate rules for ______________________?
What are the 3 things girls and boys learn to with words?
13. What are the key differences between women’s and men’s speech?

A Cultural Approach to Male-Female Miscommunication, Pg. 37- continued

14. The six areas in which women and men have different rules for communication include
       1. Women see minimal responses as saying ―I’m _____________________ to you‖ while
       men generally see minimal responses as saying ―I ________________ with you.‖

        2. Women tend to see questions as a part of conversation ________________________
        while men see them as primarily requests for _________________________.

        3. Women tend to see it as important to _____________________ what has been said
        and to make a __________________ to it. While men have ____________ such rule and
        often deliberately _________________ what was previously said.

        4. Verbal aggressiveness has different interpretations. Women see it as disruptive,
        _______________ , and often _______________ directed, while men see it as one means
        of conversing.

        5. Women and men also have different cultural rules for topic ______________ and topic

        6. Problem solving and problem sharing are viewed differently by _________________
        and ______________. Women tend to _______________ and share while men tend to
        work to solve and give ______________.

15. The anthropological perspective on culture and _________________ organization aided there
research in the following ways.
        1. An anthropological approach required that they look at the ______________ rules in

        2. A systematic, anthropological approach caused them to look seriously at the different
        _____________of talk. There are different rules for friendly conversation between
        ___________ versus interactions between individuals with differential status.

        3. The role of childhood and gendered enculturation seem to play a big role in the
        miscommunication between women and men. Learning to _________________ some of
        the gender specific cultural patterns of typical childhoods may be helpful.

16. What is your take on the suggestions for future research? Can you think of any other areas
that would potentially be helpful?

Measuring Up to Barbie: Ideals of the Feminine Body in Popular Culture, Pg. 133
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
1. The introduction states Barbie embodies American ideals of femininity and the consumerist
model of the good life. To what degree to you agree with this?
2. To what degree does the beauty myth in the USA rest on our capitalist, consumption oriented
economic system? Could it exist to the degree that it does without our focus on consumption?
Make sure to be clear about the reasoning and data used to evaluate this question.
3. Is it true that a large number of women have a paradox that affects their self-esteem and sense
of self in that they receive the message ―that female bodies are never feminine enough, that they
require deliberate and oftentimes painful refashioning to be what nature intended‖?
4. What are some of the predicaments that Barbie crystallizes in regards to femininity, and
feminine bodies? Review the article and come up with at least two.
5. Barbie arose in a specific context of American history, the Cold War between the USA and the
Soviet Union. The author’s state ―Barbie and her torpedo-like breasts emerged into popular culture
as an emblem of the aspirations of prosperity, domestic containment and rigid gender roles.‖ What
specifically did Barbie embody in regards to this context? (Review the info on – teenagers, class,
consumption, femininity)
6. It is stated that to buy a Barbie ―was to lust after Barbie ________________________‖
7. It is stated that beliefs central to femininity under _____________________ capitalism, are
learned by girls playing with their Barbies. Little girls learn about the crucial importance of their
___________________________ to their personal ________________________, and ability to
gain favor with their __________________________. To what degree do you agree or disagree
with this?
8. In your opinion to what degree do Barbie and Ken embody diametrically opposed gender roles?
9. The authors state that Barbie’s ―identity is constructed primarily through fantasy and is
consequently open to change and reinterpretation.‖ How flexible is Barbie in allowing young girls
to play with different social identities (including dreaming of future social identities)?
10. How did the averages of American female and males bodies morph into norms for American
female and male bodies?
11. In a patriarchal society to what degree are women’s appearance, desires, and appetites
subject to scrutiny and control? (keep in mind control can be both overt and tacit). To what degree
are men’s appearance, desires, and appetites subject to scrutiny and control? How does the
scrutiny vary between women and men?
11. Do you think Barbie would be so popular in a culture that is matriarchal? Based on
12. Lastly, as this article examines the Barbie phenomena in many ways what is your reaction to
the following ―she owns a Ferrari and doesn’t have a husband; she must be doing something right‖

Strange Country This: An Introduction to North American Gender Diversity, Pg 118
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article,
Terms: sex, gender, Defense of Marriage Act, third/fourth gender, berdache, two spirit
1. What is the most significant in identifying an individual as a two spirit? Work roles? Dress?
Lifestyle? Social roles? Sexuality?
2. Throughout this article there is a discussion of the differences in the values of most of the
Indigenous Peoples in the America’s and the European’s who took over. How have values
changed over time in each culture? What factors do you think have been the most significant in
the changing values over time? (think in terms of; political, economic, kinship, family, religious
3. If we look at human history, worldwide, how valid is the statement that there has been a
―millennia of moral teaching against homosexuality and that ―no society that allowed people of the
same sex to marry has or could survive‖?
4. How did you react to the statement by the Crow elder ―We don’t waste people the way white
society does. Every person has their gift.‖
5. To what degree is our thinking about the human condition affected by the often ahistorical
thinking of American mainstream society? Review the statement ―certain elements of Western
beliefs and epistemology have been essentialized as universal features of human societies.‖ Is our
lack of a sound grounding in history a problem?
6. What are the core set of traits that two spirits generally embody?
7. Why do you think the Europeans focused mostly on the sexuality of the two spirits and not on
the work roles, social roles, and/or spiritual roles?
8. Why did many Western observers work to explain the male berdaches as a role imposed on
them because they were cowardly or weak? How do you think this explanation fit into their gender
9. In mainstream American culture we do not allow for respected, alternative, gender roles in our
society. What are the reasons for this? What are the consequences of this?

How Many Fathers are Best for a Child?- Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 111
Terms: multiple paternity, nuclear family
1. What data and reasoning do the Bari use to support their belief that a child can have more than
one father?
2. What reasoning does a women give for taking a lover while she is pregnant?
3. How has evolutionary theory been used to analyze the fitness of mothers who take on lovers
while they are pregnant?
4. In our society would a child be better off with more than one mother and/or father? Are there
societies in which children are seen as having more than one mother or father (besides the Bari)?

When Brothers Share a Wife: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 95
terms: fraternal polyandry, nuclear family, primogeniture
1. Give two reasons as to why fraternal polyandry (a rare form of marriage) is common in Tibet?
2. Give two examples of both the pros and cons of monogamy in Tibet?

Section Two Introduction: In this section we will be looking at what it is like to live in a foraging,
hunting/gathering culture versus an agricultural culture versus an industrialized culture. How does
the way in which your culture gets it food, its economic system and its political system impact your
life? Your values and norms? Keep the following questions in mind as we study the food getting
strategies, economic systems and political systems in various cultures:

             To what degree does the economic system, political system and food getting
            strategy affect cultural values, norms and ideologies of a group a people?

             To what degree do these different means of adaptation impact societal values and
            norms including your own personal values and norms?

             After millions of years of adaptation as generalists-hunters and gatherers, why did
            humans chose to specialize by relying on farming?

             After millions of years of considerable mobility, throughout the yearly cycle, why
            did humans begin to reside permanently in villages?

             After millions of years of consensual leadership, why have humans come to submit
            to authoritarian patterns?

The Cultural Materialist Model breaks human societies and cultures into three basic levels;
 1) economic mode of production, technology, population size
 2) system of social organization, kinship patterns, marriage and family practices, politics, status
 3) ideology or belief system, ideas, beliefs, values
Marvin Harris saw the bottom layer, the economic mode of production, technology and population
size as dictating and framing the other two levels. He saw the economic system and environment
as leading to certain social organizations, kinship patterns, marriage and family practices, political
systems and then to various resulting ideology’s and belief systems.

As we go through this section think about the degree to which you as an individual, within a given
society have “agency‖? Agency is the ability that you have to make the best choices for you in
your given society. To what degree do you have the knowledge and ability to make choices in your
life that benefit you. Humans are agents who are constantly faced with choices. The choices that
we make determine how our lives will play out (will we be poor, wealthy, happy, powerful, etc.).
Anthropologists ask the question ―how much agency do humans have in each society‖? How does
your status in society (whether it is ascribed or achieved) impact your agency? Another way to
look at this question is to ask what are your ―life’s chances‖ to acquire power, wealth and
prestige? American mainstream culture has an ideology that says we live in a meritocracy, that
everyone makes their way based on their merit. The belief in a meritocracy leads us to believe that
we live in a culture in which we achieve our status (our status is not ascribed). How valid is this

Food getting strategies, economic & political systems
All human groups have to work to survive, but humans are unique as a species in that we rely in
large part on culture as the means by which we adapt and survive in the world. Other animals are
primarily dependent on their biology for their survival. How human groups have worked to survive
has changed over time and it is always interrelated with the environment, the population size and
technology available as well as subjective aspects of culture.
There are five basic ways in which humans have worked to get food from their environment;
         1) foraging or hunting/gathering
         2) pastoralism
         3) horticulture
         4) agriculture
         5) industrialization

There are three basic economic systems in which humans have worked to produce and
distribute goods and services;
        1) reciprocity, 2) redistribution and 3) market exchange

Politically societies are divided into two basic types; egalitarian societies and stratified societies.

Keep in mind that these categories often overlap. A group may get food both through foraging
and with horticulture. A society may primarily rely on a market economy to exchange goods and
services but also utilize reciprocity.

The Pattern of Human Adaptation to Earth
For the majority of human’s existence (99% of the time) human’s survived as foragers and hunters.
Since humans began producing food some 6,000-10,000 yrs ago the lives of humans have
changed dramatically. In general human adaptation has been a pattern of increasing:
                         population density & population growth, exploitation of environment,
                        use & reliance on tools & the use of more complex tools, social controls,
                        social integration, and social stratification

Five Basic Means of Subsistence or Food Getting Strategies:
Foraging or Hunter/Gatherers: gather plants and animals that occur naturally in the environment.
Their lifestyle includes the following aspects; nomadic (roam within a territory), limited tool use,
extensive environmental knowledge, high yield on labor (little work for high return), little
specialization of labor, division of labor by age & sex (activities are dictated by age and sex),
everyone in the community is involved in obtaining food for survival, live in small bands of 20-50
people, egalitarian (everyone has basically equal access to resources, no one is denied access to
resources), social organization is kinship based, with informal political leaders
 99% of humans existence involved forager as the means to get food: there are a number
of myths that exist regarding the lifestyle of foragers. First of all they have been portrayed as living
a ―short, brutish and nasty life.‖ Foragers tend to work less than those in agriculture (on average
only some 15-20 hours per week) and are healthier because of their varied diet. Secondly the
hunting aspect of this subsistence means has been exaggerated. Gathering, primarily done by
females, is generally responsible for 60-85% of the food eaten by the group.

Domestication of plants & animals: this was a profound step in humans adaptation to the earth.
For the first time in human history humans took active steps to control the availability of plants and
animals. Humans bred plants to produce specific crops and bred animals to be used for food and

Horticulture/Extensive Cultivation: human energy is used to clear, plant, and harvest crops.
Non-mechanized tools are used (no use of plow & draft animals). The land is used for 1-5 years
and then when the soil is depleted the land lies fallow or unused for 6-30 yrs. There is ―semi-
permanent‖ use of the land. Slash and burn methods are used to clear the land. People are
mostly sedentary, they will move around when the land is no longer fertile. They work a bit harder
than foragers (longer hours for subsistence & harder labor). Labor is still relatively unspecialized
and is divided by sex & age. Everyone is involved in the gathering and production of food. Live in
small villages and are mostly egalitarian. Political leadership is a bit more formal (big men or
chiefs) but the leaders generally don’t have more goods than those they oversee.

Agriculture/Intensive Cultivation: human and animal energy are used to clear, plant and harvest
crops. Plow & draft animals are used, irrigation systems set up, natural fertilizers used to replenish
the soil, and the use more complex tools. For the first time there is permanent use of the land and
property ownership is an issue. Labor is very intensive, agriculturalists work much harder and
produce more food than horticulturalists. They will intensify their efforts if they need to produce
more food where horticulturalists will expand the amount of land used. Excess food is produced
(they engage in intensive production of food and rotate crops throughout the year). For the first
time in human history not all individuals within the community are engaged in the collection or

production of food. People live in large, permanent settlements (cities and states). There are
formal political leaders whose standard of living is better than the rest of the population. Private
property becomes an issue for the first time as people invest large amounts of labor into the land
and desire to pass this investment onto their kin.
 A two class system develops: the majority of the population is still engaged in the production
of food but for the first time there is a small, minority of the population that is not involved in food
production. There is an elite class of people who specialize in specific tasks and labor is by
specialized by more than age and gender for the first time. There are full-time political leaders,
religious leaders, soldiers (with standing armies) and full-time artisans.
 Societies are now stratified by power, wealth, and prestige. Power is the individual’s
ability to control their own lives and the lives of others. Wealth is having capital (money, property,
things of value) or the means to produce capital (factories, businesses). Prestige is social honor.
In stratified societies there is variation in individuals and groups ability to have access to resources.

Industrialized societies: mechanization (tractors, gasoline, etc.) is used to grow crops on smaller
plots of land that are farmed intensively by a small percentage of the population. The focus is on
production of large amounts of food and goods and on the consumption of these foods and goods.
Focus is on increasing material standards of living. Extensive use of technology and limited
knowledge of the environment. Labor demands are high and the return on the labor is high (lots of
work for lots of goods/food). Most individuals labor is specialized and not associated with food
production. Labor is divided by sex, age, class, education, and status. Population size increases
dramatically and populations are sedentary. There is extensive social organization with formal
rulers. Societies are highly stratified with some members possessing an abundance of goods and
others not being able to feed themselves. Large bureaucracies develop. Kinship is de-
emphasized as a means of social organization. Emphasis on the nuclear family.

Economics: studies the ways individuals & societies make choices in their use of resources to
produce goods & services. Resources are defined as labor, land, and the materials used to make
tools. The ways in which resources are used affect and interact with all other material and non-
material aspects of culture (i.e. economic systems affect our values and norms)

Economic behavior: study the choices people & societies make in the production and distribution
of their goods & services. What choices are made with their labor, land, and capital. Generally
assume that humans will engage in economizing behavior. Economizing behavior says that
people will make choices which provide them with greatest benefit.

Western economists see economizing behavior requiring that people will make choices which
provide them with greatest material benefit. They see humans as having unlimited material wants,
but the means to acquire these ―wants‖ is limited. People have to make choices with their limited
resources (mostly time and labor) to get the most amount of material goods they can.

Anthropological economists use a holistic approach and recognize that economizing behavior
depends on the culture that people live in. In traditional cultures acquisition of material goods may
not be the primary focus or the greatest the benefit.

Economic Systems: way in which goods & services are produced and distributed
Reciprocity: mutual give & take of goods/services, 3 types of reciprocity which vary by degree of
social distance between individuals & general intent of the trade (how close the individuals are and
what do they want to get out of the exchange of goods). Relationships are generally fostered and
strengthened through systems of reciprocity.
 Generalized: exchange of goods in which there is no accounting of what is given and there is
    no immediate expectation of a return of goods, conducted among close kin or close group
 Balanced: when goods are given there is a clear obligation of a return within a specified time
    limit, requires a return of goods of an equal value. This type of exchange is conducted among
    close friends and members of a group who have good relations. The assumption is that each
    side will try to be fair in their giving & taking of goods
 Negative: exchange or trade of goods with the intent of gaining a material advantage, trying to
    ―get something for nothing.‖ Generally conducted with those outside the group

Redistribution: groups (generally kin groups) produce their own goods and fulfill their own needs,
periodically an informal leader will collect a portion of these goods and then redistribute them
throughout the community or to other groups. The leaders (big men or chiefs ) don’t have more
wealth than the rest of the people in the community but they do have more prestige (gained
through their redistribution of goods).

Market Exchange: most people sell their labor for money, goods & services are bought & sold at
price measured by money. The focus is on production and consumption of goods and services.
Money is the medium of exchange and it can generally buy anything (anything and everything is for
sale). The price at which goods are exchanged for money is ideally set by the impersonal forces of
supply and demand. Distribution of goods and services is impersonal.

Richard Robbins: Global Problems & the Culture of Capitalism
Capitalism and consumerism affects all areas of our lives. It has reshaped our values and dictated
the direction of every institution in our society. Robbins documents the evolution of capitalism in
the United States as well as the rise of our consumer culture. Robbins states that to understand
the significance of these economic forces in our lives we need;
         1) a historical perspective
         2) an understanding that we are located within a world system with developed &
             un/under-developed nations
         3) we need to objectify what capitalism is and the costs & benefits of this economic and
             political system.

Capitalism: capitalist’s goal to accumulate profits, laborer’s goal to sell labor at highest return,
consumer’s goal to purchase ever-increasing amounts of goods & services. Within this system we
all have our specific role and the accompanying pros and cons.
Prior to 1900’s: American’s did not engage in massive consumption as a way of life.

History: consumption & goal of perpetual economic growth began in early 1900’s
 ― a new society has come to America…not clear in 1904…noticeable in 1914….patent in 1919‖
―a philosophy of life that committed human beings to the production of more and more things-more
this year than last year…that emphasized the standard of living above all other values‖
 ―It is obvious that Americans have come to consider their standard of living as a somewhat
sacred acquisition, which they will defend at any price…they will be ready to make many an
intellectual or even moral consideration in order to maintain that standard…‖
Money & material goods have not always been the primary focus
 ―in other times and places, not everyone has wanted money above all else…however…now
the outward expenditure of mankind’s energy now takes place in and through money…therefore if
one wished to understand life, one must understand money in this present phase of history and
 ―money defines relationships among peoples, not just between customer & merchant in the
marketplace or employer & laborer in the workplace…money defines relationships between parent
& child, among friends, between politicians & constituents, among neighbors & between clergy &
The construction of the consumer: people are not naturally driven to accumulate wealth,
capitalism drives people to behave according to a set of learned rules (1870- 53% of population
lived on farms consuming what they produced)
1) marketing & advertising: ―arousal of free-floating desire‖, commodities have power to
       transform consumer into more desirable person, stir up anxiety, restlessness over need to
       posses, conform, to be accepted (1880 $30 million on advertising--1910 $600 million on
       advertising--1998 $437 billion spent worldwide on ads)
2) transformation of institutions: education, museums, government (Dept. of Commerce goal
       is to ―break down barriers between consumers & commodities‖)
3) Transformation of Spiritual & Intellectual Values: change values from thrift, frugality,
       moderation, modesty, self-denial to spending, ostentatious displays, value leisure, individual
       fulfillment. Products give you a ―richer, fuller life‖

Egalitarian & Stratified Societies: Cultures range on a continuum from egalitarian to stratified.
Societies are measured as egalitarian or stratified based on the differential access and distribution
of power, wealth and prestige to individuals and groups within the society. All peoples today are
incorporated into nation-states which are stratified. With the adoption of agriculture as a means of
food production humans began living in stratified societies. In general stratification is either based
on a class system (where social mobility is possible, with achieved statuses) or caste system
(where social mobility is not possible, with ascribed statuses). To get people to accept a stratified
society (where there are gross differences between the ―have and have nots‖) both ideologies and
physical means (police, army) are used.

Ideologies are used to justify & explain inequalities: each society has different ideologies that
explain, justify, and rationalize stratification. The ideologies that are used vary over time and place.
What are the ways we in the United States work to explain inequality? Think of emic statements
that you have heard from friends, relatives, in school and in the media to explain why there is
wealthy and poor people. What type of data and what type of rationales are used to explain
inequality? Ideologies are learned and taught (both explicitly and tacitly) in your home, church,
school, media, TV, and movies.

History plays a huge role in explaining ―our‖ place in the world and ―others‖ place in the world (i.e.
we are good they are bad, we have material goods and are dominant because we are the ―chosen,
the best, the hardest workers‖, etc.). The history that we learn depends on the place and time we
live in (i.e. the history you learn is different depending on when and where you live). History is not
simple or objective. For almost every event that has occurred there are conflicting interpretations
as to; what occurred, who was responsible, and was the event positive or negative.

Class Systems: are political and economic systems that are ―ideally‖ open. An ―open system‖ is
where individuals can gain or lose status (i.e. power, wealth, and prestige) based on their efforts
(achieved status). Social mobility is said to be possible in an ―open system.‖

USA: is generally put forth as a classic example of a Class System: In the USA the common
wisdom is that everyone earns their place in society (achieved status) and we can move up or
down in our status based on our individual efforts. A strong mainstream cultural belief in the USA
is in the ―power of the individual.‖ The individual is seen as having virtually complete control over
their status and the amount of power, wealth and prestige that they have. Everyone’s position is
seen as something that they earn (or don’t earn) through their efforts. Although today the main
ideology that is used to explain differential possession of power, wealth and prestige is the ―power
of the individual‖ in the past many different ideologies existed. Historically in the USA ideologies
that have been used to explain differential status include religious ideologies (Calvinists), and
biological ideologies (biological determinism).

Life’s Chances: your life’s chances are the opportunity or lack of opportunity that you have to fulfill
or fail to fulfill your potential. Generally, an analysis of ―life’s chances‖ looks at ascribed status as
impacting your opportunities to fulfill or not fulfill your potential. For instance, an individual may be
limited helped in their ability to achieve their potential by group membership in; a certain
socioeconomic class, their gender, their ethnicity, their ableness, their sexuality, their religion, their
nationality, etc. The reality of life’s chances mitigates the idea of a ―class‖ system because it
shows that our status is not wholly attained through our achievements. In the USA there are
intense, ongoing debates as to how much of a class system we truly are. On one side are those
who say we are a class system with our status coming primarily through our achievement and on
the other side are those who say that we are minimally a class system and individual’s status is
dramatically impacted by ascribed roles.

Do you think the USA is a society in which status is primarily dependent on your achievements or
is your status largely impacted by your ascribed status’s? What is the data and your rationale for
your opinion?

Caste Systems- are systems of stratification that are ―ideally‖ said to be closed. A caste system is
a system in which social mobility is said to not be possible and an individual’s status is based on
their position at birth (ascribed status). An individuals ascribed status is based on their group
membership in any of the following categories; socioeconomic class, royalty or commoner, gender,
religious group, etc. There are generally prohibitions as to contact between members of different

India: is generally put forth as a classic example of a Caste System. In India it is a religious
ideology that works to explain the differences in status between individuals and groups. Individuals
are born into certain groups, in the west we call them ―castes.‖ Depending on what caste you are
born into you are ascribed a status that ideally cannot change throughout your lifetime.

The Hindu belief system states that not all people are spiritually equal, the gods established a
hierarchy of groups. The hierarchy consists of four varnas (grades of being) and the four varnas
corrospond to the physical parts of Manu, who gave rise to the human race through
 Head became Brahmans – priests
 Arms the kshatriyas- warriers
 Thighs- vaishyas, merchants & craftsman
 Feet- shudras- menial workers
Each varna has appropriate rules of behavior or path of duty (dharma), this is basis of all hindu
morality. With the death of the body, the soul meets it’s fate in the form of transmigration into
higher or lower being. Those who follow their dharma are rewarded with a higher point on Manu’s
body during their next life (karma). Deviation from dharma will result in reincarnation in body of an
outcaste or lower animal.

To follow one’s dharma involves the practicing of certain taboos regarding marriage, eating and
physical proximity to members from other varna’s and jati’s. Jati’s are the breakdown of the
varna’s into more detailed categories, generally determined by occupation. The foods eaten
distinguish different jatis, foods have ritual significance. There are rules as to who can accept food
from whom and who can eat with each other. All jatis are ranked from the most polluted to most

History and The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race – Diamond Exercise
          The history we are taught tells us who we are, why we’re where we are (economically,
politically, socially), and how we came to be here. The history we are taught also tells us about
other people and countries, and it explains to us why they are in the political, economic, and social
position they are in. In short, history is not just an academic endeavor, our understandings of
history has real world, pragmatic effects.
          In the article ―The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race‖ Jared Diamond puts
for his perspective on human history since the adoption of agriculture. He puts forth a revised,
different interpretation of history than the one that is usually offered in our schools and media. Be
clear as to each perspective of history that is laid out in his article.

Progressive view of human history: Human history clearly reveals successive, progressive steps
towards a better life for most people in the world. Human lives are better today than in the past.
            o We’re on the right track, don’t question the choices that we’ve made. Our lives
                continue to get better and better with new technologies and energy sources.
                There is no need to evaluate our choices and review the pros and cons of our
            o From Agriculture to Industrialization to Post-Industrialization; things continue
                to get better for most people.

Revisionist view of human history: Human history reveals a series of choices that have been
made in the past. The result of choosing agriculture has lead to humans being divided into a
minority of healthy elite and a majority of disease ridden masses. A minority of humans are better
off but the majority of humans are worse off.
             o We’ve made choices, and we should examine and question these choices.
                 We should examine the pros and cons of our decisions. We can’t go back to
                 being foragers and hunters or practicing horticulture (lifestyles that were
                 egalitarian) but we can start critically evaluating our belief that new technologies
                 and new energy sources are making lives better for the majority of people.
             o Agriculture to Industrialization to Post-Industrialization; has lead to stratified
                 societies and a better life for a small minority. With stratified societies we have
                 huge differentials in lifestyles, tyranny, starvation, high population densities, and
The progress perspective says don’t question what we’re doing, while the revisionist perspective
says examine our choices, look at the consequences, and work to make balanced, informed

Consequences of a world divided into the haves and have-nots: Diamond speculates that the
disease ridden masses may well rise up and rebel, revolt and …

History: A Case Example
Below are two different versions of the Mission Period in California. The first version is from a
textbook written in 1965 and the second one is from a textbook written in 1991. How does each
version represent what happened during this key period of California history? How are the Catholic
missionaries represented? How are the Native Americans represented?

1965- California: A History
Indians helped the settlers, and the settlers helped the Indians. The Indians had better food and
clothing than they had ever had. They were more comfortable than they had ever been.
Once in a while a mission Indian had to be punished for something he had done. Sometimes such
Indians ran away. Some of them took guns with them. Sometimes they took horses with them,
too. The runaway Indians taught the wild Indians how to steal animals and other things from the
missions. Once in a while soldiers had to protect the missions from an Indian raid. The Indians at
the missions ate more regularly than they had when they were wild. The padres took care of them
in many ways…They learned to do many things as the Spaniards did. They learned many new

1991- Oh, California
Although some Indians were content on the missions, many others were unhappy with this new
way of life. By living at the missions the Indians gave up their own culture, the way of life they had
known in their tribal villages. They could only leave the mission grounds with permission from the
padres. They were not free to hunt or to pick berries. Mission Indians were not allowed to return to
their tribes once they agreed to take part in mission life. Some ran away. But soldiers usually
brought them back and sometimes whipped them. Others wanted to revolt. They wanted to rise
up against their leaders, the Spanish padres and soldiers at the mission communities. Sometimes
Indians revolted violently. Six years after its founding, San Diego Mission was attacked by Indians.
They set the mission on fire and killed one of the padres. Many Indians died of diseases brought
by the Spanish. When crops failed, Indians didn’t have enough to eat. Some became sick from
the change in their diet on the missions. By the end of the mission period, the California Indian
population was half the size that it had been when Father Serra raised his first cross at San Diego

Think about how Native American’s are viewed in our society. What do you know of the
lives of Native Americans in this country? Native Americans are among the poorest in our
nation with many of them still living on reservations. Reservations in the USA are on some of the
most inhospitable land in our nation. What is the explanation for the status of Native American’s in
our society today?
         Do we in the United States work to explain inequality at the individual level (micro level) or
         at the institutional or societal level (macro level)?
For instance are people poor because they make bad choices (they don’t get the proper education
or they don’t work hard enough) or are they poor because there are not enough jobs that pay a
living wage (and/or housing is too expensive, medical care is too expensive, etc.)?

Are the differences we see in power, wealth and prestige in relationship to group membership
(gender, ethnicity)? Do some groups have the ability to get power, wealth and prestige and other
groups have less ability to get power, wealth and prestige?

The article above, What’s It Like to Live on $1 a Day, paints a pretty dismal picture of what it is like
to live on the edge of survival, on the edge of starvation. Here is some information in regards to
world poverty and inequality (from http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Facts.asp)

         It is estimated that half of the world’s population, some 3 billion people live on $2 or less a

         Some 25,000 to 30,000 children die every day from starvation.

         Some 27-28% of children in developing countries are malnourished with their physical and
         mental growth stunted from a lack of food.

         The poorest 40% of the world’s population live on 5% of the world’s income. The richest
         20% of the world’s population lives on 75% of the world’s income.

In a recent National Geographic the following quote was included ―If everyone…lived like
Americans, then you’d need three planet Earths…to sustain that level of consumption‖

                                       China                            U.S.A.
                                       3,705,820 sq. miles              3,717,796 sq. miles
Population                             1,288,700,000                    291,500,000
Persons per sq. mile                        348                               78
Carbon dioxide emissions per           2.5 metric tons                  19.8 metric tons
Energy consumption per person          880 kilograms oil equivalent     7,960 kilograms oil equivalent
Tobacco use                             35.6 %                          23.6%
Meat consumption per person            104 pounds                       269 pounds
Paper consumption per person            73 pounds                       730 pounds
Avg. # of persons per room                   1.1                               0.5
Water use per person                   116,000 gallons                  484,500 gallons
(agricultural, industrial, personal)
TV sets per 1,000 persons                   292                                  844
Vehicles per 1,000 persons                   16                                  774

National Geographic March 2004

Enculturation: the ways in which children learn to be adult members of their culture. Homo
sapiens have the longest period of dependency and are the most dependent at birth. Learning is
imperative for our survival and to learn what it is to be a member of our cultural group.

Life’s Stages: humans are seen as going through a series of ―life’s stages,‖ such as infancy,
childhood, adolescence, etc. In general these life’s stages are seen as being biologically set but
anthropologists see them as culturally patterned. Life’s stages are seen as culturally patterned
because expectations for each stage varies across time and between cultures

Nature/Nurture Debate: A huge question that dominates much anthropological (and sociological,
and psychological) debate is to what degree are our behaviors determined by nature (biology) or
nurture (culture)? Most anthropologists see feedback loop as existing between biology and culture
to shape human and cause us to act the way that we do. This debate will explored in this class
using evolutionary psychology for the nature argument and Margaret Mead’s work on ―sex &
temperament‖ in New Guinea & United States for the nurture argument. There will not be a
definitive conclusion to this debate (at least not this semester).

Evolutionary Psychology (see notes on sociobiology)
Evolutionary psychologists see nature or biology as shaping our behaviors (and especially the
differences between females and males). They see nature as ―selecting‖ both physical and
behavioral traits which increase ―fitness‖ (reproductive success). The basic nature of humans was
―selected‖ while we were foragers/hunters. Different behaviors have been ―selected‖ for in females
and males because there are different reproductive strategies for each.
         o Males undiscriminating maters, compete w/other males for females & ―goods‖
         o Females discriminating maters, select males which will provide & care for them

Sex & Temperament: Margaret Mead
Mead conducted fieldwork in the USA and in three tribes in New Guinea. The context of her
studies was the nature/nurture debate, asking the question to what degree are we the product of
our nature/genes or the product of nurture/culture. Mead’s text on ―sex & temperament‖ looked at
the expectations that cultures have for the basic temperament (natural disposition) of individuals in
their culture. She noted that in the USA we label females and males as being of the ―opposite sex‖
and we assign a different temperament to females and males based on their sex. We raise
females and males with different expectations for their basic temperament and most females and
males conform to the expectations for their sexes temperament. Mead conducted fieldwork in New
Guinea and found two cultures in which males and females were seen as having the same basic
temperament and both females and males were enculturated in that way. The Arapesh believed
the basic nature of all humans is to be passive, nurturing and caring. The Mundugamor see the
basic nature of humans to be aggressive and violent. The Araphesh and the Mundugamor
enculturate both females and males with the same basic temperament and most females and
males display this temperament. A third culture she studied, the Tchambuli believed that there
were different basic temperaments for females and males. However their idea of the typical female
and the typical male are the opposite from what we have in the USA. From her data collection and
analysis Mead concluded that the temperament and behaviors of humans was for the most part
dictated by culture or nurture.

Sex, Gender, Sexual Behavior/Orientations: The ―human mind, not nature categorizes‖
Read through the following notes on sex, gender and sexual orientation. The data for these pages
came from multiple sources. Anything that is in quotation marks came from an article entitled ―Sex,
Sexuality, Gender, and Gender Variance‖ by Sue-Ellen Jacobs & Christine Roberts. As you read
through this section think about your assumptions in regards to sex, gender and sexual orientation.
Where did those assumptions come from? What is meant by the statement ―the human mind, not
nature categorizes.‖

Sex: a biological category based on; external genitalia, reproductive organs, secondary sex traits,
 If we ask ―how many sexes are there?‖ a common answer in the United States would be that
there are two sexes, male and female. But social scientists would note that ―sex is culturally and
socially constructed in the presence of perceived biological realities.‖ What does this statement
mean? What data can be used to support this statement? Most cultural groups acknowledge at
least 3 sexes.

Gender: is a cultural category, superimposed onto the biological categorization of sex. Gender
includes expectations for female and male; appearance, behavior, interests, temperament,
occupations, etc.
 If we ask ―how many genders are there?‖ a common answer in the United States would be that
there are two genders, women and men. But social scientists would note that in many cultures
they acknowledge and accept that there are multiple gender roles. For instance the Mohave have
linguistic terms for four genders; women, men, men who are like women, and women who are like
 Cross-culturally and historically gender is not perceived as ―discrete binary opposites, but it is
often seen as a continuum.‖ One researcher states that ―we need to open our categories of sex
and gender to reflect the diversity that is reported both cross-culturally, historically and currently…‖
 Two Spirits: is the term given to describe Native American females who take on a male role
and males who take on a female role. Native American groups often allowed for multiple gender
roles and these roles have historically been misunderstood and persecuted by Western culture.
When colonists first encountered individuals who took on an alternative gender role they confused
the differences between sex, gender, and sexual orientation. The males that were observed taking
on a female role were thought to be homosexuals.
 As with many people today, if someone takes on an alternative gender role (females in a male
role or males in a female role) they were often believed to be homosexual. It can be that
individuals who take on alternative gender roles may engage in homosexual sexual relations.
However it is just as commonly the case that individuals taking on alternative gender roles will
engage in heterosexual sexual relations.
 Detailed studies have shown that in cultures that allowed for alternative gender roles, sexual
activities were not the key aspect to taking on an alternative gender role. In order of importance
the key aspects of two-spirit roles is outlined below.
          1. Occupational role: two spirits are defined by the labor role that they take on. If a
          female takes on a male labor role then she will be labeled a two spirit (or vice versa).

        2. Supernatural sanction: two spirits are often seen as having a special relationship with
        the supernatural realm. Two spirits often take on the role of shaman (part-time spiritual
        leader in traditional communities). Shamans are the ones who interact with the
        supernatural (gods, goddesses, spirits) for their community. They are also the healers in
        their community
        3. Gender variation: two spirits may or may not take on alternative gender roles in
        regards to clothing, behavior and mannerisms.
        4. Sexual behavior: two spirits may take on heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual
        sexual behaviors. This is considered the least important aspect of being a two spirit.

Sexual Orientation: involves a cultural categorization based on a variety of achieved and ascribed
arenas. Individuals may self-identify as being of a particular sexual orientation or individuals may
be ascribed a certain sexual orientation based on stereotypes, thoughts and/or actions.
 It has been noted by many social scientists that the USA tends towards a ―false dichotomy‖ in
regards to sexual orientation. Individuals are labeled either ―homosexual or heterosexual.‖
However it has been observed that the reality is more problematic. Data from the Kinsey Institute
and other sources reveals that ―little evidence exists for belief that strict heterosexuality and
homosexuality are essential and fundamental attributes of human nature…reflected in lifelong
patterns of sexual behavior .― In other words people may claim to be strictly homosexual or
heterosexual but looking at their history of thoughts and deeds paints a much more complicated
 Sexual behavior, as with gender is often strictly controlled within societies. Roberts and
Jacobs note ―each culture works to regulate sexual & gender expression with various measures.‖
―Sexual behavior may become both liberating and enslaving. Sexual choices, although deeply
personal, may also be of far-reaching political consequences‖

What do you think is meant by the above statement? How do sexual choices (generally carried out
in a private arena) have far-reaching political consequences?
Why do we have such strong taboos regarding gender behaviors? Why do we have such strong
taboos regarding sexual behaviors? Where did these taboo’s come from?

The author’s conclude by noting that in America it is generally taboo to talk about sex and sexual
matters and that this taboo has impacted research into this realm dramatically. However we have
many social issues and problems in relationship to sex and sexual behavior and we would do well
to engage in extensive studies in this realm.

Marriage: is a human universal in that all societies studied by anthropologists have an institution
that can be defined as marriage but it is very diverse and culturally specific in practice and form.
The way in which marriage is structured and families are formed is inter-related to the means of
subsistence, economic system and even the political system.

Rules for marriage include the following:
o Number of spouses: how many spouses are you allowed to have at any one time
         Monogamy: one spouse at a time
         Polygyny: one male with two or more females
         Polyandry: one female and two or more males
o Who you are “supposed”to marry: “preferential marriage rules”
         Exogamy: you must marry someone outside of your group, however that group is
           defined, a kin group
         Endogamy: you must marry someone within your group however that group is
           defined, a ―religious‖ group
 Residence rules: rules about where you are expected to live, or establish your residence after
        o Patrilocal: couple establishes their residence with the husband’s family or near them
        o Matrilocal: couple establishes their residence with the wife’s family or near them
        o Neolocal: couple establishes their own residence after marriage

The functions of marriage that define marriage as a human universal: even though marriage
varies dramatically in it’s form and practice there are certain features or functions that allow
anthropologists to state that all cultures have an institution that can be defined as marriage.
            o Marriage includes rules that work to regulate sexual access between marriage
                 partners, who can sleep with whom.
            o Marriage includes an economic exchange (an exchange of labor and wealth)
                 between individuals and often between families.
            o Marriage sets forth the rights and responsibilities for children and childcare.

Romantic Love: is a culturally specific function of marriage. Romantic love, as a component of
marriage, is only important in some cultures and only in more current times. The ―emotional
satisfaction of spouses‖ as a function of marriage is a fairly recent phenomena. Historically
romantic love was seen as subversive and dangerous, and it was seen as foolish to combine love
with marriage. Marriage was inter-related to economic and political issues and negotiations. It was
understood that humans experienced romantic love but it was not appropriate in marriages.
Romantic love was to be experienced in affairs or relations outside of marriage. One aspect of
globalization is that romantic love, as a ―critical‖ component of marriage is becoming more popular
and important in diverse cultures around the world.

American Anthropological Association: Statement on Marriage - Arlington, Virginia; The
Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association, the world's largest organization of
anthropologists, the people who study culture, releases the following statement in response to
President Bush's call for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as a threat to

         "The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households,
kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support
whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon
marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research
supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon
same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies. The Executive
Board of the American Anthropological Association strongly opposes a constitutional
amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples."


THE EXAMINED LIFE Multicultural marriage By Joshua Glenn, Globe Staff, 2/29/2004
ON WEDNESDAY, the day after President Bush claimed that "ages of experience" support a ban
on same-sex marriage, the world's largest organization of anthropologists -- "the people who study
culture," as they put it -- responded by challenging the president's support for a constitutional
amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. According to a statement from the
executive board of the 11,000-member American Anthropological Association, more than a century
of cross-cultural anthropological research provides "no support whatsoever for the view that either
civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution."
Instead, anthropologists have concluded that "a vast array of family types, including families built
upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies." Reached at her
office at Albion College, in Michigan, AAA president Elizabeth M. Brumfiel cited the "widespread"
Native American berdache tradition (in which males assumed female roles and married other
males) and the existence of "sociological males" (women who assume male roles) among the Nuer
of Sudan as examples of ways that societies have condoned same-sex marriage without
collapsing. "People tend to rank their own culture as best, but anthropologists try to take a broader
view," said Brumfiel.

U.S. Marriage Model Is Not Universal Norm BY NANCY HAUGHT May 3, 2004
As the debate over same-sex unions rages, particularly in Oregon and Massachusetts, some
central questions about the meaning and manner of marriage swirl through the air like a thrown
handful of rice. Here's what anthropologists, sociologists, legal scholars, historians and religious
leaders have to say.

Q: Is there a single definition of marriage?
A: No. "In the big sweep of human history and broad cross-cultural comparison, monogamous,
heterosexual marriage, voluntarily entered into, is a pretty rare form of marriage," says Roger N.
Lancaster, a professor of anthropology at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Lancaster is the
designated spokesman for the American Anthropological Association, the world's largest group of

cultural experts, and the author of "The Trouble With Nature: Sex in Science and Popular Culture."
Anthropologists study a wide range of marriage practices, Lancaster says, including cultures where
one man marries a group of women or one woman marries a group of men or, rarely, groups of
men marry groups of women. Same-sex unions are also in evidence, as are marriages that take
place outside the realm of religion. "A wide swath of cultures have allowed or encouraged or
celebrated same-sex unions," Lancaster says. "The results of more than a century of
anthropological research on households, kinship relationships and families, across cultures and
through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social
orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution," his group says in a
prepared statement. In North America, Lancaster points to Native American cultures that allowed
men to marry other men, if one partner underwent a ritual that assigned him a woman's
responsibilities. In the 1800s, Lancaster says, two women could live together and be spoken of as
a "Boston marriage." Two examples from elsewhere in the world are the Nuer people of Sudan in
Africa, who allowed women to marry other women, and the samurai warriors of Japan, who
sometimes married other men, he says. For much of the world's population, marriage is not
connected to a religious ritual, Lancaster says. "In much of Latin America, in large parts of Africa
and of Asia, even in modern societies, the bulk of the population doesn't get married. Instead, they
live in what Americans might call `common law marriages."'

Q: What would a biblical marriage look like?
A: The Bible does not include any passages about same-sex marriage. It includes a handful of
passages about heterosexual marriage, which may or may not add up to a simple picture. Often
marriage becomes a metaphor that describes the relationship between the faithful and their God (in
the book of Hosea, for example) or one that is defined by their relationship with Jesus Christ
(Ephesians 5). Other passages directly address heterosexual marriage. In the Old Testament, or
Hebrew Bible, for example, marriage is the reason a man leaves his father and mother and clings
to his wife (Genesis 2). A man may have more than one wife (Genesis 29), or have sex with his
wife's maidservant (Genesis 16). A man is allowed to divorce his wife (Deuteronomy 24). Adultery
was forbidden (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5) and punishable by death (Exodus 20). The New
Testament, some scholars say, is less clear in what it says about marriage. Jesus quotes the Old
Testament, that a man and a woman shall become one flesh and that "what God has joined
together, let no one separate" (Mark 10). He also said that remarriage, after a divorce, may make
either a man or a woman an adulterer (Mark 10). But the apostle Paul argues that marriage may
distract one "from the affairs of the Lord" and does not recommend it to everyone (I Corinthians 7).

Q: How feasible would it be to legally adopt a biblical definition of marriage?
A: The problem of settling on a biblical view of marriage is choosing which biblical verses to
include, according to Bernadette J. Brooten, professor of Christian studies at Brandeis University.
American culture has already moved beyond many biblical ideals by not allowing polygamy, by
assuming that men and women have equal rights in relationships and by asserting that adultery is
not punishable by death, she says. "Today, many politicians refer to marriage as a sacrament,"
she says, "as if that were an ancient way of thinking about marriage. It is not." In biblical times,
marriage was not so much a contract between two people as it was a matter of "private law," she
says. "Christians didn't change that for quite some time," she says. Christians didn't intervene in
the private law understanding of marriage from the first century until about 1,400 years later. In the
16th century, the Catholic Church declared once and for all that marriage was one of seven

sacraments, which Augustine defined as signs "of a sacred reality." But, historically, not all
Protestant churches, Jews and Muslims have agreed that marriage is a sacrament, Brooten says.

Q: Are all religious leaders opposed to same-sex marriage?
A: No, they are not. Almost 50 ministers from 13 different religious groups issued a statement in
support of same-sex marriage the week that Multnomah County, Ore., began issuing marriage
licenses to same-sex couples. It read in part, "As people of faith, we believe that God has created
all of us in the divine image. We hereby assert that equality in marriage is a justice issue and
strongly encourage equity that crosses all barriers, including sexual orientation." Signers included
ministers from the United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (USA),
Episcopal Church in the United States, Unitarian Universalist Association, Reform and
Reconstructionist Judaism, Metropolitan Community Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church of
America, Quakers, the Koinonia Catholic Community, peace churches and the Community of
Welcoming Congregations. "As a denomination, we take the Bible very seriously, but not literally,"
says the Rev. Patricia S. Ross, senior minister of First Congregational United Church of Christ in
Portland. Scripture's prohibitions on homosexual behavior were important when they were written,
she says, but modern believers have an obligation to bring sociology, modern theology and other
disciplines to bear.
Some of the Old Testament prohibitions are tucked into a list of laws in Leviticus that includes not
eating shellfish or pork, not wearing blended fabrics, stoning women for adultery and putting
disrespectful children to death, she says. Leviticus 20:9, in the New King James Version, reads,
"Everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." In 20:13, Leviticus
reads: "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an
abomination. They shall surely be put to death." "Not every rule that applied 5,000 years ago,"
Ross says, "needs to apply today." As a denomination, the United Church of Christ voted in 1985
to become an "open and affirming church" that accepts and affirms gay, lesbian and bisexual
people. Ross' congregation adopted that stand in 1992 and recently extended it to transgender
people. "The strongest message is an inclusive message," says the Rev. W.J. Mark Knutson,
senior pastor of Augustana Lutheran Church in Portland. Knutson's congregation is part of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which will consider gay rights at its summer 2005 national
assembly. Members are not all in agreement, he says. "But you have to go where your conscience
calls you," he says of his position. "We worship Christ, not the Bible." He says that the Bible is "the
story of God's continuing, saving acts" and contains more than a few contradictions. "Moses OK'd
divorce," he says, "and Jesus, a Jewish man, condemned it."

Q: How old is the idea of a civil marriage?
A: In the United States, it goes back to the Pilgrims. As they settled near Plymouth Rock, they
borrowed the Dutch custom of civil marriage, which they'd learned about during their sojourn in the
Netherlands. They opposed the English system of church marriages as being unscriptural, wrote
Peter J. Gomes, a professor of Christian morals at Harvard University, in The Boston Globe. "The
first marriage in New England, that of Edward Winslow to the widow Susannah White, was
performed on May 12, 1621, in Plymouth by Gov. William Bradford, in exercise of his office as
magistrate," says Gomes, an ordained Baptist pastor and minister of Harvard University's Memorial

Church. The first Christian clergyman, the Rev. Ralph Smith, wouldn't arrive in Plymouth until
1629, but marriage would continue as a civil affair until 1692, after the colony was merged with
Massachusetts Bay and clergy were authorized to solemnize marriages, Gomes says.

Q: Why doesn't the state require a civil marriage, as other countries do, and leave a
religious ceremony an option?
A: "Because we never fought a civil war over religion," says Broyde. "We never had a fight between
church and state in the United States. We separate them and they get along." State laws allow
civil authorities or religious ones to preside over marriages and allow couples to decide who should
marry them. Religious leaders have the right to decline to marry a couple, and most ministers ask
couples to submit to some counseling.

Q: What does the future of marriage hold?
A: No one can be sure. Some advocates of traditional marriages support the idea of covenant
marriages, which are legal now in three states, says Rebecca L. Warner, professor and chair of
sociology at Oregon State University and author of a textbook, "Marriages and Families:
Relationships in Social Context." Arizona, Arkansas and Louisiana allow covenant marriages,
which limit grounds for divorce to abuse, adultery, addiction, felony imprisonment or separation for
two years, and require counseling if problems arise, Warner says. But only about 1 percent of
eligible couples choose a covenant marriage, she adds. Covenant marriages, and now same-sex
marriages, are two new ways of looking at marriage in a country whose attitudes toward marriage
have always been in flux, Warner says. In the 18th century, Americans, especially on the East
Coast, "lived in tally," or without having their marriages solemnized, and the courts recognized their
relationships, she says. "Early on, marriages were instrumental, alliances made between families in
order to maintain society. Now marriage is compassionate, individual alliances created out of love."
American attitudes toward marriage have changed over time, she says. There have been "pockets
of differences" that have included polygamy among early religious communities. Attitudes have
also changed about women's status in marriages, in terms of property and income, Warner says.

Based on the above descriptions and discussions of marriage what do you think is ―normal‖ in
relationship to marriage? What surprised you? Shocked you? Encouraged you?

Kinship relations are connections and relations through blood and marriage. Kinship works to link
people in a web of rights and responsibilities. In traditional cultures kinship was key in determining
your place in society, who you were expected to marry (or not marry), your job, inheritance, rights
to land, and where you lived . In American mainstream culture kinship is de-emphasized and
minimized, except for the nuclear family when rearing children. However in many cultures around
the world kinship relations are still very important.
Kinship systems are universal- all societies have some form of kinship structure, but kinship
systems, ties, rights, and responsibilities vary a great deal. Kinship systems are culturally
constructed (although they often rest on perceived biological realities), and vary a great deal
between different cultures.

Why study kinship today? In group oriented cultures, where extended families are the norm,
kinship relations are still very important in determining people’s position and status. The USA is
unusual in its extreme emphasis on the individual and the nuclear family.

Important factors in gaining insight into kinship systems
 Descent system: there are unilateral descent systems and bilateral descent systems
         o unilateral descent systems: this includes patrilineal and matrilineal systems. In
              unilateral descent systems you are considered a part of either your mother’s or your
              father’s family. You are not a part of both families kinship group. Patrilineal kinship
              systems are the most common worldwide.
         o Bilateral descent systems: this type of descent system is the norm in mainstream
              American culture. In a bilateral descent system you are considered a part of both your
              mother’s and your father’s family or kinship group.
 Terminology used: studying the kinship terms of a culture gives a great deal of insight into
their kinship system, some of the key variables among kinship systems are listed below:
      generation- terms based on generational relations (grandmother)
      collateral- kin related through a linking relative (aunt, uncle, cousins)
      sex or gender- different terms applied to individuals based on their sex, although not
         always (aunt, grandfather, sister, cousin)
      affinal (marriage) & consanguineal (blood)- terms vary depending on whether or not the
         kin relation is through blood or marriage (son-in-law, son)
      relative age- different terms depending on the relative age of the kin relation (older or
         younger brother)
      sex of the connecting relative- different terms depending on what side of the family the
         kinship relationship is from

A comparison of the kinship systems and terminology between North America and Northern India
gives an example of the differences in kinship systems around the world. In American mainstream
culture there are some 22 basic kinship terms while in Northern India there are some 45 basic
kinship terms. In American mainstream culture kinship is traced bilaterally and the emphasis is on
the nuclear family, the individual and equality. In Northern India kinship is patrilineal, they have
extended families, the emphasis is on the group, and there is an acceptance of hierarchies.

                               *** TEXT STUDY GUIDE- EXAM 3 ***

The Adaptive Value of Religious Ritual- Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 195
Terms: natural selection, adaptation, functional explanations,
1. What are the different types of questions that are asked about religious beliefs and practices?
What type of questions can we answer within science in regards to religious beliefs and practices?
What type of questions can’t we answer with science?

          Review the following questions and statements. Which can be answered or
          evaluated with science? With faith? Within anthropology?

    a. What is the origin of religion?
    b. Which religion is true?
    c. What was the first religion?
    d. Why do humans have religious beliefs and rituals?
    e.  Do religious rituals work to alleviate anxiety or increase anxiety?
    f.  Can natural selection be used to analyze religious beliefs?
    g. Is religion overall a positive force in the world or a negative force?
    h. All cults are dangerous and should be outlawed
    i..Polytheistic religions are less advanced than monotheistic religions
    j. Religious practices and beliefs are always impacted by the culture in which they are
       practiced. We can see changes in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism over time and place.
    k. All cultural groups have some sort of supernatural beliefs.
    l. All religious beliefs and practices have a function.
    m. Religion and science can never be reconciled.

2. What have been the changes in anthropological views of the meaning and function of ritual
changed since the 19th century? In what context did these changes of view come about?
3. According to the author what adaptive problem does ritual behavior solve?
4. What is the costly ―signaling theory of ritual‖ and what role might it play in the emergence of
―demanding religious groups‖?
5. Religion has been said to work to enhance and solidify in-group relations and exacerbate
relations with other’s outside the group. What other group memberships do this?

Culture, Poverty, and HIV Transmission: The Case of Rural Haiti, Pg.35
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
Terms: agency, paradigm, coups d’etat, seroprevalence
1. In the USA we have ongoing cultural wars in relationship to who is to blame for social problems
such as the AID’s epidemic, poverty, crime, etc. In general, the two sides of the debate include,
blaming a specific group and their problematic personal choices (bad individuals and bad culture)
or putting the blame on larger, economic, political and societal forces (a bad system which leads to
inequalities which lead to social problems).
      What is the author’s conclusion as to the dynamics of HIV transmission in rural Haiti?
      Does he emphasize micro factors such as personal responsibility or macro factors such as
         culture, inequality and poverty?
      What data and reasoning does he use to come to his conclusion?
2. What is agency? How much agency do rural Do Kay water refugee’s have? Compare specific
aspects of agency and the positionality of the case studies in the article (address; gender, class,
rural/urban, etc.). How much agency do you think you have?
3. In regards to the three case studies provided in the article:
      What were the key similarities in the three case studies in regards to their becoming
         infected with the HIV virus?
      Do you think case studies are useful in studying social problems such as AIDS? What are
         the strengths and weaknesses of the case study approach?
      In your opinion did the three individuals become infected with the HIV virus because of
         poor personal choices or because of the difficult context within which they live?
4. What areas were anthropologists exhorted to explore in the first decade of the AIDS epidemic?
Why were these areas targeted (make your best guess, and take into account the context of the
AIDS epidemic and how it has been viewed in the USA).
5. Why would the author state that anthropology is the ―radically contextualizing‖ of the social
sciences? What does this mean?
6. At the end of the article the author critiques some of the problems involved in studying a social
problem like AIDS. List the two top problems (from his list) that you see in regards to AIDS
7. If you were put in charge of dealing with the AIDS crisis in rural Haiti what recommendations
would you make?

Circumcision, Pluralism, Dilemmas of Cultural Relativism, Pg. 261
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
terms: human rights, politicized, pluralism
1. How is the debate over female circumcision or FGM ―politicized‖? In your example reference
one of the following areas; colonialism, feminism, or immigration issues.
2. Why was circumcision practiced on females in Europe and America historically?
3. What is the emic rationale as to why males routinely circumcised in the United States. Is there
an etic explanation that contradicts this emic rationale?
4. List at least two body altering surgeries that females and/or males undergo in the United States
for purely aesthetic reasons.
5. Review the variety of terms that have been used to describe the practice discussed in this
article. Which term do you prefer? Which term is the most accurate as regards the practice(s)
described? Which term is the most political? Which term is the least political? Terms: female
circumcision, female genital mutilation, female genital modification, and genital cutting.
6. Use one of the following arenas to discuss the issues involved in the topic of female
circumcision; 1) as a human rights issue, 2) as an issue of self-determination (address either
individual and group rights), 3) as an issue of health and sexuality.
7. How difficult has it been to read this article and work to maintain cultural relativity? Do you see
cultures that practice female circumcision or FGM as ―the other‖?

Sacred Barriers to Conflict Resolution: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 192
Terms: rational actors, symbolic concession, sacred values, devoted actor
1. When the United States overthrew the Kingdom of Hawaii, do you think it was a rational act?
To what degree do you think the symbolic concession of an apology is helpful to native Hawaiians?
2. What should the United States apologize to the Indigenous Peoples of North America for?
3. Why do you think that Americans often resist governmental apologies for past wrongs to other
peoples and/or nations?
4. Do you think rational actor models were helpful in analyzing the Cold War? To what degree
were American and/or the Soviet Unions action’s in the Cold War rational? To what degree was
the conflict played out by devoted actors? By rational actors?
5. To what degree do you think that symbolic concessions are useful? In inter-personal conflicts?
In nation-state conflicts? Are symbolic concessions alone ever enough?
6. Communication is often problematic with miscommunication characterizing much of inter-
cultural and inter-nation talk. However, there is often a subtext to spoken words, where what is
said is not necessarily what is meant. When then Secretary of State Albright stated ―despite trends
towards ___________________, control over military, judiciary, courts and ______________
remain in ______________________ hands. The Iranian government saw this as a call by the
American government for the Iranian people to overthrow their government. Do you think this was
a misunderstanding or an accurate reading between the lines?

Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism
and Its Others: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 126
Terms: burqa, colonialism, Islam, Muslim, purdah
1. Why do you think that the ―liberation of women‖ was used as a key rationale for going to war
against Afghanistan? Was this reason for war valid or invalid (how can we test or measure this)?
2. Why does the government and thus the media generally offer up religio-cultural explanations for
problems and conflict in areas such as Afghanistan instead of looking at political and historical
           What specifically were the religious and cultural explanations offered for the need to
              invade Afghanistan?
           What specific political and historical information would it be important to know about
              Afghanistan and the United States?
           It is often helpful when analyzing situations to ask the following questions: who is
              framing the situation, and whose interests will be served by specific actions
3. Do you think the Afghan women are more concerned with wearing the Burqa or living in a war
zone and not having access to regular food, medical care, and schooling for their children? What
has our media focused on in regards to the situation of Afghan women?
4. Laura Bush is quoted as stating they want to ―impose their world on the rest of us.‖ To what
degree is this statement ethnocentric?
5. What is colonial feminism? How does it relate to the media in the USA surrounding the burqa
imposed on Afghanistan women?
6. What is the history of the burqa? What does the veil symbolize in Muslim communities? What
does the veil symbolize in the USA? At specific times and places the wearing of the burqa has
been mandated and forbidden, why do you think this is?
7. What is freedom? Does freedom only exist in the law? Or is freedom situated in negotiated
relationships within societies regardless of the laws? Reflect on the USA and our freedoms or lack
of them in regards to clothing.
8. The authors state that we need to confront two big issues; 1) the acceptance of the possibility of
difference, and 2) we need to be vigilant about the rhetoric of saving people. In your own words
explain these two issues using examples and reasoning from the article. What is your opinion of
these two issues, are they really important for us to address? Why or why not?
9. The author shares that in her 20 years of conducting fieldwork she has not run into a single
women who expresses envy in regards to American women. Specifically what are the five things
that the Muslim women she has met said about American women? What is your reaction to this
information? Do you think people around the world envy the material wealth of the USA or our
political and social system?

Army Enlists Anthropology in War Zones, Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 189
Terms: human terrain team, American Anthropology Association, mercenary, embedded
1. Why did the US military develop the Human Terrain System?
2. What have been the outcomes of the Human Terrain System in Afghanistan?
3. A army colonel stated ―We’re looking at this from a _________________ perspective, from a
social scientist’s perspective. We’re not focused on the __________________. We’re focused on
bringing governance down to the ________________.‖
                   Do you think this statement is likely valid in regards to the way that most military
                   commanders view the role of social scientists in HT teams?
4. Hugh Gusterson, an anthropologist, states ―While often presented by its proponents as work
that builds a more __________________ world, it contributes instead to a brutal war of
______________________ which has entailed massive ______________________.
                   Can you make a case to support Gusterson’s view? To contradict Gusterson’s
5. American officers have been positive of the HT teams and state that their presence has aided
them in cutting back on ____________________ operations. They state their goal is to improve
the performance of _______________ government, persuade tribesmen to join the ____________
to ease ______________ and to protect villagers from the Taliban.
                   Based on your knowledge of our goals in Afghanistan does this make sense?
                   Do you think a military presence will likely aid the goals stated above?
6. How could the offering of training programs to widows conflict with cultural values in
7. To what degree do you think the anthropologist is likely ―anthropologizing the military‖ versus
the ―militarizing anthropology‖? What data and reasoning would you use to analyze this question?
8. The American Anthropology Associations’ Executive Board has issued a statement in which
they see too many problems with anthropologists working with Human Terrain teams and they
recommend against it. You can go to the AAA website (www.aaanet.org- search Human Terrain
Teams) and see the discussions and the AAA Executive Boards statement disavowing
anthropologists embedding with military units. Their concerns and criticisms include:
          a. Working as an embedded anthropologist it will be difficult for the local peoples to
          know if the are engaging with a civilian anthropologist or a soldier.
          b. Anthropologists will likely face conflicts as to whose interests they are serving, the
          military unit they are embedded with or the civilians in the local population.
          c. Anthropologists will have a difficult time following the AAA code of ethics which calls for
          voluntary, informed consent from the peoples they are working with
          d. The information provided to the military has a likelihood of being used to make certain
          groups targets by the military either in the present or in the future.
          e. Anthropologists will affect the reputation of anthropology in general and will jeopardize
          future anthropologists desiring to work with these local peoples in the future.

Contemporary Warfare in the New Guinea Highlands, Pg. 180
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
terms: hypothesis, falsify
1. How is cultural materialism used to understand tribal warfare? Address infrastructure
(production), structure (trade relations), and superstructure (web of kin ties).
2. How did the changes in marriage practices lead ultimately to an increase in tribal warfare?
3. Give at least two reasons as to why tribes engage in ―warfare‖?
4. In your emic perspective why do modern nation-states engage in warfare?

The Kpelle Moot: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 172
1. What is the difference in the context of conflict resolution in traditional cultures and
contemporary cultures?
2. List three key differences between formal courtroom hearings and Kpelle moots.
3. What is the difference between a judge and a mediator (in process, intent, outcome)?
4. How does a moot work to maintain harmony and reconciliation? Give a couple specific
examples. What is the goal of our modern day courtroom procedures?

Coming of Age in Palo Alto: Author’s main idea or thesis for the article, Pg. 163
Terms: ethnography, embodied knowledge, observational research
1. What does the author mean by ―embodied knowledge‖?
2. How do observational studies compare to ethnographic field research?
3. How do anthropologists work in marketing?

Family Planning Outreach and Credit Programs in Rural Bangladesh, Pg. 144
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
Terms: dependent variable, hypothesis, purdah, qualitative methods, random sample
1. Anthropology as a holistic discipline works to discern how various segments of society are inter-
related. When one area changes it often affects other areas. How are the credit programs linked
to contraception?
2. This article relates how anthropologist utilize a variety of data in analyzing a social issue or
problem. What are the key components of the study in Bangladesh? What additional questions
would you ask or what additional data would you include if you were in charge of this study?
3. What is the Grameen Bank’s strategy for reducing women’s isolation?

A Teaching Framework for Cross-Cultural Health Care, Pg. 208
Author’s main idea or thesis for the article
1. What are the guidelines in LEARN ?
2. To what degree does LEARN constitute a holistic, anthropological approach?
3. One of the ways in which anthropology can aid everyone is in helping you become cultural
competent. To what degree does LEARN work to aid the medical workers in being culturally
4. What anthropological principles and methods would also be helpful in aiding medical workers
dealing with cross-cultural patients?

Anthropology of Religion- Anthropology of the Supernatural

Beliefs in the supernatural are a human universal: All cultures studied by anthropologists have
been found to have a belief system that focuses on the supernatural. The term ―supernatural‖ is
used because it refers to things that are not of the natural world. Things that are of the natural
world can be subject to scientific study. But all cultures have beliefs about supernatural beings,
forces, spirits, and goddesses/gods. Although, within each culture, there may be individuals who
do not adhere to the cultural beliefs. Like the variety of different forms and practices in marriage
around the world, religion is difficult to define and study because of the wide diversity of ways in
which supernatural beliefs play out in cultures.

Holistic study of the Supernatural: The anthropological study of the supernatural is conducted
from many different perspectives and angles. Depending on the researcher many different
questions are asked and many different types of insights are formulated. In general an
anthropological study of the supernatural includes;
     Emic and Etic perspectives
     Comparative approach
     historical approach
     the context in which the belief system operates
     functionalist approach
     culturally relative

Because beliefs regarding the supernatural encompass an individual’s worldview it can be a
difficult realm of study. It can often be very difficult to be culturally relative, especially if you hold
strong views in this realm.

Beliefs about the supernatural include all the following beliefs about supernatural being(s) or
     beliefs about the powers of these supernatural beings or forces
     the teachings and traditions surrounding the supernatural (generally teachings are
    believed to have been dictated by the supernatural being(s) or force)
     the rituals conducted in relationship to the supernatural being or force (often rituals
    conducted to influence the supernatural being(s) or forces).

Individuals who believe in the supernatural have a worldview which includes a:
        o picture of reality based on a set of shared assumptions
        o a belief that the universe is populated by a powerful force(s)
        o forces that oversee and interact with humans, but are generally unseen in this world
        o a worldview which gives individuals a guideline as to the proper relationship between
            individuals and groups (relationship between females and males, between insider’s
            and outsiders
        o a worldview which gives individuals a guideline as to the proper relationship between
            individuals/groups and nature (the environment, and life on earth)

Social Evolutionary Theory: The early years of anthropology were dominated by Social
Evolutionary Theory, in which it was believed that societies progressed through various stages,
eventually culminating in ―civilization.‖ A number of thinkers (including anthropologists,
philosophers, psychologists) saw humans as moving through a series of stages in regards to
beliefs of the supernatural. Animism and polytheism were seen as ―primitive‖ belief’s. Monotheism
was seen as a more advanced type of belief system. Some saw beliefs in the supernatural as
something that humans would ―leave behind‖ as our knowledge of science became more
advanced. Humans would give up beliefs in the supernatural as they evolved emotionally and
intellectually. Currently many thinkers (including many anthropologists) see humans as ―meaning
seeking creatures‖ and beliefs in the supernatural are seen as a human norm.
         Functionalist theories look the way in which beliefs, actions, or institutions work to serve
the basic needs of human individuals and human societies (see your theory sheet). Below are
three basic functions that have been proposed by anthropologists in regards to beliefs in the

 Intellectual & Cognitive Function: Gives humans order & meaning to their world, helps
answer questions such as; what is the nature of the world? Of existence? How and/or why does
the world and its inhabitants operate in the way that it does?
        o This function of supernatural beliefs has led (at least in the West) to the conflict
            between religion & science. Ask yourself what is the difference between a ―literal and
            a figurative‖ interpretations of a belief system?

 Psychological Function: works to reduce anxiety & increase sense of control. Beliefs in the
supernatural helps us cope with life’s difficulties and gives us reasons and mechanisms to connect
with the supernatural to alleviate stress and minimize the unknown. It helps us answer questions
like; Why do we die? Get sick? Mechanisms to connect with the supernatural include; prayer,
ritual, magic, and sacrifice

 Social Function: works to maintain social order, beliefs in the supernatural include a set of
values and norms, ideas of what is right & wrong, these beliefs work to keep people in line with the
threat of supernatural punishment for violations.

Terminology and the Supernatural: In the next section we will be looking at the relationship
between language and culture. Note the anthropological definitions for the terms listed below.
Think about how you would define the terms below, before you had taken a cultural anthropology
class. How would you define the word ―cult?‖

 Prayer: conversation w/god(es,s) imploring, pleading to produce desired effects
 Magic: use rituals & mechanistic (material) means to bring about a desired effect (with no
proven cause & effect relationship)
 Sacrifice: offerings to increase efficacy of requests to supernatural
 Witchcraft: individuals have psychic power to produce desired effects
 Sorcery: use magic to bring about desired end (often portrayed as a negative desire)

State of the World: How has it come about that some peoples have quite high standards of living
(i.e. permanent housing, cars, clean water, electricity, abundance of food, education, etc.) and
others strive to subsist on dollars a day (i.e. they don’t have access to clean water, electricity, food,
standard housing, etc.). How did such extreme stratification come about? Various answers are
given to this question. In general there are three broad answers given for the unequal distribution
of wealth in the world; environment, history and culture. These answers aren’t the only ones but
they generally encompass the range of analysis offered.

Environment: Until some 10,000 years ago all peoples were foragers, living similar lives. The
environment that people live in has played a big role in determining their means of subsistence.
The available resources (i.e. land suitable for growing crops, water, etc.) impact the choices that
peoples have.

Maori & Moriori: were originally one group of Polynesian farmers who landed in New Zealand
aound 1000ad. The Maori stayed in New Zealand, grew their traditional crops, and formed
agricultural communities. They expanded their population base, utilized technology, had full-time
leaders and soldiers. The Moriori left for the Chatham Islands (500 miles away), they found an
environment that did not support the growing of crops and reverted to foraging. The Moriori
population stayed small, they were technologically simple, and all of their people were engaged in
getting food subsistence. In 1835 the Maori invaded the Chatham Islands and within fairly short
order killed all the Moriori.

         To what degree did the environment influence these original Polynesians
        farmers? Does the environment determine or influence cultures?

History: The history of humanity is long and we can look at ancient history and more recent
history. A significant factor in the state of the world today is the European colonialism of the last
few centuries. Europeans expanded beyond their borders for a number of reasons; they valued
the acquisition of wealth and power, the missionary aspect of their religion pushed them to
perpetuate their belief system. Lastly the different countries of Europe (and individuals) were
competing with each other over the acquisition of wealth and power. China for instance in the
1400’s was more technologically advanced than the Europeans but their value system didn’t call
for them to expand beyond their borders. Colonialism impacted many countries around the world.
It worked to destroy cultural patterns of production and exchange, it utilized agriculture as a means
to produce cash crops and actively worked to undermine local peoples ability to feed themselves.
Colonialism did not end in many areas around the world until after WWII. After WWII the
economies of Europe had been hard hit by WWII and the rebellion in the colonies was making
them unmanageable
          To what degree is the colonialism of the past still impacting peoples today? For
         instance how many former colonial countries are developed and wealthy? What is

Culture: Some theorists attribute the lack of development in countries to their cultural values and
norms. Modernization theory (outlined below) offers both an explanation for un/under-development
and a ―cure‖ for this situation. World systems theory however offers up history as a more valid
explanation for the differences in wealth in countries around the world.

Modernization Theory: culture is the explanation for the inequalities between nations and this
theory gives a prescription for how to develop under-developed countries. Modernization theorists
state that it is the culture of under-developed nations that is the reason for their lack of
development. They state under-developed countries values & norms are problematic, they need to
adopt ―modern‖ values & norms, and need to value modern technology. These cultures need to
adopt machine technology, plant cash crops, adopt a market economy, de-emphasize kinship &
extended families, value nuclear family, value mono-chronic time orientation, value production &
consumption of goods.
          Criticisms of modernization theory: Include the observation that the theory doesn’t
               take into account how most wealthy nations became wealthy, thru colonization.

World Systems Theory: looks at the recent historical events of colonization as the main reason
that there is such a division among nations. World Systems theorists state; wealthy nations gained
their wealth through exploiting and plundering other peoples and their lands. They state poorer
nations will never become wealthy in the way of developed nations because they don’t have
colonies to exploit.

                o What evidence is there to support each theory?
                o Which theory do you adhere to?

Globalism: Defining globalization is not easy. Depending on whom you ask there are a multitude
of answers that you will get, although they will generally have some overriding themes.
Globalization is both an informal and a formal process.

Informally: globalization involves the process by which we have become a ―global village.‖ With
the rise of technology there have come about increasing means by which humans around the world
have become connected. With ―planes, trains, boats, and automobiles‖ humans are moving
around the world in increasing numbers, for both pleasure and business. With communication
technology such as phones, the internet, and satellites humans can communicate and interact
globally. Through the worldwide distribution of movies, TV shows, and music people are able to
share cultural experiences on a scale that has never been available before. Another element is the
worldwide distribution of consumption goods, everything from McDonalds, to Levi’s.

Formally: globalization is a deliberate process though which specific organizations such as the,
the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)
work to connect countries around the world economically. After WWII there was a meeting of
some 44 countries Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, the meeting was held to discuss the rebuilding
of the ravaged economies of many nations. As a result of this meeting the World Bank and the
IMF were formed. In 1995 the World Trade Organization (WTO) was formed to implement trade
policies developed through the ―General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade‖ (GATT)

The World Bank: the stated goal is to make loans available for development projects and thereby
to reduce poverty in the world’s poorest countries.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF): the stated goal is to make funds available for countries
to meet short-term financial needs and to stabilize currency exchanges between countries.

The World Trade Organization (WTO): the WTO is the only global international organization
dealing with the rules of trade between nations. At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated
and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments. The stated
goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters, and importers conduct their business.
The WTO can dictate trade policy between nations, works to eliminate trade practices that give
businesses in particular countries unfair advantage.

1994 50th anniversary of Bretton Woods: Analysis of the successes and failures of the
organizations are mostly critical. Even the World Banks own reviews are highly critical of their
performance. The World Bank has lent some ¼ of a trillion to underdeveloped countries, with
some 1 billion people still desperately poor. The disparity between the wealthy and poor has
doubled in the last 30 years. The richest 20% of the world consume 150 times more goods than
the poorest 20% of the world’s population. The accumulation of debt in underdeveloped countries
is a huge issue. In many countries they have more of their income going to make debt payments
than to social needs within their countries (medicine, education, infrastructure, etc.)

The following are a variety of viewpoints offered about the positives and negatives of globalization
as it is enacted formally by the WTO, IMF and the World Bank. In the past few years there have
been increasing protests against these organizations and their policies. At the meetings of the
WTO in Cancun, Mexico in 2003 the developing countries walked out of the meetings. The
developing countries walked out in mass after the United States, the European Union and Japan
rejected their demands for trade policies that address the needs of the world's poor, rather than the
bottom lines of the multinational corporations.

Positive perspectives on Globalization
o "Globalisation is generating great wealth. This could be used to massively reduce poverty
   worldwide and to reduce global inequality.... We must try to manage this new era, in a way
   which...helps to lift millions of people out of poverty." Clare Short, UK Secretary of State for
   International Development

o "Globalisation, then, is growth-promoting. Growth, in turn, reduces poverty.... the liberalisation
  of international transactions is good for freedom and prosperity. The anti-liberal critique is
  wrong: marginalisation is in large part caused by not enough rather than too much
  globalisation." - Razeen Sally, London School of Economics

o Agreements like NAFTA and the WTO force nations to respect contracts, which encourages
  responsible investment and, hence, economic growth. And, you see, economic growth creates
  a middle class, and a middle class, eventually, demands democracy. That is the story of the
  20th century and, God willing, it will be the story of the 21st." - Jonah Goldberg, National
  Review Online

Negative perspectives on Globalization
o "The increasing globalization of U.S. corporations gives them the leverage to hold down wages
   and resist unionization. Average real wages (corrected for inflation) have been falling since the
   early 1970s. By 1992, average weekly earnings in the private, non-agricultural part of the U.S.
   economy were 19 percent below their peak in the early 1970s. Nearly one-fourth of the U.S.
   workforce now earns less in real terms than the 1968 minimum wage." Kevin Danaher,
   "Globalization and the Downsizing of the American Dream"

o "While globalisation has led to benefits for some, it has not led to benefits for all. The benefits
  appear to have gone to those who already have the most, while many of the poorest have
  failed to benefit fully and some have even been made poorer." - Duncan Green & Claire
  Melamed, A Human Development Approach to Globalisation

o "U.S.-style globalism not only attempts to suppress labor, but also seeks to suppress social
  welfare systems and support for public expenditures that do not directly benefit the expansion
  of capital. The social welfare system and other public services, such as schools, social
  services in the North and food subsidies in the South, are supported through taxes, and taxes
  reduce short-term benefits to capital." - John A. Powell and S.P. Udayakumar, University of
  Minnesota Law School in "Poverty & Race"

From Richard Robbins “Global Problems & the Culture of Capitalism”

The following examples illustrate some of the issues of globalization:

o   WTO 1989- European countries attempted to ban the importation of USA beef which is injected with
    bovine growth hormone. Europeans didn’t want beef on their markets that had been injected with this
    hormone . The WTO ruled that a countries food, environment, or work laws constitute unfair barriers to
    trade and penalized Europe for its attempted ban. The example shows the power of the WTO to set
    aside a countries laws and preferences in regards to food safety, and environmental safety. The WTO
    has consistently ruled that issues related to health, safety or the environment are not valid reasons to
    try and stop trade, or the importation of goods.

o   Exporting Pollution: Pollution is a huge problem in the world today. No one wants to have polluted
    materials or dumps in their community. In recent years developing countries have been the target to
    unload pollution from developed countries. Developed countries, like the United States and European
    countries, consume gross amounts of goods in comparison to developing, poorer countries. In 1991
    Laurence Summers (then chief economist of the World Bank, currently he’s the president of the World
    Bank), sent out a), sent out a memo that he later claimed was just to ―generate discussion.‖ His memo
    stated that it made sense for the USA to export its pollution and toxic waste to other countries. His
    memo observed that developing countries are under-polluted and people and therefore can stand to
    receive pollution from developed nations. He stated that the cost of illness from pollution is cheaper in
    developing countries where the wages are lower and where the people have a lower life expectancy.
    He said that pollutants that cause disease will have less of an economic impact on countries where the
    people don’t live as long. As you would expect, when this memo came out in the public it generated a
    great deal of controversy (later it was titled ―Let Them Eat Pollution‖). Sanders worked to deny that he
    was seriously proposing what he had put forth in his memo.

o   Farm bills inside & outside the USA: In May 2002 the Bush administration pushed through a 10
    billion aid package for poorer countries in Africa with the stated goal ―to bring economic opportunity to
    the people of Africa.‖ At same time the administration pushed thru a 190 billion aid package for farmers
    in the USA. Government officials & independent analysts state that the big subsidies given to farmers
    in the USA will dramatically impact African farmers. The 190 billion aid package in the USA will lead to
    the overproduction of wheat, corn, cotton and other basic crops. This will drive down worldwide prices
    for these commodities and lead to ―millions of small farmers‖ in Africa being pushed out of work.

The State of the Nation: What can we say about where we stand and what can we do about it?
In the article ―The Price of Progress‖ there was a discussion on how to evaluate the status of a
country. In general the GNP is used as the most important measure of ―progress.‖ Read the
discussion below about the GNP, what it measures and some of the details about how it is
calculated. What do you think is a more important means to measure the status or ―progress‖ that
a country is making?

Gross National Product (GNP): is the measure of the total money spent or invested in goods and
services by individuals, businesses, and governments. It is said to be the single most important
statistic in our country. Whenever money is exchanged it adds to the GNP. Progress is measured
in terms of how much money people spend. It includes money spent on marriage licenses and
divorce costs, money on food and diet programs. The following observation was made about the
GNP ―By the curious standard of the GNP the nation’s economic hero is a terminal cancer patient
who is going through a costly divorce…the happiest event is an earthquake or hurricane….all add
to GNP because they cause money to change hands.‖

Natural Capital: depletion and restoration
          Natural capital is physical world around us, the environment where we get our food,
shelter, water, etc. Every product and service we consume has four sets of costs, although we
generally measure only one. The cost we generally measure is the costs manufacturers pay to get
something produced and distributed. These costs are reflected in price people pay at the store.
          The other costs that are not measured include; environmental costs associated with
production of product, environmental costs of items use, and the environmental cost of products
disposal. At this point we are outstripping our ability to replenish what we are taking from the
environment. Robbins states that we need to lower our consumption so that we aren’t outstripping
the ability of the ecosystem to replenish itself. He also states that we need to take into account the
entire cost in the production of goods and services and move to giving more control to local and
national authorities, not global.

Political Capital: depletion and restoration
         Political capital is measured by the extent to which each person has a voice by which they
can signal their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the state of things in their community, state
and/or country. In the various types of political systems people have more or less voice. In a
dictatorship there is only one or a couple of people that have voice in how things are governed, in a
democracy, ideally everyone has a voice in governance.
         In the United States we state that we often state that we are a democracy, however we are
actually a republic. The terms ―democracy and republic‖ are often used interchangeably but there
are some differences. The officials in a democracy more generally and directly reflect the known or

ascertained views of their constituents, sometimes subordinating their own judgment In a republic,
these officials are expected to act on their own best judgment of the needs and interests of the
country. Robbins notes that the voice of the people has been steadily eroded through rules that fail
to regulate campaign financing, and through participation in the WTO and GATT. The power of
corporations in the USA further erodes the political capital of individuals because corporations have
the power to accumulate wealth, and to influence (or buy) political power and voice. The CEO’s of
corporations can assign or withdraw the resources of a company at will. They can open or close
plants, lay off workers, etc.
         The following are recommendations for the restoration of individual American’s political
capital and voice;
 measure and limit corporate power and influence
 exclude corporations from political participation
 implement serious political campaign reform to reduce the influence of money on politics
 eliminate corporate welfare
 implement mechanisms to regulate international corporations and finance
 encourage responsible spending and investing
 enable consumers and investors to assert some degree of power over what is produced and
the conditions under which it is produced.

Social Capital: depletion and restoration
         Social capital allows people to get benefits through membership in social networks; to
resolve problems, make decisions, bonds people together in trust- generalized reciprocity benefits.
―social capital refers to connections among individuals- social networks and the norms of
reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them. In that sense, social capital is closely related
to that some have called ―civic virtue‖
 The author of Bowling Alone states that four basic factors have affected our loss of social
capital; 50% of decline due to slow, steady replacement of a long ―civic generation‖ by their less
involved children & grandchildren, 25% is advent of electronic entertainment, TV, etc., rest of
decline is due to time and money pressures of the two career families and the increase of
suburban sprawl which creates communities w/no centers
 The increase in social inequality decreases social capital. Today the richest 2.7 million (top
1%) have as much after tax dollars to spend as bottom 100 million (ratio has doubled since 1977,
when top 1% had has much as bottom 49 million)
 Recommendations to rebuild social capital include: reduce gap between rich & poor thru a
maximum & minimum income limitation (executives shouldn’t earn more than 10 times the average
worker), create economic policies that allow for a household to subsist on one income, assure
women of equal rights & access to land and shelter, encourage political participation of women,
and sustain a community media system

Conclusion: “everyday we make choices that reduce, maintain or add to our natural,
political, or social capital.

Declaration on Anthropology and Human Rights Committee for Human Rights:
American Anthropological Association - Adopted by the AAA membership June 1999
         This Declaration on Anthropology and Human Rights defines the basis for the involvement
of the American Anthropological Association, and, more generally, of the profession of
Anthropology in human rights.
         Preamble: The capacity for culture is tantamount to the capacity for humanity. Culture is
the precondition for the realization of this capacity by individuals, and in turn depends on the
cooperative efforts of individuals for its creation and reproduction. Anthropology's cumulative
knowledge of human cultures, and of human mental and physical capacities across all populations,
types, and social groups, attests to the universality of the human capacity for culture. This
knowledge entails an ethical commitment to the equal opportunity of all cultures, societies, and
persons to realize this capacity in their cultural identities and social lives. However, the global
environment is fraught with violence which is perpetrated by states and their representatives,
corporations, and other actors. That violence limits the humanity of individuals and collectivites.
         Anthropology as a profession is committed to the promotion and protection of the right of
people and peoples everywhere to the full realization of their humanity, which is to say their
capacity for culture. When any culture or society denies or permits the denial of such opportunity
to any of its own members or others, the American Anthropological Association has an ethical
responsibility to protest and oppose such deprivation. This implies starting from the base line of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and associated implementing international legislation, but
also expanding the definition of human rights to include areas not necessarily addressed by
international law. These areas include collective as well as individual rights, cultural, social, and
economic development, and a clean and safe environment.
         The American Anthropological Association has developed a Declaration that we believe
has universal relevance:
         People and groups have a generic right to realize their capacity for culture, and to produce,
reproduce and change the conditions and forms of their physical, personal and social existence, so
long as such activities do not diminish the same capacities of others. Anthropology as an academic
discipline studies the bases and the forms of human diversity and unity; anthropology as a practice
seeks to apply this knowledge to the solution of human problems. As a professional organization
of anthropologists, the AAA has long been, and should continue to be, concerned whenever human
difference is made the basis for a denial of basic human rights, where "human" is understood in its
full range of cultural, social, linguistic, psychological, and biological senses.
Thus, the AAA founds its approach on anthropological principles of respect for concrete human
differences, both collective and individual, rather than the abstract legal uniformity of Western
tradition. In practical terms, however, its working definition builds on the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights, and on Social,
Economic, and Cultural Rights, the Conventions on Torture, Genocide, and Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and other treaties which bring basic human rights within
the parameters of international written and customary law and practice. The AAA definition thus
reflects a commitment to human rights consistent with international principles but not limited by
them. Human rights is not a static concept. Our understanding of human rights is constantly
evolving as we come to know more about the human condition. It is therefore incumbent on
anthropologists to be involved in the debate on enlarging our understanding of human rights on the
basis of anthropological knowledge and research.

Statement of the AAA - Committee for Human Rights- concerning the tragedy and
                        aftermath of September 11, 2001

The American Anthropological Association Committee for Human Rights (CfHR) condemns the
brutal terrorist attacks upon the people of New York City, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania on
September 11. We sympathize most deeply with the families and friends of the thousands of
innocents who were murdered. We honor their memory as well as the memory of the hundreds of
rescue workers who lost their lives selflessly trying to save others.

Terrorism constitutes a gross violation of human rights. It is a crime against all of humanity for
which there can be no justification. Just as we condemn terrorism and those who are responsible
for it, we also denounce those in the U.S. and abroad who attack others solely because of their
ethnicity, race, or religion. These acts result from unwarranted xenophobia, ignorance and
intolerance. We urge all to respect and help others in this time of mourning.

Those responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11 should be brought to justice. However,
we urge all governments to respect human rights as they pursue suspects. Innocent men, women
and children should not be killed or harmed in the rush to retaliate. We support government efforts
to increase security at home, but we urge government not to unreasonably jeopardize civil liberty
and civil rights. As we devise plans and propose legislation to deter future terrorism, we must be
vigilant to protect our constitutional order and bill of rights. We must not abandon our cherished
rights, liberties and patriotic duties out of fear.

We urge our government and scholars to make every effort to learn the motives behind these
terrorist attacks. What drove these men to murder so many innocents and commit suicide in the
process? We cannot prevent future terrorism unless we learn the answer to this basic question.

We urge our government to increase its commitment to human rights, both at home and abroad. A
human rights-based foreign policy means supporting oppressed peoples rather than oppressive
governments. It means respecting the human rights of the poor, politically weak, dominated, and
suppressed as well as those of the powerful and rich. It means adhering to international human
rights and humanitarian law, including ensuring the well-being of refugees and other protected
peoples. And, it means taking action and seeking solutions that respect the rule of law.

We urge our government to seek solutions within the realm of the International Court of Justice and
other institutions that allow a just hearing of complaints in a rights-protective arena. And, we urge
our government to support the creation of the International Criminal Court so that those suspected
of committing future acts of terrorism, crimes against humanity and genocide can be brought to
justice before a recognized world body.

Finally, we, the members of the CfHR, recommit ourselves to the task of promoting universal
respect for human rights and peace in cooperation with fellow humans everywhere.

Terrorism: How can Anthropologists Respond? In these times of crisis our commitment to
democracy, civil liberties and human rights is tested. As the U.S. and other governments move to
discover and disrupt terrorism, there is the concern that hard won civil rights will be surrendered to
our fear and that organizations that are engaged in human rights works may be casualties as well.
If "homeland security" comes to mean scrutinizing dissident groups or labeling Basque, Irish, and
any Muslim group as potentially "terrorist," it will be our duty as intellectuals to articulate the
complexities. Internationally, there is a clear risk that organizations and movements that have
developed in response to human rights abuses, that speak with impassioned voices, may find their
phones tapped, their assets frozen, and their rights-protective actions interpreted as threats to
national security.

As the world struggles to come to terms with the new situation, anthropologists have a special role
to play in educating and challenging our leaders to consider the complex factors that structure
belief systems, generate oppressive conditions, and give rise to violent actions. The conditions that
allow terrorism to flourish may be ignored as a single target emerges. Yet if the conditions are not
changed-- if we cannot promote better listening by "the West" to the grievances of oppressed
peoples-- new leaders will inevitably arise. Anthropologists argue against ethnocentric
perspectives, appreciating the variety of cultural paths to human living, portraying the basic
goodness of "the other", but also understanding our species' potential for violence. We encourage
anthropologists to offer analysis of the human conditions that may lead people to be vulnerable to
the appeals of terrorist organizations, to find means to promote tolerance, and to voice concerns
and advocacy for the preservation of human rights. And, we encourage anthropologists to assist
the communities they work with in expressing their own concerns and views on terrorism: How do
indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups see themselves and others in this growing
global conflict?

The Committee for Human Rights offers the following practical suggestions for actions
anthropologists can take to contribute to our new world situation.

1. Educate yourself and your community. Identify and help promote resources that address human
rights and human wrongs, the rule of law, and the history and sociocultural conditions that
influence current realities.

2. Promote analysis and discussion in your classes, department, and college community.
Organizing a well-framed and well-moderated panel including several different analytical
perspectives can promote academic discussion and analysis of the tragedy, its aftermath, policy
implications, civil rights, etc. Choose speakers well, frame the panel with encouragement for
respect for diversity of perspectives, hold speakers to times so the audience can participate
actively, and seek help from media relations people for a well-timed press release to bring out the
media to share ideas with the public. We can all remember previous wars, when discussions and
debates became polarized and unproductive, when people felt silenced or voices became strident.
Can we offer sagacity?

3. Make yourself available to the media. Many of us probably have been called upon offer insights
into Islam, political movements, and key regions of the Middle East and South Asia. The media
relations people at our universities are receiving many calls for expertise. If you work in a

University setting, raise the issue in your department meeting, identify people who can provide
information to the media, and then take the initiative to call university media relations or journalists
themselves to offer expertise. If you don't have media training, consider getting a couple of quick
lessons from the media relations people at your university, if you work at one. Or participate in the
AAA-sponsored media workshops at the annual conference.

4. Assert your voice in broader community forums. If you have provocative ideas or important
insights, write about them. Submit your comments to the editors of your local newspapers and
magazines. Editorial columns and letters can be an excellent venue for promoting tolerance and
understanding of Muslims and Arab-Americans who may be experiencing backlash discrimination.
Community forums can also be an important venue to draw attention to alternative views.
Volunteer to be on a panel on terrorism or a multi-faith perspective on tolerance. Help organize
one. Help organizers write their press releases or offer to edit them.


The Advocacy Project < http://WWW.ADVOCACYNET.ORG/> The Advocacy Project was created
in the summer of 1998 by a group of individuals with a commitment to human rights and an interest
in information technology.

Amnesty International <http://www.amnesty.org/ > "Amnesty International is a worldwide
campaigning movement that works to promote all the human rights enshrined in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards." Press releases, briefing
documents, and resource links concerning the United States response to September 11, 2001
terrorist actions can be found on the USA webpage at http://www.amnestyusa.org.

The Center for Nonproliferation Studies <http://cns.miis.edu/research/cbw/index.htm> The Center
for Nonproliferation Studies chemical and biological warfare resource page.

Civilrights.org: The Online Social Justice Network <http://www.civilrights.org> Civilrights.org's
mission is to empower the civil rights community to lead the fight for equality and social justice in
the emerging digital society through the establishment of an online social justice network.
Civilrights.org is a project of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, a coalition of 180
organizations working side by side in the fight for equality and justice. For information on the
human rights aspects of terrorist events and military response, see

Crimes of War Project <http://www.crimesofwar.org> This site contains analysis of key questions
relating to crimes of war, including questions involving terrorist acts of September 11, 2001 and
subsequent military response. Site further illustrates material contained in the 1999 book "Crimes
of War: What the Public Should Know" edited by Roy Gutman and David Rieff (W.W. Norton).

Education Development Center <http://www.edc.org/spotlight/schools/beyondblame.htm>
Education Development Center curriculum called "Beyond Blame: A Reaction to the Terrorist
Attack" for grades 6-12, on justice, fairness, and inappropriate group blame.

The Electronic Resource Centre for Human Rights Education <http://erc.hrea.org/> The Electronic
Resource Centre for Human Rights Education is supported by grants from the Dutch Foreign
Ministry and the Open Society Institute.

The Fellowship of Reconciliation <http://www.forusa.org//NewsFrame.html> The Fellowship of
Reconciliation (FOR) 911 Resource Packet, developed by an interfaith organization committed to
active nonviolence as a transforming way of life and as a means of radical change. FOR educates,
trains, builds coalitions, and engages in nonviolent and compassionate actions locally, nationally,
and globally.

Human Rights Watch <http://www.hrw.org/ > Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the
human rights of people around the world. We stand with victims and activists to prevent
discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime,
and to bring offenders to justice. We investigate and expose human rights violations and hold
abusers accountable. We challenge governments and those who hold power to end abusive
practices and respect international human rights law. We enlist the public and the international
community to support the cause of human rights for all."

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) <http://www.icrc.org> The full texts of
international humanitarian law treaties and commentaries are available at the ICRC web site.

Lawyers Committee for Human Rights <http://www.lchr.org/> "Since 1978, the Lawyers Committee
for Human Rights has worked to protect and promote fundamental human rights. Its work is
impartial, holding all governments accountable to the standards affirmed in the International Bill of
Human Rights."

Physicians for Human Rights <http://www.phrusa.org/> "Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)
mobilizes the health professions and enlists support from the general public to protect and promote
the human rights of all people."

Prevent Genocide International <http://www.preventgenocide.org/> Prevent Genocide International
is a nonprofit educational organization established in 1998 with the purpose of bringing about the
elimination of the crime of genocide.

Southern Poverty Law Center <http://www.splcenter.org/teachingtolerance/tt-index.html>
"Teaching Tolerance" curriculum and resources published by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

United Nations Human Rights Website <http://www.unhchr.ch/hchr_un.htm> Official site of the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations International Law Website <http://www.un.org/law> This site contains the tests of
international law treaties and information about the International Court of Justice, the International
Criminal Court, and the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda War Crimes tribunals.

U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention <http://www.cdc.gov/programs/bio.htm> The
United States Government Center for Disease Control and Prevention bio-terrorism page.

An Anthropological Perspective of War: Is it Inevitable or Manufactured

Anthropology: Holistic study of Humankind. Holistic Analysis: comparative approach, cross-
cultural, historical, and biological data on humans.
What do anthropologists know about war? Is it common? Is it rare? Has it changed in nature
over time? Why does warfare vary in frequency and type? What are the social and material
contexts within which war occurs? Is war inevitable or is it manufactured? Our questions about
war go to the very heart of our questions about human nature. Who and what are we as a

We have evidence of human violence as far back as 30,000 yrs. ago, skulls of Neandertals bashed
in by human tools…Violence, however, is different from war. Humans are clearly capable of
violence, we engage in it often enough…however we also have peaceful, cooperative relations.
War is violent conflict between nations or factions within a nation.
       Thomas Hobbes- Leviathan 1656: humans are naturally violent, life in primitive societies
was nasty, brutish and short, they lived a lifestyle devoted to a ―war of all men against all men,‖
only a strong state can coerce people to be peaceful
       Jean-Jacques Rousseau- Social Contract 1762: primitive societies were peaceful
communities, early peoples lived in harmony with each other and with nature, it is with the onset of
civilization that warfare and conflict afflict human societies
       The problem was that neither Hobbes nor Rousseau knew much about traditional

From the origin of Homo sapiens, some 160,000 yrs ago until some 6,000-10,000 yrs ago
humans foraged and hunted for food in their environment. They lived in small nomadic groups,
everyone was involved in getting food, they made
their own tools, were egalitarian, had informal leaders, all members of the group lived a similar
lifestyle, and they were inter-dependent on each other for survival. The Question is…
  Were the lives of people in traditional cultures dominated by peaceful or violent relations?

Heart of the Chagnon-Yanomami controversy
Chagnon researched the Yanomami for some 30 yrs. He stated they represent a society close to
nature, untouched by civilization. Yanomami have high rates of violence and tribal warfare due to
human nature. Human nature is dominated by the drive for survival and reproduction. Yanomami
males fight over status, prestige and women. Chagnon states violence is inherent in human nature
and in human societies.
Brian Ferguson puts forth an alternative view. His research into Yanomami conflicts revealed the
following, the Yanomami:
             o were impacted by traders, colonists, and missionaries prior to Chagnons presence
             o were de-populated by disease, killing
             o were impacted by the introduction of Western goods, steel axes/guns and group
                 competition over access to these goods
Ferguson states the high rates of Yanomami violence are due to disruption from outside groups.

The debate rages on…Are Humans naturally violent? Or is violence due to our environment
and the way we are nurtured? This is an age old question….clearly we are capable of violence,
but we are also capable of peaceful relations

Marvin Harris on “war as instinct” - collective violence cannot be explained by innate human
 even warlike societies only engage in war occasionally, some societies have little to no warfare
 warfare must be explained by the variable conditions of a society, what are the reasons that
war breaks out in particular times and places
 Harris focuses on material conditions and resources

Barbara Erenrich: War involves a great deal of preparation, training, manufacture of weapons,
etc. There is no instinct that compels a man to ―leave home, cut his hair short, and drill for hours in
tight formation‖

On Killing by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman: reveals some extraordinary data, he has found that one
of the most difficult things to teach a soldier is to point their gun at another human being…
      In WW II only 15-20% of combat infantry were willing to fire their rifles.
      in Korea firing rates rose to about 50%, in Vietnam the figure went to over 90%.
This data and analysis reveals that, at least in modern day wars, getting men to kill is not easy. A
biological basis for warfare seems unlikely.

What about nurture? The environment we live in and are raised in as the basis of warfare?
Ember and Ember: use the Human Relation Area Files to catalogue what anthropologists have
     some societies are more violent than others;, violent child-rearing practices, an emphasis
on males being tough and aggressive, have warlike games, severe punishment for crimes, high
murder rates, high rates of family violence- these societies engage in war more often than other
            o however this appears to be a consequence of war, not the cause of increased
     Societies that teach their children to fear and mistrust others fuel a tendency to engage in

Ember/Ember have analyzed war in traditional, non-agricultural societies
     Societies with frequent natural disasters have high rates of warfare. When a society
experiences high rates of unpredictable natural disasters that threaten their resources they go to
war more often. Fear is a motivator for war and resource exchange is a consequence. The victors
in war take the resources of the losing group. Note that: 3/4 of these societies fought wars on
average every two years…so war is not inevitable…

What about religious and ethnic differences as the basis for conflict and war?
    The human brain has been described as an organ that has evolved as a categorization device
par excellance…A basic way in which humans work to categorize the world is by dividing it into ―us
versus them‖ categories
Sudhir Kakar puts forth this psychological explanation for conflict between groups, she states it is
the nature of the human brain to categorize, and some categories are more significant than others-
                      Religious and ethnic categories to her are core and primordial to humans
                      Kakar sees violence and conflict as inevitable because of these social
Frederick Barth offers an alternative perspective, he sees religions and ethnic categories as
learned and created in specific times and places, they are not innate or primordial in nature, they
are invented categories.

Case examples of “ethnic and religious” wars
The genocide in Rwanda, and the break-up of Yugoslavia, have both been studied extensively
In both cases politicians and people in general have explained the outbreak of violence as a result
         ―ancient and deep hatreds over ethnic and religious differences that suddenly erupted…‖
      Systematic researche has contradicted this myth. In both cases conflict did not just erupt,
specific steps were taken by specific individuals to create violence among the different ethnic and
religious groups. In both situations:
             o there was upheaval in the society (economic turmoil, political turmoil)
             o leaders systematically armed individuals from their group and used the media to
                 spread fear and mistrust ―repetition is the single most effective technique of
                 persuasion…it does not matter how big the lie is, so long as it keeps being
             o fear was created over resources, mistrust was propagated, and armed individuals
                 were pushed to engage in systematic killing sprees
In both cases the opposing groups had existed more or less peacefully for decades; inter-marrying,
working together, their children going to school together, etc.

Bruce Bower notes that examinations of war generally focus on one of the following three themes:
Ultimate causation: what are the most important causes of war in a comprehensive analysis
Proximate causation: what are the immediate causes of a specific conflict
Consequences of war: what are the results of war; population decline, acquisition of resources,
increased power and prestige

The advent of agriculture changed human societies and lives in dramatic ways. With
agriculture, the intensive production of food, some individuals were freed from the obligation of
getting food and they became full-time political leaders, religious specialists, full-time artisans and
full-time soldiers. With agriculture came permanent use of the land, class divisions, and
differences in wealth, prestige and power between individuals and groups. War in pre-agricultural
societies versus post-agricultural societies is distinctly different.

Ember and Ember’s analysis of war in post-agricultural societies include the following:
    Military alliances increase the likelihood of war
    Trading of essential resources between groups lessons the likelihood of war
    Military equality between nations, particularly when preceded by a rapid military buildup
seems to increase the likelihood of war

Raymond Scupin: warfare has been an integral aspect of agricultural development, states often
emerge as a result of conflict and competition among groups. The ruling class focuses on
accumulating more wealth and power and warfare becomes a means of fulfilling this goal.
           o Primary motivation for warfare in state systems is to gain political control over
               other people, to increase the landholdings
           o Wars are fought to establish economic and political hegemony over foreign
           o wars and conflicts are fought over attempts to monopolize economic profits,
               markets, and natural resources in other territories.

Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches, Marvin Harris
There are rational explanations for warfare but people seldom grasp the systematic causes and
consequences of warfare. We often attribute wars to ―irrational and inscrutable‖ reasons such as
ancient hatreds that suddenly erupted or violent instincts that propel us. But he states we can find
the mundane and practical reasons for war if we look closely. Harris sees war in general as a
struggle for material benefits and resources

As citizens of the most powerful nation on earth what should we know about the United
States and War? What questions should we ask about our nation and its relationship to
conflict and warfare?
         The United States was founded with the Revolutionary War (conflict as a means of state
formation). We engaged in war on the indigenous peoples to gain material resources. We
expanded beyond our initial borders to increase our land and material resources.
         We are different from many nations today in that we are fairly new, and we were founded
on the principles of democracy and freedom. Initially these rights were limited based on gender,
ethnicity and class but after many years of conflict these rights have been inclusive regardless of
an individual’s group status.
Today we are the number one nation in;
     military spending, we spend more than--- the next top 15 spender’s COMBINED
     the number of wars engaged in since WWII
     the number of military bases outside of our borders (while we close bases at home)
     the amount of arms sold worldwide, 49% of the worlds arms come from the USA
     the percentage of our population that we imprison

Ivan Karp states “the Anthropological lens teaches us to question what we assume to be

Are we a violent nation? A violent people? Why have we engaged in so many wars? Americans
comprise some 6% of the world’s population and consume some 25% of the worlds resources…

Dwight D. Eisenhower, great military and political leader in his farewell address, Jan. 17, 1961
warned us about undue influences in regards to military conflicts and wars- the rise of the military
industrial complex. The development of a large arms industry is new in the American experience…
it is influencing us economically, politically, even spiritually…we must guard against unwarranted
influence…we must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties…only an alert
and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military
machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals‖

―The United States never lost a soldier or a foot of ground in my administration. We kept the peace.
People asked how it happened—by God, it didn’t just
happen, I’ll tell you that.‖                        Eisenhower

The notion that the only alternatives to conflict are fight or flight are embedded in our culture, and
our educational institutions have done little to challenge it. The traditional American military policy
raises it to the level of a law of nature. Richard Heckler In Search of the Warrior Spirit.

Me against my brother
I and by brother against our cousins
I and my brother and my cousins against non-relatives
I and my brother and my cousins and friends against the enemies in our village
All of these and the whole village against another village
Old Bedouin Proverb

―A knowledge of anthropology enables us to look with greater freedom at the problems confronting
our civilization‖                               Franz Boas

Become a Citizen Activist: work to shape your future and your society and your world

         Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed individuals can change the world,
                       indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.‖    Margaret Mead

Museum of Tolerance
The last time I visited the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles (I would highly recommend visiting this
museum if you haven’t made the trip yet) the guide discussed three major themes that they were
emphasizing at the museum. The first theme was the power of the individual to make a difference in their
community and world. The second theme was the personal responsibility that we all share for what is
happening in our community and in our world. The last theme discussed was the power of words to
influence individual’s thoughts and actions. The Museum of Tolerance addresses one of the greatest
examples of humans inhumanity, the genocide that Hitler and others worked to perpetuate against the Jews
and other groups (Gypsies, Homosexuals, etc.). The holocaust involved the systematic killing of millions of
individuals while much of the world stood by and did nothing. As I walked through the museum my thoughts
were not only on this past example of human’s capacity for killing and apathy but on events that are
happening today, in our communities and in our world. Today, at this point in time, there are ongoing acts of
genocide, killing, and apathy by humans around the world. I wondered what power I have to change things,
what personal responsibility I have to change things and lastly how words are being used to influence others
(to either take action or to stand by). A number of years ago I made the decision to become more educated
about events both in my community and in the world and to use my knowledge to make a difference. I invite
you to look around your community and world and start making a difference.

Become informed: If you get the majority of your news is from the TV you are NOT getting a true picture as
to what is really happening either in your community or the world. The goal of TV news is to sell you on the
news station. The news presented is hyped, often inaccurate, and incomplete. Multiple survey’s have
shown that individuals who get the majority of their news from the TV are ill-informed about both national
and world events. The first step in becoming a citizen activist is to become informed. Below are a variety of
sources that will help give you a broader understanding of what is happening in your nation and the world.
 Read a variety of papers and also foreign newspapers for a broader perspective, web sites include:
www.csmonitor.com , www.guardian.co.uk , www.arabnews.com , www.allnewspapers.com www.fair.org
 Go to www.google.com or any other search engine to get information on a topic that is important to you.
Pick a social issue or problem that is important to you, either because of personal experience or personal
interest. Read both sides of the issue or debate to get informed.
 Read alternative sources of information, some sites include: www.zmag.org, www.thenation.com
www.gregpalast.com, www.democracynow.org, www.pacificaradio.org, www.michaelmoore.com,
www.prwatch.org, , www.alternet.org, www.accuracy.org, www.fair.org
 Listen to alternative sources of information: KPFK 90.7 FM, KPCC 89.3 FM, 1150 Air America

Register to Vote! You can’t make your voice heard if you don’t vote.

Make your voice heard: write, call or email your congressperson, senator, local news stations,
corporations, etc.: The front of your phone book white pages contains the phone numbers and addresses
of government officials (under ―Government Officials‖).

Ghandi’s Seven Deadly Social Sins: Politics without Principle, Wealth without Work, Commerce without
Morality, Pleasure without Conscience, Education without Character, Science without Humanity, Worship
without Sacrifice.

We will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cultural Anthropology 102
  Professor K. Markley

Natural Selection, is one of the natural science theories that work to explain the change of life
over time. Evolutionary theory accounts for the change of live forms over time (not the origin of
life!) and it consists of four processes; natural selection, mutation, gene flow and gene drift.
Natural selection played a key role in the evolution of bipedalism and the selection for larger brains
some two million years ago. The selection for bipedalism is what initially set us apart from ape

Charles Darwin developed the Theory of Natural Selection to account for the change he observed
in organisms over time, and to explain the differences and similarities he observed in animals in
different environments around the world (i.e. white & brown bears). Natural selection is the theory
which underlies modern biology. In the natural sciences when an explanation has risen to the level
of a theory it is akin to a natural law in that it is the only explanation that has been accepted by the
scientific community.

Natural selection states the following:
    there is variation in individuals within species-individuals vary in size, color, speed, etc.
    there is always competition among individuals within populations to get scarce resources
   and to survive. There are always more individuals who are born than live to adulthood and
   those individuals who have the ―best‖ variation for a particular environment will live longer and
   produce more offspring
    individuals who live the longest and produce the most offspring are the most ―fit‖ and they
   will pass on their traits to their offspring (inheritance)
    fitness in natural selection is defined as ―differential reproductive success‖ – those
   individuals who produce the most offspring within the population are the most fit
    natural selection states that environments change over time so the traits that are the
   ―best‖ will change over time and place. Natural selection does not lead to more perfect
   organisms, it only works to keep a species in an adaptive relationship with its environment.

Natural selection can be observed on a daily basis in the world around us. Examples include the
development of drug resistant forms of diseases such as tuberculosis or staph infection, that
develop over time. Natural selection and evolutionary theory form the foundation of biology as a

Sociobiology (generally associated with non-human primates) & Evolutionary Psychology
(sociobiology applied to humans): Sociobiology takes natural selection one step further. It
states that ―nature‖ not only selects physical traits which increase fitness but nature selects for
behaviors that increase fitness. So, behaviors which increase an individual’s ―fitness‖ (reproductive
success) will be selected for. Reproductive fitness involves different strategies and behaviors for
females and males. Females and males must engage in different behaviors to reproduce, and so
they have different ―reproductive strategies.”

         Male reproductive strategies: For males to pass their genes onto the next generation,
they (theoretically) just have to make a brief investment and impregnate a female and can then
walk away. So, the best behaviors for males involve out-competing other males for access to
females and working to impregnate as many females as possible (to be ―undiscriminating maters‖).

         Female reproductive strategies: For females to pass their genes onto the next
generation they need to engage in different reproductive strategies. Females need to; get
pregnant, carry the offspring to term, nurse the offspring, and teach the offspring what it needs to
survive. Females must invest a lot of time and energy to reproduce offspring. Females best
reproductive strategy is to distance themselves form other females and to select males that will
stick by them and help them care for their offspring.

Evolutionary Psychology (EP) is subject to a great deal of debate and criticism in
anthropology and other fields. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1. EP states that there is a biological basis for human behaviors. Most anthropologists agree that
there is a feedback loop between biology and culture in humans but recognize that humans rely
extensively on learning. EP minimizes the role of learning in human behaviors and states that
there is a biological basis to explain the differences in female and male behaviors.
2. EP postulates that human behavioral traits were set back in our evolutionary past when our
physical nature was set (some 200,000 years ago). It is stated, for instance, that females will look
for males who will stick around and provide for them because that was a necessary strategy in the
past. EP states that it makes sense for males to engage in infidelity because it is the best
reproductive strategy for them.
3. To be valid EP needs to be able to show increased reproductive fitness for the behaviors that
they postulate evolved in our human past. This means that individuals who display the assumed
behaviors must have more offspring than the individuals who don’t have these behaviors.
          the behaviors have to be defined operationally for testing
          the behaviors have to be linked to differential reproductive success
At this time there have not been any definitive tests to validate EP although a number of EP
followers have written books putting forth their ideas. The debate over EP is quite fierce and
ongoing in anthropology, psychology, sociology, biology, and philosophy.
          Questions: What are the assumptions that EP rests on? Why is EP controversial in
          regards to its validity and its contentions?

Theories in Cultural Anthropology:
         In the social sciences a theory is a framework used to explain and predict human
behaviors, beliefs and artifacts. There are often multiple, competing theories used to explain
human behaviors. For instance there are those that emphasize nature or biology as key to the
basis of human actions and those that emphasize nurture or culture. These two perspectives are
often at odds with each other.
         Humans are complex creatures living in complex societies and it is very difficult to
eliminate enough of the variables to definitively test social science theories. Theories gain
acceptance if they can reliably explain human behaviors and beliefs and predict human behaviors
and beliefs in a given set of circumstances. Theories are paradigms and as such they influence
how we perceive and interpret the world.
         Theories in the natural sciences are different. If something has risen to the level of a
theory in the natural sciences it is akin to a law. There are not competing theories in the natural
sciences (although there can definitely be competing hypotheses). The Law of Gravity, or the Law
of Thermodynamics, are the only explanations for the observed phenomena. Natural Selection, is
a natural science theory that works to explain the change of populations of organisms over time

Social Evolutionary Theory: This theory was influential in the mid 1800’s. As anthropologists,
and others, traveled around the world and saw different types of cultures and societies they
compared these cultures to their own. They believed that their society was the best and the most
advanced. They saw Western, European culture as having achieved ―civilization‖ while the other
groups they observed, such as the Australian Aborigines, as being stuck in ―savagery. Social
Evolutionary Theory was used to explain the differences they saw in cultures around the world.
Basically it says this:
1. All societies will progress through a series of stages from savagery, to barbarism, to
civilization. Societies progress at different speeds (some cultures are still stuck in savagery,
others have attained civilization).
2. The stage a society is at is determined by; their level of technology, subsistence means, belief
system, mating rules, descent system, economic system, political system, etc
 savagery- gathering of food, mating promiscuous (brother/sister mating prohibited), basic unit
      of society small, nomadic ―horde‖, possessions ownded communally, bow & arrow used,
      descent reckoned through females
 barbarism- pottery invented, farming begun, incest prohibitions extended to include all
      females in clan, development of metallurgy, descent reckoned through male line, practiced
      polygny, concept of private property appeared
 civilization- invention of writing, civil/state governments, monogamous family formation
Social Evolutionary Theory has been abandoned in anthropology as being ethnocentric,
racist and inaccurate.

Historical Particularism: Franz Boas originated this perspective. He felt that the social
evolutionary perspective was ethnocentric and biased. Historical particularism states that to
understand a culture you must gain insight into the history and material conditions under which a
culture developed (anthropologists must do fieldwork to gain this information). Boas stated that
anthropologists need to be culturally relative in their investigations.

Functionalism: There are various types of functionalist theory but in general functionalism works
to explain the ―function‖ of the customs and institutions that are prevalent in human societies. The
idea is that if an institution like marriage exists in all human groups then it must perform some
function for humans (or else why would it exist in all cultures). Functionalists tend to focus at the
individual level or the social level. For instance the institution of marriage ―functions‖ to serve the
individual (to help fulfill individuals biological and psychological welfare) and it also ―functions‖ to
serve the society (to help keep the society running smoothly, to minimize conflicts).

Postmodernism: Postmodernism is a perspective that exists across multiple disciplines as well as
anthropology. Postmodernism is a reaction to earlier positivist perspectives which state that
humans can be objective observers and there is an objective reality to be discerned.
Postmodernists would state that there are not objective observers and there is no one objective
reality to be found. In anthropology postmodernism grew out of insights from feminist and ethnic
minority anthropologists who were highly critical of many of the ethnographies that they read about
different cultural groups. They saw these ethnographies as one-dimensional perspectives of the
cultures being presented. Most of the early anthropological fieldwork (like research in other fields)
was done by white, upper socioeconomic class, western, males. Postmodernists noted that the
researchers were influenced by their positionality and their status in their own culture (i.e. their key
informants were males of a similar status and they didn’t talk to females or those who were of lower
status). Early ethnographies were seen as one-dimensional perspectives of the cultures being
studied. Postmodernists worked to ―deconstruct‖ existing literature, ideas and ethnographies.
Postmodernists see societies as being engaged in a constant battle over opposing interpretations,
interpretations that vary based on a persons gender, class, and ethnicity. Issues such as who has
power and voice in a culture (who has a voice in society) are critical to postmodern scholars.
Postmodernism states that we cannot accurately describe any culture completely because we will
always be limited by our subjective perspectives and the perspectives of the informants that we
use. They assert that there is always variation in representations of ―reality‖ based on a persons
status. Postmodernists state that there is no one way of presenting history, that a variety of
historical interpretations are valid, depending on your position and your perspective. An individuals
status in a society is critical in impacting their perspective of a society and its ―reality‖ (i.e. what is
their status).

Anthropological Theory: Should the study of Humans be scientific or humanistic?
This is an ongoing debate in the anthropology. Cultural materialism is a theoretical orientation that
focuses on a scientific approach to the study of humans and human institutions while symbolic
anthropology focuses on a humanistic approach. Make sure to know the key aspects of each
theoretical orientation.

Cultural Materialism: Formulated by Marvin Harris. Harris stated that humans can and should be
studied scientifically (etic perspective). He states that human beliefs and practices can be
explained by looking at the material (environmental and historical) conditions under which beliefs
and practices arose. The environment constrains and shapes the ways humans work to fulfill basic
needs. All customs and beliefs, no matter how exotic, can be explained rationally by looking at the
material conditions under which they arose. Harris states that the emic perspective is not very
helpful in gaining insights into human beliefs and behaviors because he sees most humans
everyday consciousness as being filled with ―ignorance, fear and conflict.‖ He does not see most
humans as being capable of discerning why they believe and act the way in which they do.

Cultural Materialism: Scientific approach, Etic perspective
 Goal is to find the cause and effect explanations for differences and similarities in beliefs and
practices in cultural groups around the world.
 This theory sees the material and environmental constraints (conditions & constraints imposed
by environment & technology) as leading to differences in beliefs & practices (beliefs are shaped
by material conditions).
 Human believes and behaviors have developed from a material history that can explain what
may seem to be irrational beliefs and behaviors but which in fact have a rational basis.

A materialist model of culture include three layers:
1) material foundation-economic mode of production, technology, population size
2) system of social organization, kinship patterns, marriage and family practices, politics, status
3) ideology or belief system, ideas, beliefs, values (both secular and sacred)
 See your article on ―Culture and the Evolution of Obesity‖ for an example of how this theory is

Symbolic: Symbolic anthropologists are fundamentally concerned with the ways in which people
formulate their reality. The goal for symbolic anthropologists is to gain insight into the meanings
relevant to the members of a culture. Symbolic anthropologists utilize a humanistic approach to
gaining insights into human beings and cultures. They study peoples symbols, their literature, and
their games. The emic perspective is highly valued in symbolic and humanistic anthropology.
What people say about their cultural values and norms is considered very important.

Symbolic Anthropology: Humanistic, Emic perspective
 Goal is cultural interpretation, look to symbols, literature, games to gain insight into meanings
& experiences of a culture
 What does it mean to be a human in a particular culture, get at the ―essence of being human‖

Case Example: The Prohibition on eating of beef in India

In the United States in the 1970’s economists were analyzing issues of poverty and hunger in
India. It was observed that in India, where the majority of the people are Hindu, there is a religious
prohibition on the eating of beef. In America beef is a major source of protein. Some analysts
stated that if Indians would just give up this irrational food taboo that they would be able to alleviate
their hunger problems. In other words, they were going hungry because of an irrational religious
belief. It was observed that there was a surplus of cows in India and these cows could easily work
to feed the people of India. Below is an analysis by cultural materialists and symbolic
anthropologists into this issue.

Cultural Materialists: Marvin Harris looked into this issue and came to the conclusion that the
prohibition on the eating and killing of cows is rational. Harris stated that you must look at the
material conditions under which people live for explanations of food taboo’s. Remember Harris
emphasizes the idea that humans are rational, and there are almost always rational explanations
for the beliefs and practices that we have. He is most concerned with an etic analysis.

Harris stated that a prohibition on the eating of cows in India evolved over time because;
    1) cows were essential as plow animals, if they were eaten in lean times, the people would
         starve eventually because they would have no means to plow their fields
    2) cows were needed for reproduction, to produce more animals for the future
    3) cows were needed for their dung; dung is used as a fertilizer, it is burned in cow patties as
         a source of heat and a means to cook food, and dung is mixed with water and made into a
         paste for flooring.

Symbolic Anthropologists: Are concerned with looking into the meaning that a symbol holds for
a culture, they are concerned with the emic. Symbolic anthropologists note that the cow
symbolizes life to Hindu’s. Cows “represents our soul, our obstinate intellect, and our unruly
emotions, however the cow also supercedes us because it gives so much and yet takes nothing
beyond grass and grain.‖ Ghandi ―stated that cows made agriculture possible‖ and agriculture
made life possible. Cows are viewed as a virtual sustainer of life for humans. Indians state that ―if
no other source of food existed humans could still survive on the cream, butter, milk provided by
this animal.‖

Theories to explain the existence of social stratification within nation-states
There are a large variety of theories used to explain social stratification with nation-states. Below I
have put together the two major perspectives in regards to stratification.

Functionalist/Order Theory: this theory states that it is the natural order of society to be without
great conflicts. Inequality is seen as necessary and natural for the proper functioning of society.
Stratification exists because there are some jobs that are more important and require more training
than others. If someone does a job that is really important (like a physician) and this job takes a lot
of education and effort to achieve then it makes sense that this person should earn more money.
Functional/order theorists state that the ―best‖ rise to the top. The most qualified and committed
people rise to the top and get the most power, wealth and prestige.

Criticisms: of functionalist/order theory include the observation that differential rewards are not
always based on differential efforts. There are jobs in which people do not work very hard(or
achieve very much) and they achieve a great deal of money. It is also pointed out that rewards are
not always based on the importance of the job. Lastly it is said that the functionalist/order
perspective does not take into account the ascription of life’s chances.

Can you come up with examples that validate the functional/order perspective? Can you
come up with examples that refute the functionalist/order perspective?

Conflict/Critical Theory: states that the natural order of society is to be in conflict. Stratification is
seen as existing only to serve the elite. Therefore there is constant conflict within society over
differential power, wealth and prestige. Conflict/critical theorists see stratification as existing only
to serve the elites and that the elites consistently work to exploit the lower socieo-economic
classes in the society. Conflict/critical proponents see the elites in society as using their power,
wealth, and prestige to dominate and control the lower classes. They see ideologies as being used
to control the ―masses.‖ Ideologies are used to rationalize why there is inequality. Ideologies used
include; religious ideologies, the belief in a meritocracy, etc.

Criticisms: of the conflict/critical include the understanding that there is always stratification once a
society reaches a certain level of specialization. With agriculture a class system always develops
and therefore it is the norm. To try and dismantle the stratified system is unrealistic. Another
criticism is that whenever there has been a successful overthrow of elites in a society, it doesn’t
eliminate inequality it just rearranges who has the power.

Can you come up with examples that support the conflict/critical perspective? Can you
come up with examples that refute the conflict/critical perspective?

Cultural Anthropology 102
  Professor K. Markley

                                 Cultural Anthropology
                              First Day- True/False Survey
                         (You will not be graded on this survey)

1. The oldest hominin’s in the fossil record are some 4.5mya and they have human
    size brains and ape like bodies
2. We know by looking at the fossil record that early humans co-existed with
    dinosaurs and they survived by being fierce hunters.
3. Our physical bodies were shaped by natural selection in an environment that was
    very different from the environment we live in today. This difference is
    responsible for many of the health problems that we face today.
4. Anthropologists work to answer the big questions; Who are we? What are we?
    Where do we come from?
5. The oldest human burials are some 25,000 years old.
6. Humans share some 98% of their DNA with Bonobo’s and Chimpanzees
7. Culture can best be defined as the arts, clothes, holidays and food of a group of
8. All cultures have norms and values that dictate what is clean and hygienic
9 . Both historically and worldwide it has been normal and typical for parents to try
     and get infants to sleep in their own crib at night.
10. We can tell a lot about people by observing their table manners. If someone
     does not know how to hold their fork properly they clearly haven’t been raised in
     a civilized fashion.
11. There are great, universal, human stories that are understood everywhere, by all
12. The best way to study and learn about humans is to observe and watch them.
13. There are five races of humans worldwide
14. The adoption of agriculture by human groups resulted in more food, and
     healthier and longer lives.
15. Anthropologists study all life on earth using a scientific approach.
16. There are at least six different sexes in human groups around the world.
17. Romantic love is the most common reason for marriage and monogamy is the
     most common and best form of marriage worldwide.
18. All religion’s function to address at least three universal human needs. One of
     those needs is to increase a sense of control and to minimize anxiety
19. American mainstream culture is mildly focused on individualism and self-reliance
20. War is clearly the result of human’s instincts for aggression and violence.

Positionality Exercise                                             Name ___________________________
                           “Identities are masks that we use to confront the world”
                     All identities are situational and shift according to circumstances”
Our self-identity as humans is profoundly shaped by the culture within which we are raised. Our sense of
self is formed through interaction with our environment. The goal of this exercise is to have you make
explicit some of the values and norms that have shaped you. During this semester you will be asked to be
culturally relative as you are learning about different cultures and aspects of human behaviors and beliefs.
To work to be culturally relative requires that we have an understanding of ourselves, our culture and our
history. These understandings can also be invaluable negotiating life in a globalized world.

American Mainstream Culture: In whichever country you were born and raised in you have been
enculturated into the ―mainstream‖ or ―macro‖ culture of that country. You have learned the values and
norms which operate in the institutions of that country. American culture is no exception, there are values
and norms that we learn through living in this culture. Based on your experience in American mainstream
culture list three of the most important values and/or norms that we learn as Americans (FYI- these values
and norms are learned both explicitly and tacitly).



Sub-cultures: Within all mainstream cultures there are various sub-cultures. Each of these subcultures has
its own dominate values and norms. For each heading, state your status (i.e. for gender state your self-
identified gender) and list three values or norms for each category.
 Gender:
 Ethnicity:
 Socioeconomic Class:
 Age:
 Pick two additional sub-cultures which impact your social identity (interests, activities, work, etc) and
     state your status and list three important values and norms:

For the duration of this semester you will be expected to be culturally relative in class discussions and in
regards to the topics covered in class. Keep in mind that there are some 44 other students in class and you
do not know their background, their beliefs, or their cultural values and norms.

The Man Who Would Be Chief- Video Questions
Use the following questions to aid you in learning the Key Terms and Concepts and Cultural
Orientations in your notes packet.

1. The Chief’s adopted culture of the USA is very different from his birth culture of Ghana. Next to
each concept/term put either USA or Ghana.

Individualistic Oriented                            Group Oriented/Collectivist
Equality/Achieved Status/Competition                Hierarchy/Ascribed Status/Cooperation
Polychronic Time Orienation                         Monochronic Time Orientation
Polygamous Marriage Rules                           Monogamous Marriage Rules
Nuclear Family Formation                            Extended Family Formation

2. List at least one positive and one negative in regards to living in an individualistic oriented

3. List at least one positive and one negative in regards to living in a group oriented culture.

4. List at least one positive and one negative in regards to living in a culture with ascribed

5. 4. List at least one positive and one negative in regards to living in a culture with achieved

6. Ghana is primarily an agricultural country. How does working to survive by agriculture differ
from a society which is post-industrialized? Specifically how does the division of labor vary
depending on agriculture or post-industrialization?

7. In the video they showed; greeting rituals, funeral rites, non-verbal communication, clothes as
symbolic. In what way were these human universals different between the USA and Ghana?

8. List at least one ramification of Ghana being a former colony. Do you think that colonization still
affects Ghana today? In what ways? Political? Economic? Social?

Ascribed & Achieved Statuses                                       Name______________________________
We live in a stratified society where we all hold different statuses based a variety of criteria. Living in a
stratified society means that we are judged based on our status, we are judged in our personal and
professional lives. The goal of this exercise is to explore the different criteria we use in judging an
individual’s status, and to determine how much of our status is ascribed and how much is achieved.
Ascribed attributes are those we are born with, we can do little or nothing to change our ascribed status.
Achieved attributes are those we achieve through our efforts within our lifetime. Achieved attributes change
within our lifetime depending on the actions we take (education, work, marriage choices, etc).
 First review the list of attributes below. To the left of each attribute write either AS for ascribed attribute
or AC for achieved attribute.
 Second, go through the list of attributes and determine which attributes are the most important in
judging a person’s social status. Rank each attribute from 1 to 12, with 1 being the most important attribute
in judging status and 12 being the least important. No ties are allowed.

Ascribed or Achieved                                                                 Rank 1-12
                            Socioeconomic Status
                            Religion/ Philosophy
                            Personal Appearance
                            Athletic Ability
Fill in the chart above and we will finish the assignment in class. Group Work- Compare your
answers with the answers of others in your group and answer the following questions.
 To what degree did you all agree as to whether or not attributes were ascribed or achieved? List the
attributes that you mostly agreed on and the attributes you disagreed on

 Look at your top 3 attributes in judging someone’s status and look at the bottom 3, how much
agreement do you have with your other group members? What attributes are the subject of the most

 Can you or any of your group members think of an important attribute that has been omitted from this

What do you think are the most important factors that contribute to the differences in opinion that you have
with your group members?

Shadowy Lines that Still Divide                             Name__________________________

1. The authors state ―the contours of _________________ have blurred‖? One example that they
give as to how class markers have blurred or disappeared includes _________________________

2. What is the promise that lies at the heart of the American Dream?

3. What is the purpose of this article per the authors?

4. The article states that ―it is easier for a few high achievers to scale the summits of wealth‖ but
that ―for many others it has become harder to move up from one economic class to another.‖ Give
one reason as to why this is the case in the USA at this time?

5. What is the paradox that lies at the heart of this ―new American meritocracy‖?

6. What are the new ways in which advantage is transmitted from one generation to the next?

7. The article states that ―most Americans remain upbeat about their prospects for getting ahead‖
and quotes ―I think the system is as fair as you can make it‖ and ―they call it the land of opportunity
and I don’t think that’s changed much.‖ Does the article imply that these beliefs are accurate or
inaccurate? If these beliefs are unfounded how do you think it affects people at the individual

8. What does the word internalized oppression mean? How would internalized oppression relate
to the above question?

9. Our lives today, are in general, more materially wealthy than the lives of our parents and
grandparents. Overall, are our lives easier? Happier? More enjoyable? How would you measure
this? In what way would you measure the quality of life of your parents, grandparents and how
would you compare their lives with your life?

10. What is class?

11. What are the four cards that everyone is dealt?

12. What were some of the flaws with the early mobility studies?

13. What is the stated view of liberals as to social mobility? What are the steps that we, as a
society should take in regards to social mobility per liberals?

14. What is the stated view of conservatives as to social mobility? What are the steps that we, as
a society should take in regards to social mobility per conservatives?

15. How does the USA compare to Britain, France, Brazil and Canada in regards to social

17. What is your reaction to this article? What surprised you, shocked you, intrigued you…? If
someone asked you if the United States is divided by class what would you say?

Napoleon Chagnon, Fieldwork and the Yanomamo
(this information can be gained through the video, the notes packet and lecture)

1. How do the Yanomamo work to survive (what pattern of subsistence do they practice)?

2. Where do the Yanomamo live (geographic area)?

3. State at least two of the values that the Yanomamo live by.

4. State at least two norms that exist in Yanomamo culture.

5. What type of economic system do the Yanomamo have? Are material goods or social relations
valued more highly in Yanomamo culture?

6. What is Chagnon’s view of the Yanomamo (reference his theoretical orientation).

7. What data and reasoning does Chagnon use to support his perspective of the Yanomamo?

8. State at least two other explanations/theories to account for the Yanomamo’s behaviors and the
data and reasoning that is used to support them.

9. How did Chagnon collect his data?

10. The first year of Chagnon’s work on constructing the kinship system of the Yanomamo had to
be thrown out. Why, what happened?

11. Chagnon states he was not viewed as entirely human by the Yanomamo until he did what?

12. Chagnon advises that it is important to study the mythology of a culture. From the Yanomamo
view what do you need to do to go to hell?

Applied Anthropology Assignment: Obesity in the USA- Applied anthropology involves
utilizing anthropological concepts, principles and theories to understand and deal with real world
problems. Your anthropology team has been hired by the government to make recommendations
on how to lower rates of obesity in the United States. Two-thirds of the population of the USA is
overweight. As you engage in this study of obesity and American culture keep in mind the
requirement to be culturally relative. It is not helpful or acceptable to put people down in regards to
their weight. Work to be objective, use critical reasoning skills and be creative!

1. The article utilizes cultural materialism to analyze the high obesity rates in the United States.
For each level analyze its relationship to the high obesity rates in the United States and come up
with at least two examples of how each level affects obesity.
Material foundation: the means of subsistence, the technology and the population size.

Social organization: kinship patterns, marriage and family practices, politics, status (including gender,
ethnicity and class),

Ideology/belief system: the ideas, beliefs, and values inherent in a culture.

2. Physical anthropologists look at how evolution has shaped humans over time. Natural selection
selects for specific physical traits in relationship to the environment that an organism lives in. What
knowledge about the environment (this includes everything that affects an organism in its physical
environment including; food availability, what is needed to get food, predators, etc.) gives us some
insight into the high obesity rates in the USA today?

3. A holistic approach to studying humans includes utilizing both a micro (individual, family, small
group) and a macro (government agencies, educational institutions, corporations, economic
system, political system, etc.) perspective and looking at the inter-relationship between the two.
For each statement label it as a micro or macro factor and then come up with one culturally relative
means to minimize obesity.

a. People are heavy because they make bad decisions, they eat too much and exercise too little:

b. Americans are overweight because they eat too much fast food:

c. Children are overweight because they are bombarded with commercials for fast food and they
link being happy and being satisfied with high fat, high calorie convenience foods.

d. People are heavy because they work in jobs that require they be sedentary most of the day.

e. Children are overweight because they go to school and are expected to be sedentary most of
the day.

f. People become overweight without really trying because of the effects of high fructose corn
syrup (it affects metabolism) :

e. More poor people are overweight because they eat a lot of fast food.

f. People are overweight because healthy foods are more expensive than high fat, high sugar, high
calorie processed foods.

4. Along with your anthropological team make a list of the three recommendations that you have to
work to minimize obesity rates in the USA.

Cell Phone Fieldwork                                         Name___________________________
Cell phones have become a ubiquitous feature of our daily lives. The use and significance of cell
phones in our society and in our lives is an interesting topic of study. Once you have read the
article Cell Phones, Sharing and Social Status in an African Society select four individuals to
interview. I have provided six questions for you to use when conducting your interviews, I would
like you to come up with a 7th question to ask your respondents. Once you have completed the
interviews answer the questions below.

Tabulate your responses:
Subjects Gender: # of female’s interviewed _____________ # of male’s _______________
Age’s of those interviewed: _______________________________________________________
Socioeconomic classes: __________________________________________________________

Usage of Phones: What were the cell phones used for primarily?

Percentages for each category?
Phone calls (%) 1)____________, 2) _________________, 3) _____________, 4) ____________

Text messages (%)1)__________, 2) _________________, 3) _____________, 4) ____________

Games (%)1)____________, 2) _________________, 3) _____________, 4) ____________

Internet access (%)1)____________, 2) _________________, 3) _____________, 4) __________

Other uses (%)1)____________, 2) _________________, 3) _____________, 4) ____________

Was a new cell phone important for most subjects?

To what degree did most of the subjects state that they looked at others cell phones and made

What were the positive aspects of cell phone use?

What were the negative aspects of cell phone use?

Were there any differences that you noticed in regards to females and males in cell phone use?

What was your question and what were the responses?

Interview 1: Subjects: Gender F/M, Age__________, Socioeconomic class_______________
1. In what ways do you use your cell phone and how often do you use each feature approximately
Phone calls (%) ____________ Text messages (%) ______________ Games (%) ____________
Internet access (%) _______________ Other uses (%) ___________________

2. Is it important to you to have a new cell phone with the latest features? Why or why not?

3. Do you look at the cell phone that other people have and do you make judgments in regards to
the type of cell phone that they have?

4. Can you come up with at least one example of how cell phones aid us in communicating with
each other and how they are positive in regards to human relationships?

5. Can you come up with at least one example of how cell phones aid us in communicating with
each other and how they are positive in regards to human relationships?

6. Is there a difference in the way that females and males use cell phones?

7. (Your question)

Interview 2: Subjects: Gender F/M, Age__________, Socioeconomic class_______________
1. In what ways do you use your cell phone and how often do you use each feature approximately
Phone calls (%) ____________ Text messages (%) ______________ Games (%) ____________
Internet access (%) _______________ Other uses (%) ___________________

2. Is it important to you to have a new cell phone with the latest features? Why or why not?

3. Do you look at the cell phone that other people have and do you make judgments in regards to
the type of cell phone that they have?

4. Can you come up with at least one example of how cell phones aid us in communicating with
each other and how they are positive in regards to human relationships?

5. Can you come up with at least one example of how cell phones aid us in communicating with
each other and how they are positive in regards to human relationships?

6. Is there a difference in the way that females and males use cell phones?

7. (Your question)

Interview 3: Subjects: Gender F/M, Age__________, Socioeconomic class_______________
1. In what ways do you use your cell phone and how often do you use each feature approximately
Phone calls (%) ____________ Text messages (%) ______________ Games (%) ____________
Internet access (%) _______________ Other uses (%) ___________________

2. Is it important to you to have a new cell phone with the latest features? Why or why not?

3. Do you look at the cell phone that other people have and do you make judgments in regards to
the type of cell phone that they have?

4. Can you come up with at least one example of how cell phones aid us in communicating with
each other and how they are positive in regards to human relationships?

5. Can you come up with at least one example of how cell phones aid us in communicating with
each other and how they are positive in regards to human relationships?

6. Is there a difference in the way that females and males use cell phones?

7. (Your question)

Interview 4: Subjects: Gender F/M, Age__________, Socioeconomic class_______________
1. In what ways do you use your cell phone and how often do you use each feature approximately
Phone calls (%) ____________ Text messages (%) ______________ Games (%) ____________
Internet access (%) _______________ Other uses (%) ___________________

2. Is it important to you to have a new cell phone with the latest features? Why or why not?

3. Do you look at the cell phone that other people have and do you make judgments in regards to
the type of cell phone that they have?

4. Can you come up with at least one example of how cell phones aid us in communicating with
each other and how they are positive in regards to human relationships?

5. Can you come up with at least one example of how cell phones aid us in communicating with
each other and how they are positive in regards to human relationships?

6. Is there a difference in the way that females and males use cell phones?

7. (Your question)

Power of an Illusion). Our eyes tell us that people look different. No one has trouble distinguishing a Czech
from a Chinese. But what do those differences mean? Are they biological? Has race always been with us?
How does race affect people today? Where did the race concept originate? Go through the following
statements and agree or disagree with each statement and write down your data and or reasoning that
backs up your answer. The correct answers are in your notes packet. How did you do?

1. Race is a modern idea.

2. Race has no genetic basis.

3. Human subspecies (races) don't exist.

4. Skin color really is only skin deep.

5. Most variation in traits is within, not between, "races."

6. Slavery predates race.

7. Race and freedom evolved together.

8. Race justified social inequalities as natural..

9. Race isn't biological, but racism is still real.

10. Colorblindness will not end racism.

Race Fieldwork: The purpose of this exercise is for you to explore what individuals within the United States know
about the concept of race. Interview ten people and ask them the questions below. You may interview friends, family
members, and fellow students (except students in this class). Keep in mind that people are often uncomfortable talking
about race and they will want you to give them the ―right answer.‖ Do not help your respondents formulate their
answers, this will bias your fieldwork. Do not write down the names of your respondents.
Define the term ―race‖ (i.e. what does the What features/criteria do you use to How many   List three races that you
term race mean, what type of               label someone as coming from a       races are
                                                                                           know of
categorization is it in our society?)   particular racial or ethnic group?    there?

Race the Power of an Illussion- Part 3- The House We Live In
This video focuses on how institutions in the United States have created and shaped race by giving
different groups vastly unequal life chances. In the 1900’s the courts were called upon to
determine who was White. The courts used contradictory, ambiguous criteria to define who was
White and who was not, and to deny basic rights and to those categorized as not White. Post
World War II, government policies, and subsidies were instrumental in creating segregated
suburbs. Those categorized as White were able to reap the benefits of government policies,
without being aware of the advantages they received due to their skin color. John Powell states
―The slick thing about whiteness is that you can reap the benefits of a racist society without
personally being racist.‖

1. In what way is race an illusion? In what way is it a reality?

2. What assumptions do we make in regards to a person’s physical features (skin color, hair
texture, facial features)? Where do these assumptions come from?

3. What is meant by the statement ―biology is destiny?‖ Do individual prejudices make biology
destiny? Do governmental policies make biology destiny?

4. At various times the courts in the USA defined who was White and who was not. State at least
one criteria that was used to define an individual as White. State at least one ramification of being
defined as non-White. Who could be a naturalized citizen? Who could not?

5. In the 1900’s Asian immigrants were not eligible for citizenship, no matter how long they live din
the US. What is the legacy of those laws in terms of how Asian Americans are viewed today?

6. Central to the American Dream is the belief that anyone who works hard enough will be
rewarded. To what degree does race, citizenship, and skin color impact the ability of an individual
to achieve the American Dream?

7. What does the statement that the USA is a melting pot mean? Sociologist Bonilla-Silva states
―That melting pot never included people of color. Blacks, Chinese, Puerto Ricans, etc. could not
melt into the pot‖ How did the Irish melt into the pot but not the other groups mentioned above?

8. In the 1930’s the US government created the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The FHA
worked to insure or provide the loans for average Americans purchasing a home. Prior to the FHA
individuals had to pay 50% of the sales price up front and pay off their loan within 5 years. With
the creation of the FHA individuals could put down as little as 0%-20% and had 30 years to pay off
their loan. What groups in the USA were able to take advantage of FHA loans? Are there any
ramifications of this policy that affect individuals today?

9. What is White flight? How and why does White flight happen? What are the results of White

10. In relationship to ―life’s chances‖ what is more significant, income or net worth? Explain your

11. Does race affect your life? Why or why not? If so, if what ways?

12. Supreme Court Justice Blackmun states ―To get beyond racism we must first take account of race.
There is no other way.‖ If we don’t take account of race, and work to be colorblind who benefits? Can we
really be colorblind with the history of this nation?

13 What is your reaction to psychologist Tatum’s closing questions in the film:
        What can I influence?
        Who is included in this picture and who isn’t; who has had opportunities in my environment and
        who hasn’t?

Economics Report                                                 Name_____________________________
Economic behavior is the choices individuals & societies make regarding their scarce resources to produce
& distribute goods & services. It is assumed that people will make choices that provide them with the
greatest benefit. However what is considered the greatest benefit will vary from society to society. The goal
of this assignment is to determine the way in which you use your time & labor (your greatest resource), and
to outline the benefits that you attain. Use the following categories to examine the way you spend your time.
Production Time: Work time, school time, where goods and services are produced, either for further
production (capital goods) or for direct consumption (consumption goods). Includes all of the following:
work, school, maintenance of goods (house, car) cleaning, laundry, bathing, food preparation, child care.
Consumption Time: Time spent using consumption goods, eating, watching TV, visiting amusement
parks, computer games, driving, playing tennis, riding `bikes, church, political activities, travel, reading mass
media/newspapers, going to movies, etc.
Free Time: Time spent in neither production or consumption. It involves sheer idleness, resting, sleeping,
chatting with friends and/or family
 Fill out the chart on the reverse side, accounting for the way in which you use your time & labor in an
average week. Work to be as accurate as possible. Then answer the questions below.

1. For each of the three categories; 1) list the % of time you spend in each category, 2) briefly state a benefit
and cost to you (benefits & costs in relation to the time spent in the category, and 3) briefly state a benefit &
cost to society.

2. Which category do you value most? Value the least? Does the way you spend your time reflect your
values (in relationship to the categories and the percentages)? If not why doesn’t your use of time reflect
your values?

3. Agree or disagree with the following statement ―Humans are economic beings, motivated by material
gain‖ and give a rationale for your answer (make sure to address what is meant by material gain).

4. One assumption in the study of economic behavior is that humans are rational actors, that is they make
rational choices to get the greatest benefit. Do you believe humans are generally rational actors? Why or
why not?

              Monday       Tuesday       Wednesday     Thursday     Friday        Saturday      Sunday
























Total hours
Total hours
Total Hours
Free Time
 For each box insert a P, C, or F and then put your totals at the bottom.
 Total hours of P time ________ Total hours of C time ___________ Total hours of F time _________
 Percentage of P time _______ Percentage of C time _________ Percentage of F time _________
To obtain percentages for each category, total up the hours spent in each category (P, C, F) for the entire
week, then divide each category by the total number of hours in a week (168). The 3 percentages must add
up to 100%. Example- P total hours for the week = 60, divide 60 into 168= 36% hours for the week.
An activity can be divided between categories- for instance going for a 2 hour lunch with a friend could be
50/50 in consumption

Video- A Poor Man Shames Us All
What is the significance of living in a post-industrial, developed, wealthy nation? How have these
material conditions shaped your life? How does the economic system under which you live shape
your life, your values, your norms, your family structure, the way in which you work to survive?

We work in a society in which we sell our labor (our time and energy) for money. We use this
money to purchase the things we need and the things that we want. Traditional societies
(foraging/hunting and horticultural societies) use in reciprocity (gift exchange) as a means to get
the things that they want and need.

1. David Mayberry Lewis states that ―in the marketplace things are valued over people‖ and in
traditional cultures ―people are valued over things.‖ Do you agree or disagree with these
statements? What rationale and data are you using in your analysis?

2. We are said to live in a postmodern world in which we create our identity and we display our
identity through the things that we own (clothes, cars, homes, toys, possessions). Marketing
campaigns often work to sell us an image of ourselves in relationship to the things that we own and
consume. To what degree do you judge others in relationship to what they own and consume? In
relationship to who the person is, their values, beliefs, and behaviors?

3. What is your opinion of Joe, the garbage collectors life? Is he rich or poor? In what ways is he
rich and in what ways is he poor?

4. What type of society does the man from Indonesia live in? What type of economic system
would you guess that they have? Is the man who is building the monument to his father rich or
poor? In what ways is he rich and in what ways is he poor?

5. The Dutch colonized Indonesia and modernized the colony over time. Mayberry-Lewis states
that with modernization and a market economy the boardroom and the bank have become our
―churches‖ and the heart of this new religion is money. Do you agree or disagree with his
analysis? Why or why not?

6. Throughout the video there is a discussion of the marketplace and the role of advertising. One
school of thought is that advertising only presents the things that we want anyway, advertisers are
said to be following the marketplace and consumers. Another school of thought is that the
marketplace and advertisers create the desire for things that we never knew we wanted. What is
your perspective?

7. The story of the camel herder who has lost his herd ends with the statement ―A poor man
shames us all.‖ This is the sentiment in a society which practices reciprocity and is group oriented.
Group oriented cultures recognize and value inter-dependence. Who does a poor man shame in a
society with a market economy and a society that values independence and self-reliance? Does
this analysis emphasis the micro (individual level) or the macro (institutional level)?

8. Mayberry-Lewis developed this film as a part of a series in which he states we can gain some
wisdom from tribal cultures. Some would see him as idealistic and impractical others see him as
putting forth a different value system and way of living that can be achieved through the choices
that we make. At the end of the video he states that we can go two ways in the coming centuries
―we can care for people, care for the environment over things or we can have things as more
important than people.‖ What do you think of his analysis? What choices can we make and what
choices should we make?

9. Mayberry-Lewis also states that at some point those without will come knocking on our doors,
possibly knocking down our doors. Do you think that we will see rebellions, revolutions, terrorism
and war over the unequal distribution of things? Are we having conflict in the world today over the
inequities between and within nations?

India Caste System- Video Questions                         Name ___________________________
1. In the video it is stated that the landowners exercise control over the workers (Untouchables).
However, India is a democracy, how is it that a small minority of elites is able to control the lives of
a majority of Untouchables? Be specific in your examples; think in terms of what ways they are
controlled, what rights they have, what recourse they have when they are denied basic human

2. Gandhi was an Indian lawyer who became a social activist. He was instrumental in aiding India
in overturning British colonial rule. Gandhi advocated passive resistance as the only way to
overthrow British rule. After many years of struggle India gained its independence in 1947. Martin
Luther King followed Gandhi’s lead in forming the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s in the USA
and engaging in passive resistance. Come up with at least 2 similarities and 2 differences between
what happened in India and their struggle for independence and freedom and what happened in
the USA with the Civil Rights movement and African-Americans struggles for equal rights and
protections. Think in terms of; history, resistance, oppression, segregation, ideologies.

3. How is the treatment of India’s Untouchables justified? Be specific in outlying the beliefs and
ideologies that allows for the denial of basic human rights, and enforced segregation.

4. How was the treatment of Blacks justified in the USA? Be specific in outlying the beliefs and
ideologies that allowed for the denial of basic human rights and enforced segregation.

5. How do you measure whether or not a democracy is functioning or a fake democracy? Be
specific and think in terms of; whose voices/votes are heard, how elections are run, who votes,
who determines the legitimacy of the votes, who sets up the voting booths, who counts the votes.

6. It is stated that the caste system is a form of ―social imprisonment.‖ In what ways does it
imprison the Untouchables? Come up with a couple of specific examples of categories in the USA
that work as a form of social imprisonment? What are the aspects of each type of social

Barbie Nation Fieldwork
Interview three women who had a Barbie as a child and ask them the following questions.
Remember when doing fieldwork your subjects remain anonymous but it is important to note
general information about them.

Interview 1: Subjects- Age__________ Ethnicity ________________
Socioeconomic Class ____________________________
1. What type of games did you play with Barbie, and what accessories were used in your games?

2. As a female object of socialization Barbie has been said to embody American ideas of
femininity, consumption and the good life. Can you come up with at least two things you learned
about femininity, consumption and what the good life entails from playing with your Barbie (think
about the role of accessories in Barbie play)?

3. Can you think of male objects of socialization that are as influential and universal as Barbie?
Can you list at least one male object of socialization and state a couple of values that were
associated with the object/toy?

4. To what degree do American ideals of female attractiveness affect women’s everyday lives?
Specifically on a daily, weekly, monthly basis how many activities do you engage in to
enhance/alter your appearance? (be specific- shaving, tweezing, make up, etc)?

5. Do you think Barbie is a positive or negative symbol and toy for young girls? Specifically what
values do girls learn when playing with Barbie’s?

Interview 2: Subjects- Age__________ Ethnicity ________________
Socioeconomic Class ____________________________
1. What type of games did you play with Barbie, and what accessories were used in your games?

2. As a female object of socialization Barbie has been said to embody American ideas of
femininity, consumption and the good life. Can you come up with at least two things you learned
about femininity, consumption and what the good life entails from playing with your Barbie (think
about the role of accessories in Barbie play)?

3. Can you think of male objects of socialization that are as influential and universal as Barbie?
Can you list at least one male object of socialization and state a couple of values that were
associated with the object/toy?

4. To what degree do American ideals of female attractiveness affect women’s everyday lives?
Specifically on a daily, weekly, monthly basis how many activities do you engage in to
enhance/alter your appearance? (be specific- shaving, tweezing, make up, etc)?

5. Do you think Barbie is a positive or negative symbol and toy for young girls? Specifically what
values do girls learn when playing with Barbie’s?

Interview 3: Subjects- Age__________ Ethnicity ________________
Socioeconomic Class ____________________________
1. What type of games did you play with Barbie, and what accessories were used in your games?

2. As a female object of socialization Barbie has been said to embody American ideas of
femininity, consumption and the good life. Can you come up with at least two things you learned
about femininity, consumption and what the good life entails from playing with your Barbie (think
about the role of accessories in Barbie play)?

3. Can you think of male objects of socialization that are as influential and universal as Barbie?
Can you list at least one male object of socialization and state a couple of values that were
associated with the object/toy?

4. To what degree do American ideals of female attractiveness affect women’s everyday lives?
Specifically on a daily, weekly, monthly basis how many activities do you engage in to
enhance/alter your appearance? (be specific- shaving, tweezing, make up, etc)?

5. Do you think Barbie is a positive or negative symbol and toy for young girls? Specifically what
values do girls learn when playing with Barbie’s?

Field Assignment: Gender and Sex                                                                    K. Markley
The purpose of this exercise is to get an idea as to how individuals within the United States view gender,
sex and sexuality. Are these roles assigned and immutable due to our biology or are they largely dictated
by culture and therefore changeable and flexible? Note whether or not each interviewee is female or male.
List 2 differences   Are there some     Are males more       Are females         Is sexual           Do we have the
between women        jobs that should   aggressive than      more nurturing      orientation         freedom to
and men              be sex specific    females? If so,      and caring than     dictated by         chose our sex,
(physically or       (i.e. only women   is it due to         males? If so, is    biology or          gender and/or
behaviorally).       or men should      biology or culture   it due to biology   culture? How        our sexual
                     do those jobs)?                         or culture?         many sexual         orientation or are
                                                                                 orientations are    they assigned?

Closet Assignment                                         Name: ____________________
One aspect of globalization is the widespread flow of goods around the planet. To get an idea as
to how connected you are to the global market go into your closet and look at the labels on your
clothes. Where are you clothes made? Are your clothes made in developed, wealthy nations or
under developed poorer nations? Specifically what labor force(s) do you think are making your
clothes? Do they earn a living wage? Who profits from their labor?

Step One: Find 10 items of clothing and note where they were made and approximately what you
paid for them.

Clothing item                            Country of origin                         Approx. cost










Step Two: There is a group that is growing in numbers called Students Against Sweatshops
(http://www.studentsagainstsweatshops.org/). Go to their website and gain information about their
organization. State at least one of their goals. List at least two pieces of information from their
website that surprised, intrigued or shocked you. Is this group active at Fullerton College?

Step Three: In regards to the statement ―the personal is political,‖ in what way do your personal
choices translate to political actions or statements?


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