28 February 2008

Concept of Culture.Oucome #2 (Advanced Mastery Endevour)

1. What is culture?
Culture (from
cultura an origin from colere, meaning, "to grow up,") basically addresses to samples of human activity and symbolical structures who attach such significance of actions and importance.
Various definitions of "culture" reflect the various theoretical bases to understand, or criteria to estimate, human activity. Often consider, that the culture is shown in the literature, music, painting and a sculpture, theatre and a film and other things.
Though , some people identify culture in terms of consumption and the consumer goods (as inhigh culture
,low culture , national culture, or popular culture
Anthropologists understand "culture" by addressing it not only to
the consumption goods
, but also to the general processes which make such goods , and give to them meaning, and to social relations and methods, in which such objects and processes become enclosed. Thus , for them , the culture includes technology, art, a science, just as moral systems.
The culture can be defined as a set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of a society or social group, and that it covers, in addition to
art and the literature, a way of life, ways to co-exist, systems of value, tradition and belief and also as all behavior, a way of life, arts , beliefs and establishments of the population which are transferred from generation to generation. We can tell that culture -
learnt and shared knowledge, which people use to generate behavior to interpret experience.

2. Explain the concept of culture, enculturation and explicit and tacit culture.

Culture is not simply belief, and idea which people have about their world, but also not only the stuff which they have it or places in which they live. The culture cannot exclusively be considered as things which are done by people. More likely it – an a combination of all those things. The culture difficult interrelation of all those elements which in common inform processes enculturation is more than a combination, actually. There are arguments by the certain nature arrangement these elements of culture. Materialists, for example, consider artefacts or objects as a culture kernel, saying, that things or ways of production play a key role in definition of knowledge and behavior. Idealists, on the other hand, wish to place ideas in a kernel of concept culture, saying, that such by people, thinks of things which forms all the rest... We can tell that culture - learnt and shared knowledge, which people use to generate behavior to interpret experience.

Here some of the basic aspects of concepts of culture:

Culture is learned: In other words, those parts us which are cultural, arrive to us through training and studying, instead of through some congenital or genetic means. Because of it anthropologists often focus the researches of actions from training and studying, or cultural transmission or enculturation.
Culture is shared. As it is studied, from this follows, that it should be shared. Therefore, of course, there should be a teacher and the pupil for cultural transfer to take place. It not always happens in direct and face to face an image, anyway.
Culture is dynamic.
Among group of the people however limited or however disseminated, of a thing never teaching, precisely each time the same way studied. In other words, there is "reduction" in the course of cultural transfer so that things were interchanged the position time. Further, people - creative beings also tend to find new ways to place a thing together, sometimes resulting disgusting behaviour and sometimes turning in the genius Whether or not you wish to consider impetus for cultural change as a structural or individual phenomenon, the fact, that cultures are dynamical, became obvious to us.
Culture shapes us.
All of us are shaped by our cultures. We test on ourselves influence cultural процесов, and it is indisputable, that we are subordinated at least partially to values, norms and belief which arrive to us from the outside. Thus we are generated by our cultures. Whether but all we являмся completely a product of certain culture in which we grew? Obviously that there is some kernel of a free choice which exceeds this cultural matrix, and we always, nevertheless, have possibility to develop selfculture by for example self-education or study.

There is a diversity of cultures.
As culture - something studied and something shared, there should exist also various groups of people which share various cultures. It makes sense, because those groups of people which have any or very small contact with each other will not teach and study various in a thing. These distinctions will be based on all kinds of factors, are that as history, chance, environment, factors which we investigate later. It is important to notice also that borders between cultures which can sometimes be any way established through definitions, help to create sense of an accessory and group identity which then causes further transfer of certain belief, an expert, objects among those who belongs.

The concept of culture consist tripartite division of culture in cultural knowledge, cultural behavior and cultural artefacts.

Cultural knowledge - some kind of generalising concept which can address to thoughts much a various category and information. Here the list of concepts which adapt under heading of cultural knowledge:

Values - abstract ideas about that the culture and people within culture considers good or bad, correct or wrong, desirable and abhorrent.
Norms of a rule which it is socially put into practice, formally or informally.
Beliefs - conviction in the truth of idea or assertion without the necessary
World Views — structure through which people see the world and co-operates with this world.

Systems of Classification and Differentiation - a systematic set understanding about what kind of objects and essence exist in the world and as they differentiated from each other.
Symbols — any or usual sign which designates or offers something else.
.Desires-it is frequent, focused round values, norms and classification systems, the desire can be described as force of appeal, preference or prompting.

Cultural knowledge and values shape behaviour and a way with which we think of those behaviour. Behavior leads to result in cultural artefacts. Thus, it is cultural knowledge is fundamental aspect of culture.

Сultural behavior and сultural practices can possible to consider as any kind of human conduct. We understand that it is not only that we often think of visible movements of people such as behavior but it also and speech actions and as an own kind of action of thought. The desire could be also own kind practices. The consideration about cultural methods thus allows us to understand as human behaviour occurs from studied and shared knowledge. In other words, what we speak, we think, we do and desire arrives to us from out of ourselves .
As the results of human activity in the subsequent become сultural artefacts. We can mean various things which are made by people of different cultures. Thus it not only material subjects but also ,for example music creation , video games and films.

Discussion about сultural artefacts should as to draw our attention to ways which of a thing with which we co-operate also in our everyday lives, give the form and function to culture.
Actions and artefacts then become culture expressions, and they are included in definition as a result of this definition.

Enculturation – dynamic process by assistance of what the established
culture teaches to the person repetition the accepted norms and values so that the person could become the accepted member of a society and to find their appropriate role. It also process establishment borders and correctness which dictates that, as is not admissible within structure of that society. It is process of studying which takes the person and teaches her or him ways of life of their people or the country. It is lifelong process, affecting not only the child, but also the adult also. Enculturation it is studied through communications in the form of speech, words, and gestures.
Enculturation can be conscious or not realised. There are three ways with which the person studies culture. The first conscious this direct training of culture, it - that happens when for example parents speak to make something (to children) because it correctly and not to make something because it is bad. For example, when children ask something, them constantly ask, "That it is necessary to tell?" And the child as expect, should not forget to speak "please". The second conscious by the person learns culture that it is necessary to observe of others round them and to imitate their behavior. The example of it can be use by young people various slang with various
at school. Enculturation also happens subconsciously, through events and behavior which prevail in their culture. All three kinds enculturation happen simultaneously and all time.
That is important in this context, that enculturation is process. Value, it - something, that actually, always happens, always deployment. When we think of a question of how it turns out, what we study the cultural knowledge to begin with, we find, what our cultural knowledge arrives from behavior and objects. Culture is studied through cultural methods and cultural objects. And we study culture - everywhere, where the culture exists and influences us. And it everywhere. Enculturation takes the form reproducing thoughts, desires and behavior which have been earlier established, studied and divided. But through chaotic dynamics of repetition where nothing happens precisely same twice, and through complexity of the person, those attempts to reproduce thought, desires and behaviour finally finish that have made more or less than what was intended.
Explicit culture is cultural knowledge, that people can speak about, that we can explain. For example, such subjects as cars , actions, clothes, videogames, pictures, films emotional conditions such as envious , fear , hatred or such human believes (religion).
Culture it not only arts or other areas of experience which people easily recognise as aspects of our culture. Culture is also silent and thin, it includes things as refrigerator, sidewalks, toilets, tooth cleaning, congratulations, manual gestures, about something, that you can think. It means, investigating a situation to receive deeper understanding, it is necessary to investigate all details even involved elements. Therefore we also can speak about concept tacit culture.

Tacit culture can form and direct actions of people without their own understanding of the process doing so. As the culture makes behavior and interpretations, we can tell, that it forms people. This process of formation, can come from out of understanding of what they are formed by culture. Actually, different ways it is the culture purpose. Through this process tacit values we often consider things self-evident. It finally, that is why our culture feels convenient or correct against us, and other cultures seem strange. Thus , obviously, that tacit culture we can’t explain and it implied in all kind of people life. But as soon as you identify something as aspect of tacit culture and start to speak about it, it is any no more tacit. We should consider consciousness as a positive process of transformation tacit to explicit .

3. What is a cultural event and what is it comprised of?

The cultural event is a event , when culture , in particular , cultural knowledge (values, beliefs) is displayed through cultural behavior and cultural artefacts. Thus , by studying the artefacts and the practices of people ,we can learn their beliefs and about their cultural knowledge.
Cultural event represents as sophisticated combination of cultural knowledge, cultural behavior, and cultural artefacts. They are Constitutional Elements of a Cultural Even.
(I’ve tried to explain about cultural event in more details down , on example ,“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari”)

4. What is cultural analysis and how is it done?

Obviously , that without inclusion actions of behavior of and artefacts in concept of culture it is impossible to make the process conducting the cultural analysis – as a full picture in the retrospective analysis.

The cultural analysis is interpreting procedure to find out that is enclosed in this number of communications and definitions. In other words, to find out knowledge and values of any given culture, anthropologists should concentrate on their expressions and interpret that they mean. That is, if the culture works as the knowledge making behavior which makes artefacts. Whereas cultural analysis works in an opposite direction by studying artefacts and behavior in attempt to find out, what knowledge and values behind them. It is that process of interpretation what anthropologists mean, when they say, that carrying out of the cultural analysis resembles on “culture reading as the text.”

One key aspect of cultural analysis there is a transformation process of tacit culture in explicit culture. As soon as you identify something as aspect of
tacit culture and start to speak about it, it ceases to be longer tacit.
Ethnographers engage in such way, when study other cultures. They should deal with three­ fundamental aspects of human experience: what people know what people do, and which ­things people do and use. When each of them is studied and divided by members of some group, we speak about them as cultural behavior, cultural knowledge,­ and cultural artefacts. Every time when we do eth
nographic field researches, we will wish to distinguish among these three, though in the majority of situations they usually mix up together.
Thus, cultural analysis works from supervision and research of different kind behavior and artefacts to receive cultural knowledge.

5. What is an example of a cultural event? Use your example to illustrate the important aspects of the concept of culture.

As example of a cultural event I would like to take
“Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” . I would like to apply the concept of culture in this case which consist tripartite division in cultural knowledge, cultural behavior and cultural artefacts Than I would like on this example to make cultural analysis in an opposite direction by studying artefacts and behavior in attempt to find out, what cultural knowledge and values behind them.

The Bushmen's idea of the Christmas story, is "praise the birth of white man's god-chief' and it is explained in the Tswana-Herero custom of slaughtering an ox for his Bush­men neighbors as an annual goodwill gesture. Since the 1930s it has become as a part of the Bush­men's annual round of activities and it has included in a December congregation at the cattle posts for trading, marriage brokering, and several days of trance dance feasting.
Anthropologist when he lived among the ! Kung of Africa de­cided to be generous and to share a large animal ( huge black ox) with everyone at Christ­mas celebrating festival in the Kalahari ,but has faced with not clear, as it seemed to him , cultural behavior of Bushmen.

Cultural event Christmas Celebrating Festival - “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” gives us the chance to explore how performed a process of enculturation , in this case with the anthropologist.
During Christmas celebrating (the cultural tradition, a way of expression of belief) bushman kill the biggest and most fat ox, all together prepare it and then some days celebrate Christmas dancing and rejoicing to a large quantity of meal and eulogizing the God. It is obvious, that the ox is a key cultural artefact in this cultural event. Here it is excellent presented concept, that the culture is studied, and culture shared on an example as
Bushmen ! Kung and people from ai/ai shared their culture of Christmas celebrating. But even more interestingly for us as is that ,how bushman shared with the anthropologist one of key cultural knowledge: - “Negative altitude to people, which try to glorify itself over others”. It does not matter for them , whether it has been bought and presented as “generous gift” (as it has been made by the anthropologist) , or it has been obtained on hunting. The main thing, – if it occurs by glorify itself over others. . In relation to such people bushman use the special culture behavior - a sneer, and mockery.

We could see, how
Bushmen’s "technology" has effectively worked in relation to such even highly educated, but a little bit arrogant anthropologist. Though he has already lived three years among Bushmen , but and has not learnt one of their key cultural knowledge. But, during for only some days ; though it was painful for the anthropologist, there was a process enculturation. We observed as in the beginning he unconsciously (tacit culture) wished to use cultural knowledge and traditions (an obvious example of ostentatious "generosity" - frequent enough phenomenon in western society as the way glorify itself over others) , and has bought a huge ox to treat bushman, as a gift for three years of communication with them. Interestingly was to observe, how all this , imaginary or "display generosity "concept has been collapsed by hailstones of Bushmen’s sneers and mockeries (cultural behavior). We could see how these mockeries;eventually ,have revived professional interest of the anthropologist, and have forced to make the cultural analysis . He has started to study (to make the cultural analysis) the reason for such it strange behavior of people .He has applied cross interrogation methodology of many inhabitants (especially what most of all scoffed at him) and eventually has comprehended one of basic cultural knowledge of Bushman, this is that:
Arrogance glorification itself over people is a way to subordinate to itself others”. Especially it dangerously if the person tries to glorify itself over others by murder of big quantities animals; thus, it forcing others to feel, that they miserable. In understanding of Bushmen's Culture
- it is a way to heavier consequences (murder of other people), a way to confrontation in a society. Therefore , Bushmen always resist to it and, it is necessary to note in reasonable enough the interesting and efficient way - of mockery and a sneer as the weapon against it.
It perfectly is expressed in key conversation between of the anthropologist and one of bushmen:
"But," I asked, "why insult a man after he has gone to all that trouble track and kill an animal and when he is going to share the meat with you so your children will have something to eat?"
"Arrogance," was his cryptic answer. "Arrogance?"
"Yes, when a young man kills much meat he comes to think of himself a chief or a big man, and he thinks of the rest of us as his servants or inferior .We can't accept this. We refuse one who boasts , for someday his pride will kill him or kill somebody. So we always speak of his meat as worthless. This way cool his heart and make him gentle."

6. It is often said that cultural analysis provides deeper meanings and/or understanding of the things people do. Why would people say this and do you agree?

As the method of deep understanding of things, the cultural analysis plays a key role in anthropology. Anthropologists go by the analysis of cultural events and culture, because it plays the major role for them to see that is important for each culture. It gives them ability of penetration into an essence of the phenomena ,as cultures do the things, what artefacts are used, which they use ,what language and cultural behavior, and how all these things are important for each culture. Therefore , I am agree with statement ,that the cultural analysis provides deeper values or understanding of things which are done by people. It is impossible to learn something if you do not in details investigate something.
From an example in “Eating Christmas in the Kalahari” we could see, that when the anthropologist looked, in the beginning ,at a Bushmen's Holiday superficially, he even could not imagine what important cultural concept for Bushmen underlies their strange behavior. But as soon as his the research spirit has woken up again, and he has applied all technique of deep anthropology cultural analysis, he could learn one of basic Cultural Bushmen's Knowledge

14 February 2008

Advanced Mastery : Holism in Anthropology.

The philosophy holism basically declares, that “whole it is more than the sum of parts“ And it because character of a part really only is expressed in its relations whole and character of a part is better understood in its relations with other parts.
As I would like to consider an example through holistic principle why people from different cultures often put on diverse clothes and it not simply to hide a way the body from the sun or from a frost and that it is much more important for people. All of us different to the tastes to clothes and always aspire to show the individuality in clothes. It would seem only our business what to dress. But why then people always put on “ officially “ (for example men dress a tie, a white shirt, dark colour trousers or a suit– expensive "official style") when they pass at employment interview in bank? Why so? Why people unconditionally follow this rule and do not come on interview in a T-short and jeans?
The answer is obvious – the person dressed in business style, causes in the employer positive impression, and naturally it is more chances to get good work and growth of the subsequent career. Further a chain of interrelations: good work, the high salary, position in a society, possibility to pay accounts to have the good house, the car, to be successful and happy.
Now the further interrelation. On requirement of business clothes responds a fashion, manufacturers of clothes, accessories, the advertising industry . The whole mullions-strong industry of a fashion of business clothes is developed - and it is many workplaces. It is not forgotten that there people work too and they receive the salary, taxes pay to the state, and the economy develops. A vivid example to that -France where billions dollars in the fashion industry. Advertising on TV is even more strengthens bank employee in necessity to follow canons of business clothes and to buy new clothes. The circle closed up, it all came back to where it had started. And it is because character of a part – that the person dresses it, we can understand only how it is expressed in its relations whole-in this case, culture of business clothes, as to culture of success and prosperity.
Thus from what we put on, our future quite often depends enough. For example, in my country where I was born, Ukraine, clothes is considered as some kind of the business card in a society, and it matters not only as people put on work. In Ukraine people always try to put on soundly and beautifully even when they go shopping to grocery store . We have a proverb “Meet on clothes and see off on mind”
In the relation to clothes we are absolutely interconnected with opinion of a society, are as though twisted in norms of a society, in concepts what clothes should be, and what is unacceptable. I think it is characteristic for all cultures.
This example proves, that our own actions, or actions of others, do not exist in some kind of the discrete context, the isolated vacuum. The person’s relation to clothes and concept about culture of clothes in a society, their interrelation – as clear example for that .

11 February 2008

Introduction to Anthropology

1. What is anthropology?

Anthropology is the study of humans or humanity.
The word anthropology has two parts.. It is a compound of two Greek words, ‘anthropos’ and ‘logos’ , which can be translated as ‘human’ and “the study of”, respectively. So anthropology means ‘knowledge about humans’ or study of humanity. Anthropology is the study of people: where they came from, how they live differently in different societies across the world, how they interact with each other and with their environment.
Anthropology studies humankind in comparison of one community of people with others, underlining a variety of human behavior and importance of culture in an explanation of this variety. The Anthropology aspires to open principles of behavior which concern all human communities.

2. What are the
general principles of anthropology and what is important about each?
Anthropology includes the biological and social study of humans as complex organisms with the capacity for language, thought, and culture. Anthropology is a subject that seeks to be holistic and comparative as well as global , relative and empirical.

There are a few general principles of anthropology :

Anthropological researches are extended worldwide. You can find anthropological studies about almost every cultural group on the planet, from Canadians to Russians, from Eskimo to the Indians. Anthropologists can comprehend researches of any cultural group. Finally the anthropology area investigates essential elements of human experience in all cultural groups in the world. Global, then, not only spatial, but can address also to an object of research, which tries to investigate a variety of aspects of human existence.
What does holistic means? Holism from holos, a Greek word meaning all, entire, total .Holism means that properties of a given system -chemical, biological economic, can be explained only as the sum of its component. Take as example holistic principle in medicine. Holistic medicine comprehends illness as a system problem. It considers human body as integral . We were ill not only because viruses or bacteria encroach in our body, but because of all kinds of factors which we tend not to recognize. For example , if we have stress or we have the conflict of social relations we have higher chance of disease . Despite we tend to think that other symptoms and conditions are irrelevant to our illness it may also be connected to the main problem.
So, when we speak about “holism” in anthropology, we mean, that we try to pull communications between various aspects of culture, to see it as a whole system.
Сomparative :
Anthropology uses procedure of placing of similar cultural events in the various nations and cultures nearby with each other to investigate the general lines and distinctions. The essence of the process of the decision of problems which face to anthropology consists in it - to be compared, it is necessary to investigate distinction .We always see things from our own viewpoint, and we compare that we observed or heard to our own cultural established systems of sights.

The relativity principle means, that when we try to compare , we should make so, when we not extolling one group of compared persons to another. If, for example in physical anthropology we study distribution of height of the person among various human groups, we should make so with no intention to establish that height in one cultural group is higher and thus cultural group is above of other. More likely we would try to understand distribution of height within the specific population and to investigate factors which promote it concerning a certain cultural context. In other words, the certain case or the phenomenon can be understood only concerning details, in a historical or cultural context in which they are found.

Empirical: This means: derived from or relating to experiment and observation rather than theory .The empiricism principle focuses a way which anthropologists think of research and data by underlining importance experience, and sensory perception in any given attempt to understand something about humankind. Anthropology based on practical experience rather than scientific proof.

3. What are the four subfields of anthropology?
Anthropology has four subfields:
1. Cultural Anthropology
2. Biological (or Physical) Anthropology .
3. Archaeology
4. Linguistic Anthropology

4. What are the basic approaches and methods of each subfield?
There are a number of different sorts of methods by which anthropologists go about studying humans.
Anthropology uses the Comparative Method. The anthropology uses simple however strong idea: any details of our behavior can be understood is better when it is noticed against a full range of human behavior. It, a comparative method which tries to explain the general lines and distinctions among people holistically, in a humankind context as a whole. Any details of our behavior can be better to be understood when it is noticed in a context given by a full range of human behavior.
Cultural Anthropology. Cultural anthropology investigates by using of long term, intensive field studies culture and public organization of specific people: language, the economic and political organization , the law and the conflict decision, samples of consumption and an exchange, relationship and family structure, gender relations, nationalization , religion, mythology. The cultural anthropology has a primary method - that named Ethnography. Ethnography - an empirical method of studying of people and as they live. Ethnographers compare that they see and hear with supervision and results of the researches made in other societies. Originally, anthropologists place together a full way of life for the culture considered as a whole. Today, the most probable centre of researches is in a cultural life, such as economy, a policy, religion or art.
Archeology intents to understand distribution and movement of ancient settlements, developments of human public organization , and relations among modern settlements. The archeology involves a wide variety of field methods (the review, geophysical researches, removal of a core, excavation) and laboratory procedures (composite researches, dating of researches measures of formal variability, examination of samples of wear process, rest research, etc. Archeologist prevalently study the materials made by prehistoric groups, but also switches on modern, historical and ethnographic settlements.

Linguistic Anthropology. Linguistic anthropology aspires to understand processes of human communications, oral and nonverbal, changes in language during time and a place, social use of language, both the relation between language and culture. It is a part of anthropology, which uses linguistic methods to study anthropological problems, connecting the analysis of linguistic forms and processes with interpretation cultural processes.

Physical anthropology Physical anthropology uses methodology of anthropological reconstruction for comparison of the ancient and modern population, paleoanthropology and social strategy early hominid, archeologo -genetic researches of the ancient population. Biological or physical anthropology researches the physical human being by studying of human evoluution and adaptibility , population genetic. Subfields or related fields are : anthropometrics, osteology.

5. What is a subject which each of the subfields would examine?

1.Cultural Anthropology Subject for research: Culture, ethnocentrism(nationalism), cultural aspects of language and communication, subsistence and other economic patterns, kinship, sex and marriage, socialization, social control, political organization, class, ethnicity, gender, religion, and culture change.
2. Biological (or Physical) Anthropology Subject for research: Mechanisms of biological development, genetic inheritance, a human adaptability and change, primatology. Biological (or physical) anthropology looks at the Person Reasonable as on a sort and investigates biological origin, evolutionary
development, and a genetic variety. It examines an origin and development of the person, is interested in evolutionary aspects of anthropology and historical genetics
3. Archaeology Subject for research: Prehistory and early history of cultures around the world; major trends in cultural evolution; and techniques for finding, excavating, dating, and analyzing material remains of past societies..
4. Linguistic Anthropology Subject for research: The human communication process focusing on the importance of socio-cultural influences; nonverbal communication; and the structure, function, and history of languages, dialects, pidgins (language made up of elements of two or more other languages and used for contacts), and creoles.

. Identify a subject which 2 or more subfields would study. How would each subfield approach that subject differently?
If compare two subfields of Anthropology such as Physical ,Cultural Anthropology and Linguistic Anthropology , we could see that they have some similar subject for study ,but different methods and approaches . Take as example of the subject -
The physical anthropology investigates physical or biological aspects of of gender. Analyze biological processes which lead to sexual differences. Studies evolutionary development which have led us to our current biological conditions. Biological or physical anthropology investigates the physical person, human development
. Physical anthropology uses methodology of anthropological reconstruction for comparison of the ancient and modern population.
Cultural Anthropology investigates a gender in our modern world, by visiting cultures and communities studying them through supervision, participation and interview about various gender beliefs of people .Cultural Anthropology gathers this information by using gender methods.
Linguistic Anthropology is interested in the gender aspects of language, by studying how it is that people with various gender speak in another way in various contexts, or it could be the analysis of the gender beliefs which have been built in structure of language directly.