Beginning Thoughts on Anthropology, Culture & Cultural Diversity
1.)What ideas or images that come to mind if someone says “Anthropology” or “anthropologist”? What has shaped your ideas about what Anthropology is or what Anthropologists do?
2.)What IS Anthropology? And what are the four sub-fields of Anthropology?
3.)Some contemporary archaeologists focus on studying modern human waste….including e-waste. If someone were to study YOUR waste (trash) …and e-waste what would they learn about you? Your diet? Your lifestyle?
4.) What are some cultural adaptations human beings have to better allow them to survive in their environment? Are there negative effects of these adaptations? If so, do the benefits outweigh those negative effects?
5.)American anthropologist Ralph Linton once said “The last thing a fish would ever notice would be water.” (Ralph Linton, 1936) How is this relevant and applicable to a discussion on “culture”?
6.) Polish anthropologist, Bronislaw Malinowski who is credited with inventing the anthropological method of intensive fieldwork, wrote in his journal about his fieldwork in the Trobriand Islands.In his diary he wrote” Imagine yourself suddenly set down surrounded by all your gear, alone on a tropical beach close to a native village, while the launch or dinghy which has brought you sails away out of sight.” What is Malinowski describing? Have you ever had an analogous experience in Philadelphia (or elsewhere)?
7.)Clifford Geertz, one of the most influential American anthropologists in the last 40 years, said “The locus of study is not the object of study. Anthropologists don’t study villages (tribes, neighborhoods…) they study in villages.” What do you think he meant? (And what happens if you substitute college for village?)
8.) If I were to ask you to provide a “socio-cultural analysis” of this classroom…where would you begin? Can you identify 10 ways that you might consider “diversity” within this classroom? (on campus, in the city, in the U.S. or in the world?)
9.) How do you think about diversity? i.e.as a problem? A challenge? An asset? Explain