Final Exam Study Guide
ANTH 110/Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Spring 2014/Dr. Roberts
The designated final exam day and time for this class is May 13 at 11:30AM.
Please bring a picture ID to the exam because I will check them. That might sound weird but funny things happen during finals in big classes.
The Final Exam is worth 100 points and is cumulative - covering material from the entire semester. The format will be multiple choice, true-false, and matching. I will not ask any questions directly from the textbook but I do strongly advise that you go back and at least minimally look at the highlights of the chapters we've covered.
There's really no need to have a completely separate study guide for the final, since you have those from the first three exams. What follows are simply some suggestions as to major concepts that I would hope you'd be familiar with and hopefully understand after taking this course. Use it to help yourself prepare for the final.
Please do not simply go through the list looking for "the answer" so you can memorize it. Remember, I'm far more interested that you understand and comprehend the meaning and significance of a concept/term than I am if you can memorize a definition. If you can understand/comprehend a concept or idea to the point that you can apply/use it in a different context from the one I used in class, then we have both succeeded. Good luck!
What is Anthropology?
What is anthropology and what kinds of things makes anthropology unique among the sciences and humanities?
It would be great if, in addition to knowing that there are four subfields/subdisciplines in anthropology, you would also be able to identify examples of the kinds of work that anthropologists in each of those subfields/subdisciplines does.
Try to figure out why Gezon & Kottak use the extended example of race and skin color in the introductory chapter of his text.
Why do we need both academic and
The Concept of Culture
Everyone, including you, can come up with their own unique definition of culture This is true for anthropologists as well. You should think about and reflect on those common characteristics/qualities of culture that we talked about in class and that Kottak also discusses in the text. Try to keep those in mind when looking at "other" people and their culture as well as when you think about your own culture.
Why is the word "system" used so frequently when discussing culture and it's components.
Why are ethnocentrism and cultural relativism perhaps the two most important concepts in cultural anthropology?
How do you think globalization differs from the other mechanisms of culture change identified in Gezon & Kottak's textbook?
Ethics and Methods in Cultural Anthropology
Why do you think the subject of ethics so important for all anthropologists, but especially for cultural anthropologists? What do these ethical obligations entail for cultural anthropologists?
Try to have a sense of appreciation for the contrasts between cultural anthropology and sociology in terms of the types of societies/cultures that have been studied and the methods/techniques used.
Why is ethnographic fieldwork based at least partly upon participant observation so important for anthropologists to develop an emic perspective on culture?
Try to be aware of how ethnography has evolved through time, in terms of the goals of the anthropologists (why), the techniques they use in their work (how), and the locales for their work (where).
Language and Communication
What characteristics of language make it unique and distinct from other animal communication systems?
Be familiar with the common structural components of language; also how languages may differ in the degree of emphasis they place upon certain structural components.
Try to understand the essential difference between proponents of the so-called "Sapir-Whorf" hypothesis and those universalists, like Noam Chomsky, who claim that all human languages have a common structural basis.
Understand why the examples of gender speech contrasts and Black English Vernacular illustrate the potential of sociolinguistics.
Making a Living (Subsistence/Adaptive Strategies)
Be able to do more than simply list the 5 major human adaptive strategies identified by Yehudi Cohen and utilized by most anthropologists today.
Why do you think anthropologists spend so much time examining the foraging lifestyle?
You should be able to distinguish between horticulture and agriculture not simply in terms of the tools and techniques used by each but also the costs and benefits of each.
Understand what we mean by the term economy and how anthropologists and economists differ in their respective approaches to the study of human economic behavior.
Try to be familiar with the contrasts between nonindustrial and industrial economies highlighted by Gezon & Kottak.
Understand the differences between the three basic types of human economic exchange.
Gender and Culture
From an anthropological perspective, why is it more appropriate to speak of gender rather than sex?
Think about our examination of the issue of gender in light of adaptive strategies and then try to note some basic conclusions about gender stratification.
With regard to the age-old debate over the role of biology vs. culture in determining human behavior, what can an anthropological examination of sexual orientation tell us?
Kinship, Family, and Marriage Systems
Try to appreciate why anthropologists have spent so much time studying kinship.
Be familiar with the different conditions/circumstances that favor different types of families.
Try to understand the principle of unilineal descent and how its application affects the structure of groups and post-marital residence.
Rather than concentrating on the motivation think instead about how marriage functions in human societies. In other words, what does it "do" for people?
Understand what we mean by the term "politics" and how to study the political aspects of culture and society from an anthropological perspective.
Know what the four basic types of political systems are and be aware of the most important cultural/social features that are associated with each type.
What makes states so different from all other types of human political systems?
How did stratification develop in human societies and what are its consequences?
Edward B. Tylor, who considered by many to be the founding father of anthropology, believed that religion evolved through three stages. Do you think this is how contemporary anthropologists view human religion? Why/why not?
Regardless of the form or appearance it make take on, try to appreciate and understand the functions of religion for humans everywhere. Specifically, how do rites of passage serve both individual and collective needs?
You might want to go back and look at the textbook's discussion of how religion can serve as both a mechanism of social control and a vehicle for social change.
The World System and Colonialism
Familiarize yourself with the ideas behind world system theory.
Also be familiar with the causes of the industrial revolution and the impact this monumental change had upon the entire world, not simply Europe.
Try to see both the similarities and differences between British and French colonialism in terms of both motivation and methods used.
Think about the impact of the relatively brief period of European colonial rule on the indigenous peoples of places like Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and the New World.
Be familiar with development anthropology, urban anthropology, medical anthropology, and business anthropology as examples of applied anthropology and its potential.
Note: Before Exam 3 I told you I was only covering development anthropology in lecture but you needed to look at the information on the other areas - medical, urban, business, and education. Judging by the number of people who missed that question I presume few did.