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2: The Culture Concept (Cowall & Medeiros)

  • Page ID
    5153
  • [ "article:topic-guide" ]

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

    • Compare and contrast the ideas of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.
    • Describe the role that early anthropologists Sir James Frazer and Sir E. B. Tylor played in defining the concept of culture in anthropology.
    • Identify the differences between armchair anthropology and participant-observer fieldwork and explain how Bronislaw Malinowski contributed to the development of anthropological fieldwork techniques.
    • Identify the contributions Franz Boas and his students made to the development of new theories about culture.
    • Assess some of the ethical issues that can arise from anthropological research.

    • 2.1: THOUGHTS ON CULTURE OVER A CUP OF COFFEE
    • 2.2: STORIES AS A REFLECTION ON CULTURE
    • 2.3: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THEORIES OF CULTURE
    • 2.4: ETHICAL ISSUES IN TRUTH TELLING
      As anthropologists developed more sophisticated concepts of culture, they also gained a greater understanding of the ethical challenges associated with anthropological research. Because participant-observation fieldwork brings anthropologists into close relationships with the people they study, many complicated issues can arise. Cultural relativism encourages anthropologists to show respect to members of other cultures, but there was a need to develop formal standards of professional conduct.
    • 2.5: BACK IN THE COFFEE SHOP
      This chapter has looked at some historic turning points in the way anthropologists have defined culture. There is not one true, absolute definition of culture. Anthropologists respect traditions such as language; the development of self, especially from infancy to adulthood; kinship; and the structure of the social unit, or the strata of a person within their class structure; marriage, families, and rites of passage; systems of belief; and ritual.
    • 2.S: The Culture Concept (Summary)

    Thumbnail: Maori warriors perform a Haka, meaning dance of welcome, for Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta during a Powhiri ceremony while visiting Auckland, New Zealand Sept. 21, 2012. The ceremony is an ancient Maori tradition used to determine if visitors came in peace or with hostile intent. Image used with permission (Publc Domain; Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo).