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"REASONABLE MAN" STANDARD OF LAW  look up translate image
the idea that legal judgments should be made based on what would be acceptable to a reasonable man in the society. Jury systems in the Western World are based on this assumption.
ACADEMIC ANTHROPOLOGY  look up translate image
careers that involve the teaching of anthropology at colleges and universities. Academic anthropologists do research, but the objective is more for the contribution to general knowledge.
ACCULTURATION  look up translate image
culture change resulting from contact between cultures. A process of external culture change.
ACEPHALOUS SOCIETY  look up translate image
a society in which political power is diffused to the degree that there are no institutionalized political leadership roles such as chiefs and kings. Bands and tribes are acephalous. Most foragers and simple horticulturalists have highly egalitarian, acephalous societies. The word "acephalous" is Greek for "without a head."
ACHIEVED STATUS  look up translate image
Social status that comes through talents, choices, actions, efforts, activities, and accomplishments, rather than ascription.
ACTUAL BEHAVIOR  look up translate image
what people really do in their lives rather than what they think they are doing or what they believe they should be doing. In most societies there is a discrepancy between these three kinds of behavior. It is important for anthropologists to distinguish between actual, believed, and ideal behavior when they learn about another society and its culture.
ADAPTATION  look up translate image
patterns of behavior which enable a culture to cope with its surroundings.
ADAPTIVE MECHANISM  look up translate image
a behavior, strategy, or technique for obtaining food and surviving in a particular environment. Successful adaptive mechanisms provide a selective advantage in the competition for survival with other life forms. For humans, the most important adaptive mechanism is culture.
ADJUDICATION  look up translate image
mediation with the ultimate decision being made by an unbiased third party.
ADVOCACY VIEW  look up translate image
of applied anthropology; the belief that precisely because anthropologists are experts on human problems and social change, and because they study, understand, and respect cultural values, they should make policy affecting people.
AESTHETICS  look up translate image
Appreciation of the qualities perceived in works of art; the mind and emotions in relation to a sense of beauty.
AFFINAL  look up translate image
members of one's kindred who are related through a marital linkage.
AFFINALS  look up translate image
Relatives by marriage, whether of lineals (e.g., son's wife) or collaterals (e.g., sister's husband).
AFFINITY  look up translate image
a kinship link created by marriage, such as the bond between a man and his wife and her family (in-laws). People who have an affinity relationship with each other are "affines" . See consanguinity.
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION  look up translate image
a program or policy intended to correct the effects of past discrimination in employment, education, housing, etc. Usually affirmative action in the United States includes out-reach programs, hiring goals, set-asides, and/or extra opportunities for members of underrepresented minorities.
AGE CATEGORY  look up translate image
a culturally defined category based on age used to define the life cycle, such as infant, youth, teenager, young adult, adult, elderly.
AGE GRADE  look up translate image
a social category or status based on an age range.
AGE GRADES  look up translate image
age-based categories of people recognized by a culture. In North America, for example, we generally label people as children, teenagers, adults, middle aged, and elderly or senior citizens. See age sets.
AGE SET  look up translate image
a social group defined by those who share the same age status and are a recognizable group.
AGE SETS  look up translate image
age grades that are clearly recognized in a culture as distinct identifiable groups of people. They consist of people of similar age and usually of the same gender who share a common identity and maintain close ties throughout their lives. They also pass through age-related statuses together as a group. The transition between these statuses is usually marked by a rite of passage.
AGGRESSION  look up translate image
acts or threats designed to cause injury.
AGNATIC DESCENT  look up translate image
see patrilineal descent.
AGRICULTURE  look up translate image
Nonindustrial systems of plant cultivation characterized by continuous and intensive use of land and labor.
ALTIPLANO  look up translate image
a high plateau or plain.
AMBILINEAL  look up translate image
a corporate kin group that traces relationships through either the female or male lines. Also called cognatic descent.
AMBILINEAL DESCENT  look up translate image
a form of cognatic descent in which individuals can select to trace descent either matrilineally or patrilineally. The decision may be made each generation based on the relative wealth and/or importance of the father's and the mother's family lines.
AMBILOCAL RESIDENCE  look up translate image
the residence pattern in which a newly married couple has the choice of living with or near the groom's or the bride's family.
the major professional association for anthropologists in the United States.
ANCESTOR FOCUSED KINDRED  look up translate image
a kindred in which the person to whom all members trace their kinship ties is dead. An example would be the descendants of a well known pioneer family. It is rare for a kindred to continue functioning as an effective kin group after the death of the individual who was its focus. This usually occurs only when the ancestor was historically important.
ANCESTRAL SPIRITS  look up translate image
souls or ghosts of ancestors. A belief in ancestral spirits is consistent with the widespread belief that humans have at least two parts--a physical body and some kind of non-physical spirit. The spirit portion is generally believed to be freed from the body by death and continues to exist. Ancestral spirits are often seen as retaining an active interest and even membership in their family and society.
ANDROGYNOUS  look up translate image
the characteristic of having a blend of both masculine and feminine personality characteristics but not strongly either one.
ANIMATISM  look up translate image
belief in an impersonal and divisible supernatural force or forces, which reside in living or unliving things.
ANIMISM  look up translate image
a belief that natural phenomena such as rocks, trees, thunder, or celestial bodies have life or divinity.
ANOMIE  look up translate image
a feeling of alienation and isolation from all other people, including family and friends.
ANTHROPOCENTRIC  look up translate image
the idea that humans are the most important beings in the universe.
ANTHROPOLOGICAL LINGUISTICS  look up translate image
the branch of anthropology that studies human language. Linguistic anthropology is mainly concerned with the technical analysis of language.
ANTHROPOLOGY  look up translate image
the study of humanity; divisions are physical anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, and anthropological linguistics.
ANTHROPOLOGY AND EDUCATION  look up translate image
Anthropological research in classrooms, homes, and neighborhoods, viewing students as total cultural creatures whose enculturation and attitudes toward education belong to a larger context that includes family, peers, and society.
ANTI-MISCEGENATION LAWS  look up translate image
laws prohibiting sexual intercourse and marriage between people of different "races".
ANTICIPATORY SORORATE  look up translate image
a cultural pattern in which some sexual permissiveness is allowed between a man and his wife's sister in anticipation of a future marriage between them. This is usually associated with sororal polygyny.
APARTHEID  look up translate image
racial, political, and economic segregation of non-European peoples.
APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY  look up translate image
using the knowledge of anthropology to address human real-world problems.
AQUATIC FORAGING  look up translate image
a specialized subsistence pattern that concentrates on fish and/or marine mammal hunting. Aquatic foraging is usually a far more reliable and productive strategy for obtaining food than the diversified hunting and gathering of most foragers who live away from the coasts and major rivers. The most well known aquatic foragers lived on the Northwest Coast of North America from the Klamath River of California to the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. These societies specialized in salmon fishing along the...(more)
The study of human behavior and cultural patterns and processes through the culture's material remains.
ARCHAEOLOGY  look up translate image
study of material culture.
ARRANGED MARRIAGE  look up translate image
a marriage partner selection process in which the future bride and groom usually do not participate actively in the decision. Marriages are commonly arranged by parents or their agents when the marriages are seen as principally uniting two families rather than just husband and wife. There is also often the rationalization that teenagers and young adults are too inexperienced to make a wise mate selection. The tradition of arranged marriages has been dramatically undermined whenever romantic love becomes a popular notion in a society.
ART  look up translate image
human endeavor thought to be aesthetic and have meaning beyond simple description. Includes music, dance, sculpture, painting, drawing, stitchery, weaving, poetry, writing, woodworking, etc. A medium of expression where the individual and culture come together.
ARTS  look up translate image
The arts include the visual arts, literature (written and oral), music, and theater arts.
ASCRIBED STATUS  look up translate image
Social status (e.g., race or gender) that people have little or no choice about occupying.
ASSIMILATION  look up translate image
when one ethnic group absorbs another, so that the cultural traits of the assimilated group become indistinguishable.
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Cultural Anthropology terms
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Created on 2012-08-12 19:12:03
Number of terms 761
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