Anthropology Class Outlines
(in chronological order)

Introduction to Anthropology


Liberal Arts >


Social Science >        

Anthropology-Sociology-Psychology-Political Science-Economics-History-Criminal Justice




(and its Subfields)



Prehistoric & Historical
The tools & techniques in excavating artifacts and fossils from the earth


Anatomy & Physiology, Genetics, and Primates



Historical Diffusion & Geography of languages; Culture & Language connections



Politics, Religion, Economics, Kinship, Family, Arts, Group Organization, Pastimes, Inequality, and Enculturation & Education



·         Applied Anthropology


Basically we study the patterns of social behavior and thinking in a given society or culture group; its social structure or organization; the interaction between people in a group; and the change or adaptation within the group.


Foundation Terms for Anthropology



It’s all about “CULTURE”

v  Defining “culture” through social science


v  Culture organizes – gives us purpose – productivity –consistency/continuity

v  Culture is functional & integrated

v  World View

o   The symbolism of culture


v  The staying “Power” & Identity of culture

o   A Plural Society

v  Culture Shock!

v  Core Values

o   Independence vs. Dependence Training


v  Norms & Mores (social structure)


v  Culture Universals


v  Durkheim’s Solidarities (basis for a sense of unity and identity)

o   Mechanical & Organic Solidarity

o   Durkheim & Weber’s Warnings about Organic societies


v  Society

v  Ethnic Group

v  Subculture

Ethnicity & Ethnic Groups  (
chapter 15)

Terms relating to Culture/Culture Groups/Ethnicity

Applied Anthropologyapplying anthropological information to identify and solve contemporary social problems; come to the aid of culture groups based on the information that anthropologists have at hand.
Mechanical Solidarity – social order and cohesion based on common agreement and uniform thinking and behavior.
Organic Solidarity – social order and cohesion based on interdependence and cooperation among members performing a wide range of specialized tasks.
Society – a group of people who have come together under a set of common interests and values working within interdependent structures and relationships.
Ethnic Group – a group sharing a common cultural heritage and homeland, hanging on to important cultural identifiers like Language, Religion, History-Ancestry-Homeland, and some remaining Customs and Traditions.
Subculture – groups with cultural variations on the dominant theme of  societies, regarding some behavior, customs, language and outward symbols/appearance.
World View – ways of perceiving and interpreting reality; includes perceptions on the role of humans in the grand scheme of things, and an individual’s place in it.
Culture Shock
– personal disorientation that accompanies exposure to a foreign culture.
Core Values
– widely shared conceptions of what is good, right, worthwhile and important;  sets in motion many goals and priorities of the group.
Norms – written and unwritten rules of behavior appropriate to specific situations.
= serious norms supporting serious beliefs/values, with serious consequences if broken.
Plural Society - A society comprised of multiple ethnic groups, subcultures, and/or races that have become interdependent.
Acculturation – widespread diffusion between two or more cultures that have intense frequent contact between each other, influencing each other’s culture.
Assimilation – process of bringing minority culture groups into a common cultural fold, or alikeness; an encouraged or forced melting-pot scenario for a society.
Multiculturalism – accommodating the widest possible diversity in society through political policies and societal ethics of tolerance.


            Language & Culture

Value of Language for Humans:

– Identity - Enculturation - Mental Development - Displacement

Enhancing & Expanding Language:
– Phonemes (they combine to make lots of Morphemes [words])
-  Syntax
– Paralanguage 
– Nonverbal Communication or Kinesics

– Languages do change and develop with culture *
        -- historical relationships between languages
– Dialect   (and inequality)

– Sapir / Whorf Hypothesis - each language uniquely shapes perception, and to some extent reality, for its speakers.  Each language provides a unique vocabulary with unique definitions along with a unique grammar structure; emphasizing some of our world, deemphasizing other parts.

– Sociolinguistics – is what we can learn about a culture from their language alone.
      (How do culture groups order & categorized their world = Ethnosemantics)

* How does a language change?  Languages will evolve over time within linguistic groups by 1) combining new groups of sounds (phones), within the group’s list of possible sounds, to make new words (morphemes) as we need them to describe new things or actions; or 2) the words themselves can “morph” through popular speech (“going” to “gunna”), as humans often look for shortcuts to speech (“you all want to go?”>“y’all wanna go?  No I can’t”); or 3) by creating connotations of existing words (recycling them, second or alternate definitions to a word); or 4) words can be borrowed from other linguistic groups, sometimes modifying their meaning or pronunciation.

5) Only rarely, and over a longer periods of time, might a linguistic group accept changes in syntax (grammatical structure in a phrase or sentence).


Terms relating to Language & Culture

Displacement – the ability to communicate outside of immediate time and place (outside of the “here and now”).

Phonemes – sounds that make a difference in the meaning of a word, by themselves do not carry meaning.

Morpheme – a sound, or group of sounds, that carry meaning for the listener (mostly what we call words).

Paralanguage – sounds that are not considered “words”, along with background sounds or changing tones, that do convey or alter meaning for the listener.

Dialect – a regional or subcultural variation of a language distinguished by its unique vocabulary, pronunciation, rhythm, speed and/or syntax.

Sociolinguistics & Ethnosemantics - social linguists who try to reveal something about the culture, its meanings, values and interpretations of their world by studying the language alone.  How do cultures organize and categorize their world? > Ethnosemantics.


The Practices, Tools and Science of Archeology

·         What is it in general that Archeologists do?  What specialists do they need?

·         What specialists do they tend to pull in to assist their work?

o    Physical Anthropologists; Paleopathologists (forensic anthropologist); Molecular Anthropologists;  human, plant & animal Paleontologists; (Phytoliths);  Geologists & Geographers


·         What are the general steps that an Archeologist goes through in the process of doing an excavation? 

o     1) Looking for an Archeological site or stumbling upon one  2) Surface Sampling;  Remote Sensing;  Test plots  3) Informed Consent & Gov’t Approval  4)  Financial Support/Funding  5) Gather your personnel, tools, set-up labs (hand tools, screens; (floatation method)  6) Survey & Map area  7) Start the excavation (possible Test Plots) & cursory laboratory work  8) follow-up detailed lab work (scans, DNA, dating, replication)  9) Summarize information into a report  10) Some possible reconstruction/restoration


·         What are some of the primary Dating Methods?

o   Relative Methods:  Stratigraphy & Fluorine methods

o   Absolute Methods:  Carbon 14/12,  Potassium/Argon

Slide Show on the Archeology of MesoAmerica and Andean America

·         Outline to Slide Show in our Anthropak

                       The beauty and the beast of Evolution

·         What is Evolution exactly?  What are the basics to its process?

o   The key words of Evolution – Biological Diversity/Variety,
Change & Adaptation, Competition & Selection of the fittest

o   Charles Darwin & Natural Selection  (& sexual selection)

o   Short-term (punctuated) & Long-term (gradualism) evolution

o   Gregor Mendel’s contributions

§  Hybrids/Mixing species variations

§  Recessive & Dominant Genes

o   Somatic Cells: regular cells & normal replication (Mitosis)

o   Gamete Cells: sex cells (zygotes) & combined reproduction (Meiosis)

·         Recombination

·         Crossing Over

o   Mutations

§  Based Substitution  (somatic or gamete)

§  Chromosomal Rearrangement  (somatic or gamete)

o   Gene Flow

o   Genetic Drift

·         Human species and its somewhat unique strategy of evolution

o   Brains over Brawn

Terms relating to Evolution

Somatic Cells – cells that produce (and reproduce when necessary) over 99% of our bodies such as skin tissue, organs, bones, hair, etc. and replicate themselves in normal growth or bodily repair through Mitosis cell replication.
Gamete Cells - very specific cells designed for reproduction (sex cells), and the very unique process they go through in replication and possible mutation.  In our case the sex cells are combined from 2 individuals, male and female, forming a unique biological individual.  In this process you can find new DNA forming and creating change and diversity in the species, or the gene pool.
Gene Flow:  genetic variations to a population that comes by sharing genes across populations (sex cells and recombination).
Genetic Drift:  unintentional selection of genetic traits via random probability or natural disaster or disease in a particular population.
Genotype:  the genetic make-up of a an organism;  the combination of alleles for a given gene; not all genotypes are expressed physically in the organism (body), some just recessive or dormant.
Phenotype:  The physical expression of the genotype; genes/alleles that actually send out RNA messages for protein development in the body (tissue/bone building); it may be influenced by the environment.

          The Nature vs. (and) Nurture debate

·         What is the Nature / Nurture debate

o   How and when do you apply Nature/Nurture?

·         Evidence for Nature

·         Evidence for the dominance of Nurture

·         The inseparable marriage of the two

Physical Adaptation, Race and Prejudice

      (Physical/Biological Anthropology)


– Human Evolution is all about adaptation to local environments

(Convergence & Divergence of our species)

-  Genetics & Race

            -  Just how different are we, genetically speaking?

– Regional Physical Variations - noses; eye color; body shape & size; and

Skin Color = regulating quantities of sunlight (ultraviolet light) and

Vitamin D


– Reality check on Old Science, New Genetics and Racial Categories


significant human differences are explained through __ __ __ __ __ __ __!


                        Earliest Human History & Evolution

 mya = millions of years ago”; “ya”= years ago; “c.c.s” = cubic centimeters


n  Sahelanthropus (7>6 mya);  Orrorin  (6>5 mya)  (beginning of the Hominoid to Hominin split)

n  Pressures toward Bipedalism (Ardipithecus Ramidus & Kaddaba  6>4.4 mya)


Australopithecines  (4.2 mya > 1 mya)


n  Australopithicus Anamensis  (4.2>3.9 mya)

n  Australopithecus Afarensis (3.8>3 mya) (“Lucy”- her physical characteristics)

o   A changing environment;  arm, finger & toe length;  skull size (500 c.c.s);  teeth;  pelvis – advantages of bipedalism

o   Scavengers for a little meat; still mostly vegetarian

o   Other Australopithecines – A. Garhi (2.6 mya – stone tools!)
Gracile (small - Afarensis,Africanus,Garhi = 3.5>2.2 mya and 

Robust (large - Bosei & Robustus 2.5 > 1 mya)

Homo Hablis  (beginning of genus Homo)   (2 > 1.5 mya)


n  Working/Manufacturing Tools (intentional chipping and flaking stones)

n  More protein (meat) – still scavenging/not hunting per se

n  Shifts in teeth (smaller; tighter fit); skull shape/size (avg. 700 c.c.s)

n  Division of labor?  Still apparent sexual dimorphism.  Food sharing between males & females?  Closing of the birth canal (pelvic region).

n  Overlapping evolution (A. robustus & H. erectus)


Homo Erectus  (1.8 mya > 250,000 ya)  (Lower Paleolithic)


·        Big leaps toward modern anatomy, specialized technology (tool-kit), formal hunting & gathering, any signs of culture?(not really)

·        Body & Skull size (1,000 c.c.s); Teeth (smaller back, larger front teeth)

·        Diversified tool kit; out compete H. hablis & Australopithecines in savannas

·        Geographic expansion into much of southern/central Eurasia

·        Later: (700,000 ya >250,000 ya) – less sexual dimorphism;  Fire  &  Cooking (its advantages);  clothing; complex language & cooperative hunting;  formal campsites (includes caves); fire may be as old as 1 mya, but not widely used until 700,000 ya.

·        Some transitional skulls/bones found (700,000>300,000 ya) H. Antecessor & Heidelbergensis - moving toward either Neanderthal or Archaic Homo Sapien


Archaic Homo Sapiens  (300,000 ya > 30,000 ya)   (Middle Paleolithic)

·        Fluctuating glaciation/interglaciation cycles (cooling/warming periods)

·        Anatomy (little taller/leaner, more chin/less brow-ridge [except Neandertal], avg. brain size 1,250 c.c.s)

·        Tools – longer blades/points; more core flaking, now with bone & antler

·        Terra Amata (coast of France) = diverse food, formal shelters, etc.

·        Out of Africa Theory = tracing back linguistics/genetics/artifacts-bones to a  r common ancestors for modern Homo Sapiens 175,000 ya > 125,000 ya)   

·        Neandertal (Homo Sapien Neandertalis?) (120,000>30,000 ya) – different anatomy (avg. 1,500 c.c.s);  stocky (conserve heat), muscular, big boned, hairier, longer big nose;  large game hunters;  sexual dimorphism; human or beast?  Any signs of “culture”?

·        Homo Floresiensis the dwarf anomaly of Indonesia  (90,000 >12,000 ya)


Modern Homo Sapien (Homo Sapien Sapien)  (30,000 ya > 10,000 ya)

                                                                          (Upper Paleolithic)

·        Slightly taller, thinner skeletal frame with average 1,400 ccs and more frontal lobe (taller flatter forehead) with weaker skull muscle attachment

·        End of the Paleolithic (old rock/stone age); last bastion of total hunting and gathering;  humans populating of the Americas & Australia

·        warming period (Holocene) > glacial retreat > new lakes and rivers form in mid-latitudes + a continental shelf  underwater (fishing & birds)

·        less of the specialized big game hunting, more smaller diversified game > smaller/finer stone points + nets, hooks, traps, snares, bone & antler tools, bow & arrow, atlatl, boomerang

·        Religion & Art  (cave painting/petroglyphs, bone carvings, figurines)



Period followed by the Mesolithic, an interim period between advanced Foraging and sedentary village life where Hunter/Gatherers were semi-nomadic; then the  Neolithic, the first settling down of Hunter/Gatherers moving into agriculture, ceramics, year-round shelters, and village life.     


History - “a funny thing happened on the way to Becoming a State”
(a logical series of events leading us out of simple horticulture; pastoralism or hunting/gathering to our current state-level situation today)
Early States > (developing agricultural/ranching based societies with some cultural diversity; larger populations; organized labor; formal leadership to organize engineering projects & markets > specialization; defining territories and sense of land ownership; then a warrior class; all leads to bureaucracy)
State-Level Societies & radical changes for smaller homogenous Tribal cultures
– introduction of intensive Agriculture & Ranching; circumscription of territory = sense defining boundaries and ownership of land
– populations starts to grow rapidly; development & expansion of the State which lead to changes below
– new layers of Political hierarchy emerge (formal leadership; later impersonal and dictatorial/autocratic kings who keep the military
   and religious leadership on a tight leash – in close control);   increased reliance on Externalized Sanctions (formal laws/punishment/judges)
   and state coercion (vs. Internalized Sanctions = deviance is deterred via beliefs, religion, taboo, cultural understanding of norms/mores)
– smaller culture groups or nations losing political control to state governments, hence over some of their cultural ways of life
--formal kinship descent systems develop to include control of land & assets
– many social, work and family activities make their adjustments: work for strangers, not family; specialization becomes diversified;
   state supported jobs or requirements come into play; distant and impersonal economic/social relationships take root
– much generalized & balanced reciprocity replaced by negative reciprocity
– women, the environment, and personalized religion are negatively impacted
– settling disputes is formalized = less social healing & judicial flexibility (replaced by more bureaucracy)
– Anomie, Disenchantment & Alienation come into play, mostly under newer industrial/post-industrial economies


Systems of Stratification / Inequality

– Is Stratification a method of “organizing” people into useful subgroups, or,
                                                                        a system of perpetuating “inequality” ?
– Categories, or types, of stratification:  Inequality based in. . . . . . ?

-- Kuznet's Curve  (a history of inequality, as well as the present and future)

– Minority Groups

–    Caste     &        Class    Systems
  (ascribed)  vs.   (achieved)  status
(systematic) vs. (meritocracy)

-- Or, a blending of the two!

– Supporting Ideologies of Inequality, and the ruling elite’s “Facades of
    Legitimacy” (Marx)

-- Tribal groups – they’re types of inequality, and attempts at equality (egalitarianism)

– Absolute & Relative poverty


Family, Marriage and Kinship

. . . an old fundamental organizing institution for cultures

· Functions of Formal Family and Kinship (5)
· value of Marriage (a formal contract/ceremony)
· value and definition of “Family” on a global scale

· Nuclear &  Extended families & Extended Households
o Consanguine (blood kin); Affinal (by marriage)

· Residence Patterns  (matri- ; patri- ; neo- ; ambi- local)

· Romantic  Love   vs.   Arranged Marriage
o Exogamy  &  Endogamy
o other reasons for arranged marriages

· Monogamy;  Polygamy;  Polygyny
o Bride Price/Wealth/Service  &  Dowry
o Polyandry
o Divorce
o Serial Monogamy

   Descent Systems
o Unilineal Descent  (Patrilineal & Matrilineal)

·         Bilateral Descent

·         Kindred

Functions of Family & formal Kinship


1.      Keeping relations and biology in order (includes marriage & sex taboos)

2.      Enculturation > survival & emotional security

3.      Providing material security by way of networking money, labor and passing down wealth and assets

4.      Delegation of rights, responsibilities and obligations

5.       For the benefits of Exogamy

Terms for Kinship:

Family = “a group related by blood, marriage, adoption, or some arrangement, where benefitting relationship occur”

Nuclear Family = “is the smallest family unit > parent(s) and their child(ren)”

Extended Family = “is all those family members that are outside of your nuclear family that are related by blood (cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents);  blood related nuclear families”

Marriage = “Formal rights of 2 people having sexual access to each other”. You can’t have a formal kinship system unless you start by taking marriage seriously; marriage is therefore the foundation and point of origin of formal family ties.

Exogamy = “marry outside the group in order to make social, political and/or economic connections or alliances”

Endogamy = “marriage within a certain group for socio-cultural reasons”  (marry within the boundaries of class, caste, ethnicity, religion, race, subculture)

Bride Wealth = “a gift in money or assets by the groom, or groom’s family, and seen as compensation to the bride’s family for their economic and emotional loss”

Bride Service = where the gift is in the form of labor, not money or assets

Dowry = “a gift of money or assets by bride’s family as payment of the bride’s inheritance to take with her into the marriage”

Bilateral kinship = “recognizing both parents’ family lines, but seldom utilizing either for strict rights, obligations, or passing down wealth”

Kindred = “recognizing the particular relatives of your extended family that are important to you, or that you are in frequent contact with; who you consider valuable or important”

Homogamy = “marriage between people with the same social/cultural characteristics or background” (as opposed to Heterogamy = marriage partners w/ cultural differences)

Serial Monogamy = “a series of monogamous marriages > marriage, divorce, remarriage, divorce, remarriage, in a series”


            Economics  &  Culture

-- A Powerful cultural institution

o   -- Traditional & Tribal Economics in general
Integration of economics with other cultural institutions (social, family, politics, religion, etc);  social ties, reputation & religious connections; not necessarily on a ridged schedule/clock;  save up for big giveaways (Potlatch, Maya Cargo); passing down wealth & skills via kinship; shared labor & resources & well defined economic roles & division of labor;  culture group specialization & identity

-- Generalized Reciprocity
-- Balanced Reciprocity
-- Negative Reciprocity

-- Redistribution
    -- Leveling Mechanisms

    -- Market Principle  (supply, demand, price variables; competition-profit motive-negative reciprocity; practiced by most of the world, though it varies greatly)
              o Industrialization & Alienation


Reciprocity – a sharing or exchange of goods & services

Generalized Reciprocity – reciprocity whereby return of goods & services are not expected, at least in specific form, value or timeframe.

Balanced Reciprocity – expectations of the return of goods & services of roughly equal value, often within a specified time period. (Sellers be conscious)

Redistribution – redistribution of goods/services resulting from accumulated surplus.   Can be in the more “generalized” form, or accumulated through expected or forced tribute.

Leveling Mechanisms – cultural mechanisms or values that attempt to strike balances in economic & social equality.

Negative Reciprocity – Trying to get the most in the exchange while giving the least (Buyers beware).

Market Principle – buying and selling of goods and services with prices set by the dynamics of supply and demand.

Alienation (Marx) – alienated from control over the “means of production” (controlling assets, raw materials, final product); pay, quality of work; product knowledge (just do your specialization and collect your paycheck);  2) most jobs alienate from home, family & neighborhood

                                Culture Groups by Economic Types

Subsistence Economies
Hunter / Gatherers (Foragers) - hunting (including fishing) and gathering of wild foods; long human history; different strategies for different environments (whole variety of adaptations); low-tech and low impact on environment; almost all egalitarian; little to no collection of wealth;  mobile small groups (bands) (20-50); traditionally animistic/shamanistic religions;  sharing-cooperation ethics;  sexual division of labor; they try not to exceed the carrying capacity of the land (over-consume resources).
-- They have a whole variety of hunting/gathering tools & techniques depending on the different Eco-Systems.
-- Still representing the foundations to basic human cultural strategies (cooperative work, religion, art, family, etc.) (90% of human history is in H & G)
Other typical Hunter/Gatherer cultural traits:
-- Flexibility in social and kinship relationships compared to other tribal groups
-- Kindred; Bi-Lateral Kinship; Average group size 20-50
-- Egalitarian - social/political equality within the group
-- Religion: Animism; Ancestor spirits; Shamanism

Horticulturalists (tribal) - low-tech gardeners with a some hunting/gathering on  the side; shifting cultivation (land rotation) and slash & burn cultivation; low-tech agriculture (machete,digging stick,fire); getting fertility out of the Tropics (not easy); Arborculture; pigs & chickens;  some collection of wealth;  sedentary (non-mobile);  traditionally animatism beliefs; Big Men,chiefs,kinship elders are political leaders; ceremonies centered around planting, harvest, rains, tribal war, big givaways; they are found in the tropical forest regions of the world.

Pastoralists - animal herders (cows,camels,goats,horses,etc) - making use of low productive areas;  mobile or semi-mobile (nomadic or semi-nomadic-transhumant);  goods consumed/sold are meats, animal fibers (ex.wools), dairy products, animal skins, utility crafts and maybe some gardening on the side;  low-tech; some collection of wealth; rigid sexual divisions in culture as a whole > patriarchal;  rugged, proud, adaptive, sometimes warlike; stories of war and heros; religion was traditionally animatistic, but now mostly Muslim.  Not equivalent in culture with Ranchers.
-- Not much in common with "Ranchers" other than a focus on, and understanding of, domesticated animal breeding; ranchers tend to blend in more with neighboring or dominant groups around them losing much of their independence and core to their unique culture.
-- typically found in savannahs, grasslands, semi-arid to arid landscapes; their animals eat the wild grasses/bushes and they eat the animals and their dairy products.
-- Nomadic Pastoralists (roaming more mobile herders, usually in leaner environs and smaller populations)
-- Semi-Nomadic Pastoralists  (seasonal and/or regional herders; usually larger groups in more fertile areas doing some agriculture on the side; some folks in group stay at permanent home base while others herd = transhumance)
-- Other Typical Cultural Characteristics: (fiercely independent as a culture group; pride in bravery and warfare; strongly male dominant, women with low status; strict patrilineal kinship; Chiefly rule via kinship; religion – originally animatistic, but more commonly today Muslim.

Surplus Economies
The rest of the world’s cultures are labeled as :  Intensive/Commercial  Agriculture (large scale, technology based, surplus oriented)  = rural village based cultures in a state-level setting.  Industrial (primarily involved in manufacturing (mass production) of products often with a smaller service sector; includes industrial based agricultural/ranching (more machinery & technology employed);  Post-Industrial (high-tech - especially tele-video communications & computers, primarily service/information based jobs; increase in international economics)
These surplus groups are practically worldwide, representing the vast majority of the economies around the world.

Political Systems  &  Cultures





                          Religion  &  Culture

-- Answering the Unknown  (Organizing us;  giving us social control/internalized sanctions; 
                                             giving us purpose & meaning & answers)

-- What are we after in studying Religion in Anthropology?

-- Religion as an Integral and Powerful institution
         -- Rites of Passage – accentuating the transitions of life
              -- The Ritual and the Sacred

-- East vs. West religions/spiritual philosophies

-- Functions  &  possible Dysfunctions of Religion for humans / human groups
        -- Powerful force in culture change – or – fundamentalism
                    -- Revitalization Movements
--  Secularism

--  Polytheism
     -- Balancing of Forces  (often in Dualities)
     -- Animism  (spirits, souls, interconnected web of life, animal allies)
     -- Shamanism  (multifaceted practice) (healing; trance)
     -- Ancestor spirits
     -- Animatism & Mana (magic, sorcery, witchcraft, divination, prayermakers)

Revitalization Movement
- generally conservative movements that attempt to revitalize or reinvigorate old or dying cultural traditions or institutions.
Secularism – The declining influence of religion in everyday life or culture.
Animism - a belief system whereby everything is spiritually alive in nature; everything has an interconnection of souls, spirits or energy that may interact with each other, or interdependent on each other.
Shamanism - an all-in-one spiritual practitioner in contact with the spirit world, sometimes for interpretation of the spirits (ex. ancestor spirits), but mostly for the sake of physical or psychological healing.
Animatism (Mana) -  A variation of animism whereby the power or energy that exist in all living things can be harnessed and manipulated by certain individuals (sorcerers, witches, prayer makers, diviners, warriors, athletes, etc.).  Mana” in Melanesia = certain people, plants, animals, or objects like stones or shells, are specially imbued with (possessed with) a sacred force or power.

A Brief on Colonialism  &  Neocolonialism


n  Summation of the History of Colonialism

o   Who are the major players?

o   A quest for new lands, luxury items, agricultural products, and Cheeeeap Labor


n  Set up Colonial or Puppet Governments and built the necessary infrastructure


n  Set up Economic structure for an export cash cropping/cash mineral economy

o   moving them away from local supply/demand/price & products to one set by foreign colonialists > beginnings of economic dependency


n  Resulting cultural transitions and challenges for many tribal & traditional people (new languages; new politics;  formal borders dividing culture or throwing them together;  cultural loss and cultural lag)


n  Neocolonialism – political Independence, industrial revolution, developed 1st world loans, foreign aid, and MNCs/TNCs, plus, former colonies mismanagement and corruption with continued economic dependency


n  Global Inequality today


Population,  Environment  &  Global Cultures 

– 7 Billion Folks - Is that sustainable?  exceeding the Carrying Capacity?

– Factors of side-effects associated with overpopulation
– plus, rapid Urbanization (stress on infrastructure; social issues)
          – Where is population a more serious problem?

– Demographic Transition Theory (explains pop. explosion in recent centuries)

– Why do traditional cultures keep having so many babies?

-- Serious Environmental Issues
            -- Developing & Developed countries different but connected problems
                   -- Who’s consuming all the resources?


        Human Cultures and the Future
– Culture Change in General
            – Diffusion & Syncretism & Acculturation

– Globalization   (beginning with Colonialism)
            – from Culture Groups to Societies & Ethnicity
            – Ethnic resurgence & revitalization              

– Pros & Cons of modern Globalization
– Cultural Loss & Cultural Lag

– small Voices or the Tribal Groups and the value of their diversity

– New Balancing Act:  Modern societies and Traditional ways

Terms relating to Culture Change:

Diffusion – the sharing of material and nonmaterial culture from one group to another.  (ideas; religion; new technologies; popular materials)
Syncretism – the blending of native and foreign traits as a result of diffusion
forming a new cultural trait or institution (altering, or making their own version of, foreign introduced material things, ideas, religion, sports, etc.).
Cultural Lag – the struggle and frustration of adapting to the changes happening around a person or group.  (individuals/groups adapting to modern technology; science; new religious ideas) (typically traditional cultures and older generations)
Cultural Loss - As new activities, strategies, or institutions come into a society passively or forcibly, then some other activity, strategy, or institutions has to be discarded, and over time possibly lost.  (There’s only so much time and energy in a day/week/year)
Cultural (Ethnic) Revitalization -  when culture groups attempt to revitalize or reinvigorate old or dying cultural traditions or institutions (ex. religion, language, ceremonies).

Aspects of Modernity:
Pros:  more information-education and all its positive affects like science with its emphasis on reasoning and logic; improved technology & health care; more choices and freedoms in general; possible lowering of inequality
Challenges:  still big problems persist: poverty, inequality & environment; too many choices?;  too much individualism?  frequent cultural lag & increasing cultural loss;  more personal stress, frustration, and identity issues; less common threads/connections between people/families;  moral uncertainty;  more impersonal relations;  more competitive and less cooperative