culture & society | Michael Tomasello | Society


A society or a human society is (1) a group of people related to each other through persistent relations such as social status , roles and social networks. (2) A large social grouping that shares the same geographical territory and is subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Human societies are characterized by pattern s of relationships between individuals sharing a distinctive culture and

institutions . Without an article, the term re fers either to the entirety of humanity or a contextually specific subset of people.

Used in the sense of an association, a society is a body of individuals outlined by the bounds of functional interdependence , possibly comprising characteristics such as national or cultural identity , social solidarity , language or hierarchical organization .

Canis lupus social ethology

Like other groupings, a society allows its members to achieve needs or wishes they could not fulfill alone; the social fact can be identified, understood or specified within a circum stance that certain resources, objectives, requirements or results, are needed and utilized in an

individual manner and for individual ends, although they can't be achieved, gotten or fulfilled in an individual manner as well, but, on the contrary, they can be gotten only in a collective, collaborative manner; namely, team work becomes the valid functional means, to individual ends which an individual would need to have but isn't able to get.

More broadly, a society is an economic, social or industrial infrastructure , made up of a varied collection of individuals. Members of a society may be from different ethnic groups . A society may be a particular ethnic group, such as the Saxons; a nation state , such as Bhutan; a broader cultural group, such as a Western society . The word society may also refer to an organized voluntary association of people for religious, benevolent, cultural, scientific, political, patriotic, or other purposes. A "society" may even, though more by means of metaphor, refer to a social organism such as an ant colony or any cooperative aggregate such as for example in some formulations of artificial intelligence .

[edit] Conceptions of "society"

A half-section of the 12th century Song Dynasty version of Night Revels of Han Xizai , original by Gu Hongzhong ; the painting, which is a masterpiece of the era's artwork, portrays servants, musicians, monks, children, guests, hosts all in a single social environment, serves as an in-depth look into 10th -century Chinese social structure.

Society, in general, addresses the fact that an individual has rather limited means as an autonomous unit . The Great apes have always been more (Bonobo.Homo, Pan) or less (Gorilla, Pongo) social animals so Robinson Crusoe like situations are either fictions or unusual corner cases to the ubiquity of social context for humans who fall between eusocial in the spectrum of animal ethology . presocial and

[edit] In anthropology

Human societies are most often organized according to their primary means of subsistence . Social scientists have identified hunter-gatherer societies, nomadic pastoral societies, horticulturalist or simple farming societies, and intensive agricultural societies, also called civilizations . Some consider industrial and post-industrial societies to be qualitatively different from traditional agricultural societies.

) does not always take the form of hierarchical social organization or stratification.Today." better/worse. much anthropological data has suggested that complexity (civilization. depending on the cultural geographical . tribes. chiefdoms. According to anthropologist Maurice Godelier . a . in contrast to h umanity's closest biological relatives (chimpanzees and bonobo). Also. is the parental role assumed by the males. one critical novelty in human society. These structures may have varying degrees of political power . population growth and density. In fact. anthropologists and many social scientists vigorously oppose the notion of cultural evolution and rigid "stages" such as these. cultural relativism as a widespread approach/ethic has largely replaced notions of "primitive. and state societies. which supposedly would be absent in our nearest relatives for whom paternity is not in general determinable. In order of increasing size and complexity. Thus. etc. specialization. or "progress" in relation to culture s (including their material culture/technology and social organization). there are bands. and historical environments that these societies must contend with. [1][2] [edit] In political science Societies may also be organized according to their political structure.

A society that is unable to offer an effective response to other societies it competes with will usually be subsume d into the culture of the competing society (see technology for examples). This system of classification contains four categories: y Hunter-gatherer bands (categorization on duties and responsibilities. 2) simple agricultural. Fried. y Stratified structures led by chieftains .g. 3) advanced agricultural. communication and economy: 1) hunters and gatherers. [edit] In sociology Sociologist Gerhard Lenski differentiates s ocieties based on their level of technology. and 5) special (e.more isolated society with the same level of technology and culture as other societies is more likely to survive than one in closer proximit y to others that may encroach on their resources ( see history for examples). a conflict theorist. an integration theorist. 4) industrial. who have produced a system of classification for societies in all human cultures based on the evolution of social inequality and the role of the state. . somewhat similar to the system earlier developed by [3] This is anthropologists Morton H.) y Tribal societies in which there are some limited instances of social rank and prestige. fishing societies or maritime societies). and Elman Service .

which may be seen in various types of human groupings. at the behest of some individual or some larger group of people. mankind.y Civilizations . In addition to this there are: y Humanity. Mechanisms such as gift-giving and scapegoating . This type of generosity can be seen in all known cultures. Villages grew to become towns and cities. Hunter -gatherer tribes settled around seasonal food stocks to become agrarian villages . some cultures have progressed toward more -complex forms of organization and control. Social . y Virtual society is a society based on online identity. This cultural evolution has a profound effect on patterns of community. members of a society may also shun or scapegoat members of the society who violate its norms. prestige accrues to the generous individual or group. Over time. institutional governments . Cities turned into city-states and nation-states. with complex social hierarchies and organized. which is evolving in the information age .[4] Many societies will distribute largess. typically. tend to be institutionalized within a society. Conversely. including society's beliefs. that upon which rest all the elements of society.

Virtually all societies have developed some degree of inequality among their people through the process of social stratification -the division of members of a society into levels with unequal wealth. shunning. The phenomena of community action. or monetary reward. scapegoating. This type of recognition is bestowed by members of that society on the individual or group in the form of a name. in many societies. Some societies will bestow status on an individual or group of people. prestige . the way that humans use technology to provide needs for themselves. manner of dress. is subject to a ritual or process of this type. when that individual or group performs an admired or d esired action. anthropologists tend to classify different societies according to the degree to which different groups within a society have unequal access to advantages such as resources. [edit] Types of societies Types of societies are categories of social groups that differ according to subsistence strategies . prestige or power. Although humans have established many types of societies throughout histo ry. shared risk and reward are common to many forms of society. generosity. Adult male/female status. title.evolution as a phenomenon carries with itself certain elements that could be detrimental to the population it serves. Altruistic action in the interests of the larger group is seen in virtually all societies.

is the main economic activity. Statuses within the tribe are relatively equal. Hunter-gatherers move around constantly in search of food. agricultural and feudal. Hunting and gathering societies The main form of food production in such societies is the daily collection of wild plants and the hunting of wild animals. and decisions are reached through general agreement. food production. As a result. These societies can be subdivided according to their level of technology and their method of producing food. They generally consist of fewer than 60 people and rarely exceed 100. Sociologists place societies in three broad categories: pre-industrial . they do not build permanent villages or create a wide variety of artifacts and usually only form small groups such as Bands and Tribes. The ties that bind the tribe are . horticultural. [edit] Pre-industrial societies In a pre-industrial society. pastoral. The need for mobility also limits the size of these societies. industrial . These subdivisions are h unting and gathering. which is carried out through the use of human and animal labor.or power. and postindustrial . however some Hunting and Gathering Societies in areas with abundant resources (such as the Tlingit) lived in larger groups and formed complex hierarchi cal social structures such as chiefdoms.

As a result. therefore. This type of or ganization requires the family to carry out most social functions. there are no political offices containing real power. the division of labor. t ribal consolidation for collective action are not governmental. and a chief is merely a person of influence. as some families acquire more goods than others do. These families often gain power through their . the specialization by individuals or groups in the performance of specific economic activities. Rather than searching for food on a daily basis. including production and education . Pastoralists live a normadic life.more complicated than those of the bands. a sort of adviser. The family forms the main social unit . Leadership is personal-charismat ic-and for special purposes only in tribal society. For example. members of a pastoral society rely on domesticated herd animals to meet their food needs. and jewelry. Because their food supply is far more reliable. fewer people are needed to produce food. producing tools. Since there are f ood surpluses. The production of goods encourages trade. moving their herds from pasture to another. becomes more complex. with most societal members being related by birth or by marriage. Pastoral societies Pastoralism is a slightly more efficient form of subsistence. pastoral societies can support larger populations. some people become craftworkers.This trade helps to create inequality. weapons.

the typical form of government in pastoral societies. This allows them to build semipermanent or permanent villages. Horticultural societies Fruits and vegetables grown in garden plots that have been cleared from the jungle or forest provide the main source of food in a horticultural society. These societies have a level of technology and complexity similar to pastoral societies. When the land becomes barren. include . thus villages can range from as few as 30 people to as many as 2000. They may return to the original land several years later and begin the process again. As with pastoral societies. horticulturists can stay in one area for a fairly long period of time. surplus food leads to a more complex division of labor. Horticulturists use human labor and simple tools to cultivate the land for one or more seasons. The passing on of property from generation to another helps to centralize wealth and power. The size of a village's population depends on the amount of land avail able for farming. and ashes are used as fertilizers.increased wealth. emerge. Specialized roles that are part of horticultural life. hereditary chieftainships. The wild vegetation is cut and burned. In time. horticulturists clear a new plot and leave the old plot to revert to its natural state. Some horticultural groups use the sl ash-and-burn method to raise crops. By rotating their garden plots.

surplus food can lead to inequalities in weal th and power within horticultural societies. shamans (religious leaders). Increases in food supplies then led to larger populations than in earlier communities. As villages and towns expanded into . merchants. In hunting and gathering societies. hereditary chieftainships are prevalent. and traders. they became more subordinate to men. This role specialization allows people to create a wide variety of artifacts. Sociologists use the phrase Agricultural Revolution to refer to the technological changes that occurred as long as 8. women even gathered more food than men. However. Greater degrees of social stratification appeared in agricultural societies. which resulted in towns that became centers of trade supporting various rulers. This meant a greater surplus. Agricultural societies Agricultural societies use technological advances to cultivate crops over a large area.those of craftspeople.500 years ago that led to cultivating crops and raising farm animals. educators. as a result. craftspeople. as food stores improved and women took on lesser roles in providing food for the family. For example. women previously had higher social sta tus because they shared labor more equally with men. Economic and political systems are developed because of settled nature of horticultural life. As in pastoral societies. and religious leaders who did not have to worry about locating nourishment.

The caste system of feudalism was often multigenerational. Farmers provided warriors with food in exchange for protection against invasion by enemies. Unlike today's farmers. homage. crops. and other services to the owner of the land. In this way. knight and Peasant. the nobility managed to extract goods from the lesser persons of society. conflicts with other communities inevitably occurred. an example of feudal societies Feudal Societies From the 9th to 15th centuries. the lords exploited the peasants into providig food. the families of peasants may have cultivated their lord's land for generations.neighboring areas. A system of rulers with high social status also appeared. . In exchange for military protection. feudalism was a form of society based on ownership of land. This nobility organized warriors to protect the society from invasion. n crafts. vassals underfeudalism were bound to cultivating their lord's land. Cleric.

Australia. have chosen democracy as a form of governance. Geographically. and spices stimulated great commercial activity in Europe. are heavily influenced by . The cultures and lifestyles of all of these stem from Western Euro pe. They all enjoy relatively strong economies and stable governments. favor capitalism and international trade. politics and ideas. Europe's exploration of the Americas served as one impetus for the development of capitalism. North America . silks. it covers at the very least the countries of Western Europe . a n ew economic system emerged that began to replace feudalism. often referred to simply as Western society . in which the means of production are privately owned. The introduction of foreign metals. [edit] Contemporary usage The term society is currently us ed to cover both a number of political and scientific connotations as well as a variety of associations. It sometimes also includes Eastern Europe . [edit] Western society Main article: Western world The development of the Western world has brought with it the emerging concepts of Western culture .Between the 14 th and 16 th centuries. New Zealand and Japan. South America and Israel. Capitalism is marked by open competition in a free market. allow freedom of religion.

public services and quality of life . and have some form of political and military alliance or cooperation. schools. as well as their application to improve social inclusion . Here policies are directed towards promoting an open and competitive digital economy . [6] One of the European Union 's areas of interest is the Information Society. research into information and communication technologies . as well as the emergence of new social forms in cyberspace.Judeo-Christian values .[7] . It therefore covers the effects of computers and telecommunications on the home. [5] [edit] Information society Main article: Information society Although the concept of information society has been under discussion since the 1930s. government and various communities and organizations. the workplace. in the modern world it is almost always applied to the manner in w hich information technologies have impacted society and culture.

. access to information and knowledge. These include: y y y y y y y promotion of ICTs for development. agriculture and science. [edit] Knowledge society .World Summit on the Information Society. enabling environment. environment. health. international and regional cooperation. building confidence and security in the use of ICTs. business learning. ethical dimensions of the Information Society. ICT applications in the areas of government. capacity building. employment. information and communication infrastructure. y y y y cultural and linguistic diversity and local content. media. Geneva tions Union's World Summit on the The International Telecommunica Information Society in Geneva and Tunis (2003/2005) has led to a number [8] of policy and application areas where action is required.

store and transmit large quantities of informtion cheaply a has increased at a staggering rate over recent years. In the words of an Irish governmental analysis. gave special attention to the following topics: y y business and enterprise computing . special attention was extended from the Information Society to the knowledge society. As much as 70 to 80 percent of economic growth is now [9] said to be due to new and better knowledge." The Second World Summit on the Knowledge Society. The digitisation of information and the associated pervasiveness of the Internet are facilitating a new intensity in the application of knowledge to economic activity.The Seoul Cyworld control room As access to electronic information resourcesincreased at the beginning of the 21st century. to the extent that i has become the predominant factor in the t creation of wealth. [10] in September 2009. . held in Chania. "The capacity to manipulate. Crete. technology-enhanced learning.

intellectual and human capital development. and Western). tourism and technology. technologies and business models for th e creative industries . or the Royal Society ). ICTs for ecology and the Green Economy . professional and scientific associations describe themselves as societies (for example. e-government and e-democracy . sustainable development and strategic management. American Society of Civil Engineers . management and engineering . When used in this context. Some academic. the term is employed as a means of contrasting two or mo re "societies" whose members represent alternative conflicting and competing worldviews ( see Secret Societies ). culture. innovation. service science. [edit] Other uses People of many nations united by common political and cultural traditions. or values are sometimes also said to be a society (such as Judeo-Christian.y y y y y y y y y social and humanistic computing . beliefs. Eastern. . the American Mathematical Society . future prospects for the Knowledge Society.

In the United Kingdom .In some countries (for ex ample the United States . y y y y y High society Mass society y Scientific society Social actions Open society y Professional society Religion . the term "society" is used in commerce to denote a partnership between investors or the start of a business. France and Latin America). but cooperatives or mutuals are often known as societies (such as friendly societies and building societies). partnerships are not called societies.

000 BC indicating a thriving culture Ancient Egyptian art.Culture From Wikipedia. search For other uses. Petroglyphs in modern-day Gobustan. Azerbaijan. dating back to 10. 1.400 BC . the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. see Culture (disambiguation).

For example. However. belief. and practices that characterizes an institution.The Persian Hasht-Behesht Palace Culture (from the Latin cultura stemming from colere. In the mid-nineteenth century. Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions[2] . and then to the fulfillment of national aspirations or ideals. In the nineteenth century. it connoted a process of cultivation or improvement. some scientists used the term "culture" to refer to a universal human capacity. as in agriculture or horticulture. it came to refer first to the betterment or refinement of the individual. organization or group When the concept first emerged in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Europe. also known as high culture An integrated pattern of human knowledge. values. goals. in 1952. the word "culture" is most commonly used in three basic senses: Excellence of taste in the fine arts and humanities. and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learnin g y y y The set of shared attitudes. especially through education. For the German . meaning "to cultivate")[1] is a term that has various meanings.

in other disciplines such as cultural studies .1.1 A eric ! y 2 20th ce tury disc urses thropology thropology the evolution of culture atter and eaning     o 1.1.1 E ish R .[citation needed] Contents [hide] ¡¦¤ ¥¡ " y 1E   2.2 Structural-Functionalist challenge Society versus 2 1 0 0) ( (  2. albeit with different meanings.1 Biologic l $# $# o 2.4. the term became important.1 1899 1946 Universal versus particular 2.nonpositivist sociologist .4. "culture" emerged as a concept central to anthropology .1. culture referred to "the cultivation of individuals throu gh the agency of external forms which have been objectified in the course of history".2 Ge R icis   § ©¨ § ¤ £ ¡  ¢ y de disc s es icis o 1.4 Cultural anthropology   2. Specifically. and to act imaginatively and creatively.1.1. the te rm "culture" in American anthropology had two meanings: (1) the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols. Following World War II .1. and acted creatively.3 Language and culture 2. Georg Simmel . organizational psychology and management studies . [3] In the twentieth century.2 Archeologic l pproaches to culture ' &% %  2. encompassing all human phenomena that are not purely results of human genetics. and (2) the di stinct ways that people living in different parts of the world classified and represented their experiences.

and through artifice. His use. which was understood teleologically as the one natural highest possible ideal for human development.4 1940 present: Local versus global 2.2 Cultural studies 3 Cultural change 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links Early modern discourses The modern term "culture" has a classical origin. wrote of a cultivation of the soul or "cultura animi" .1. Cicero. and that of many writers after him "refers to all the ways in which human beings overcome their original barbarism.4.3 1946 1968: Sy olic versus adaptive . Samuel Pufendorf took over this metaphor in a modern context.culture  o y y y y y 2.4." which originally meant the cultivation of the soul or mind. [4] As described by Velkley [4]: The "term "culture.1. acquires most of its later modern meanings in the writings of the eighteenth -century German thinkers. in his Tusculan Disputations . meaning something similar. who on various levels developing 43  2. but no longer assuming that philosophy is man's natural perfection. thereby using an agricultural metaphor to describe the development of a philosophical soul. become fully human".

namely the full "expression" of the unique of "authentic" self. even when not expressed as such. Two primary me nings of culture a emerge from this period: culture as the folk spirit having a unique identity. Thus a civilization" is usually implied in these contrast between "culture" and " authors. The first meaning is predominant in our current use of the term "culture. and culture as cultivation of inwardness or free individuality." although the second s till plays a large role in what we think culture should achieve.Rousseau's criticism of modern liberalism and Enlightenment. English Romanticism British poet and critic Matthew Arnold viewed "culture" as the cultivation of the humanist ideal. .

[6] As these forms were associated with urbane life. namely that of the ruling social group. civitas. on all the matters which most concern us. and "low culture.British anthropologist Edward Tylor was one of the first English-speaking scholars to use the term culture in an inclusive and universal sense. [5] the best which has been thought and said in the world.." In practice.. culture referred to an élite ideal and was associated with such activities as art. In the nineteenth century.culture being a pursuit of our totalperfection by means of getting to know. humanists such asEnglish poet and essayist Matthew Arnold (1822 1888) used the word "culture" to refer to an ideal of individual human refinement. which led to identifying a "culture" among non-elites."[5] This concept of culture is comparable to theGerman concept of bildung: ". classical music. city)." . and haute cuisine. This distinction is often characterized as that between "high culture". of "the best that has been thought and said in the world. Another facet of the Romantic movement was an interest in folklore. "culture"was identified with "civilization" (from lat.

the Native Americans who were being conquered by Europeans from the 16th centuries on were living in a state of nature. the idea of "culture" that developed in Europe during the 18th and early 19th centuries reflected inequalities within European societies. This contrast led to Herbert Spencer 's theory of Social Darwinism and Lewis Henry Morgan 's theory of cultural evolution . have accepted this differentiation between higher and lower culture." According to Hobbes and Rousseau. some critics have argued that the distinction between civilized and uncivilized people is really an expression of the conflict between European colonial powers and their colonial sub jects. one could classify some countries and nations as more civilized than others and some people as more cultured than others. " other Europeans.In other words." According to this way of thinking. contrasted "culture" with "the state of nature. but have seen the refinement and sophistication of high culture as corrupting and unnatural . following philosophers Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau . Other 19th century critics. this opposition was expressed through the contrast between "civilized" and "uncivilized. [7] Matthew Arnold contrasted "culture" with "anarchy. following Rousseau. Just as some critics have argued that the distinction between high and low cultures is rea lly an expression of the conflict between European elites and non-elites.

In the process. this view often portrayedindigenous peoples as "noble savages" living authentic and unblemished lives. religion evolves from more polytheistic to more [8] monotheistic forms. uncomplicated and uncorrupted by the highly stratified capitalist systems of the West.developments that obscure and distort people'sessential nature. German Romanticism Johann Herder called attention to national cultures. These -class people) to critics considered folk music (as produced by working honestly express a natural way of life. . Equally. This view paved the way for the modern understanding of culture. According to this theory. he redefined culture as a diverse set of activities characteristic of all human societies. while classical music seemed superficial and decade nt. In 1870 Edward Tylor (1832 1917) applied these ideas of higher versus lower culture to propose a theory of the evolution of religion.

"[10] e In 1795. the great linguist and philosopher Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767 1835) called for an anthropology that would synthesize Kant's and Herder's interests. Bildung was the totality of experiences that provide a coherent identity. Moreover.Adolf Bastian developed a universal model of culture. to a p ople. Kant urged:Sapere aude. German scholars such as Johann Gottfried Herder (1744 1803) argued that human creativity. is as important as human rationality. especially those concerned with nationalist movements such as the . which necessarily takes unpredictable and highly diverse forms."[9] He argued that this immaturity comes not from a lack of understanding. Herder proposed a collective form of bildung: "For Herder. scholars in Germany. and sense of common destiny. The German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724 1804) formulated an individualist definition of "enlightenment" similar to the concept of bildung: "Enlightenment is man's emergence from his selfincurred immaturity. Against this intellectual cowardice. but from a lack of courage to think independently. During the Romantic era. "Dare to be wise!" In reaction to Kant.

different cultures. and the nationalist struggles by ethnic minorit ies against the Austro-Hungarian Empire developed a more inclusive notion of culture as "worldview. this approach to culture still allowed for distinctions betw een "civilized" and "primitive" or "tribal" cultures. Although more inclusive than earlier views. are local modifications of the elementary ideas. Adolf Bastian (1826 1905) argued for "the psychic unity of mankind"." According to this school of thought. all human societies share a set of "elementary ideas" (Elementargedanken ). He proposed that a scientific comparison of all human societies would reveal that distinct worldviews consisted of the same basic elements. In 1860. According to Bastian. and he brought it with him when he left Germany for the United States. each ethnic group has a distinct worldview that is incommensurable with the worldviews of other groups. 20th century discourses American anthropology . or different "folk ideas" (Volkergedanken ). Franz Boas (1858 1942) was trained in this tradition.nationalist struggle to create a "Germany" out of diverse principalities. [11] This view paved the way for the modern understanding of culture.

linguistics. is culture uniquely human or shared by other species (most notably. First. Homo. Biological anthropology: the evolution of culture Taxonomic relations between four surviving species of the clade Hominoidea: Hylobatidae. American anthropology is organized into four fields. other primates)? This is an impotant question. Research in these fields have influenced anthropologists working in other countries to different degrees. and communicate symbolically encoded experiences socially. r as the theory of evolution holds that humans are descended from (now extinct) non-human primates. Gorillini. Pan and Pongo Discussion concerning culture among biological anthropologists centers around two debates. each of which plays an important role in research on cul ture: biological anthropology . where it most commonly refers to the universal human capacity to classify and encode theirexperiences symbolically. Second. cultural anthropology and archaeology. how did culture evolve among human beings? . in the 20th century "culture" emerged as the central and unifying concept of American anthropology.Although anthropologists worldwide refer to Tylor's definition of culture.

C. The subjects of primatology are non -human primates. several arguing that non-human primates have culture. merely equating culture with any learned behavior. anthropological primatologists are divided. many anthropologists take this for granted and thus elide that important qualification from later definitions. [12][13] Today. others arguing tha t they do not.Gerald Weiss noted that although Tylor's classic definition of culture was restricted to humans. After reviewing the research on primate culture. cultural primatology must be committed to cultural survival [i. they have culture. and most species of nonhuman primates are endangered by their human cousins. to the survival of primate cultures]. This slippage is a p roblem because during the formative years of modern primatology. W. Ultimately. some primatologists were trained in anthropology (and understood that culture refers to learned behavior among humans). like Robert Yerkes and Jane Goodall thus argued that since chimpanzees have learned behaviors." [18] .e. "[a] discipline requires subjects. McGrew concluded.[14][15][16][17] This scientific debate is complicated by ethical concerns. whatever its merit. and others were not. and whatever culture these primates have is threatened by human activity. Notable non-anthropologists.

5. McGrew suggests that we view culture as a process. troops. then scientists are severely limited in their attempts to study primate culture. if culture is defined in terms of knowledge. He lists six steps in the process: 1. These social units may be 5 terms of recognizable stylistic features. 2. he innovator trans its this pattern to another. or an existing one is 3. A ne pattern of behavior is invented. whether it be a troop. 5 he form of the pattern is consistent ithin and across performers. subgroup. 4. Prima facie evidence of culture comes from within -species but across-group variation in behavior. But he also insists on the need to be as inclusive as possible. Here. He points out tha t scientists do not have access to the subjective thoughts or knowledge of non -human primates. 6. at least in part. as when a p attern is persistent in 6 5 .McGrew suggests a definition of culture that he finds scientifically useful for studying primate culture. or so on. or bands. acquired it. Thus. given the difficul ties in observing primate behavior in the wild. 6 7 7 7 7 odified. from social influences. perhaps even in he one ho acquires the pattern retains the ability to perform it long after having he pattern spreads across social units in a population. lineage. on the need for a definition of culture that "casts the net widely": Culture is considered to be group -specific behavior that is acquired. clans. Instead of defining culture a s a kind of knowledge. families. group is considered to be the species -typical unit.[18] McGrew admits that all six criteria may be strict. The pattern endures across generations.

" then all animals have culture. [19] As Charles Frederick Voegelin pointed out. they recognize third -party social relationships. cognitive mapping.[21] Moreover. all primate species show evidence of shared social skills: they recognize members of their social group. the ability to categorize objects. The suggestion of culture in action is stronger when the difference across the groups cannot be e xplained solely by ecological factors community of chimpanzees but is absent from another. [20] Certainly all specialists agree that all primate species evidence common cognitive skills: knowledge of object -permanence.. they form direct relationships based on degrees of kinship and rank. and creative problem solv ing. if "culture" is reduced to "learned behavior. or when different communities perform different versions of the same pattern.. they predict future behavior. and they cooperate in problem-solving. [21] .

These researchers are concerned with how human beings . the term "culture" applies to non human animals only if we define culture as any or all learned behavior. scholars tend to think that a more restictive definition r is necessary.Cast of the skeleton of Lucy. Within mainstream physical anthropology. an Australopithecus afarensis One current view of the temporal and geographical distribution ofhominid populations Nevertheless.

and that the e volution of this great difference occurred in such a short period of time.[24] 8 [23] During this derivatives. would allow physical anthropologists to study how humans evolved their unique capacity for "culture". or rats and mice.evolved to be different from other species. including linguistic symbols and their creation and use of complex tools and other instrumental technologies. Given that contemporary humans and chimpanzees are far more different than horses and zebras. time humanity evolved three distinctive features: (a) the creation and use of conventional symbols. This is the same amount of time it took for horses and zebras. and (c) the creation and participation in complex social organization and institutions. . A more precise definition of culture. which excludes non -human social behavior. "where these complex and specie s-unique behavioral practices. (b) the According to developmental psychologist Michael Tomasello . both are descended from a common ancestor which lived around five or six million years ago. and the cognitive skills that underlie them. to diverge from their respective common ancestors [22] The evolution of modern humans is rapid: Australopithicenes evolved four million years ago and modern humans in past several hundred thousand years. such as ritten language and mathematical symbols and notations. lions and tigers. came from" is a fundamental anthropological question. "our search must be for some small difference that made a big difference some adaptation. Chimpanzees ( Pan troglodytes and Pan paniscus ) are humans' ( Homo sapiens ) closest living relative. and rats and mice.

as is characteristic of other primates). Tomasello. this creates a favored environment for social innovations. and mastered "by youngsters." The key point is that children are born good at a particular kind of social learning. the answer to this question must form the basis of a scientific definition of "human culture. human social learning [25] For the kind of learning that distinguishes in human humans from other primates and that played a decisive role evolution is based on two elements: first. This is called "the ratchet effect :" innovations spread and are shared by a group. what he calls "imitative learning. these elements enable humans to be both inventive.or small set of adaptations. the fact that humans represent their experiences symbolically (rather than iconically." (as opposed to " emulative learning " characteristic of other primates) and second. making them more likely to be maintained and transmitted t o new generations than individual innovations. and learning strategies. complex social organization) are all the results of humans pooling cognitive resources. communication. which enables them to remain in their new and improved form w ithin the group until something better comes along." [24] In a recent review of the major research on human and primate tool -use. . complex technologies." According to Tomasello. Together. Tomasello argues that the key human advances over primates (language. that changed the process of primate cognitive evolution in f undamental ways.

Chimpanzee mother and baby Chimpanzee extracting insects The Japanese Maca ues at Jigokudani hotspring in Nagano 9 The kind of learning found among other p rimates is "emulation learning." which "focuses on the environmental events involved results or changes .and to preserve useful inventions. It is this combination that produces the ratchet effect.

an 18 -month-old female macaque monkey was observed taking sandy pieces of sweet potato (given to the monkeys by observers) to a stream (and later. Chimpanzee tool use. and Chimpanzee gestural communication. Notable examples include J apanese macaque potato washing. Chimpanzees consistently emulated the more efficient method. to the ocean) to wash off the sand. In laboratory experiments. evidence suggests that it is not. potato washing was observed in four other separate macaque . [29] Examples of emulation learning are well -documented among primates. and by the end of the third year 40% of the troop had adopted the practice. Over the next two years seven other young macaq ues were observed washing their potatoes.of state in the environment that the other produced actions that produced those results. [30][31] Although this story is popularly represented as a straightforward example of human -like learning. Both methods were effective. and then the playmates' mothers. After three months. but one was more efficient th an the other. Moreover." [26][27][28] rather than on the Tomasello emphasizes that emulation learning is a highly adap tive strategy for apes because it focuses on the effects of an act. this behavior had been observed in the macaque troop prior to the first observed washing. chimpanzees were shown two different ways for using a rake -like tool to obtain an out-of-reach-object. Many monkeys naturally brush sand off of food. the same behavior was observed in her mother and two playmates. In 1953.

ant -fishing. ant -dipping. If the form of learning were imitation. Some of this variation may be the result of "environmental shaping" (there is more rainfall in western Africa. This explains both why those monkeys that kept company with the original washer. It also explains why the rate at which this behavior spread was slow. [32] Finally.troops. [31] Other monkey species in captivity quickly learn to wash off their food. the rate of learning should have been exponential. thin sticks. suggesting that at least four other individual monkeys had learned to wash off sand on their own. but chimpanzees in Western Africa use large sticks to break holes in mounds and use thei r hands to scoop up termites. than in the Gombe reserve in eastern Africa. It is more likely that the monkeys' washing behavior is based on the common behavior of cleaning off food. [33] Chimpanzees exhibit a variety of population -specific tool use: termite-fishing. the spread of learning among the Japanese macaques was fairly slow. nut -cracking. and leaf-sponging. and who thus spent a go od deal of time by the water. rather than wipe their food. and that monkeys that spent time by the water independently learned to wash. also figured out how to wash their potatoes. Gombe chimpanzees fish for termites using small. softening termite mounds and making them easier to break apart. Chimpanzee . and the rate at which new members of the troop learned did not keep pace with the growth of the troop. Nevert heless it is clear that chimpanzees are good at emulation learning.

and know how to eat insects.children independently know how to roll over logs. In other words. they quickly learn to do the same. When children see their mothers rolling over logs to eat the insects beneath. Mother and child Inuit family Girls in Xinjiang in northwestern China . this [27][34] form of learning builds on activities the children already know.

when infants fix their attention not only on an object."[35] Human infants begin to display some evidence of this form of learning between the ages of nine and twelve months.Children in Jerusalem Children in Namibia The kind of learning characteristic of human children is "Imitative learning. but on the gaze of an adult which enables them to u adults as points of reference and thus "act on se objects in the way adults are acting on them." which "means reproducing an instrumental act understood intentionally."[36] This dynamic is well-documented and has also been termed "joint engagement" or "joint attention."[37][38] Essential to this dynamic is the infant's growing capacity to recognize others as "intentional agents:" people "with the .

16 -month old children interacted with adults who alternated between a complex series of motions that appeared intentional and a comparable set of motions that appeared accidental." [39] The development of skills in joint attention by the end of a human child's first year of life provides the basis for the development of imitative learning in the second year. even when they could have used an easier and more natural motion to the same effect.power to control their spontaneous behavior" and who "have goals and make active choices among behavioral means for attaining those go als. to perform. [41] [40] In Another study of 18 -month old children revealed that children imitate actions that adults intend . they imitated only those motions that appeared intentional. another study. In one study 14-month old children imitated an adult's over -complex method of turning on a light. [42] Tomasello emphasizes that this kind of imitative learning "relies fundamentally on infants' tendency to identify with adults. she is also learni ng things through them in the sense that she must know something of the adult's perspective on a situation to learn the active use of this same intentional act. and on their ability to distinguish in the actions of others the underlying goal and the different means th at might be used to achieve it." [43] He calls this kind of imitative learning "cultural learning because the child is not just learning about things from other persons. yet in some way fail." [44][45] He concludes that the key feature of cultural learning is that it occurs only when an individual .

imitated whichever method the adult was demonstrating. one more efficient. Tomasello argues that this strategy has made possible the "ratchet effect" that enabled humans to evolve complex social system s that have enabled . Chimpa nzees used the same efficient method following both demonstrations. [29] Chimpanzee learning strategies are well-suited to a stable physical environment that requires little social cooperation (compared to humans)."understands others as intentional agents. Human learning strategies are well-suited to a complex social environment in which understanding the intentions of others may be more important than success at a specific task. one less efficient. From an evolutionary perspective they are equally intelligent. however. Were chimps and humans to be compared on the basis of these results. Adult humans then demonstrated two different ways to use the tool. like the self. In one experiment. chimpanzees and two -year-old children were separately presented with a rake -like-tool and an out-of-reach object. but with different kinds of intelligence adapted to different environments. directed and shared. Most of the human children. one might think that Chimpanzees are more intelligent." [46] Emulation learning and imitative learning are two different adaptations that can only be assessed in their larger environmental and evolutionary contexts. who have a perspective on the world that can be followed into.

"[53] This fact." [52] Tomasello's 1999 review of the research contrasting human and non -human primate learning strategies confirms biological anthro pologist Ralph Holloway's 1969 argument that a specific kind of sociality linked to symbolic cognition were the keys to human evolution." "is how man organizes his experience. multiple referents were possible. "In general." Culture is "the imposition of arbitrary form upon the environment. the key issue in the evolution of H. for the vast majority of words in their language. children must find a way to learn in the ongoing flow of social int eraction. and the key to understanding "cultu re. According to Holloway. and all children in some. [49][50][51] Tomasello concludes that "a linguistic symbol is nothing other than a marker for an intersubjectively shared understanding of a situation. sometimes from speech not even addressed to them. and the adult was not directly trying to teach the word to the child. do not learn all words through the direct efforts of adults.humans to adapt to virtually every physical environment on the surface of the earth. is primary to and . Holloway argued. [47] Tomasello further argues that cultural learning is essential for language-acquisition. Most children in any society. sapiens ." [48] This finding has been confirmed by a variety of experiments in which children learned words even when the referent was not present. and constitute the nature of culture.

if not identical. Holloway argues that human language and tool -use. In the making of a stone tool. and that such cognitive differences in turn explain human evolution. the relation between product and raw material is iconic. Human tool -making and language express "similar." [55] Human tools." [56] . and language.explains what is distinct ive about human learning strategies." and other examples of primate tool -use and learning "are iconic. [54] In other words. cognitive processes" and provide important evidence for how humankind evolved. whereas McGrew argues that anthropologists must focus on behaviors like communication and tool -use because they have no access to the mind. learn or make tools. For Holloway. including the earliest sto ne tools in the fossil record. there is no necessary relation between the form of the final product and the original material. the question is not whether other primates communicate. "In the preparation of the stick for termite -eating. and there is no feedback from the environment to the animal . but the way they do these things. "Washing potatoes in the ocean stripping branches of leaves to get termites. are highly suggestive of cognitive differences between humans and non -humans. however. tool -use. express an independence from natural form that manifests symbolic thinking. in contrast.

our non-human ancestors. social network." [59] @ . and language to evolve through a constant dynamic of positive feedback." [57] I have suggested above that hatever culture may be. memory. The altered environment shapes his perceptions.[58] This is comparable to the "ratcheting" aspect suggested by Tomasello and others that enabled human evolution to accelerate. like those of modern chimpanzees and other primates. and press for further adaptation. or abstract principle) is non-iconic. "This interaction between the prope nsity to structure the environment arbitrarily and the feedback from the environment to the organism is an emergent process. "It is when these are integrated with the unique attributes of arbitra ry production (symbolization) and imposition that man qua cultural man appears. with perhaps differences in degree. social structure. a process different in kind from anything that preceded it . One is a recognition that the relationship between the coding process and the phenomenon (be it a tool." This phrase has two components.In Holloway's view . upon the environment. and these are again forced back on the environment. curiosity. it includes "the imposition of arbitrary forms upon the environment. The other is an idea of man as a creature who can make delusional systems work who imposes his fantasies. his non-iconic constructs (and constructions) . shared motor and sensory skills. and intelligence. tool complexity. Holloway concludes that the first instance of symbolic thought among humans provided a "kick-start" for brain development. are incorporated into the environment.


Magritte The Treachery of Images provides a classic illustration of the "arbitrariness of the sign."

Ancient stone tools

Simple-edge chopper


Unretouched biface

Linguists Charles Hockett and R. Ascher have identified thirteen design-features of language, some shared by other forms of animal communication. One feature that distinguishes human language is its tremendous productivity; in other words, competent speakers of a language are capable of producing an infinite number of original utterances. This productivity seems to be made possible by a few critical features unique to human language. One is "duality of patterning," meaning that human language consists of the articulation of several distinct processes, each with its own set of rules: combining phonemes to produce morphemes, mbining words to produce combining morphemes to produce words, and co sentences. This means that a person can master a relatively limited number of signals and sets of rules, to create infinite combinations. Another crucial element is that human language is symbolic: the sound of words
[60] (or their shape, when written) bear no relation to what they represent.

In other words, their meaning is arbitrary. That words have mea ning is a matter of convention. Since the meaning of words are arbitrary, any word

may have several meanings, and any object may be referred to using a variety of words; the actual word used to describe a particular object depends on the context, the inten tion of the speaker, and the ability of the listener to judge these appropriately. As Tomasello notes,
An individual language user looks at a tree and, before drawing the attention of her interlocutor to that tree, must decide, based on her assessment of the listener's current knowledge and expectations, whether to say "that tree over there," "it," "the oak," "that hundred-year-oak," "the tree," "the bagswing tree," "that thing in the front yard," "the ornament," "the embarrassment," or any of a number of other expressions. And these decisions are not made on the basis of the speaker's direct goal with respect to the object or activity involved, but rather that they are made on the basis of her goal with respect to the listener's interest and attention to that object or activity.

This is why symbolic cognition and communication and imitative learning go hand-in-hand. [61]

Holloway argues that the stone -tools associated with genus Homo have the same features of human language:
Returning to matter of syntax, rules, and concatenated activity mentioned above, almost any model which describes a language process can also be used to describe tool- making. This is hardly surprising. Both activities are concatenated, both have rigid rules about the serialization of unit activities (the grammar, syntax), both are hierarchical systems of activity (as is any motor activity), and both produce arbitrary configurations which thence become part of the environment, either temporarily or permanently.[62] Productivity can be seen in the facts that basic types were probably used for multiple purposes, that tool industries tend to expand with time, and that a slight variation on a basic pattern may be made to met some new functional requisite. Elemen

o a ba

"vo abula y" o mo o opera on

lakes, deta h ment, rotation, preparation o striking

platform, etc. are used in different combinations to produce dissimilar tools, with different forms, and supposedly, different uses. . . . Taking each motor event alone, no one action is complete; each action depends on the prior one and requires a further one, and each is dependent on another ax on the original plan. In other words, at each point of the action except the last, the piece is not "satisfactory" in structure. Each unit action is meaningless by itself in the sense of the use of the tool; it is meaningful only in the context of the whole completed set of actions culminating in the final product. This





Stone and symbolic tools. it will generate selection pressures on genetic traits that support its propagation . It means that idiosyncrasies are smoothed out and perceived within classes of behavior. which not only allows members to communicate about the same objects in terms of space and time (as in hunting) but it also makes it possible for social relationships to be standardized and manipulated through symbols. which were initially acquired with the aid of flexible ape-learning abilities. By enforcing perceptual invariance..[64] Biological anthropologist Terrence Deacon. these behavioral prostheses for obtaining food and organizing social behaviors became indispensable elements in a new adaptive complex. [65] Once some useful behavior spreads within a population and becomes more important for subsistence.exactly parallels language. The origin of "humanness" can be defined as that point in our evolution where these tools became the principle source of selection on our bodies and brains." Named after psychologist James Baldwin . in a synthesis of over twenty years of research on human evolution.[66] .. symbols also enforce social behavioral constancy. Rather than being just useful tricks. human neurology. and primatology.[63] As Tomasello has demonstrated. describes this "ratcheting effect" as a form of "Baldwinian Evo lution. this describes a situation in which an animal's behavior has evolutionary consequences when it changes the natural environment and thus the selective forces acting on the animal. symbolic thought can operate only in a particular social environme nt: Arbitrary symbols enforce consensus of perceptions. ultimately turned the tables on their users and forced them to adapt to a new niche opened by these technologies. It is the diagnostic of Homo symbolicus. and enforcing social behavioral constancy is a prerequisite to differential task-role sectors in a differentiated social group adapting not only to the outside environment but to its own membership.

not to privilege human intelligence but to problematize it. this occurred between 2 and 2. some h ave suggested. when we have the first fossil evidence of stone tool use and the beginning of a trend in an increase in brain size. Given that the evolution of H. communication. learning. All that was necessary was that one of these groups so altered their environment that "it introduced selection for very different learning abilit ies than affected prior species. [67] More specifically.According to Deacon. and tool -making strategies that were and continued to be adaptive for most other primates (and. it is possible that over the millions of years of Australopithecine history. The question for Deaco n is. used tools. many troops developed symbolic communication systems." [68] This troop or population kick -started the Baldwinian process (the "ratchet effect") that led to their evolution to genus Homo. what behavioral -environmental changes could have made the development of symbolic thinking adaptive? Here he emphasizes the importance of distinguishing humans from all other species. But it is the evolution of symbolic language which is the cause and not the effect of these trends. so symbolic thought made possible a . most other species of animals)? Learning symbol systems is more time consuming than other forms of communication.5 million years ago." what led them to move away from cognitive. Deacon is suggesting that Australopithecines . sapiens began with ancestors who did not yet have "culture. like contemporary apes.

it was necessary for the success of distinctive social relations. In all societies. Neverth eless. 3. cooperative social groups. exclusive sexual access rights and prohibitions to particular individuals of the opposite sex. the great majority of adult males and females are bound by long-term. it must have offered some selective advantage to H. The appearance of the first stone tools nearly 2. Deacon observes." [70] Deacon does not believe that symbolic thought was necessary for hunting or tool -making (although tool -making may be a reliable index of symbolic thought). Both males and females usually contribute effort towards the rearing of their offspring. . multi-male.different communication strategy.5 million years ago almost certainly corr elates with a radical shift in foraging behavior to gain access to meat. and patterns of sexual relations. As he observes competition for sexual access limits the possibilities for social cooperation in many species. but not a more efficient one than other primates. there are three consistent patterns in human reproduction that distinguish them from other species: 1. . . and markedly different from other primates: "the use of meat. though often to differing extents and in very different ways. multi-female. rather. Deacon starts by looking at two key determinants in evolutionary history: foraging behavior. They maintain these exclusive sexual relations while living in modest to large-sized. there is one feature comm on to all known human foraging societies (all humans prior to ten or fifteen thousand years ago).[69] Moreover. sapiens to have evolved. 2. yet. .

" This combination is relatively rare in other species because it is "highly suscep tible to disintegration. What is unique about humans? Human reliance on resources that are relatively unavailable to females with infants selects not only for cooperation between a child's father and mother but also for the cooperation of other relatives and friends. This favors a system in which males have exclusive sexual access to females. mothers carrying dependent children are not effective hunters. including elderly individuals and juveniles. mixed -sex social groups. in both cases male aggression plays an important role in maintaining sexual access to mate(s). who can be relied upon for assistance. They must thus depend on male hunters. or life -long pair-bonding between two individuals who live relatively independent of other adults of their species. In most mammalian species the result is a system of rank or sexual competition that results in either polygyny. The special demands of acquiring meat and caring for infants in our own evolution together contribute to the underlying impetus for the third characteristic feature of human reproductive patterns: cooperative group living. and females can predict that their sexual partner will provide food for them and their children. with significant male care and provisioning of offspring. and relatively stable patterns of reproductive exclusion. [71] What is uniquely characteristic about human societies is what required symbolic cognition." Language and culture provide the glue that holds it together. [72] . which consequently leads to the evo lution of culture: "cooperative.The key is that while men and women are equally effective foragers.

[73] Symbols and symbolic thinking thus make possible a central feature of social relatio ns in every human population: reciprocity. but under these conditions. [74] . which in turn made hunting for meat a more dependable source of food for our nonhuman ancestors while making possible forms of social communication that make sharing between males and females. in most cases. decreasing sexual competit ion: So the socio-ecological problem posed by the transition to a meat-supplemented subsistence strategy is that it cannot be utilized without a social structure which guarantees unambiguous and exclusive mating and is sufficiently egalitarian to sustain cooperation via shared or parallel reproductive interests. but also among males. hunting for meat increases when other sources of food become scarce. sharing decreases. however. males consume the meat immedi ately. hunt meat. The first forms of symbolic thinking made stone -tools possible. This problem can be solved symbolically. Among chimpanzees. on occasion. Symbolic thought makes possible reciprocity between distantly related individuals. and only on occasion share with females who happen to be nearby.Chimpanzees also. Evolutionary scientists have developed a model to explain reciprocal altruism among closely related individuals.

000 80. 75.Archeological approaches to culture: matter and meaning Excavated dwellings at Skara Brae. engraved ochre and bone tools from the c.000 year old M1 & M2 phases at Blombos cave Monte Alban archaeological site . Europe's most complete Neolithic village The making of a Levallois Point Bifacial points.

sixth millennium BC. and humans from Çatalhöyük. to asking about the people who produced it when archeologists work alongside historians. Franz Boas established that archeology be one of American anthropology's four fields. Australian-British archeologist V. Ankara. In the 1920s and 1930s. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. a deer. historical materials generally help answer these questions. but whe historical materials are n unavailable. and debates among archeologists have often paralleled debates among cultural anthropologists. C.Excavations at the South Area of Çatal Höyük Mural of an aurochs. thus marking their location in time and space. Turkey In the 19th century archeology was often a supplement to history. Gordon Childe and American archeologist W. archeologists had to develop new methods. Childe and McKern . and the goal of archeologists was to identify artifacts according to their typology and stratigraphy. McKern independently began moving from asking about the date of an artifact.

" [78] He then devised a three -tiered model linking cultural anthropology to archeology. Culture.g. An individual artifact. Behaviors resulting from culture. which is unobservable and nonmaterial 2. a shelter) Childe argued that a "constantly recurring assemblage of artifacts" to be an "archaeological culture . an arrowhead) 2. and were likely used. their work established the foundation for a three -tiered model: 1. and the Boasian emphasis on the subjective meanings of objects as dependent on their cultural context.g.. a pot and the remains of a hearth. and technological attributes (e. He defined culture as "a mental phenomenon."[75][76] Childe and others viewed "each archeological culture . shape.focused on analyzing the relationships among objects found together. not of material objects or observable behavior. the arrowhead.g. the m anifestation in material terms of a specific people. A sub-assemblage.. He began with the mainstream understanding of culture as the product of human cognitive activity. consisting of the contents of minds. bow and knife. which are observable and nonmaterial conjunctive . An assemblage of sub-assemblages that together constitute the archeological site (e."[77] In 1948 Walter Taylor systematized the methods and concepts that archeologists had developed and proposed a general model for the archeological contribution to knowledge of cultures. consisting of artifacts that are found. which has surface. bow and knife) 3. together (e. an arrowhead. which he called archeology : 1.

One reason was that his three-tier model of inferences required too much fieldwork and laboratory analysis to be practical. called "the New Archeology" or "Processual Archeology . Objectifications. such as artifacts and architecture. and in fact twice -removed from culture.[81] In 1962 Leslie White's former student Lewis Binford proposed a new model for anthropological archeolog y. in fact left archeology marginal to cultural anthropol ogy. his view that material remains were not themselves cultural. Although many archeologists agreed that their research was integral to anthropology. [80] Moreover.3. [79] Taylor's point was that the archeological record could contribute to anthropological knowledge." [82] This definition allowed Binford to establish archeology as a crucial field for the pursuit of the methodology of Julian Steward's cultural ecology: The comparative study of cultural systems with variable technologies in a similar environmental range or similar technologies in differing environments is a major . which are the result of behavior and material That is." based on White's definition of culture as "the extra-somatic means of adaptation for the human organism. but not culture itself. and inferring from these behaviors the mental act ivities of people. material arti facts were the material residue of culture. but as inferring from material remains the behaviors through which they were produced and used. but only if archeol ogists reconceived their work not just as digging up artifacts and recording their location in time and space. Taylor's program was never fully implemented.

deployment. are full participants in the creation. with their focus on the context dependent meanings of cultural things. Schneider. Such a methodology is also useful in elucidating the structural relationships between major cultural sub-systems such as the social and ideological sub-systems. Symbols in Acti on. In the 1980s.methodology of what Steward (1955: 36 42) has called "cultural ecology. however. there was a movement in the United Kingdom and Europe against the view of archeology as a field of anthropology. alteration. he "is committed to a fluid semiotic version of the traditional cu lture concept in which material items. ." [85] His 1982 book.[83] In other words. Binford proposed an archeology that would be central to the dominant project of cultural anthropologists at the time (culture as non-genetic adaptations to the environment). then -Cambridge archeologist Ian Hodder developed "post-processual archeology" as an alternative. the "new archeology" was the cultural anthropology (in the form of cultural ecology or ecological anthropology) of the past. echoing Radcliffe-Brown's earlier rejectio n of cultural anthropology. Like Binford (and u nlike Taylor) Hodder views artifacts not as objectifications of culture but as culture itself. [86] In his 1991 textbook. as an alternative to White and Steward's materialist view of culture. [84] During this same period. and fading away of symbolic complexes. artifacts. Instead. Unlike Binford. Hodder does not view culture as an environmental adaptation." and certainly is a valuable means of increasing our understanding of cultural processes. evokes the symbolic anthropology of Geertz.

The German romanticists of the 19th century such as Herder. founder of American anthropology. distinguished between civilized peoples and bárbaros "those who babble". [87] Language and cul ure The connection between culture and language has been noted as far back as the classical period and probably long before. The ancient Greeks. and as such as culture in a kind of condensed form. it has its own national culture expressed through its own language). Herder for example suggests. maintained that the shared langu age of a community is the most essential G The fact that languages is often . "Denn jedes Volk ist Volk. often saw language not just as one cultural trait among ma ny but rather as the direct expression of a people's national character. [89] Franz Boas. i. different groups speak different. Wundt and Humbolt. those who speak unintelligible languages. unintelligible [88] considered more tangible evidence for cultural differences than other less obvious cultural traits.Reading the Past: Current Approaches to Interpretation in Archaeology Hodder argued that archeology is more closely aligned to history than to anthropology. for example. es hat seine National Bildung wie seine Sprache" (Since every people is a P eople.e. like his German forerunners.

[92] This is similar to the notion of Linguistic determinism . like most modern anthropologists. which states that the form of language determines individual thought. Boas and his st udents were aware that culture and language are not directly dependent on one another. Whorf put it. shared and maintained through the use of language. some of his intellectual heirs entertained the idea that habitual patterns of speaking and thinking in a particular language may influence the culture o f the linguistic group.L. as B. Boas was the first anthropologist who considered it unimaginable to study the culture of a foreign people without also becoming acquainted with their language. Boas. the fact that the intellectual culture of a people was largely constructed. meant that understanding the language of a cultural group was the key to understanding its culture.[90][91] Numerous other scholars have suggested that the form of language determines specific cultural traits. While Boas himself rejected a causal link between language and culture.carrier of their common culture. "they have grown up together". For Boas. and speakers of completely unrelated languages may share the same fundamental cultural traits. groups with widely different cultures may share a common language. [94] . was more inclined to relate the interconnectedness between language and culture to the fact that. At the same time. That is. [93] Such belief is related to the theory of Linguistic relativity . however. though.

Particularly the structural theory of Ferdinand de Saussure . consisting for example of the cultu ral form of "wearing a crown" and the . has come to be applied widely in the study o f culture. But also post -structuralist theories. consisting for example of the sound [kau] and the meaning "cow". twentieth century cultural theorists have applied the methods of analyzing language developed in the science of linguistics to also analyze culture. and the origin of complex culture is often thought to ste m from the same evolutionary process in early man.Indeed. the origin of language . Evolutionary anthropologists [citation needed] suppose that language evolved as early humans began to live in large communities which required the use of complex communication to maintain social coherence. which describes symbolic systems as consisting of signs (a pairing of a particular form with a particular meaning). Since language and culture are both in essence symbolic systems. have been applied in the field of semiotics. understood as the human capacity of complex symbolic communication. and a cultural sign. that nonetheless still rely on the parallel between language and culture as systems of symbolic communication. The parallel between language and culture can then be understood as analog to the parallel between a linguistic sign. Language and culture then both emerged as a means of using symbols to construct social identity and maintain coherence within a social group too large to re ly exclusively on pre -human ways of building community such as for example grooming.

the English language is spoken differently in the USA. languages. Differences between varieties of the same language often consist in different pronunciations . for example. In linguistics such different ways of using the same language are called " varieties ". are also a part of the larger culture of the community that speak them. For example. [95] Children. Even among speakers of one language several different ways of using the language exist. now understood as the particular set of speech norms of a particular community. and even within English-speaking countries there are hundreds of dialects of English that each signal a belonging to a particular region and/or subculture. For example. Another parallel between cultural and linguistic systems is that they are both systems of practice. the UK and Australia. that is they are a set of special ways of doing things that is constructed and perpetuated through social interactions. acquire language in the same way as they acquire the basic cultural norms of the society they grow up in of their cultural group. In this way it can be argued that culture is itself a kind of language. through interaction with older members However. Humans use language as a way of signalling identity with one cultural group and difference from others. and each is used to signal af filiation with particular subgroups within a larger culture. in the UK the cockney dialect signals its speakers' belonging to the group of lower class workers of east London.cultural meaning of "being king".

but also in different "cultures of speaking". but also to identify the social position of the speaker. syste ms of signalling social distance through linguistic means. a term that encompasses geographically or socioculturally defined dialects as well as the jargons or styles of subcultures . cockne y Rhyming slang or Lawyers' jargon ). [97] In English.and vocabulary. vocabulary or grammar. A community's ways of speaking or signing are a part of the community's culture. social deixis is shown mostly though distinguishing . particularly sociolinguists . Linguists and anthropologists. just a s other shared practices are. Some cultures for example have elaborate systems of "social deixis". but also sometimes of different grammatical systems and very often in using different styles (e. Linguistic anthropologists and sociologists of language define communicative style as the ways that language is used and understood within a particular culture. Language use is a way of establishing and displaying group identity. ethnolinguists and linguistic anthropologists have specialized in studying how ways of speaking vary between speech communities. [96] The differences between languages does not consist only in differences in pronunciation. Linguists call different ways of spe aking language varieties. Ways of speaking function not only to facilitate communication.g.

but in other languages such systems may be highly complex and codified in the entire grammar and vocabulary of the language. but also in titles such as "Mrs. "Doctor" or "Your Honor". and in some cultures speech is not addressed directly to children. for exa mple Thai.". In several languages of east Asia. Burmese and Javanese. Among other groups. [97] Other languages may use different forms of address when speaking to speakers of the opposite gender or in -law relatives and many languages have special ways of speaking to infants and children . the culture of speaking may entail not speaking to particular people. as in Japanese and Koasati. different words are used according to whether a speaker is addressing someone of higher or lower rank than oneself in a ranking system with animals and children ranking the lowest and gods and members of royalty as the highest. for example many indigenous cultures of Australia have a taboo against talking to one's in-law relatives. Some languages also require different ways of speaking for different social classe s of speakers. and often such a system is based on gender differences.[98] Cul ural anthr p l gy 1899 1946: Universal versus particular I I I H .between addressing some people by first name an d others by surname. "boy".

challenged the identification of "culture" with the way of life of 's European elites.Franz Boas established modern American anthropology as the study of the sum total of human phenomena. Ruth Benedict was instrumental in establishing the modern conception of distinct cultures b eing patterned. taken in its wide ethnographic sense. and British anthropologist Edward Burnett Tylor attempt to define culture as inclusively as possible. influenced by Herder and von Humboldt. is that complex whole which includes . Tylor in 1874 described culture in the following way: "Culture orcivilization." which. The modern anthropological understanding of culture has its origins in the 19th century with German anthropologistAdolf Bastian's theory of the "psychic unity of mankind.

Franz Boas's student Alfred Kroeber (1876 1970) identified culture with the "superorganic. a domain with ordering principles and laws that could not be explained by or reduced to biology. [101] Franz Boas. belief. thus. morals. Gerald Weiss reviewed various definitions of culture and debates as to their parsimony and power.knowledge. American anth ropologists have generally presented their various definitions of culture as refinements of Tylor's. art. which posited that human societies progressed through stag es of savagery to barbarism to civilization. phenomena " (italics in the original). founded modern American anthropology with the establishment of the first graduate program in anthrop ology at Columbia University in 1896. and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. At the time the dominant model of culture was that of cultural evolution. and proposed as the most scientifically useful definition that "culture" be defined " as our generic term for all human nongenetic. empirically. One of Boas's greatest accomplishments was to demonstrate convincingly that this model is fundamentally flawed. . societies that for example are based on horticulture and Iroquois kinship terminology are less evolved than societies based on agriculture and Eskimo kinship terminology. or metabiological. custom. [100] In 1973." [99] Although Tylor was not aiming to propose a general theory of culture (he explained his understanding of culture in the course of a larger argument about the nature of religion). law." that is.

Boas understood the capacity for culture to involve symbolic thought and social learning. Nevertheless. he felt that our knowledge of different cultures was so incomplete. Boas and his students understood culture inclusively and resisted developing a general definition of culture. su ch as language. and often based on unsystematic or unscientific research. Instead. Moreover. he established the principle of cultural relativism and trained students to conduct rigorous participant observation field research in different societies. and considered the evolution of a capacity for culture to coincide wi th the evolution of other. [102][103] His student Alfred Kroeber argued that the "un limited receptivity and assimilativeness of culture" made it practically impossible to think of cultures as discrete things. instead using culture as an adjective rather than a noun. Indeed. biological.methodologically. he argued that culture could not be reduced to biology or other expressions of symbolic thought. Boas argued that cultural "types" or "forms" are always in a state of flux. and theoretically. they resisted identifying "culture" as a thing. [104] . that it was impossible to develop any scientifically valid general model of human cultur es. features defining genus Homo.

1903 Edward Curtis photo of a Kwakwaka'wakw potlatch . Paiute spiritual leader and creator of theGhost Dance Zuñi girl with jar.Wovoka.

They were especially interested in two phenomena: the great variety of forms culture took around the world. such as Ruth Benedict (1887 1948) and Margaret Mead (1901 1978). This led his students to focus on the history of cultural traits: how they spread from one society [108][109] to another. and continued to have great influence through the 1960s.Tu'i Manu'a Elisala Hopi Basket Weaver Boas's students dominated cultural anthropology through World War II. histories of members of other societies.[105] and the many ways individuals were shaped by and acted [106][107] creatively through their own cultures. and how their meanings changed over time and the life [110][111][112][113][114][115][116][117] Others. .

Specifically. anthropologists have argued as to whether "culture" can b e thought of as a bounded and integrated thing. constituting a pattern of action and thought that gives purpose to people's lives. or as a quality of a diverse collection of things." that is. The first has to do with ways of modeling particular cultures. Boas's student Ruth Benedict suggested that in any given society cultural traits may be more or less "integrated. geography and history provided a context for understanding the differences between cultures. the numbers and meanings of which are in constant flux. [118][119][120] Essential to their research was the concept of "context": culture provided a context that made the behavior of individuals understandable.produced monographs or comparative studies analyzing the forms of creativity possible to indiv iduals within specific cultural configurations. and provides them with a basis from which to evaluate new actions and thoughts. their emphasis on local context and cultural diversity led them away from proposing cultural universals or universal theories of culture. two debates have dominated cultural anthropology. Since Boas. a lthough Boasians were committed to the belief in the psychic unity of humankind and the universality of culture. There is a tension in cultural anthropology between the claim that culture is a universal (the fact that all human societies have culture). and that it is also particular (cul ture takes a tremendous variety of forms around the world). . Thus.

" [124] Influenced by Polish -British social anthropologist Bronis aw Malinowski . and a decisive break from Boas's emphasis on the mobility of diverse cultural traits. is to study the living culture. [121] Boas. Although this book is well known for popularizing the Boasian principle of cultural relativism . the appearance of such patterns a national culture. The first debate was effectively suspended in 1934 when Ruth Benedict published Patterns of Culture ." she wrote "rather than to the study of cultures as articulated wholes. which has continuously been in print. in deed. argued that complete integration is rare and that a given culture only appears to be integrated because of ob server bias. as well as by gestalt . however. among anthropologists it constituted both an important summary of the disc overies of Boasians. to know its habits of thought and the functions of its institutions" and that "the only way in which we can know the significance of the selected detail of behavior is against the background of the motives and emotions and values that are institutionalized in that culture. "Anthropological work has been overwhelmingly devoted to the analysis of cultural traits." [125] Influenced by German historians Wilhelm Dilthey and Oswald Spengler .although she implies that there are various degrees of integration. she observes that some cultures fail to integrate. however. she argued that "The first essential. for example [123] was the effect of a particular point of view. so it seems today. [122] For Boas.

often by the most unlikely metamorphoses. and therefore different societ ies around the world had distinct characters. In obedience to their purposes. this made existence "empty. over time and through both conscious and unconscious processes. It tends to be integrated. selected from an extensive but finite set of cultural traits which then combine to form a unique and distinctive pattern." [128] The significance of cultural behavior is not exhausted when we have clearly understood that it is local and man-made and hugely variable. Dobu and Kwakiutl cultures as a way of highlighting different ways of being human. Taken up by a well-integrated culture. culture there come into being characteristic purposes not necessarily shared by other types of society. is a more or less consistent pattern of thought and action. likewise. ithin each Although Benedict felt that virtually all cultures are patterned. the most ill-assorted acts become characteristic of its particular goals. Benedict observed that many Westerners felt that this view forced them to abandon their "dreams of permanence and ideality and with the individual's illusions o f autonomy" and that for many.[129] P like an individual." [126] and that "cultures. but finite. she concluded that in e ach society people.psychology ." [130] She argued however that once people accepted the results of . each people further and further consolidates its experience. Patterns of Culture contrasts Zu i. not only their relation but their very nature. she argued that "the whole determines its parts. are more than the sum of their traits." [127] Just as each spoken language draws very selectively from an extensive. she argued that these patterns change over time as a consequence of human creativity. set of sounds any human mouth (free from defect) can make. A culture. and in proportion to the urgency of these drives the heterogeneous items of behavior take more and more congruous shape.

and dominated American anthropology until the Cold War. In the meantime. its emphasis on metamorphosing patterns influenced Frenchstructuralism and made American anthropologists receptive to British structural-functionalism. and the world capitalist economy on the peoples Benedict and her followers studied(and thus re-opened the debate on the relationship between the universal and the particular. Turkish nomad clan with the nodes as marriages . in the form of the relationship between the global and the local)."[131] They felt that. this approach ignored the impact of imperialism. colonialism. too often. when anthropologists like Sidney Mintz and Eric Wolf rejected the validity and value of approaching "each cultur as "a world in itself" and "relatively e" stable." This view of culture has had a tremendous impact outside of anthropology. accepting as grounds of hope and as new bases for tolerance the coexisting and equally valid patterns of life which mankind has created [130] for itself from the raw materials of existence.scientific research. people would "arrive thenat a more realistic social faith.

Whereas Kroeber and Benedict had argued that "culture" which could refer to local.Mexican village with the nodes as marriages Iro ois Kinship Structure Q Culinary triangle The second debate has been over the ability to make u iversal claims about n all cultures. by the 1940s some felt ready. Although Boas argued that anthropologists had yet to collect enough solid evidence from a diverse sample of societies to make any valid general or universal claims about culture. regional. or trans -regional scales was in some way "patterned" .

Instead of making generalizations that applied to large numbers of ." some anthropologists now felt that enough data had been collected to demonstrate that it often took high ly structured forms. and Bastian's belief in the psychic unity of humankind) and French sociologist's mile Durkheim 's focus on social structures (institutionalized relationships among persons and groups of persons).or "configured. or where they expressions of mental models? This debate emerged full -fledged in 1949. French anthropologist Claude Lévi -Strauss's structuralist anthropology brought together ideas of Boas (especially Boas's belief in the mutability of cultural forms. and Claude Lévi -Strauss's Les Structures lémentaires de la Parenté . so that anthropologists can use statistical methods to study correlations among different variables. White developed the standard cross-cultural sample as a way to refine this method. Later. Opposing Boas and his students was Yale anthropologist George Murdock . The question these anthropologists debated was. who compiled the Human Relations Area Files . were these structures statistical artifacts. Murdock and Douglas R. with the publication of George Murdock's Social Structure . These files code cultural variables found in different societies. [132][133][134] The ultimate aim of this project is to develop generalizations that apply to increasingly larger numbers of individual cultures.

the social structures of which people are aware). there were a finite and relatively small number of cultural elements which people combine to create the great variety of cultures anthropologists observe. in the late 1960s . He argued that just as there are laws through which a finite and relatively small number of chemical elements could be combined to create a seemingly infi nite variety of things. [135][136] Structuralism came to dominate French anthropology and. He then sought to develop one universal mental structure that c ould only be inferred through the systematic comparison of particular social and cultural structures.societies." and once completed. this table of cultural elements would enable an anthropologist to analyze specific cultures and achieve insights hidden to the very people who produced and lived through these cultures. and abstract structures developed by analyzing shared ways (such as myths and rituals) members of a society represent their soci al life (and of which members of a society are not only not consciously aware. Lévi -Strauss sought to derive from concrete cases increasingly abstract model s of human nature. The systematic comparison of societies would enable an anthropologist to deve lop this cultural "table of elements. His method begins with the supposition that culture exists in two different forms: the many distinct structures that could be inferred from observing members of the same society interact (and of which members of a society are themselves aware). but which moreover typically stand in opposition to. or negate.

which must be inferred and abstracted from observed behavior? This question has driven debates among biological anthropologists and archeologists as well. Whereas the Boasians viewed anthropology as that natural science dedicated to the . came to have great influence on American and British anthropology. but unrelated to. other forms of "functionalism"). and both approaches continue to appeal to different anthropologists. Murdock's HRAF and Lévi -Strauss's structuralism provide two ambitious ways to seek the universal in the particular. It is also analogous. This paradigm developed independently but in parallel in both the United Kingdom and in the U nited States (In both cases it is sui generis : it has no direct relationship to "structuralism" except that both French structuralism and Anglo -American Structural -Functionalism were all influenced by Durkheim. Is culture to be found in empirically observed behaviors that may form the basis of generalizations? Or does it consist of universal mental processes.and 1970s. Structural-Functionalist challenge: Society versus culture In the 1940s the Boasian understanding of culture was challenged by a new paradigm for anthropologi cal and social science research called Structural functionalism . the differences between them reveal a tension implicit in the heritage of Tylor and Bastian. However.

Bronis aw Malinowski (1884 rival." In the United Kingdom. published in 1936. all human beings have certain biological needs. and his 1955). In order for these institutions to function. According to Malinowski's theory of functionalism . Although members of any given society may not understand the ultimate functions of their roles and institutions. such as the need for food and shelter. of humankind. the creation of structural functionalism was anticipated by Raymond Firth 's (1901 2002) We the Tikopia . structural functionalists viewed anthropology as one social science among many. Evans -Pritchard (1902 1973) in 1940. individuals take on particular social roles that regulate how they act and interact. an ethnographer can develop a model of these functions through the careful observation of social life. edited by Meyer Fortes (1906 1983) and E. This led structural -functionalists to redefine and minimize the scope of "culture. [137][138] In these works these anthropologists forwarded a synthesis of the ideas of their mentor. which function to fulfill these needs. Both Malinowski and what they call " social as that branch of sociology that studied so -called primitive societies. Radcliffe -Brown (1881 Radcliffe-Brown viewed anthropology anthropology " 1942). Every society develops its own institutions. and humankind has the biological need to reproduce. dedicated to the study of one specific facet of humanity. [139] . and marked by the publication of African Political Systems . R.E.

")[141] . For example. Fortes. and believed that a general theory of primitive social life could o nly be built up through the careful comparison of different societies. and the extent to. Radcliffe -Brown argued that anthropologists first had to map out the social structure of any given society before comparing the structures of diff erent societies. and ways in. In short. instead of culture (understood as all human non -genetic or extra-somatic phenomena) they made "sociality" (interactions and relationships among persons and groups of people) their object of study. how diff erent institutions are functionally integrated.Radcliffe-Brown rejected Malinowski's notion of function. Influenced by the work of French sociologist mile Durkheim (1858 1917). They distinguished between "social organization" (observable social interactions) and "social structure" (rule -governed patterns of social interaction). Radcliffe -Brown once wrote "I should like to invoke a taboo on the word culture. [140] Firth. and Evans -Pritchard found it easy to combine Malinowski's attention to social roles and institutions with Radcliffe -Brown's concern with social struc tures. and shifted their attention from biological functions to social functions. (Indeed. which institutions function to promote social solidarity and stability. who argued that primitive and modern societies are distinguished by distinct social structures.

in 1946 sociologist Talcott Parsons (1902 1979) founded the Department of Social Relations at Harvard University . and to develop at Harvard and inter -disciplinary program that would direct research according to this theory.Coincidentally. the "social system" of patterns of units of social interaction. [142][143] Whereas the Boasians considered all of these systems to be objects of study by anthropologists. especially social status and role 4. Influenced by such European sociologists as mile Durkheim and Max Weber. and "personality" an d "status and role" to be as much a part of "culture" as "norms and values. . the "personality system" of an individual's characteristics affecting their functioning in the social world 3." Parsons envisioned a much narrower role for anthropology and a much narrower definition of culture. Parsons developed a theory of social ac tion that was closer to British social anthropology than to Boas's American anthropology. and the fourth system for cultural anthropologists. the "behavioral system" of biological needs 2. His model explained human action as the result of four systems: 1. the "cultural system" of norms and values that regulate social action symbolically According to this theory. the second system was the proper object of study for psychologists. and which he also called "structural functionalism. the third system for sociologists." Parson's intention was to develop a total theory of social action (why people act as they do).

permeable. once extended to all acts and ideas employed in social life. strivings for payoffs in games of power. several of Talcott Parsons' students emerged as leading American anthropologists. Society refers to a group of people. At the same time. anthropology). cultural traits are often mobile.Although Boasian cultural anthropologists were interested in norms and values. culture refers to a pan-human capacity and the totality of non -genetic human phenomena. was now relegated to the margins as "world view" or "values. strategies of economic choice." For most anthropologists." Many American anthropologists rejected this view of culture (and by implication. anthropo logist Eric Wolf wrote. and cultural boundaries. it was only with the rise of structural functionalism that people came to identify "culture" with "norms and values. [145] During the 1950s and 1960s anthr opologists . explanations for behavior were no longer traced to culture: behavior was to be understood in terms of psychological encounters. among many other things. these are distinct concepts. and found structural -functionalism to provide a very useful model for conducting ethnographic research. Societies are often clearly bounded. many American anthropologists had a high regard for the research produced by socia l anthropologists in the 1940s and 1950s. and plural. such as they are. In 1980. can be typically porous. As the social sciences transformed themselves into "behavioral" science. The combination of American cultural anthropology theory with British social anthropology methods has led to s ome confusion between the concepts of "society" and "culture. Culture."[144] Nevertheless.

When disjunctures between these boundaries become highly salient. or during the post-Bretton Woods realignment of globalization. for example during the period of European de-colonization of Africa in the 1 960s and 1970s. the difference [146][147][148][149][150] often becomes central to anthropological debates. however. 1946 1968: Symbolic versus adaptive American kinship A cockfight in India . thus obscuring the distinction.often worked in places where social and cultural boundaries coincided.

strength.Huli Wigman from the Southern Highlands In Hinduism. the cow is a symbol of wealth. Cleveley's depiction of Captain Cook . and selfless giving.

Leslie White asked of cultural things. Attention to symbols. anthropology easily complemented social anthropologists' studies of social life and social structure. appealed to many Boasians.Vietcong troops pose with new AK-47 rifles Parsons' students Clifford Geertz and David M. went on to important careers as cultural anthropologists and developed a school within American cultural anthropology called "symbolic anthropology." British anthropologistVictor Turner (who eventually left the United Kingdom to teach in the United States) was an important bridge [155] between American and British symbolic anthropology. Schneider. "What sort of objects are they? Are they physical objects? Mental objects? Both? Metaphors? Symbols? . the meaning of which depended almost entirely on their historical and social context." the study of the social [151][152][153][154] Since symbolic construction and social effects of symbols. many British structuralfunctionalists (who rejected or were uninterested in Boasian cultural anthropology) accepted the Parsonian definition of "cu ture" and "cultural l anthropology. and Schneider's student Roy Wagner.

.. [157] He wrote.. the power to invent and to discover. White was interested in documenting how. that is. the ability to select and use the better of two tools or w ays of doing something these are the factors of cultural evolution. In order to live man. Man employs his sense organs.. nerves. which he called "the symbolate" an object created by the act of symbolization." Whereas the Boasians were interested in the history of specific traits.. but why as well. the task of anthropology is to study "not only how culture evolves. which he felt should b e studied from an evolutionary perspective.[158] Although this view echoes that of Malinowski.." [156] Nevertheless." [159] Unlike 19th century evolutionists. He thus defined culture as "symbolates understood in an extra-somatic context. by the 1930s White began turning away from the Boasian approach. In the case of man . White was interested in the cultural history of the human species. he hit upon a previously unrealized aspect of symbolization... he concluded that they are objects "sui generis". This mechanism is culture. of their own kind. humankind as a whole has through . who were concerned with how civilized societies rose above primitive societi es. over time..Reifications?" In Science of Culture (1949). In trying to define that kind.. the key concept for White was not "function" but "adaptation. Thus.. must come to terms with the external world. like all other species. glands. But in addition to this he has another means of adjustment and control. and muscles in adjusting himself to the external world.

Vayda and Eric Wolf dominated American . in 1946 Julian Steward was made Chair of the Columbia Univer sity Anthropology Department. Leslie White took his place. Kroeber's student Julian Steward was developing his theory of cultural ecology.cultural means discovered more and more ways for capturing and harnessing energy from the environment. Andrew P. In the 1940s and 1950s their students. [161] When Julian Steward left a teaching position at the University of Michigan to work in Utah in 1930. Roy Rappaport . Elman Service . most notably Marvin Harris . Julian Steward was interested in culture as the property of distinct societies. Robert Murphy . Marshall Sahlins . rather. they had adapted differently to different environments. Sidney Mintz. At the same time that White was developing his theory of cultural evolution . In 1938 he published Basin-Plateau Aboriginal Socio -Political Groups in which he argued that diverse societies for example the were not less indigenous Shoshone or White farmers on the Great Plains or more evolved. but he criticized Whites "unilineal" (one direction) theory of cultural evolution and instead proposed a model of "multilineal" evolution in which (in the Boasian tradition) each society has its own cultural history. in the process transforming culture. Like White he viewed culture as a means o f adapting to the environment. [160] Whereas Leslie White was interested in culture understood holistically as a property of the human species.

Rappaport. if the study of man were to be united under the guidance of others who lose touch with experience in concern for methodology. though not unique to formal anthropology. perhaps aesthetic. for their own sake. who forget the ends of social knowledge in . both of which argued that "cul ture" constituted an extra-somatic (or non -biological) means through which human beings could adapt to life in drastically differing physical environments. [162][163][164][165][166][167][168][169][170] Most promoted materialist understandings of culture in opposition to the symbolic approaches of Geertz and Schneider.anthropology. he argued that cultural anthropologists are singularly well -equipped to lead this stu dy (with an indirect rebuke to sociologists like Parsons who sought to subsume anthropology to their own project): In the practice there is a traditional place for openness to phenomena in ways not predefined by theory or design attentiveness to complex phenomena. Hymes argued that fundamental elements of the Boasian project such as holism and an interest in diversity were still worth pursuing: "interest in other peoples and their ways of li fe. and concern to explain them within a frame of reference that includes ourselves. and might well be impaired. The debate between symbolic and materialist approaches to culture dominated American Anthropologists in the 1960s and 1970s. are specially husbanded there." [171] Moreover. to phenomena of interest. to the sensory as well as intellectual. aspects of the subject. Harris. however. marked a growing dissatisfaction with the then dominant approaches to culture. The Vietnam War and the publication of Dell Hymes' Reinventing Anthropology . and Vayda were especially important for their contributions to cultural materialism and ecological anthropology . These comparative and practical perspectives.

a Kiowa chief and warrior . Sahlins. that justify a "general study of man." [173] that is. 1940 present: Local versus global Big Tree. or who are unwittingly or unconce rnedly culture-bound.[172] It is these elements. experimenting withstructuralist and Marxist approaches to culture. they continued to promote cultural [174][175][176][177][178] anthropology against structural functionalism. During this time notable anthropologists such as Mintz. "anthropology". Murphy.elaborating its means. Hymes argued. and Wolf eventually broke away.

This has led anthropologists to explore different ways of understanding the global dimensions of culture. and that specific cultural forms have to be analyzed in a larger context. moving from one group of people to another. aWorld Heritage Site Boas and Malinowski established ethnographic research as a highly localized method for studying culture.The Tepozteco mountain dominates views from Tepoztlán. Ex-convent of Dominico de la Natividad. Yet Boas emphasized that culture is dynamic. several key studies focused on how trade between indigenous peoples and the Europeans who had conquered and colonized the . In the 1940s and 1950s.

or change in critical technologies. diffused north. they believed. introduced by the British and French in the east. They thus encountered the antagonisms 19th century critics described using the terms "high culture" and "low culture. [181] Frank Secoy argued that Great Plains Indians' social organization and military tactics changed as horses." These 20th century anthropologists struggled to describe people who were politically and economically inferior but not." namely. either through change in the organization of labor. diffused west. [180] Joseph Jablow documented how Cheyenne social organization and subsistence strategy between 1795 and 1840 were de termined by their position in trade networks linking Whites and other Indians. culturally inferior. ethnicity. or economic class) in We stern or "Westernized" societies. Oscar Lewis proposed the concept of a "culture of poverty" to describe the cultural mechanisms through which people adapted to a life of economic poverty. [179] Bernard Kiowa Oscar Lewis explored the influence of the fur trade on Blackfoot culture (relying heavily on historical sources). Mishkin studied the effect of the introduction of horses on political organization and warfare. [182] In the 1950s Robert Redfield and students of Julian Steward pioneered "community studies. Other anthropologists and . especially cities. and guns. the study of distinct communities (whether identified by race.Americas influenced indigenous culture. introduced by the Spanish in the south.

y Multiculturalism: A policy that immigrants and others should preserve their cultures with the different cultures interacting peacefully within one nation. the traditional view has been one of a melting pot where all the immigrant cultures are mixed and amalgamated without state intervention. Similarly with other subcultures within a society. In dealing with immigrant groups and their cultures. . although recent increases in migration have led many European states to experiment with forms of multiculturalism.sociologists began using the term "sub -culture" to describe culturally distinct communities that were part of larger societies. the number of immigrants.. "foreignness"). The study of cultures within a s ociety is complex and research must take into account a myriad of variables. The way nation states treat immigrant cultures rarely falls neatly into one or another of the a bove approaches. thus government policy is to assimilate immigrants. there are various approaches: Leitkultur (core culture): A model developed in Germany by Bassam Tibi. culture is very closely linked to nationalism. The degree of difference with the host culture (i. y y y Melting Pot: In the United States. The idea is that minorities can have an identity of their own. attitudes of the resident population. attitudes of the mainstream population and communications between various cultural groups play a major role in determining outcomes. and the effectiveness of those policies all make it dif ficult to generalize about the effects. Monoculturalism: In some European states. the type of government policies that are enacted.e. but they should at least support the core concepts of the culture on which the society is based. One important kind of subculture is that formed by an immig rant community.

developed Cultural Studies. sociologists and other scholars influenced by Marxism. As the field developed it began to combine political economy . "Cultural Studies" focuses largely on the study of popular culture . and clothing). From the 1970s onward. music. communication . media theory . they understood patterns of consumption and leisure to be determined by relations of production. they identified "culture" with consumption goods and leisure activities (such as art. [183][184] In the United States. film. The term was coined by Richard Hoggart in 1964 when he founded the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies or CCCS. Tony Jefferson. film/video studies . such as Stuart Hall and Raymond Williams . created an international intellectual movement. cultural anthropology . In this field researchers often . who succeeded Hoggart as Director. and Angela McRobbie . which led them to focus on class relations and the organization of production. philosophy . sociology . Stuart Hall's pioneering work. along with his colleagues Paul Willis . Dick Hebdige . museum studies and art history to study cultural phenomena or cultural texts. Following nineteenth century Romantics. that is. sports. food. social theory. It has since become strongly associated with Stuart Hall . Nevertheless. the social meanings of mass -produced consumer and leisure goods. literary theory .Cultural studies In the United Kingdom.

[citation needed] Similarly. and/or gender. social class . cultural studies has begun to analyse local and global forms of resistance to Western hegemony. This field studies the meanings and uses people attribute to various objects and practices. as capitalism has spread throughout the world (a process called globalization ). have become the main focus of cultural studies. These practices comprise the ways people do particular things (such as watching television. or eating out) in a given culture. [citation needed] In the context of cultural studies. the discipline widens the concept of "culture". photographs . [citation needed] Scholars in the United Kingdom and the United States developed somewhat different versions of cultural studies after the field's inception in the . but also films. the idea of a text not only includes written langu age. A further and recent approach is comparative cultural studies .concentrate on how particular phenomena relate to matters of ideology.[citation needed] Cultural studies is concerned with the meaning and practices of everyday life. Recently. but also everyday meanings and practices. nationality . "Culture" for a cultural studies researcher not only includes traditional high culture (the culture of ruling social groups )[185] and popular culture . The last two. fashion or hairstyles : the texts of cultural studies comprise all the meaningful artifacts of culture. ethnicity. in fact. based on the discipline of comparative li terature and cultural studies.

late 1970s. The British version of cultural studies was develope d in the 1950s and 1960s mainly under the influence first of Richard Hoggart, E. P. Thompson , and Raymond Williams , and later Stuart Hall and others at the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at the University of

Birmingham . This included overtly po litical, left-wing views, and criticisms of popular culture as 'capitalist' mass culture ; it absorbed some of the ideas of the Frankfurt School critique of the " culture industry" (i.e. mass culture). This emerges in the writings of early British cultural -studies scholars and their influences: see the work of (for example) Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, Paul Will is, and Paul Gilroy .

Whereas in the United States Lindlof & Taylor say that "cultural studies was grounded in a pragmatic, liberal -pluralist tradition". [186] The American version of cultural studies initially concerned itself more with understanding the subjective and appropriative side of audience reactions to, and uses of, mass culture ; for example, American cultural -studies advocates wrote about the liberatory aspects of fandom.[citation needed] The

distinction between American and British strands, however, has faded. [citation needed] Some researchers, especially in early British cultural studies, apply a Marxist model to the field. This strain of thinking has some influence from the Frankfurt School , but especially from the structuralist Marxism of Louis Althusser and others. The main focus of an orthodox Marxist approach concentrates on the production of meaning.

This model assumes a mass production of culture and identifies power as residing with those producing cultural artifacts . In a Marxist view, those who control the means of production (the economic base) essentially control a culture. [citation needed] Other approaches to cultural studies, such as feminist cultural studies and later American developments of the field, distance themselves from this view. They cr iticize the Marxist assumption of a single, dominant meaning, shared by all, for any cultural product. The non-Marxist approaches suggest that different ways of consuming cultural artifacts affect the meaning of the product. This view is best exemplified b y the book Doing Cultural Studies: The Case of the Sony Walkman (by Paul du Gay et al.), which seeks to challenge the notion that those who produce commodities control the meanings that people attribute to them. Feminist cultural analyst, theorist and art historian Griselda Pollock contributed to cultural studies from viewpoints of art history and psychoanalysis . The writer Julia Kristeva is influential voices in the turn of the century, contributi ng to cultural studies from the field of art and psychoanalytical French feminism .[citation needed]

Cultural change

A 19th century engraving showing Australian "natives" opposing the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1770

Cultural invention has come to mean any innovation that is new and found to be useful to a group of people and expressed in their behavior but which does not exist as a physical object. Humanity is in a global "accelerating culture change period", driven by the expansion ofinternational commerce, the mass media, and above all, thehuman population explosion, among other factors.

Cultures are internally affected by both forces encouraging chang and e forces resisting change. These forces are related to bothsocial structures and natural events, and are involved in the perpetuation of cultural ideas and practices wit hin current structures, which themselves
[187] are subject to change. (See structuration.)

Social conflict and the development of technologies can produce changes within a society by altering social dynamics and promoting new cultural models, and spurring or enabling generative action. These social shifts

through diffusion or acculturation. which in turn brought about many cultural innovations and shifts in social dynamics. Fo r example. leading to the invention of agriculture. In diffusion. feminist movement involved new practices that produced a shift in gender relations.[188] Full-length profile portrait of Turkman woman. War or competition over resources may impact technological development or social dynamics. For example. Environmental conditio may also enter as factors.may accompany ideological shifts and other types of cultural change. which may also produce or inhibit social shifts and changes in cultural practices. plants suitable for domestication were available.S. . the form of something (though not necessarily its meaning) moves from one culture to another.hamburgers. the U. standing on a carpet at the entrance to a yurt. Additionally. mundane in the United States. dressed in traditional clothing and jew elry Cultures are externally affected via contact between societies. after ns tropical forests returned at the end of the lastice age. altering both gender and economic structures. cultural ideas may transfer from one society to another. For example.

such has happened to certain Native American tribes and to many indigenous peoples across the globe during the process of colonization . practices. Diffusion of innovations theory presents a research -based model of why and when individuals and cultures adopt new ideas.seemed exotic when introduced into China. but in this context refers to replacement of the traits of one culture with those of another. and products. Related processes on an individual leve l include assimilation (adoption of a different culture by an individual) and transculturation . Acculturation has different meanings. "Stimulus diffusion" (the sharing of ideas) ref ers to an element of one culture leading to an invention or propagation in another. "Direct Borrowing" on the other hand tends to refer to technological or tangible diffusion from one culture to another.

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