Cultural Anthropology

WEEKS 3-4ANT 211–Intro. To Cultural AnthropologyProf. Rima BrusiTHIS WEEK’S OBJECTIVES:1. To provide students with an overview of the development of the concept of culture and its study using historical figures from classic, 20th century anthropology2. To provide a frame that helps students read and understand two classic texts, Geertz’s “The “Deep Play:notes on the Balinese cockfight”3. To help students understand, define and describe “culture” and its main characteristics.TO READ/WATCH1. Video: Prof. Brusi’s mini-lecture (2 lectures in one, for both weeks 3 and 4)2.Video: Kelli Swazey, anthropologist, talking about “life that does not end with death”. (week 3)3. Reading: C.Geertz’s “Deep play:notes on the Balinese cockfight” (week 3)4. Reading: M.Harris’s “Mother Cow” (week 4)WHILE YOU WATCH THE MINI-LECTURE, LOOK FOR AND TAKE NOTES ABOUT:1. How is Malinowski’s anthropological method different from Tylor?2. What is the difference between Clifford Geertz and Marvin Harris?3. What are the characteristics of culture? List them and also describe them. Think about examples, especially examples different from what I offer in lecture.4. A good exercise: link some of the characteristics of culture with the anthropologists that used them or made them part of the discipline.WHILE YOU READ GEERTZ’S “DEEP PLAY”, (week 3) LOOK FOR AND TAKE NOTES ABOUT:5. Note that, like Jason de León, he starts with stories of him in the fieldsite. What is this story? How is the story connected with the analysis he makes of cockfights?6. How did they became no longer invisible? Why did that happen?7. What does the author mean when he says that Balinese men identify with their cocks?8. Why do you think the title of the essay is “deep play”? What does ”deep play’ mean in this context?WHILE YOU SWAZEY’S TED TALK (week3), LOOK FOR AND TAKE NOTES ABOUT:9. How does she describe funeral rites among the Tana Toraja?10. What meaning do they attach to these practices?WHILE READING “MOTHER COW” and the book’s PREFACE , (week4) LOOK FOR AND TAKE NOTES ABOUT:1. What is Harris’s position, according to the preface? What is his purpose in this book?2. What are the reasons Hindus gave for not killing cows, the kinds of explanations Harris is arguing against?3. Write down all the “real, practical, material” reasons Harris offers to explain why cows are not butchered for meat.4. What are the differences between Geertz and Harris? In other words, what would Geertz look at if looking at the same phenomenon Harris is describing?

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