Cultural anthropology essay example

Anthropologists also tend to look for similarities and differences between people and their cultures. For example, we know that every culture is ethnocentric - that is they believe their way of life, their values, their worldview is superior to all others. This is true over every culture in the world. The question is why? Why do cultures take this perspective? The answer appears relatively simple. If we believe our way of life is better, then we simply reject anything foreign that comes along. We feel okay by protecting what we think is important. Think of it this way. What happens when someone comes along and shatters your way of seeing “something”. If this “something” is important to you, then you begin to question what else you might have to change in the manner you think about things. It has the potential to create doubts about your way of seeing the world.

Berlin, Brent, and Paul Kay (1969).  Basic color terms: their universality and evolution. Berkeley, University of California Press.  This study of basic color terminology found that an increase in the complexity of color terminology accompanied increased socio-economic development.  Also, the study showed that basic color terms are adopted in universal sequence.  Findings of this sort involve implicational universals, which means that the presence of a particular trait/characteristic indicates the presence of another characteristic.

Cultural materialism is a scientific research strategy and as such utilizes the scientific method . Other important principles include operational definitions , Karl Popper 's falsifiability , Thomas Kuhn 's paradigms , and the positivism first proposed by Auguste Comte and popularized by the Vienna Circle . The primary question that arises in applying the techniques of science to understand the differences and similarities between cultures is how the research strategy "treats the relationship between what people say and think as subjects and what they say and think and do as objects of scientific inquiry". [7] In response to this cultural materialism makes a distinction between behavioral events and ideas, values, and other mental events.

Cultural anthropology essay example

cultural anthropology essay example


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