Cultural Anthropology, Human Ecology, Physical Anthropology
Cultural anthropology or Social
anthropology is the science of human social and cultural behavior
and its development. Cultural anthropology is conceptually and theoretically similar to
Anthropology originally developed
as the study of non-western cultures but many anthropologists now study western societies
and the disciplines of sociology and anthropology have been tending to converge giving
scope to the field of cultural anthropology or social anthropology.
A Cognitivist's View of
the Units Debate in Cultural Anthropology
Roy D'Andrade, University of California, San Diego - This article explores some of
the implications of the current ideational definition of culture. If culture consists of
shared ideas, then the findings of cognitive psychology concerning the limits of
short-term memory necessarily constrain the size and complexity of cultural units.
Wierzbicka's universal linguistic primes or primitives would then be the atomic units of
Pushing Anthropology Past
Critical notes on cultural anthropology and cultural studies as influenced by
postmodernism and existentialism - Bruce M. Knauft, Emory University, Atlanta
This article suggests that a critical analysis of postmodem and existentialist
underpinnings reveals common political and ethical problems. These problems have an
unsettling legacy in contemporary cultural anthro pology and cultural studies, especially
for many of those who see themselves at the cutting edge of critically reflexive
representations. Against this back ground, perspectives grounded in critical humanism are
better at exposing and grappling with these problems.
Cultural Preservation Reconsidered: The case of Canadian aboriginal art
B.R. Sharma, Singapore Polytechnic College, Singapore
Hybrid art forms are emerging more than ever now that advances in global communication
link the world's societies. James Clifford, Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Valerie Dominguez and other
eminent scholars champion such hybrid culture. They argue that it leads to greater
acceptance of others and otherness, and destroys notions of 'others' as aesthetically
unsophisticated. While there is merit in such claims, this article sheds a different light
on the nature of hybrid culture. It argues that in some instances, such culture is the
by-product of cultural imperialism - first-world socio-economic and cultural policies
imposed on 'Second' and 'Third World' communities.
Introduction to Special Issue on The Missing Psychology in Cultural Anthropology's
Naomi Quinn, Duke University, USA, Claudia Strauss, Pitzer College, USA
It is common practice in anthropology to use terms with implicit psychological content
(such as embodiment). This is consistent with contemporary developments in anthropological
theory and practice that lead to a focus on individuals' voices and practices.
Nevertheless, many cultural anthropologists are critical of psychology. This introduction
considers and responds to some of the usual criticisms. As this introduction describes,
the articles that follow each take one term that is widely used by anthropologists
(agency, resistance, subjectivity, the imaginary, and the self) and show how the concept
could be better illuminated.