Being Human: The Body and Language

Mind Map by , created over 5 years ago

For AQA AS Anthropology (UK)

Created by Youssii over 5 years ago
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Being Human: The Body and Language
1 Biology
1.1 Evolution
1.1.1 Hunting Large brains for social skills; living in groups; hunting - time spent around the fire developed social bonds, language. Meat to feed large brain - fire harnessed to make meat more digestible Body adapted to hunting. Turkana Boy (Nariokotome Boy) - Homo ergaster - 1.6mya Long Waist for Balance - Running Humans caught prey by literally running it into the ground in the hot savannah Hairlessness and Sweating - efficient cooling system for long distance running Died at age 8-12 - still a child - long childhoods give human brains time to develop Large brain - 880cc vs modern 1250cc Bones in throat suggested less vocal range than in modern humans but maybe able to use proto-language Stone tools - handaxes made and used - technology. Required skill and teaching and allowed more efficient hunting and butchering of animals.
1.1.2 Legacy Narrow hips for upright walking led to painful and dangerous childbirth Nakedness - we are "hairless" to allow sweat to evaporate and cool us down whilst hunting. Back problems - human spines are S shaped for running, but this means that they are weak and bear a lot of weight as we are bipeds
1.1.3 Bipedalism - walking on two legs Toumai Lucy
1.1.4 Darwin
1.2 The Biological Body: Universalism
1.2.1 Brain=Universal so language and classification are universal Levi-Strauss
2 Culture
2.1 Controlling the Body
2.1.1 Body Modification Female Circumcision Lip Plates The Suri, Ethiopia (Women) Cattle Wealth - larger lip plates mean a woman must be given more cattle by her husband when they marry. Possibly introduced to deter white slavers from taking women. Tattoos Koita women in Papua New Guinea Coming of age - begin getting tattoos at 5 years old. The bands around the neck are to show that she is of marriageable age. Hand done with sharp tools such as fish bones and ink or ash. Quite painful. islam Tattooing and scarification are considered haram (forbidden) in Islam. However, temporary henna or mehndi tattoos are permitted and popular. In India, mehndi is often applied to a bride the night before the wedding. Samoa - the Pe'a Gang and Prison culture Scarification Foot Binding Hair
2.1.2 Caste System Ritual Purity
2.1.3 WHY? Bordieu: Habitus - Behaviour is self-replicating. Mauss
2.2 Race
2.2.1 Simon Underdown: Race is not a useful concept in anthropology as it has little biological relevance and is therefore conflated with ethnicity, prone to inducing "otherness", exoticism, ethnocentricism etc; race accountable for only 6% of genetic variation in a population - there is only one human race.
2.2.2 American Anthropological Association treatise on race: Anthropology has tended to be racist and colonialist and should now focus on dispelling racial stereotypes and ethnocentricism.
2.2.3 Eugenics
2.3 Language
2.3.1 Classification Rivers: Even if application of classification is diverse, there is still a logic to it that makes sense in the culture that uses the words. "Mate" - dead in Melanesian cultures can apply to people who the west would still consider alive, but who are no longer useful to society - young children, the ill and the elderly can all be mate, meaning that it is possible to go from dead to being alive again. People who are not expected to do so - the elderly or extremely ill are often killed outright. Although to western cultures this may seem cruel, the cultures who practice this have extremely limited resources, and allowing someone who cannot help society to live may condemn healthy people to starvation. Rivers says, therefore, that considering these people already dead makes doing this, and the preservation of the society as a whole easier - it is logical. Levi Bruhl, typical white male anthropologist claimed that the Hopi people were "pre-logical" as their language lacks tenses. Rivers would argue that therefore the culture did not need tense to function. It is ethnocentric to believe that all cultures should have the same conception of time as in the west. A Hopi woman
2.3.2 Linguistic Determinalism Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis: As brains think in language, our experiences and thoughts are defined by language and not the other way around. Evidence: Russian has more words for blue than English, and so in tests Russian people are able to distinguish more separate colours of blue than native English speakers, showing that the language spoken has literally influenced perception of something our brain processes - colour.