Whyte’s ethnographic studies in the Italian slum and his findings
...In Whytes study Street Corner Society: The Social Structure of an Italian Slum, William Whyte began his research into the social structure of the Italian slums in a place called Cornerville in 1937, he found the best way of doing this was to observe people in action. His original idea was to commute to Cornerville, though he later realized that if he was to build any kind of relationship with the people or be accepted by them he needed to be living amongst them. He himself came from an upper middle class background and had been living at Harvard University, he now found himself lodging in a room with an Italian family. “I began as a non participating observer. As I became accepted into the community, I found myself becoming almost a non-observing participant” (Whyte 1955: 321) He had established a relationship of trust with the group he was studying and they accepted him as part of their group he realized he had to balance familiarity with detachment. “If the researcher is living for an extended period of time in the community he is studying, his personal life is inextricably mixed with his research” (Whyte 1955: 279)...
The investigation of the evolutionist and distributional viewpoints of anthropological science
...The biggest aspects of anthropology that attract scientists these days are the investigations of connection of different cultures as well as regarding the changes that these peoples and cultures have developed over years and centuries. It is vital to understand that scholars are still looking into the same issues as they did when this discipline was just born a few centuries ago. Both theories that this paper is going to discuss will be approached through comparison and analysis. The evolutionist and distributional viewpoints were one of the first anthropological theories their input into the science as we know it now is difficult to overestimate.
The evolutionist perspective emerged between the periods of 1860-1890's. This theory was influenced by natural science using Darwin's theory as a basis to explain how new forms of life have developed and adapted and this applied to culture, because the natural and human worlds were governed by the same laws of evolution. This view led to the development of the notion that new types of society develop out of others. Evolutionist anthropologists used this idea to explain how because of this succession a psychic unity existed with humans everywhere sharing the same biologically grounded intellectual skills and characteristics. Another explanation used, was the existence of 'stages of progress'...
Lineage and physiological characteristics are the foremost basics in identifying kinship
...Evolutionist, Lewis Henry Morgan (1871) tried to establish that by comparing systems of kin classification, one could reveal the path of cultural evolution, on the notion that contemporary usages of non-western people were survivals of earlier stages of society. In this view, the Hawaiian system, in which the same kin term is used for all relatives of common sex and generation, originated from the earliest stratum of human experience, that of group marriage. This "consanguine family," Morgan felt, had originated in plural marriages including own brothers and sisters hence Morgan presumed that kinship ultimately referred to biological relations. Although Morgan's work was one of the first to recognize kinship amongst other societies, it is nonetheless out dated. Moreover, Morgan may have been influenced by the enlightenment period, thus his methodology may have been biased in understanding kinship...
Critically analyse this statement by referring to the available evidence. Assess and discuss the following claim “Bronze Age Theran is a mystery to the modern archaeologists”
...The important dates as to when the Bronze Age Theran was formed and its people existed are very hard to identify, as numerous scientific finds claim different things. There are only some aspects of their lives that allow us to judge what they were like and what their society represented. Trade with other islands is evident. Evidence of trade has been found through imported items such as pottery (which have the typology of Cretan pottery) and silver and lead (there have been no mines found), which are possibly from Attica or Siphonos. Lead balance weights and bronze have been found in Akrotiri. As we know the Therans traded with other civilizations, these could have been used to weigh fair quantities of goods. This is part of the few pieces of information known about Bronze Age Theran society not causing any disputes. The people with whom the Bronze Age Therans traded with is questionable but the fact that they did trade is not. We know that the Therans traded with people of the Aegean and lands surrounding the Mediterranean, but not how far they reached. We know they traded with the Egyptians as Egyptian containers have been found. Trade would’ve been important to such an island, as they wouldn’t have been able to advance technologically and culturally if no communication had been made with other civilizations, such as Egypt...
Discuss the following statement “Development and anthropology have totally different methods of evaluation and thus are hard to compare”
...Currently in the 21st century, there is a more intellectual climate, which is more receptive to an analysis of development within theoretical frameworks and the dynamics of cross-cultural practices, meanings and discourses. New approaches to development and local/global relationships underline the importance of analyzing how knowledge and power are constituted and reconfigured. This has brought out the usual anthropological problem of how to engage with and represent other cultures, whilst trying to understand and move away from its own historical roots in Western rationality and the commitment to 'progress'. (Marcus and Fischer 1986) This has created tension in the existence of anthropology as an academic discipline and the practice of anthropology in the field. Since colonial times anthropology has been used for 'progress' projects, and it is arguable that the word 'progress' has been replaced by 'development' projects - a less conspicuous term, but which may carry the same connotations. However, the debate over the 'good' and 'ugly' sides of development help us to understand the complex intercultural and now increasingly global scales of contemporary change, development and their counter-tendencies. The 20th century global project, illustrates a set of complex, shifting relations which exist between the academic social sciences and various kinds of knowledge and theory that circulate within the world of development. The nature of these relations between the academic and non-academic sites for the production of both knowledge and theory have been complex and multi-directional...
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