Meaning, scope, and relevance of economic anthropology

Economic organization: Meaning, scope, and relevance of economic anthropology; formalist and substantivist debate; principles governing production, distribution and exchange(reciprocity, redistribution and market), in communities, subsisting on hunting and gathering, fishing, swiddening, pastoralism, horticulture, and agriculture; globalization and indigenous economic systems. Economic anthropology is a fusion of the anthropological variable of culture and economics. It is […]

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Anthropological theory: Structuralism(Levi-Strauss and E.Leach)

Claude Levi-Strauss (1908 to 2009) is widely regarded as the father of structural anthropology. In the 1940s, he proposed that the proper focus of anthropological investigations was on the underlying patterns of human thought that produce the cultural categories that organize world views hitherto studied. He believed these processes were not deterministic of culture, but […]

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Anthropological theory: Functionalism(Malinowski); Structural-Functionalism(Radcliffe-Brown)

Functionalists seek to describe the different parts of a society and their relationship through the organic analogy. The organic analogy compared the different parts of a society to the organs of a living organism. The organism was able to live, reproduce and function through the organized system of its several parts and organs. Like a […]

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Anthropological theory: Neo – Evolutionism(Childe, White, Steward, Sahlins and Service)

In contemporary US evolutionism there are two main currents of thought. They are universal evolutionism of V.Gordon Childe and Leslie White and multilinear evolutionism of Julian Steward. This new twentieth-century perspective on the evolution of society is sometimes referred to as neo-evolutionism. Julian Steward, an archeologist of Native American hunter-gatherer cultures, established a taxonomy for […]

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Anthropological theory: Symbolic and Interpretive theories(Turner, Schneider and geertz)

Symbolic anthropology studies the way people understand their surroundings, as well as the actions and utterances of the other members of their society. These interpretations form a shared cultural system of meaning. i.e., understandings shared, to varying degrees, among members of the same society. Symbolic anthropology studies symbols and the processes,such as myth and ritual, […]

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Anthropological theory: Historical particularism(Boas); Diffusionism(British,German and American)

Historicism is an approach to the study of anthropology and culture that dates back to the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It encompasses two distinct forms of historicism: diffusionism and historical particularism. While socio-cultural evolution offered an explanation of what happened and where, it was unable to describe the particular influences on and processes of […]

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Anthropological theory: Cultural materialism(Harris)

Marvin Harris in his 1968 text, The Rise of Anthropological Theory, cultural materialism embraces three anthropological schools of thought, cultural materialism, cultural evolution and cultural ecology (Barfield 1997: 232). Risen as an expansion of Marxism materialism, cultural materialism explains cultural similarities and differences as well as models for cultural change within a societal framework consisting […]

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Anthropological theory: Culture and Personality(Benedict, Mead, Linton, Kardiner and Cora-du Bios)

The culture and personality movement was at the core of anthropology in the first half of the 20th century. It examined the interaction between psychological aspects of the individual and the overreaching culture. Culture and personality was too divided to really be considered a β€œschool of thought.” It had no orthodox viewpoint, centralized leadership, or […]

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