Monday, February 20, 2012

Some useful terms in Anthropology

Communitas is defined by Victor Turner for an unstructured realm of society where often the normal ranking of individuals is reversed or the symbols of rank inverted.This sense of community characterizes  rites of passage.


Culture Circle is a cluster of related culture traits or the geographical area where these are found.This idea was fundamental to German-Austrian diffusionists.

Crow terminology is a type of kinship terminology in which the father's sister's daugher is called by the same term as the father's sister or more generally one in which ego calls several members of his or her father's matrilineal kin group by the same term.

Discourse in Anthropology often means not just a way of talking or writing but one that implies special knowledge or relations of power.

Four fields approach in Anthropology as having four branches- social or cultural anthropology,anthropological linguistics,prehistoric archaeology and biological or physical anthropology.

Emic is related to a culture specific system of thought based on indigenous definitions.Etic relates to categories held to be universal or based on an outsider observer's objective understanding.

Generalised exchange is Claude Levi-Strauss's term for a type of martial exchange between kin groups where exchanges of women are in one direction only for example where a son may marry into the same kin group as his father but a daughter may not.It is a logical consequence of men marrying mother's brother's daughters.

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