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Culture change - overview


Amaranth has never caught on in the U ... the case of office secretaries Unintended consequences The ... Condon s study of Holman Copper Inuit at Holman in ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Culture change - overview

Culture change - overview
  • Culture is always changing.
  • Discoveries and inventions do not necessarily
    lead to change
  • Diffusion is the source of innovations
  • Direct contact, intermediaries, and stimulus
    diffusion, revolution
  • Acculturation in the context of superordinate and
    subordinate relations
  • Most culture change today is the result of the
    expansion of Western cultures

  • Proceeds from invention, discovery, and
  • Primary inventions (the wheel, the lever, the
    keystone) and secondary inventions.
  • Independent primary inventions are rare, but
    clearly do occur
  • The keystone and the dome

  • Social acceptance selective elimination
    according to utility.
  • Amaranth has never caught on in the U.S.
  • Integration there is a lag between acceptance
    and integration and integration often requires
    changes in structure and infrastructure.
  • The automobile required roads, refineries, gas
    stations, mechanics.

Technology and social change
  • Hard and soft technologies automobiles and word
  • Changes in technology can lead to changes in
    roles the case of office secretaries

Unintended consequences
  • The automobile changed commerce, as intended, but
    also helped change
  • Dating habits
  • The distribution of housing/work

Invention vs. discovery
  • Inventions the transfer of existing knowledge
    and behavior from one context to another.
  • Independent complex inventions occur regularly
    telephone, automobile, calculus, theory of
    natural selection, telegraph.

  • Most things, however, are borrowed
  • Paper
  • T'sai Lun in 105 and Chinese Turkestan in 264
  • Samarkand in 751
  • Baghdad in 793 and Egypt around 900
  • Morocco around 1100
  • Then Spain, France (1189), Italy (1276), Germany
    (1391), and England (1494) where manufacturing
    was introduced

Ralph Linton, 1936 the All-American man
  • Bed, pajamas, shaving, windows, umbrellas, coins,
    plates, steel, forks, spoons, watermelons,
    coffee, eggs, chickens, bacon, cigarettes,

From "100 percent American" by Ralph Linton in
his 1936 publication entitled The Study Of Man,
pp. 326-327).
  • Our solid American citizen awakens in a bed built
    on a pattern which originated in the Near East
    He shaves, a masochistic rite which seems to have
    been derived from either Sumer or ancient Egypt.
    He glances through the windows, made of glass
    invented in Egypt, and if it is raining takes
    an umbrella, invented in southeastern Asia.
  • On his way to breakfast he stops to buy a paper,
    paying for it with coins, an ancient Lydian
    invention. He begins breakfast with an orange,
    from the eastern Mediterranean and coffee, an
    Abyssinian plant, with cream and sugar. Both the
    domestication of cows and the idea of milking
    them originated in the Near East, while sugar was
    first made in India.
  • He may have the eggs of a species of bird
    domesticated in Indo-China, or thin strips of the
    flesh of an animal domesticated in Eastern Asia
  • He reads the news of the day, imprinted in
    characters invented by the ancient Semites upon a
    material invented in China by a process invented
    in Germany. As he absorbs the accounts of foreign
    troubles, if he is a good conservative citizen,
    he may thank a Hebrew deity in an Indo-European
    language that he is 100 percent American

The diffusion of tobacco
  • It went from the northeast of NA around the world
    to the northwest of NA.
  • 1558 to Spain by Francisco Fernández to England
    in 1586 by Sir Walter Raleigh.
  • 1591 Holland from England English and Dutch
    sailors move tobacco to the Baltics.
  • Spanish and Portuguese traders spread it across
    Mediterranean to the Middle East.

  • 1605 Turkey bans it Japan restricts its
    cultivation. 1634 Russians try to stop it.
  • Then across Russia to Siberia and across the
    Bering Straits with early fur traders.

Culture change in the modern world
  • Colonialism
  • Globalization
  • Modernization and development
  • Imperial conquest is as old as the state Aztecs,
    Roman, Han, Ottoman
  • Recently Portugal (14th-20th), Spain
    (16th-18th), England (17th-20th), France,
    Germany, Russia, the U.S.

  • Portugal focused on trade Spain focused on
    mines Britain focused on plantations.
  • Spain and Britain were forced to rely on
    political control for their labor, leading to
    imperialistic colonialism.
  • Britain banned the looming of cloth in 19th
    century India.

Anthropology and colonialism
  • Colonialism transferred diseases, technologies,
    and crops. It produced massive voluntary and
    involuntary migrations, and we can see the
    voluntary migrations continuing today.
  • Colonialism helped finance the industrialization
    of Europe and North America, first through gold
    and then through profits on cheap labor.
  • Anthropology has been labeled the handmaiden of

  • Ethnography satisfies our interest in exotic
  • It also serves political and economic interests.
  • Polygyny, bride wealth, blood feuds, were unknown
    in the law of colonialists, and anthropology
    filled in the gaps.
  • Peace Corps produces many anthropologists.

  • The legacy of colonialism is no longer simple
    exploitation, infant mortality, etc. Today, many
    countries are left behind in terms of
  • One ancient state-level society managed to avoid
    colonialism and has developed in a modern, market
    economy Japan.

  • China began developing in a socialist economy,
    switched to a capitalist economy, and now faces
    some unanticipated problems as a result of their

Unanticipated side effects
  • Development is not always successful.
  • The Green Revolution produced high-yield crops,
    but the percentage of small farms drops with
    consolidation that comes with greater profits on
  • Fertility decline led to population increase in

  • Exxon-Mobiles gross profits in 2004 were around
    125b about the GNP of Greece, South Africa and
    Thailand in 2001.
  • IBMs profits were 33b in 2004, or the GNP of
    Morroco and Nigeria and five times the GNP of

The IMF and structural adjustment
  • The IMF is also a major source of change
    structural adjustment programs in the 1980s and
  • In Brazil, the austerity program sent inflation
    down in 1982, but drove infant mortality up after
    a decade of decline. (see Chapter in Kottak.)
  • Oil-rich countries borrowed in the 1970s and
    1980s against anticipated increases in profits.

  • Today, anthropology continues to serve the
    interests of former colonial nations and of
    multinational corporations.
  • We must ask, however, what the alternative would

Theories of modernization
  • What accounts for the lack of development?
  • Modernization theory this posits that modern
    ideas must diffuse to lesser developed countries
    in order for those countries to modernize.

  • The obvious cure for lack of modernization, under
    this paradigm, is to replace bad ideas with good
    ones birth control, sanitation, new crops.
    People are seen as locked into their cultures.
  • But this theory does not explain the causes of
    the differences.

Dependency theory
  • Dependency theory is an alternative to
    modernization theory
  • It isnt peasant fatalism or peasant resistance
    to change. Their condition is the consequence of
    colonialism, which causes resistance to change.
  • Tanzania tried in the early post-colonial era to
    go it alone and reduce dependency on Britain and
    on MNCs.
  • Like Albania, Tanzania went broke.

World systems theory
  • So, whats the answer? Emmanuel Wallerstein
    showed that from 1500-present, the capitalist
    world system has encompassed both the developed
    and the underdeveloped countries of the world in
    a core and periphery structure.
  • This theory is ultimately based on the market
    theory for the building of wealth (Adam Smith

Cultural materialism
  • Is structural and infrastructural convergence
    leading to cultural convergence?
  • The convergence and the independence of symbolic,
    expressive culture are both evident in Japan
  • Today, Japan faces a dilemma to employ more
    women, or to import labor, or to develop more
    robots or to reduce life style.

The educational model of social change
  • Under what conditions does the simple input of
    information lead to behavioral/social change?
  • When behavior is tied to the structure or the
    infrastructure, then educating people will not
    change the behavior.
  • When behavior is tied to culture, then providing
    information does lead to desired behavioral
    change brands and marketing.

  • Anthropologists can make a contribution to
    development by discovering the causes of
    phenomena that we want to explain.
  • Why has baseball declined? Why does China have
    high longevity and low per capita GNP?
  • Anthropologists also contribute by examining
    cases at the ground level.

Condons study of Holman
  • Copper Inuit at Holman in Canadian arctic
  • 1963 135 in the Holman region
  • 1988 350, with 52 lt20 years old
  • Bottle feeding, pre- and postnatal care, better
    nutrition, economic security (with guns in 1920s)

  • Led to autonomy of teens and less communal
  • Wage labor led to high security for those who had
    it, unemployment for those who did not.
  • Eventually, there was a trade-off between
    unemployment and hunting
  • 1970s seal skins brought 65. By 1985 3.68
  • 1987 5 of the 90 youth had finished high school
    in Yellow Knife

Demographic transition
  • The first transition was from the Mesolithic to
    the Neolithic.
  • The second began in the 18th century in Europe
    and is spreading around the world today, reaching
    Mexico now.

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  • Twelve years ago, China had a GNP/PC of only
    330, but a life expectancy of 70 and an IM rate
    of 31

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Inequality increases
  • The UN Human Development Index shows measures of
    life expectancy, literacy, and PC purchasing
  • All 114 countries in this index have risen on all
    measure over the last 40 years.
  • The top 20 of the worlds population, however,
    accounts for about 80 of the GNP and the bottom
    20 accounts for less than 2.

  • The ratio
  • 1960 30 to 1
  • 1970 32 to 1
  • 1980 45 to 1
  • 1991 60 to 1
  • Click here for a list of countries by inequality

  • Gini coefficients for the United States
  • 1970 0.394
  • 1980 0.403
  • 1990 0.428
  • 2000 0.462
  • 2005 0.469
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