Intro to cultural Anthropology


• The process by which participants create and share information as they move towards a common understanding.
• Communication involves:
o Subjectivity
o Encoding and Decoding
o Sign and Symbols
o Uncertainty

Intercultural Communication-

• Any form of communication between individuals or groups from different cultures.
• Communication between people who do NOT share the same sets of symbols, behaviors, values, and beliefs.

A woman that tried explaining the story Hamlet to a tribe.

A dead man moving is a zombie to this tribe

Learning to Observe Part 1

Anthropological Methods-

• Observation
o Imperial Data: can be observed

Quiz on Wednesday 30,2015
Half multiple choice, half essay questions

Research Semester Project:

“Good research is endlessly seductive. But writing is good work”
Pick a topic that is actually interesting to me.

Kinship and Marriage, Part 2

Hawaiian Kinship System

Omaha Kinship System

Zinacanteco Kinship System


• A relationship between two or more individuals that transforms their status and stipulates the degree of sexual access they may have to each other.
• Monogamy- Only one spouse at a time
• Polygamy- More than one spouse at a time
• Polygyny- Man married to more than one woman.
• Polyandry- Woman married to more than one man.

Post-marital Residence Patterns-

• Patrilocal- Living with or near groom’s family

• Matrilocal- Living with or near wife’s family

• Neolocal- Living in a new location

• Other- Many other possibilities

Kinship and Marriage, Part 3

Bridewealth & Dowry-

• Bridewealth- the transfer of symbolically important goods from the family of the groom to the family of the bride as part of a marriage.
• Dowry- a transfer of family wealth from family of bride to the bride of the new couple as part of a marriage.

Fictive Kinship-

• Fictive Kinship- a relationship between two people in which direct kinship terms are used otherwise non-consanguineal kin, and a new type of kinship is created.

Worldview & Ritual


• A comprehensive picture of reality based on a set of shared assumptions of how the world works.

• A set of culturally prescribed acts conducted in a manner and order established by tradition.


1. Separation
2. Liminal
3. Reincorporation

Simple Paper Outline:

Background/ Problem Orientation-
Research Design-
Significance -

Napoleon Chagnon- Most famous anthropologist

“A man called “Bee””
• He provided medicine for the people in the village
• Always exchanged items
• They wouldn’t accept him if he didn’t provide them certain things
• Destroying the souls with fire
• Kinship ties, marriage
• All members of one village are related and some can be related to people from other villages
• Belong to only 4 lineages. Headman’s groups


Zinacantecos- Maya studies

Ethnography- Culture Study

Municipio Hteklum

Tzotzil- the language they speak

November 11, 2015

Highlights of Zinacantan and Maya area:
• In Mesoamerica
o There is a line splitting the country
o Right near Guatemala
o Maya area = Jungle (Green Hell)
o In the Maya highlands

November 16, 2015
Cabildo- political hierarchy (town hall)
Four different positions:
 Presidente (1) a major but with a lot more power
 Sindico (1)
 Alcaldes Jueces (4) people who deal with administration issues
 Regidores (9) entry level for people who do the work
 Secretary

Cargo- Religious hierarchy
 Mayordomos(40)
 Alfereces (14)
 Regidores (4)
 Alcdes Niejos (4)
 Ailcqilde Skune
Syncretism- creative synthesis of old religious practices and new practices

Ejido- State land

November 18, 2015
Cultural Dynamics


Innovation- an Idea, a practice, technology

1. Relative Advantage
2. Compatibility
3. Complexity
4. Trial-ability
5. Observability

1. Knowledge
2. Persuasion
3. Decision
4. Implementation
5. Conformation/ Reaffirmation

Diffusion- Is usually involved in ideas, technologies etc. New ideas are constantly being influenced.

Homophilous- Are people like me. My friend, peer, family member, or even someone on people that has a connection with them (I’m like that person, have similar characteristics)

Heterophilous- People who are not like me.

Re-invention- after you introduce an invention someone else slightly changes it or unexpected. They have to grow it into their culture.

Syncretism- The re-invention of a religion (Adapted)

Applied Anthropology- using principles, concepts outside of academics