Unit 1 - Being Human; Organising Social Relations

full Organising Social Relations topic from Unit 1.

(DS) what is power?
the ability to exercise one's will over others.
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(DS) what is a hierarchy?
a form of social organisation where some individuals or groups have more power and status.
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(DS) why is a hierarchy not good? example?
it is unequal - e.g. the Hindu Caste system
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(DS) what does social class mean? determined by?
social class refers to a person's socio-economic status. (usually determined by income/occupation)
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(DS) what can social class effect?
a person's life chances. born into a good family -> good opportunities. Vice versa.
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(DS) what is Karl Marx's view on social class?
Karl Marx blamed Capitalism. He believed in 2 social classes, the Ruling Class (rich & powerful) and the Working Class (everyone else).
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(DS) criticisms of Karl Marx?
- the revolution he believed in never happened. - communist societies have inequalities. - divisions between social classes is narrowing due to living standards.
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(DS) what is Caste?
the hindu caste system is a system of stratification where people are divided. a person's caste is ascribed at birth.
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(DS) how does age determine the role of a person?
plays role in their social hierarchy position. ideas about age are socially constructed.
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(DS) what is an age set? example?
age sets refer to a group of people of similar age, same gender, common identity, maintain close ties. E.g. the Maasai; male age sets are fundamental.
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(DS) what is an age grade?
age grades are the stages within age sets. e.g boys - warriors - elder men.
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(DS) difference between western and non-western age grades?
in non-western, the oldest age grade often brings most respect. Western societies don't give higher status to the oldest age grades.
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(DS) how does gender determine the role of a person?
affects life chances. Ideas are socially constructed - women housewives and men workers.
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(DS) what is feminism? e.g?
feminists believe women all over the world face inequalities. societies are patriarchal; e.g. the Maasai, women are subordinate to men.
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(IC) biological origins of competition & inequality?
chimps - have male hierarchy which is seen in humans. patrol boundaries and become very aggressive to other chimps, also seen in humans.
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(IC) biological origins of cooperation & equality?
bonobos - social relations are peaceful and altruistic, seen in humans in giving to charity.
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(IC) ethnographic study ONE for competition & inequality? (chagnon)
yanomami - social relations are violent and aggressive. Men fight over women, steal them and raid other villages.
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(IC) criticism of Chagnon's Yanomami?
ferguson - argues competition among may be influence from westerners. war is often times over western goods.
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(IC) ethnographic study TWOfor competition & inequality? (ward)
MS-13 - competition, violence and aggression key features of gang life. gang formed during El Salvador civil war in 80s + 90s. Illegal smuggled kids moved to ghettos and formed gangs.
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(IC) ethnographic study ONE for cooperation & equality? (lee)
!Kung - close to egalitarian, equality of the sexes. equal division of labour.
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(IC) ethnographic study TWO for cooperation & equality? (woodburn)
Hadza - social relations based on cooperation. like !Kung, everything is shared. conflict is resolved by leaving the camp and moving elsewhere.
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(IC) gender inequality IS a part of social relations;
feminists argue it is universal. e.g. Maasai, patriarchal society.
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(IC) gender inequality is NOT a part of social relations;
lepowski - gender equality among Vanatinai; egalitarian, emphasising respect.
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(HP) biological hierarchy?
chimps - suggest possible biological origin to hierarchy. male domination.
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(HP) A02 of biological hierarchy?
no male domination in bonobos. organise themselves in age grades.
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(HP) theoretical hierarchy? (marx)
marxism - product of capitalist. ruling class control working class.
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(HP) A02 of theoretical hierarchy? (marx)
marx's predictions of revolution never happened; communism still has flaws.
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(HP) theoretical hierarchy? (davis & moore)
functionalism - perform positive function. ensures best suited people are in most important jobs. society is meritocratic (based on one's merit)
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(HP) A02 of theoretical heirarchy? (davis & moore)
not inevitable. Evidence of societies based on equality and cooperation.
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(HP) male-dominated societies?
feminists highlight unequal power relations between men and women. universal. e.g. Maasai - patriarchal. women subordinate to men.
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(HP) A02 of male dominated species?
male-dominance is not inevitable in society. Vanatinai.
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(KM) what is marriage in western societies?
based on romantic love - expect to love the one they marry. it is monogamous; neolocal residence is common (couple live separately from parent's houses) nuclear family.
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(KM) maasai variation?
not about romantic love. business relationship; raise children and herd cattle. exogamous (marry out of social group). a girl's father chooses her husband. he pays bridewealth and loses it if marriage fails.
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(KM) bangladeshi muslims in london?
arranged marriages are common among bangladeshi muslims; parents arrange partners. simon chambers 'every good marriage begins with tears'.
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(KM) the na of china?
matrilineal society; female dominated. 'walking marriages' mean men and women only see each other at night, and he has to leave at daybreak. any children coming from it are raised by mother and family.
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(KM) the !Kung?
marriage is monogomous; remarriages are common. they often marry 3 or 4 times in pursuit of the right partner. equality; same age and both can leave if they wish. marriages are arranged at birth and happen between 8 - 14.
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(KG) how can kinship produce gender INEQUALITY through a patrilineal descent network? example?
patrilineal descent networks maintain patriarchy. e.g. the Maasai, Kenya
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(KG) A02 of Maasai's bridewealth?
feminists say it is giving husband economic power over wife, others say it is hypogamy; family securing her future.
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(KG) A02 of patrilineal inheritance?
Maasai wife is expected to have lots of children so they can have boys. In the past, in the UK, this was the same.
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(KG) how can kinship produce patriarchy? example?
The Yanomami; patriarchal society; girls are married for political power and are beaten by husbands. they are their property.
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(KG) A02 of this?
In the past in the UK, women were also seen as the property of their husbands. greater equality today.
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(KG) how can kinship produce gender EQUALITY? example?
Na of China; matrilineal descent, women are in control 'land where women rule'
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(KG) A02 of matrilineal descent networks?
often seen as fully equal however it is not; it is simply a reversed version of the unequal patrilineal descent. True equality would be cognatic.
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(KG) how can kinship affect the division of labour?
division of labour is influenced by gender e.g. traditionally in the west, men are breadwinners and women are housewives.
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(KG) A02 of gender's influence on division of labour?
the western idea is not universal; the !Kung view all roles as equal and men and women are just as important as one another. however, men perform bride service.
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(KP) what do feminist say about bridewealth?
argue that bridewealth gives husbands power and control over their wives. e.g. Maasai, girls father's choose husbands who can pay good bridewealth. in essence, buying the girl.
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(KP) A02 of bridewealth?
some argue it is hypogamy; the family is securing her future and if the marriage fails or the husband beats the wife, he loses the bridewealth.
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(KP) what is dowry?
dowry involves the bride's family giving money and goods to the groom's family. dowry is seen as compensation for husbands taking economic responsibility for their wives.
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(KP) what is dowry like in india?
still a part of indian culture, made illegal in 1961. makes the groom very wealthy and when the bride & family can no longer pay anything else, the groom & family beat and sometimes burn the wife (bride burning
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(KP) how can marriage gain political power? example?
societies with no government; kinship forms political action basis. marriage can bound two communities creating alliances and political power. e.g. yanomami; women are objects that can be used to buy power.
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(KP) how can kinship affect immigration? example?
marriage can be means of gaining resident status, and make people able to move to wealthier countries with more opportunities. e.g. EGMBWT - shahanara & husband.
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(KB) how can kinship & blood ties link?
in some cultures, children must be biologically related to be classed as kin. women's sexual behaviour closely controlled to ensure paternity of children.
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(KB) two examples of blood ties & kinship?
1 - yanomami; married woman can only have sex with husband to ensure that children are biologically related. if she has an affair, she is brutally punished. 2 - Hindu caste; female purity carefully guarded because caste membership is based on mother.
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(KB) A02 of fears of female sexuality?
fears are present in many cultures, e.g. papua new guinea; bodies of menstruating women are closely controlled and they have to leave the village to live in a shack for the duration of their 'polluting state'.
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(KB) how can kinship not need biology? example (2)?
1 - Na; will adopt non-blood relative to balance number of males and females. 2 - extramarital sex is common, paternity of children is often not known although husbands will just claim child as theirs.
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(KB) what is fictive kin?
not based on blood ties; metaphorical. e.g. friends of family are called 'uncle' or 'aunt' . godparents. fictive kin are taking on a more dominant role because of rising divorce rates.
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(KB) what are new reproductive technologies and their effects?
NRT blur boundaries between social and biological kin. (IVF, surrogate, artificial insemination)
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(KB) what are the terms devised by anthropologists to easier understand biological & social parents? (G P GX M)
1 - Genitor; sperm donor, 2 - Pater; social father. 3 - Genetrix; egg donor, 4 - Mater; social mother.
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(KU?) levi-strauss' theory of universal structure to kinship?
every kinship group has the same rules. every kinship group shares incest taboo. exchange; universal basis of all kinship groups.
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(KU?) A02 of exogamy?
exogamy (marrying outsiders) is seen among Yanomami to increase political power.
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(KU?) how is marriage an important part of kinship networks worldwide?
cultural universal; idea is socially constructed but all humans do it. west; monogamous marriage. non-west; arranged marriages, polygamy etc.
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(KU?) A02 of marriage's importance?
marriage is not key part of kinship among the Na. pursuit of love and companionship might be universal instead of marriage.
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(KU?) what is the role of kinship in descent?
it is universal; determine ancestry. e.g. na; matrilineal, maasai; patrilineal.
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(KU?) A02 of descent networks?
in the past in the uk, patrilineal was commonplace. however, cogantic is most common. also, inheritance of property is not a universal practise.
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Card 2


(DS) what is a hierarchy?


a form of social organisation where some individuals or groups have more power and status.

Card 3


(DS) why is a hierarchy not good? example?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


(DS) what does social class mean? determined by?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


(DS) what can social class effect?


Preview of the front of card 5
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