About This Chapter
Anthropological Perspectives - Chapter Summary
This informative chapter is made up of lessons that explore different anthropological perspectives. Topics include holistic approaches, functional approaches and a definition of ethnography, which is the study of cultural phenomena. Once you complete this chapter, you should be ready to:
- Describe some of the theoretical approaches used in cultural analysis
- Detail the holistic perspective as it's used in anthropology
- Outline the works of Levi Strauss and his approach to structuralism
- Explain the works of Durkheim and Malinowski with regard to anthropological functionalism
- Discuss the works of Talcott Parsons with relation to structural functionalism
- Differentiate between etic and emic world views
- Give examples of materialism and material culture
Even the most challenging topics are easy to follow and understand using our professionally created learning tools. You can work at your own pace as you review the lessons and then take the short quizzes that follow to ensure you've understood what you've learned. Our video tabs feature makes it quick and simple to skip to a specific section in a video lesson. If you find you need help with any of the topics, reach out to an instructor.
1. What Is Ethnography? - Studying Cultural Phenomena
Researchers use various methods to answer questions. Some questions cannot be answered through quantitative measures; they are best addressed through qualitative research methods, such as ethnography. This lesson will discuss the defining qualities, methods, and uses of ethnography.
2. Cultural Analysis: Theoretical Approaches
In this lesson, we cover three theoretical approaches used by sociologists to analyze culture: structural-functional theory, social-conflict theory, and sociobiology. We define and discuss each theory, along with examples.
3. Holistic Perspective in Anthropology: Definition & Approach
Anthropology is the study of humanity, though a major focus area is culture. This broad field benefits from a perspective in which many different factors are taken into account to generate a picture of the culture as a whole (holistic perspective).
4. Structuralism and the Works of Levi Strauss
This lesson will give a brief overview of structuralism and the works of Claude Levi-Strauss. In doing this, it will highlight the concept of culture, binary oppositions, and the basic structures of kinship.
5. Functionalism in Anthropology: The Works of Durkheim and Malinowski
This lesson will be an overview of the theoretical perspective of functionalism. It will highlight the works of Malinowski and Durkheim as well as the theory of structural-functionalism.
6. Structural Functionalism and the Works of Talcott Parsons
This lesson will seek to explain structural functionalism and the works of Talcott Parsons. In doing so, it will highlight the AGIL system and the functional theory of stratification.
7. Etic and Emic World Views in Anthropology
This lesson will seek to explain both the emic and etic approaches to studying culture. In doing so, it will contrast the use of member narratives and theories among the two very differing approaches.
8. Materialism & Material Culture: Definitions & Examples
Our lives and environments are filled with objects and material goods, but how often do we really consider what they mean? Learn about the role of objects in cultures and societies, and explore examples of their significance.
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Other chapters within the DSST General Anthropology: Study Guide & Test Prep course
- Fundamental Concepts in Anthropology
- Influences on Gender, Race & Culture
- Physical Anthropology Fundamentals
- Basic Principles in Archaeology
- Cultural Systems & Processes
- Principles of Language & Communication
- Principles of Social Organization
- Economic & Political Organization
- Fundamentals of Religious Studies
- Modernization & the Future of Anthropology