Cultural Anthropology

Márcio Padilha
Cultural Anthropology
Semester Final
Numbers 1-4 are short answer questions over chapter 13-16. Answer each of the following
using complete sentences. Answers do not need to be lengthy. In most cases, a short
paragraph is adequate, but seldom will a single sentence suffice. In grading your answers, I
will be looking to see if you completed your thoughts and if you fully addressed each
concept. (Ten points each)
1) What is the definition of a MYTH? What is the relationship between myths and a
society’s perception of itself and the world? (Chapter 13)
Myth is defined as a sacred narrative that explains the fundamentals of
existence and, with that being so, it is logically asserted that, over an extended
period of time, the gathering of such narratives will eventually form a
subconscious collective set of perceptions, if you will, about how that given
society came to be the way it is and that, in turn, would also dictate how the
society in question would perceive the outer world.
2) Discuss the concepts of diffusion and acculturation and identify examples for each.
(See pages 424-430)
Diffusion relates to the spreading of certain ideas, things customs and/or
practices from one culture to another. Hence, it can be exemplified by
American movies which are shown all over the world, i.e. the greater cultural
group having the opportunity to experience the smaller cultural group.
Acculturation, on the other hand, relates to the massive cultural changes that
people are forced to make as a consequence of intensive first hand contact
between their own group and another often more powerful society, which can
be exemplified by the immigrant who is forced to make adjustments in order to
cope with the surrounding culture in his/her new residency country.
3) According to the text, what are the four sub-processes of modernization? Why is the
term Modernization ethnocentric? (See pages 440-441)
The sub-processes of modernization are technological development,
agricultural development, industrialization and urbanization. It is deemed to be
ethnocentric because it refers to a process whereby developing societies acquire
some of the cultural characteristics common to Western industrial societies;
hence a one-way process.
4) The development of agriculture, the rise of civilization, and globalization has all
occurred since the last ice age ended approximately 10,000 years ago. Human societies
are now facing another potentially significant climate change as well as a decline in
carbon based energy resources. Is it the “end of the world as we know it”? What
possible cultural changes might we be seeing as the result of climate change and end of
cheap oil?
I don’t know whether it will be the end or not, but it certainly has the potential
if adjustments to properly cope with the changes are not made in a timely
fashion. With the depletion of the fossil fuel reserves, demand will out last the
supply first inflating the cost of consumption prohibitively. With that, in light of
our dependency on mobility/transportation, all segments of society would be
affected and eventually come to a grinding halt. That, in turn, would
subsequently lead to socio-economic chaos, de-structuring civilization as we
know it.
Multiple Choice (2 points each)
1. The ideals, values, and beliefs shared by members of a society is:
B. Culture
The branch of anthropology that studies the material remains and artifacts of a culture is:
D. Archaeology
3. All modern humans belong to this species.
B. Homo sapiens
4. The kinship group consisting of an individual, his/her spouse, and their children is
C. Nuclear Family
5. The rule that requires marriage within a group is
B. Endogamy
6. The belief that one’s own culture is superior to others is
A. ethnocentrism
7. A geographic region in which a number of different societies have made similar
adaptations to the environment and follow similar patterns of life is a?
C. Culture Area
8. Intensive agriculture is characterized by which of the following?
A. use of irrigation, plows and draft animals.
9. It is believed that the change from hunting and gathering to agriculture began
B. 9000 to 11,000 years ago.
10. In studying the languages of various isolated societies, anthropologists have found
A. all languages are able to convey complex and subtle messages
11. The process by which culture is transmitted from one generation to the next is
D. Enculturation
12. The custom in which a widow marries a brother of her dead husband is
D. the levirate
13. A corporate descent group whose members can trace their links to a common ancestor
B. a lineage
14. Which kinship terminology system most common in English-speaking societies?
C. Eskimo system
15. The equal exchange of goods and services of equal value is
B. reciprocity
16. A means for maintaining social order and reducing social disorder is
C. political organization
17. Belief that spirit beings animate nature is
D. animism
18. The psychological functions of religion include all of the following except
A. validating the political organization of a culture
19. A sacred narrative explaining how the world came to be is
D. a myth
20. The process by which traditional or developing societies acquire characteristics of
Western industrialized societies is
A. diffusion
21. ___________is the creative use of the human imagination to interpret, understand,
and enjoy life.
B. Art
22. All religions fulfill numerous social and psychological needs. Some, such as
______________, are universal
D. the need for guidance
23. Which of the following are mechanisms of change?
E. all of the above
24. ______________is an ethnocentric term referring to a global process of change by
which traditional, nonindustrial societies seek to acquire characteristics of industrially
"advanced" societies.
E. Globalization
25. Tobacco, having spread from the tropics of the Western hemisphere to much of the
rest of North and South America, rapidly spread to the rest of the world after 1492.
The spread of tobacco is a classic example of ________________.
D. diffusion
26. Scholars have identified four basic kinds of political systems and categorized them
into uncentralized and centralized. Which of the following would be considered
E. a and c
27. In The Golden Bough, ______________ distinguished between religion and magic
C. Sir James Frazer
28. Anthropologists use the term ____________ to refer to the cultural elaborations and
meanings assigned to the biological differentiation between males and females.
B. Gender
29. According to the fossil evidence, which major innovation in hominid evolution came
A) Big Brain
30. Ninety percent of all people who have ever lived used ___________ as their
subsistence strategy.
D. food foraging
31. What is the predominant adaptive strategy used in contemporary U.S. culture?
C. horticulture
32. What is the post marital residence rule is most widely used in contemporary U.S.
C. Neolocality
33. What is the predominant descent system used in contemporary U.S. culture?
A. patrilineal
34. What is the predominant kinship terminological system used in the contemporary
U.S. culture?
D. Eskimo
35. What is the form of political organization in contemporary U.S. culture?
D. state