Study questions for Quiz 3

Study questions for Quiz 3, Monday, Nov. 1
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
What is the importance of kinship to social organization?
Vertical function of kinship
Horizontal function of kinship
Types of kinship descent: bilateral, patrilineal, matrilineal
How would you describe the kinship system of the Bari tribe of Venezuela? (article How
Many Fathers Are Best for a Child?)
6. Common types of residence after marriage: patrilocal, matrilocal, neolocal
7. Types of marriages: monogamy, polygamy, polygyny, polyandry
8. Endogamy and its social purposes (see chapter 7 of Culture Counts)
9. Exogamy and its social purposes (see chapter 7 of Culture Counts)
10. Bride wealth and its function (see chapter 7 of Culture Counts)
11. Dowry and its function (see chapter 7 of Culture Counts)
12. How do the Na of China practice marriage? (see chapter 7 of Culture Counts)
13. Be able to describe gender ideologies and marriage practices among the Awlad ‘Ali Bedouin
Tribes, according to anthropologist Lila Abu-Lughod (as discussed in class)
14. In reference to the exercise you did as a class to arrange the marriages of your children: be
able to explain what you learned about the functions and ideologies connected with
arranged marriage in many Arab cultures
15. What is infrastructure, social structure, and super structure and their relation to each other?
16. What are the Hijras’ roles in India? (see chapter 8 of Culture Counts)
17. Give an example of a male rite of passage. Give an example of a female rite of passage.
(chapter 8 of Culture Counts)
18. What is a patriarchy? What is a matriarchy? (chapter 8 of Culture Counts)
19. Be able to describe gender relations in foraging societies, horticultural societies, pastoral
societies and agricultural societies. (chapter 8 of Culture Counts)
20. How are gender differences accommodated in various indigenous North American groups,
according to the article Strange Country This? What is the importance of male and female
roles for Berdache identity? What are third and fourth genders among Native Americans?
21. According to Michael Kimmel, is dominance of one gender over another learned or
biological? (lecture)
22. According to the authors of Why Sex Matters, what are the reproductive imperatives of
males compared with females and what might those differences have to do with patterns of
gender dominance? (lecture) Why have there been no apparent matriarchies?
23. What do reproductive imperatives have to do with war, according to the authors of Why Sex
Matters? Are current wars still hooked to reproductive imperatives the way they were in the
distant past, according to Bobbi Low and other biological anthropologists? (lecture)
Essay question:
Marvin Harris and Cultural Materialism as partial explanation for marriage
• The lowest level he called the infrastructure – this includes a group’s
subsistence strategy for making a living from its environment. (Foraging,
horticulture, pastoralism, agriculture, industrialization, etc.)
The middle level he called the social structure – this includes the ways societies
organize themselves through kinship, gender roles, political systems, systems of
work and systems of collaboration or trade, etc.
The top level he called the superstructure – this includes the ideational
concerns of culture, its social values, religion, myth, art, norms etc.
The superstructure developed out of the social structure which developed out of
the infrastructure. The social structure supports the infrastructure and the super
structure supports the social structure.
When the infrastructure changes, the superstructure is usually the last to
change in response to those changes.
24. Describe how the theory of cultural materialism can help explain the reasons for
kinship systems and marriage practices for the Na of China (Culture Counts),
polyandry in Tibet (article), the Awlad ‘Ali Bedouins (lecture), Kyrgyzstan bride
kidnapping (video), and the Maasai pastoralists (video). For full points, briefly
describe the infrastructure for each group and explain possible reasons why the
kinship system and marriage rules (social structure) support the infrastructure.
Discuss what you know about the ideologies and beliefs (super structure) that
motivate people in these groups to follow their kinship rules and marriage practices.
Anthropologist Clifford Geertz effectively explains ideology as “shared
meanings” and as “maps of problematic social reality and matrices for the
creation of collective conscience” (Geertz 1973:218-219). In this sense,
ideology is a worldview and a belief system (Gerring 1997:969).