potential exam questions.

AY111 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Spring 2009
Student Generated Potential Exam Questions
1. What are the three goals of this course?
2. Why can it be said that the Greeks did not have any form of anthropology?
3. How was culture viewed before the 19th century?
4. How did anthropology come into being?
5. What are the four types of anthropology?
6. What is Tylor’s perspective on tradition?
7. How does Boas’s concept of culture differ from Tylor’s?
8. How can we understand the between cultural relativism and moral relativism?
9. What is the significance of Todd Sanders’ “mother” in the preface to his ethnography?
10. How does functionalism apply to understanding rainmaking?
11. What does Hatch think is the most clear distinction between Tylor and Boas' view of
12. According to Tylor, what is intellectualism and how does Hatch describe it in relation to
13. What is positivism and how (assuming that it is valid) does it play a role in the
development of society culture? Is it a type of functionalism or structural functionalism?
14. What does Geertz mean by the terms thick and thin descriptions?
15. Regarding scope, what does Geertz say is the best way for anthropological work to be
16. What is structural functionalism?
17. List the four layers of the stratigraphic analysis and their roles in Anthropology.
18. As referenced in Prof. Naqvi's lecture, what did Obama mean when he
said "Out of many, we are one"? How does this statement relate to Anthropology?
19. How does becoming a refugee (stateless) cause an identity crisis?
20. Name a modern day example of refugees facing an identity crisis.
21. Prof. Naqvi referred to political philosopher Hannah Arendt, who focused on the refugee
situation after WWI. Give a brief definition of the term she describes as "mere life".
22. Discuss world systems theory and its connection to dependency theory as Wolf portrays
it in Europe and the People without History.
23. What is Wolf’s critique of the way disciplines are studied?
24. Why does Wolf say the billiard ball analogy is the wrong way to think about cultures?
25. What were the 3 attempts to transcend the boundaries of microcosm?
26. T or F : the Maldives social structure reflects male chauvinism.
27. Who are the "Bakassi Boys" and why do the Nigerians view them as a legitimate form of
28. How does Reeves' political anthropology contrast with Wolf's economic anthropology?
29. How does the division of the Ferghana Valley effect ethnicity and the process of border
30. How was the Ferghana's borders drawn? Why? What effect have they had on the
everyday life of its people?
31. According to the text, the sign at the border crossing reads "Unity, Friendship, and
Peace", describe 3 elements of Reeves' ethnography that contradict this sign.
32. Why study Kinship?
33. What is the main difference between kinship and descent?
34. What is the general and narrow definition of kinship?
35. Why is kinship a classical anthropological concern?
36. There are 12 different kinship diagrams in the world. Name three of them.
37. Distinguish between matrilineal and patrilineal descent.
38. What type of cousin is your mothers brothers son?
39. What type of cousin is your fathers brothers son?
40. In a society that only marries cross cousins, which of your parents’ nephews would you
marry? (assuming you’re a girl [and that marriages are exclusive heterosexual])
41. What are the three different types of kinship discussed in Lee's article? Describe each.
42. In the Dobe Ju/housi tribe, when a conflict arises concerning marriage, how is it
43. Based on the social schema of the Yanomamo, what is it's social form, means of
subsistence and political system?
44. Explain incest in the terms of the Yanomamo tribe and how a person is able to break
these laws.
45. According to Chagnon, what is the main reason why villages split?
46. A parent may never name a child after him/herself in the Dobe Ju/housi tribe. T/F
47. Dr. Crawford is lost in Hawaii near coconut trees and a McDonald's and is ravenous with
hunger. What would he rather eat according to Lee's theory of hunting and gathering and
48. Explain the three reasons why Chagnon is considered controversial.
49. True or False, Penguins are more diverse than humans. Explain.
50. Why can't Cornell West get a cab, if there is no such thing as different races?
51. Explain one reason why humans look different.
52. Do humans have a subspecies? Why or why not?
53. How do other anthropologists differ from Chagnon, if you describe Chagnon as
Hobbesian in his views?