Anth 90-10: Comparative Cultures

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Anth 90-10: Comparative Cultures 10:10-11:00 MWF

Tannenbaum Fall 2000

Office: 11 Price Hall, 8-3829, nt01

Office Hours: 9-10:00 MWF, by appointment, OR chance.

Purpose: In this course, we will examine the literature on causes of violence and then using ethnographies and the electronic Human Relations Area Files to explore violence cross culturally and try to determine, through careful comparisons, if there are any general explanations for violence. In the process you will learn to think anthropologically about comparing cultures, use an electronic database; create and test hypotheses; and write analytically about the experience.
Class Structure: Discussion, lectures, movies, and computer exercises.

Essays: 70% of your course grade.

1. The first approach to comparison, 3-5 pages, due on Monday, Sept. 11, 5%

2. Theoretical approaches to violence, aggression, and peace, due Friday, Oct. 2. In this essay you will analyze the various theoretical approaches and propose a hypothesis about causes of warfare, violence, and aggression, 20%.

3. An essay discussing your hypothesis in light of the Waorani, Kohistani, and your eHRAF ethnography and, if necessary, modifying your hypothesis, 20%.

4. Final essay assessing your hypothesis using your data from eHRAF, 25%.

Note: you will need to read Strunk and White to understand my comments on your essays.
Students have the option of revising these essays. Revisions are due one week after I return the paper. The grade on the revision replaces the original grade. If you choose to do this, you must consult with me for suggestions and advice.

Note: Grades can go down as well as up.
Human Relation Area Files assignments: see eHRAF assignment pages, 15% of your course grade. While any particular eHRAF assignment may not count much, they are necessary for your essays. Do them seriously and your essays will be easier.

Ethnographic outlines: follow guide sheet and present the relevant data, 10% of grade.
Class Participation: doing the reading, coming prepared to class with questions and ready to discuss the material, plus any homework assignments, 5% of grade.
Class attendance is required. You may miss no more than 3 classes without penalty. For each class after your 3, missed without an adequate excuse, your grade will go down one-third of a letter grade; e.g. if you have an "A" but you miss a total of 5 classes, your grade will be a "B+."

Required Texts:

Keiser, Lincoln Friend by Day/Enemy by Night: Organized Vengeance in a Kohistani Community. Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. 1991

Moore, Frank W. ed. Readings in Cross-Cultural Methodology. New Haven: HRAF Press. 1966

Robarchek, Clayton and Carole Robarchek Waorani: The Contexts of Violence and War. Fort Worth: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. 1998

Strunk, William jr. and E. B. White The Elements of Style, 4rth edition. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 2000.
PLUS photocopies, available in Price Hall 1. Readings marked with * are photocopies.

Course Outline and schedule
I Introduction

Week 1 Aug 30-Sept. 1 Overview of the course and what is anthropology and why.

Readings: *Keesing & Strathern Chap. 1 The Anthropological Approach, pp. 2-11

* Keesing & Strathern Chap. 2 Culture and People: Some Basic Concepts, pp. 14-25.

From Keesing, Roger M. and Andrew J. Strathern Cultural Anthropology: A Contemporary Perspective. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, 1998.

Due Sept. 1: an e-mail (see eHRAF assignment sheet).
Week 2 Sept. 4-8 Violence, Aggression, and Warfare in Cultural Contexts.

Readings: Keiser Chap. 1 Introduction, pp. 1-16

Robarchek & Robarchek Introduction, pp. 1-6.

Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 2 The Waorani War Complex, pp. 19-29.

Movie: Dead Birds Sept. 6 & 8

Due Sept. 8: Meet eHRAF
Week 3 Sept. 11-15 Comparing Cultures and the eHRAF

Readings: Lewis Comparisons in Cultural Anthropology, in Moor, pp. 50-85.

Eggan Social Anthropology and the Method of Controlled Comparison, in Moore, pp. 109-129

Whiting The Cross-Cultural Method, in Moore, pp. 287-300.

Due: Sept. 11: Feud, Warfare, and Warfare - How are Kohistani Feud, Waorani Warfare, and Dani Warfare Alike and Different?

II Aggression, Violence, and Warfare: Causes and Explanation.

Week 4 Sept. 18-22 The Myth of the Beast Within

Readings: *Chap. 1 On aggression, pp. 1-10.

*Chap 2 The myth of the beast within, pp. 11-32.

*Chap 3 Towards a de-mythologized biology of behavior, pp. 33-51.

*Chap 4 Cultural counterpoint, pp. 52-69.

*Chap 6 As the twig is bent: themes in human development, pp. 85-102.

From Jonathan Klama Aggression: The Myth of the Beast Within. New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1988.

Due Sept. 22: OWC codes for warfare and feud & more
Week 5 Sept. 25-29 Violent and Peaceable Polities

Readings: *Dentan The Rise, Maintenance, and Destruction of Peaceable Polity: A Preliminary Essay in Political Ecology, pp. 214-270 in Silverberg, J. and J.P. Gray, eds., Aggression and Peacefulness in Humans and Other Primates. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

*Robarchek, C. & C. Robarchek Cultures of War and Peace: A Comparative Study of Waorani and Semai, pp. 189-213 in Silverberg, J. and J.P. Gray, eds., Aggression and Peacefulness in Humans and Other Primates. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

III Ethnographies

Week 6 Oct. 2-Oct. 6 Feud

Readings: Keiser Chap. 2 The Course of the Feud, pp. 17-28.

Keiser Chap. 3 The Power of Islam, pp. 29-44.

Keiser Chap. 4 The Genesis of Dushmani, pp. 45-56.

Due Oct. 2: Essay on aggression, violence, and peace.

Due Oct. 6: Your hypothesis & OCM categories.
Week 7 Oct. 9-13 Feud, cont.

Readings: Keiser Chap. 5 The Distortion of Ecology and Economics, pp. 57-75.

Keiser Chap. 6 The Unbalancing of Kinship, pp. 75-88.

Keiser Chap. 7 The Contortion of Politics, pp. 89-102.

Due Oct. 13: your eHRAF ethnography.

Note: No class Oct. 9 - Pacing break.
Week 8 Oct. 16- 20 Fieldwork and War

Readings: Keiser Chap. 8 The Politics of Fieldwork, pp. 103-122.

Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 3 The Fieldwork, pp. 31-72.

Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 4 The Material Context: Environment and Technology, pp. 73-84.

Movie Oct. 18: Nomads of the Rain Forest

Due Oct. 18: Ethnographic outline for Keiser.
Week 9 Oct. 23-27 Waorani, cont.

Readings: Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 5 The Historical Context, pp. 85-96.

Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 6 The Social/Cultural Context, pp. 97-117.

Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 7 The Individual/Psychological Context, 117-126.

Note: No class Oct. 27

Due Oct. 27: Ethnographic outline for your eHRAF ethnography - in my mailbox by 4:00pm.
Week 10 Oct. 30-Nov. 3 Waorani, cont.

Readings: Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 8 Waorani Warfare in Context, pp. 127-150.

Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 9 The Renunciation of Violence, pp. 151-164

Robarchek & Robarchek Chap. 10 Action in a New World: Ethnogenesis and the Return of Violence, pp. 165-174.

Robarchek & Robarchek Epilogue and Afterword, pp. 175-182.

Due Nov. 3: Ethnographic outline for Waorani.
Week 11 Nov. 6-Nov. 10 Comparisons and Hypotheses

Readings: Review readings on aggression and your hypothesis

Tylor On a Method of Investigating the Development of Institutions, in Moore, pp. 1-25.

Due Nov. 6: Notes about how well your hypothesis works with the Kohistani, Waorani, & your eHRAF ethnography

Due Nov. 10: Essay on your hypothesis and the ethnographies.

Week 12 Nov. 13-17 Revising your hypotheses and sampling issues

Readings: Murdock The Cross-Cultural Survey, in Moore, pp. 40-49.

Murdock World Ethnographic Sample, in Moore, pp. 195-220

Naroll Two Solutions to Galton’s Problem, in Moore, pp. 221-248

Due Nov. 17: OCM categories for your revised hypothesis & cultures to test your hypothesis.
Week 13 Nov. 20-24 Data Collection and Organizing your Data

Readings: Driver Introduction to Statistics for Comparative Research, in Moore, pp. 310-336.

Due: Coding and examples Nov. 22

Note: No class Nov. 24 - Thanksgiving
Week 14 Nov. 27-Dec. 1 Data Collection and Analysis, cont.

Collect data and meet with Prof.

Due: Your data, Dec. 1.
Week 15 Dec. 4-8. Presentations in class of preliminary results

Due: Draft of analysis Dec. 6

Final revised essay due on final exam date
Anth 90-10: Comparative Cultures

Fall 2000

Ethnographic outline and framework for comparison

1. Title

2. Author

3. Date first published

4. When was the fieldwork done

5. Location(s).


1. How long in the field, how many trips?

2. Kinds of information collected?

3. What methods did the anthropologist use?

Comparative framework

1. Economics. How do people make their livings?

2. Social organization. How is the society organized? What kinds of groups are there (households, villages, kin groups)? What sorts of things do these groups do?

3. Political organization. Who are the leaders, how are they selected, what sorts of things can leaders do?

4. What causes conflicts? Prevents conflicts? How are conflicts resolved? Who mediates the resolution?

5. What social units are involved in conflicts? Individuals, men vs. women, men vs. men, households, communities? Think about the relationships within the groups - between men & women, children & adults, women & women, men & men, in-laws, between different kin-groups. And between groups.

6. What kinds of violence? What are the consequences of violence?

7. Topics appropriate for your particular hypothesis.

Anth 90-10: Comparative Cultures

Fall 2000

Electronic Human Relations Area Files (eHRAF) assignments and due dates

Assignments are due on date assigned. Late assignments will not be accepted.

1. Activate your Lehigh e-mail account Due Sept. 1 by 4:00.

Send me [nt01, that’s a zero] a message. You will need this to use the electronic Human Relations Area Files.

2. Meet eHRAF. Due Sept. 8 in class.

On the Lehigh home page, click on libraries. Click on electronic resources, click databases (you will have to logon with your account number and password). Either scroll down or click on “G-L” to find the Human Relations Area Files. Click on this.

Answer the following questions:

1. What does OWC stand for? What is it used for? List one OWC code and explain how to read it.

2. What does OCM stand for? What is it used for? List one of the categories and describe its contents.
3. Feud, warfare, and finding cultures with feud, warfare, etc. Due Sept. 22 in class.

Trace a relevant OCM category: start with your major term and category and list the categories as you trace them out. Start by clicking on Subject searches, then on OCM Alphabetic Index, and then onto a letter and an appropriate term.

For example feuding, click on “F” and then on feuding, click on one of the OCM numbers and follow where it takes you. Clicking on any one of the numbers will take you to a list of OCM categories that might be relevant. If you want to follow 578, you’d click on 570 “interpersonal relationships.” Read the general description and then check its sub-categories. 578 is “in-group antagonisms.” Check the suggested categories underneath the major description and click on “eHRAF ethnography books with this OCM.” Pick one region of the world (remember your OWC categories) and check a source. Take notes on the topic. Repeat with 2 other relevant terms, OCM categories, sources and notes.
You will need to turn in the traces of your 3 searches - what word you started with, the OCM categories you followed, the name of the source, and brief notes on the topic.

4. Your hypothesis and eHRAF. Due Oct. 6 in class.

Restate your hypothesis and list the appropriate OCM categories for investigating your hypothesis. List four ethnographies that provide information on the relevant categories.

5. Your electronic ethnography. Due Oct. 13 in class.

Select one ethnography out of the four from the last assignment. Turn in the background information and methods from the ethnographic outline.

6. Your hypothesis, revised. Due Nov. 17.

Take your revised hypothesis: what are the relevant OCM categories for testing your hypothesis. And a list of 15 possible cultures to use to test your hypothesis.

7. Data collection: examples and coding. Due Nov. 22.

Check your hypothesis in five cultures. Record the information that is relevant to your hypothesis, include the OCM number and the source.

8. Testing your hypothesis, collecting the data. Due Dec. 1

Sampling, coding information. You need to turn in your coding sheet and the data on 15 cultures. Is your hypothesis supported? Include the numbers.

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