Ryan Schram's Anthrocyclopaedia

Anthropology presentations and learning resources

User Tools

Site Tools


difference

Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Both sides previous revision Previous revision
difference [2020/05/24 16:57]
Ryan Schram (admin)
difference [2020/05/24 17:14] (current)
Ryan Schram (admin) [Difference and variation]
Line 15: Line 15:
 While there are lots of ways in which individual people are different from each other, many of these differences are continuous variation. This means that people of the same community can be as different from people from different parts of the world. Many of these differences are random and specific to individuals,​ and even if they are not really random, they are determined by so many different causes that there will always be a fuzziness to them in specific individuals'​ cases. ​ While there are lots of ways in which individual people are different from each other, many of these differences are continuous variation. This means that people of the same community can be as different from people from different parts of the world. Many of these differences are random and specific to individuals,​ and even if they are not really random, they are determined by so many different causes that there will always be a fuzziness to them in specific individuals'​ cases. ​
  
-Many social sciences are interested in looking at differences among people objectively as something that they can measure and quantify as the value of a variable. How much money someone earns in a year, how many years of education one has, how old one are all sociological variables that people can measure numerically. Gender, race, ethnicity, nationality are all categorical sociological variables, and one can sort people into categories based on a particular definition of each concept. This approach to understanding people'​s lives looks at people from the outside, and sets aside what they think about who they are. Anthropology is not opposed to this quantitative and objective approach, but it does look at things differently+Many social sciences are interested in looking at differences among people objectively as something that they can measure and quantify as the value of a variable. How much money someone earns in a year, how many years of education one has, how old one are all sociological variables that people can measure numerically. Gender, race, ethnicity, nationality are all categorical sociological variables, and one can sort people into categories based on a particular definition of each concept. This approach to understanding people'​s lives looks at people from the outside, and sets aside what they think about who they are. 
  
-* First, for anthropology,​ the most important differences are learned (or acquired) from one's social environment. Natural variation is just random noise at the individual level. Most people in one community acquire the same basic knowledge.  +## Anthropology is a qualitative social science 
-* Second, ​+ 
 +Anthropology is not opposed to this quantitative and objective approach, but it does look at things differently.  
 + 
 +Anthropology is interested in an approach to difference which takes a qualitative and symmetrical view of people'​s acquired (learned) ways of thinking  
 + 
 +* First, for anthropology, ​**the most important differences are learned (or acquired)** from one's social environment. Natural variation is just random noise at the individual level. Most people in one community acquire the same basic knowledge.  
 +* Second, ​the knowledge one acquires from one's society is mostly **a way of thinking** and of classifying the world. Each society gives its members a distinct way of telling differences,​ or sorting things (and people) into categories. 
 +  * People in Australia learn to sort people into the categories of race, ethnicity, and nationality. 
 +  * People in Auhelawa learn to sort people into the (totemic) categories of birds, Magisubu (wedge-tailed eagle), Ao'ao (crow), Gegela (parrot), etc. 
 +* Third, when people acquire their society'​s distinct way of seeing the world, that this their **culture**,​ it **becomes a second nature**. They don't have to think consciously about how they classify things, because everyone in their community has the same shared knowledge. Acquired knowledge also sets a standard for what counts as normal for the people who acquire it.  
 +* Fourth, and finally, people are different from each other but their acquired differences are always **relative**. What makes you different from an Auhelawa person also makes an Auhelawa person different from you. Anthropology wants to put people'​s acquired characteristics in a context in which their ways of seeing and thinking are normal, and the observer'​s way of seeing and thinking stands out as abnormal. ​
  
difference.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/24 17:14 by Ryan Schram (admin)