Cultural interactions result in both progressive and aggressive interactions due to the evolution of those cultures being uninfluenced by one another. What may be considered good etiquette in one culture may be considered an offensive gesture in another. As this occurs constantly, cultures push each other to change. Human variation is based on the principle that there is variation in traits that result cultural anthropology notes pdf recombination of genes from sexual reproduction.
These traits are variable and can be passed down generation to generation. It also relies on differential reproduction, the idea that the environment can’t support unlimited population growth because not all individuals get to reproduce to their full potential. An example of human variation can be found with a cline. Human skin color variation is a selective adaptation that relates to the populations’ proximity to the equator.
Because of pigmentation characteristics within the human population, a system and term emerged to categorize the differing variations. Populations of humans in equatorial regions have selective advantages as a result of their darker skin pigmentation, whereas populations in more northern environments have less selective pressure to evolve darker pigmentation and have lighter skin. Other clines include differences in stature and hair type. The route of first voyage of Columbus in the Caribbean. Ethnography is the case study of one culture, subculture, or micro-culture made a the researcher immersing themself in said culture. Before ethnography, immersive research, the prevailing method was unilineal.
This led to colonizers feeling able to set the rules for what is a “modern” or “primitive” culture and used these self-made justifications in order to rule over new colonies in the name of advancement for their people. This view came into question with Anthropologists like Franz Boas, offering the multilinear model for cultural evolution we have today. This model closer, reflects the realities of different cultures across the world advancing in separate ways and highlights the impossibility to call one culture “primitive” in relation to another. These cultures do not evolve from one another but evolved separately from each other into other cultures. A large part of the issue with early Anthropology was a reliance on second-party information while lacking any first-hand research of cultures.
Armchair Anthropologists” would gather information from military deployments, merchants, and missionaries rather than making the first-hand contact. Armchair Anthropologists usually refers to late 19th century and early 20th century scholars coming to conclusions without going through the usual anthropology motions—fieldwork or lab work. They would then create wild theories based on these accounts. This led to a high degree of bias against these cultures, more so than firsthand research, and were not scientific in the way Anthropology is today. These biases turned into stereotypes which are still prevalent today. This form of research drove much of the colonial primitive culture narrative and necessitated the adaptation of Ethnography. Ethnography, or the immersive method of case study research, has to lead to the dispelling of rumor and a much deeper understanding of cultures through great effort.