Talk:Cultural anthropology

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Leave the Sociology section alone[edit]

leave the sociology section alone and don't remove the source. Sociology does have a major overlap into Cultural Anthropology and it should be included in this article. Please leave it up to the professionals to make the edits on how both of these fields have major overlaps together.

whoever removed this section probably has no such experience with Sociology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Taishan88 (talkcontribs) 13:54, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Someone should create a new article[edit]

Is there anyone who has specialization in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology?

If there is, someone should create a new article on how similar sociology and cultural anthropology are. Sociology and Anthropology are so similar to each other especially with Cultural Anthropology.

I cannot believe that no one has created an article talking about their similarities and none of the Sociology and cultural Anthropology articles mention their very close relationship together.

If anyone has specialization in both fields or at least know them very well, please someone or people should create an article talking about how they are so similar to each other and how Cultural Anthropology is almost a duplicate study of Sociology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Canto2009 (talkcontribs) 20:47, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


Cultural anthropology/cultural studies[edit]

Cultural Anthropology studies human beings and the development and dynamics of their cultures. Sociology is a statistical study of human social issues (my layman's definition). And Social Psychology studies individual human thought and behavior in social settings.

Welcome to compartmentalized academia. --Invictus
Thanks! But heck, I knew that much. I wanted a longer, more in-depth answer! I'll say so on the cultural anthropology page. --LMS
Ah, I wondered if that was your question, but since you had logged on anonymously (for that entry) and that didn't exactly seem like a question you'd ask, I just decided to write a rather brief description. What the heck, I need to do some academic reading this weekend, I can try to put together a more descriptive article.

Nope nope and nope... No arguments about Social psychology but Cultural anthropology and sociology are not distinguished by statics/cynamics. Traditional (and equally wrong) distinctions would have anthropology looking at whatever non-western and sociology looking at (yup) Western (euroamerican etc.) societies.

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OK, so what is the difference between cultural anthropology and sociology, or do you think there is no difference? Do sociologists study non-Western societies? If not, then one might call sociology a branch of cultural anthropology. --LMS

The differences between cultural anthropology and sociology are many (it's like asking "what's the difference between psychology and psychiatry? Or what's the difference in surgical and medical approaches to neurological illness? They are many and rooted in many, many different aspects of these respect disciplines. They have different histories. They have different early influences and manuscripts. They develop in different places. There is dialogue between them (and among other disciplines) throughout their history. Anthropology is more prone to certain methods and does more with prehistory and simple societies, but does not exclude urban life; sociology focuses on urban life but its methods are aptly applied to simple societies, hardly any sociologists do prehistory however. It is not possible to put in one paragraph or one article the differences between them. If you asked something much more concrete and simple, for example, like "what's the difference between Africa and Asia?" you'd have an easier time with the answer - but the answer would potentially be in volumes and volumes of words.Levalley (talk) 22:45, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley

The opening paragraph makes the mistake of assuming that all anthropology and all anthropologists follow the "four subfield" rubric when in fact that is a sophomoric kind of distinction used in basic textbooks to teach undergraduates the basics. It would like saying "medicine is one of the fields used in the West to cure illness." Yep - but a poor opening sentence for an encyclopedic article. Like medicine, cultural anthropology is a dynamic field. Cultural anthropology is the systematic study, primarily through scientific observation and measurement, of human beings and their cultures, where ever they are and in all time periods. Levalley (talk) 22:45, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley

Someone should create a new article[edit]

Is there anyone who has specialization in Sociology and Cultural Anthropology?

If there is, someone should create a new article on how similar sociology and Cultural anthropology are. Sociology and Anthropology are so similar to each other especially with Cultural Anthropology.

I cannot believe that no one has created an article talking about their similarities and none of the Sociology and Cultural Anthropology articles mention their very close relationship together.

If anyone has specialization in both fields or at least know them very well, please someone or people should create an article talking about how they are so similar to each other and how Cultural Anthropology is almost a duplicate study of Sociology. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Canto2009 (talkcontribs) 20:45, 16 June 2009 (UTC)


Rewrite[edit]

I wanted to comment a bit about 146.230.128.xxx 's addition of Oct. 29, which I think needs to be entirely rewritten.

Cultural Anthropology: this is essentially the study of or inquiry into the "transmitted and created content and patterns of values, ideas, and other symbolic-meaningful systems as factors in shaping of human behavior and the artifacts produced through behavior" (Alfred L. Kroeber and Talcott Parsons: "The Concepts of Culture and of Social System." American Sociological Review, 23(1958), 582-583). This definition agreed upon by the pre-eminent scholars in their respective fields of Anthropology and Sociology at the time,

I find that hard to believe--that "the pre-eminent scholars," every one of them, agreed completely on something that two people wrote, particularly the something defining the field. I guess we just need to know more abut the nature of the consensus.

Also, why does it matter that the sociologists agreed?

has gradually replaced the materialist conceptions developed by Edward Tylor.

Who? What materialist conceptions? Your readers don't know what you're talking about. Moreover, how is the definition above-given not "materialist"? (I could have a materialist theory of "values, ideas, and other symbolic-meaningful systems.")

A major influence on Kroeber and Parsons would have been Franz Boas. In its earlier formation, cultural anthropology would have applied largely to what has also been considered as "anthropology" in the strict sense.

What strict sense? We haven't learned about that yet, have we?

Later, the methods and categories developed under the influence of the Kroeber and Parsons consensus

Such as? Again, without background, we just don't know what you're talking about.

were applied to those human aggregations that had properly been the study of sociologists, and this development has been a major impetus in the development of cultural studies.

What "human aggregations" are meant here? Remember, we're trying to make this clear as an introduction to the field, for people who don't yet know what the field is about.

Cultural Studies: Generally taken to refer to the study of developed human societies in terms of the catgories and methods of cultural anthropology.

What is this doing in this article? Is cultural studies often regarded as a branch of cultural anthropology?

Historically, however, cultural studies as a named field of research and teaching begins with the application of the methods and categories of literary criticism to the object of study of British social anthropology.

This probably most of your readers know a little more about, but can you indeed give some characterization of "the methods and categories of literary criticism"?

The latter overlaps with "sociology" in the broad sense. This early formation is attributed mainly to Richard Hoggart's establishment of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University in the early 1960s. Key texts for this early development are usually given as Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy (1957); Raymond Williams's Culture and Society (1958) and The Long Revolution 1961); and Edward P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class (1960?). The association of Williams's work with Communications Studies topics (especially television) brought the conception of a separate "cultural studies" to the attention of US communications studies scholars. With time, the influence of the Kroeber-Parsons consensus has infiltrated US cultural studies, meshing cultural anthropology with literary criticism to create the dominant form of cultural studies in terms of publications and teaching programmes.

This is rather hard to follow: the article is using "cultural anthropology," "literary criticism," "sociology," and "cultural studies" as if they already had clear, well-understood meanings, when you're trying to explain what "cultural studies" and "cultural anthropology" mean!

Perhaps the discussion could use some examples.

Other influential cultural studies schools are those in Australia -- with their focus on post-coloniality

Huh?

and their subsequent influence on cultural inquiry along the Indian Ocean Rim -- and that developed from the experience of Southern and Central American social movements, with its special development of the thought of Paulo Freire.
The strengths and problems with cultural studies are fairly difficult to differentiate, because the strengths of the field in nominalist logics

Another term that needs defining.

is clear because of the absorbed influence of Nietzsche's philosophy via Michel Foucault and Stuart Hall.

Well, no, it's not clear, not to this philosopher. If it's not clear to me, how can you expect it to be clear to most of the people who are simply interested in what cultural anthropology is?

The latter is easily the most influential figure in cultural studies after Hoggart, Williams, and Thompson. However, in a realist logical framework, the exceptional vagueness of definitions of "culture" derived from the Kroeber-Parsons consensus leads to the lack of concretely inferred conclusions in terms of which social, cultural, and political bodies can act.

The latter sentence makes zero sense to me.

There is some indication that a philosophically realist approach based on C.S. Peirce's logical doctrine of pragmaticism might lend more definition to the subject-matter of cultural studies.

Some indication on the part of whom? You, the author?

I suspect we should remove all but the clearest part of the above text. --Larry Sanger

Yes, it seems as if it was written by Sokal. - MMGB
I have removed two parts of the article.
First:
Cultural Anthropology: this is essentially the study of or inquiry into the "transmitted and created content and patterns of values, ideas, and other symbolic-meaningful systems as factors in shaping of human behavior and the artifacts produced through behavior" (Alfred L. Kroeber and Talcott Parsons: "The Concepts of Culture and of Social System." American Sociological Review, 23(1958), 582-583). This definition agreed upon by the pre-eminent scholars in their respective fields of Anthropology and Sociology at the time, has gradually replaced the materialist conceptions developed by Edward Tylor. A major influence on Kroeber and Parsons would have been Franz Boas. In its earlier formation, cultural anthropology would have applied largely to what has also been considered as "anthropology" in the strict sense. Later, the methods and categories developed under the influence of the Kroeber and Parsons consensus were applied to those human aggregations that had properly been the study of

sociologists, and this development has been a major impetus in the development of cultural studies.

Perhaps this was the original stub; I think it is superceded by the current article, but if someone wants to work it back into the article, here it is.
Second:
Cultural Studies: Generally taken to refer to the study of developed human societies in terms of the catgories and methods of cultural anthropology. Historically, however, cultural studies as a named field of research and teaching begins with the application of the methods and categories of literary criticism to the object of study of British social anthropology. The latter overlaps with "sociology" in the broad sense. This early formation is attributed mainly to Richard Hoggart's establishment of the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University in the early 1960s. Key texts for this early development are usually given as Hoggart's The Uses of Literacy (1957); Raymond Williams's Culture and Society (1958) and The Long Revolution 1961); and Edward P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class (1960?). The association of Williams's work with Communications Studies topics (especially television) brought the conception of a separate "cultural studies" to the attention of US communications studies scholars. With time, the influence of the Kroeber-Parsons consensus has infiltrated US cultural studies, meshing cultural anthropology with literary criticism to create the dominant form of cultural studies in terms of publications and teaching programmes. Other influential cultural studies schools are those in Australia -- with their focus on post-coloniality and their subsequent influence on cultural inquiry along the Indian Ocean Rim -- and that developed from the experience of Southern and Central American social movements, with its special development of the thought of Paulo Freire.
The strengths and problems with cultural studies are fairly difficult to differentiate, because the strengths of the field in nominalist logics is clear because of the absorbed influence of Nietzsche's philosophy via Michel Foucault and Stuart Hall. The latter is easily the most influential figure in cultural studies after Hoggart, Williams, and Thompson. However, in a realist logical framework, the exceptional vagueness of definitions of "culture" derived from the Kroeber-Parsons consensus leads to the lack of concretely inferred conclusions in terms of which social, cultural, and political bodies can act. There is some indication that a philosophically realist approach based on C.S. Peirce's logical doctrine of pragmaticism might lend more definition to the subject-matter of cultural studies.
Aside from other issues, this is not germaine to the article, SR
Incorrectly punctuated. "The period and the comma fall within the quotation marks," Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition.

Merge discussion[edit]

Speaking as an American-trained cultural anthropologist, socio-cultural anthropology has historically studied non-Western peoples, has used participant-observation and other qualitative methods in preference to quantitative methods used by sociologists or social psychologists, and is particularly concerned with the way that individuals are shaped by and use cultural models, rules, etc. These days many anthropologists study people in complex and Western societies and some use quantitative (or at least mixed) methods, but their theoretical orientation is rather different from sociologists. The question at hand, however, is whether the articles on social anthropology and cultural anthropology should be merged. "Social Anthropology" is more commonly used in Britain and refers to a particular theoretical strain within Western sociocultural anthropology. "Cultural anthropology" is more commonly used in the U.S. There is not a hard and fast distinction between the two, but their emphases are different and people trained in one or the other tend to read different theorists.

Also, in regards to the punctuation: period and comma within the quotation marks is a relatively new format introduced by the NY Times newspaper because it saves space and was felt to look more elegant. Period and comma outside the quotation marks is the older style and still the accepted standard in Britain.

Announcing new policy proposal[edit]

Resolved: Proposal failed; see WT:MOSNUM for any further discussion.

This is just to inform people that I want Wikipedia to accept a general policy that BC and AD represent a Christian Point of View and should be used only when they are appropriate, that is, in the context of expressing or providing an account of a Christian point of view. In other contexts, I argue that they violate our NPOV policy and we should use BCE and CE instead. See Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/BCE-CE Debate for the detailed proposal. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:55, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

US POV[edit]

To a European eye there is a bit too much US focus in this article, including the absence of Montesquieu, Condorcet and Rousseau and of the foundation of the Societe Ethnologique de Paris in 1839 or the Ethnological Society of London in 1843; I may try and sharpen it up in this respect. Most of all, the title of the article seems a problem (as some of the drafters of text seems to have noticed: socio-cultural anthropology would in fact be a better compromise between the British term and the US one). Mark O'Sullivan 09:43, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

The main reason "Cultural Anthropology" is US-centric is because "Cultural Anthropology" began as a US movement and is still largely identified with the United States. The British favor "Social Anthropology." I think the French favor "Ethnology." I have no objection to having other articles linked to Anthropology. But "Cultural Anthropology," for most anthropologists, means something pretty specific. Another approach would be to divide this article into different sections. "Sociocultural anthropology" is a portmanteau useful, maybe, for a stub -- but doesn't correspond to anything meaningful and a good article will explain the differences between social and cultural anthropology.Slrubenstein | Talk 14:04, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
Maybe the article should be called "social and cultural anthropology", then? Mark O'Sullivan 16:08, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
It's a tough call. There could be one article called "Social and Cultural Anthropology" that goes into great detail about the history, different national traditions, etc. Or there could be several different articles. Solely on practical grounds, I think it is easier to just keep this article with the name it has, and add the stuff you and others think is missing, all the while trying to be clear about time period and different national traditions, I mean using separate subheadings and such, and then at some point we can discuss more effective ways to organize the article, or divide it into several ... Slrubenstein | Talk 18:30, 22 August 2005 (UTC)

I would think that many of these 18th- and 19th-century theorists would be better placed in History of anthropology than in Cultural anthropology or Social anthropology, or at least should be mentioned only briefly. Most current work in both British and US anthropology runs in a fairly direct line from, or reacts to, social theories developed in Britain, France, and the US between about 1890 and 1920 (those are not hard and fast dates, of course). Montesquieu, Condorcet, etc. are historically important, of course, but they are not much more specifically important to anthropology than to sociology, economics, history, philosophy or a number of other fields. I would suggest that the main articles should focus on sociocultural anthropology and its branches as contemporary fields, though referencing appropriate historical articles. Mccajor 23:45, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Help![edit]

Anyone who has this page on their watchlist, can you go to Virago? A who is putting forward notions of racial and identifying them with a notion of gender-difference, and I are in a conflict. Fundamentally, I believe he is a racist' his claims about race contradict everything I have read by physical and cultural anthropologists and as far as I can tell, his claims about gender at best seriously distort the literature.

You can see the difference here [1]

On the talk page, start here [2], and then just read the whole debate.

Comments from others needed. Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 23:38, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Community template[edit]

Resolved: Template removed years ago.

I think the community template ought to be removed. Anthropologists, at least, typically use culture to refer to something radically different from community. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:50, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me that many anthropologists are interested in community. Some would even say cultural anthropologists have lost interest in "culture" as an unit of analysis altogether. But whatever the final decision is, someone should probably fix the misspelling of "anthropology" in that template.--Birdmessenger 15:35, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I never suggested that anthropologists are uninterested in community, only that culture is very different from community. There is a long history of "community studies" but this is only one genre among many others in anthropology. It would be wrong, for example, to define "ethnography" (the premier genre of cultural anthropological writing) as a study of a community.Slrubenstein | Talk 15:43, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. I suppose I didn't exactly understand what the community template is supposed to do here. As I think more about it, it seems as if the template indicates that the cultural anthropology article is equivalent to an anthropological view on community. If that's the case, then I agree that it should be removed.--Birdmessenger 16:01, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Please give me a bit more time. You'll see I hope. CQ 19:18, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
Please note the template I just placed at the top of the page and the new categories below. I'm attempting to create some contextual linkage through a series of articles and sections to show how the different disciplines are intrinsically relevant in the Context of community. I would also like to pull this article into the sociology camp, as I have with community psychology, if that's OK. What we want to do is link to this article in a section "Community" from Community. I'm trying to make it easier for readers to get all the different perspectives on community and I was told that you have to start with Anthropology. This article seemed the most appropriate. Can we work together?CQ 19:42, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Slrubenstein, the template doesn't belong here. I've also removed the {{Community}} navigation box from the article. That is totally out of place, IMO. Community is important, but it isn't everything. Sunray 20:38, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
CQ seems to want to use the template like either a (1) regular link or (2) a wikiproject. Either may be appropriate here but not the template. I am deleting it and making sure there is a link for "see also" which will suffice for now. If CQ wants to start a wikiproject on community studies feel free to do so, but that project cannot use this article as a place to advertise with a banner that is overwhelming, Slrubenstein | Talk 10:24, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
Template removed. Sunray 19:19, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Request for comments[edit]

On race and intelligence, please [3] Slrubenstein | Talk 13:11, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Social vs. Cultural Anthropology[edit]

Try this—social culture is a shared pattern of ideas behaviors and beliefs: its causes, consequences and dynamics are the foci of Cultural Anthropology. Social structure is the shared pattern of roles and relationships within a society: the criteria for connectedness, social standing, rights and obligations, etc. are the concerns of Social Anthropology. I believe it was Clyde Kluckhohn (best check it out I would hate to misattribute such an elegant notion) who provided the perfect metaphor connecting the two. His take on the subject? Imagine a piece of carbon paper. It is a unitary object on the one hand, but on the other, it is comprised of two distinct objects: 1) a paper substrate, and 2) a transferable coating. Either part in the absence of the other has a completely different functionality. Similarly, anthropology is a single subject, but it too embodies two distinctly different "pieces." By Kluckhohn's reckoning, the substrate is the social structure and the transfer agent is the social culture. Together the two parts provide a functionality that neither can provide independently. Each discipline is unique but neither can be fully understood in the absence of the other. DBD24.98.226.147 23:59, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

With all due respect, I think you are confusing two institutional traditions within anthropology (social anthropology and cultural anthropology) with two concepts shared by the two traditions: society and culture. Moreover, Kluckhohn's functionalism is over 20 years out of date. It accurately reflects an important phase in the history of anthropology but misrepresents contemporary cultural anthropology. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:31, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

== Social and Cultural Anthropology ==ç There are major differences between Culutral Anthropology and Social Anthropology other than the history of the disciplines. I'll edit this in a bit more precise manner later with some references, but simplistically one could say that each views the other as a epiphenomena of their own position. The differences between the two has widened rather than narrowed over the past three decades. Social Anthropology continues to develop the central idea of sociality, its antecedents and its consequences. The organizational principle of 'sociality' is not widely contested, though certainly social theories contest many aspects of one another. The development of Social Anthropology is marked by emergence of consensus in some areas, which of course lead to new problems and disagreements.

Cultural Anthropology has been subjected to a major interrogation of its central concepts over the past three decades, almost all of which are presently contested with agreement only within factions. It would not be unfair to say that from surveying the literature of the past 20 years we 'know' less about culture today than we 'knew' before (other than an increased range of what culture might be and how it might be manifest). This may be a result of never having had an agreed definition of culture to develop. Instead since its inception early in the 20th century the 'culture concept' has done little other than fragment.

Socio-cultural anthropology is one of the solutions some factions of American anthropologists have chosen to diffuse the 'culture wars' in American Anthropology. It is a term increasingly used outside the US, but has a rather different meaning there, seen as a vehicle to bring culture into social theory in a limited manner. Culture remains a epiphenomena of social interaction and organization. The greater prominance of culture in social anthropology has served a useful purpose in recent decades, providing a means to better examine issues of globalization, regional politics, social change, ethnicity while retaining much of the foundation of social theory that had been developed with little reference to culture as a focal category.

In any case there is ample reason not to merge the two entries at all on the grounds of controversy, though I agree that I and my colleagues will have to develop the social anthropology entry more for it to earn its keep. Certainly, it should not be merged into Cultural Anthropology, although there might be a case for eventually merging Cultural Anthropology into Social Anthropology. However, there is probably a better case for keeping them distinct given the difficulties of trying to merge two long standing traditions within Anthropology together given their rather different objectives and histories. Mdfischer 17:05, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Please note that new talk goes at the bottom - welcome to Wikipedia! I agree with you that the two are different and merit separate articles. I do not however agree that most cultural anthropologists see social relations (or social structure) as epiphenomenal. Moreover, I do not agree that the sobriquet socio-cultural anthropology is primarily a response to the culture-wars in the US - I think it at least as much reflects the purchase of "structural-functionalism" in American anthropology post-WW II. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:00, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
It is good to have agreement these are distinctive even if we don't agree on why. Admittedly, my first point is over simplistic, and more problematic from the Cultural Anthropology side than the Social Anthropology side, particularly British Social Anthropology. When I first came to the UK from the US in 1985, I was relentlessly baited at seminars for my strongly cultural socio-cultural discourse. Since that time I have becomre more social in theoretical perspective, while building on the suggestions from Murdock's 1971 Huxley lecture that both social structure and culture are emergent, and using perspectives from both Cultural and Social Anthropology to explore their co-emergence. But this point is sufficiently contestable that a discussion should be saved for a rainy day (or read one of my papers). There is a stronger case for the second argument, that American Anthropologists have adopted socio-cultural as a primary identifier in response to the increased fragmentation of cultural anthropology. You are almost certainly correct in citing the origins of the basic intellectual material. 'Sociocultural' first appears in the various publications of the American Anthropological Association in 1941, where there are a total of 3951 articles using the term since 1941, 3482 of these post 1970, and 2723 post 1980. "sociocultural anthropology" emerges in 1959, with 4 references in one volume of an AAA report. There are 272 total references, 266 of which are post 1970, and 238 post 1980.
We don't want to get too excited about the raw numbers, since there has been an expansion of the number of articles written over time, and so on. But the trend is pretty clear. The intellectual ideas enter the literature sometimes in the 1940s, generate a decent amount of discussion, drops off a bit in the 1950s and early 1960s, and then begins to rise again. It doesn't become an 'brand' until the 1970s (where it becomes associated with a kind of anthropology), and the brand doesn't take off until 1980.
The following table looks at the frequencies of some 'brand' terms since 1970. It doesn't necessarily show that the growth of the use of a 'sociocultural' descriptor is a response to fragmentation of cultural anthropology. It does show evidence of strong growth of branding in articles over the period together with a relatively late takeup of 'sociocultural' as a focal approach and as a 'branded' anthropology. It certainly could be coincidental that this rising prominance and evidence of increasing division is associated with the height of the 'culture wars' between 1969 and 1995.
Articles with descriptors in AAA publications 1899-2007
Pre-1970 1970s 1980s 1990- Total
cultural anthropology 633 524 836 1900 3893
social anthropolgy 840 552 484 719 2595
sociocultural anthropology 8 28 43 195 274
sociocultural 469 759 848 1875 3951
Total 1950 1863 2211 4689 10713

df= 9 p <= 0.001.


Mdfischer 22:13, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

I am thrilled to see an established anthropologist who I hope is willing to work on this and related pages! Please review our core policies WP:NPOV and WP:ATT. Beacuse of the Wiki- and quasi-anarchic nature of Wikipedia, in addition to vandalism even the best editor will eventually confront others who will delete or radically change what they have written. Violation of NPOV and ATT are generally considered unimpeachable reasons for reverting an editor's work. If you know these policies and ensure that your edits to articles comply with them, your work will be respected and relatively safe. You and I may disagree about minor things although perhaps as we explain our own views in greater detail we will see that we do not really disagree all that much. Just to clarify about my initial point above, I think many American anthropologists have moved away from debates over determinism (e.g. Harris vs. Geertz) such that the word "epiphenomenal" just does not carry the weight it once did - it is not the primary locus of debates. Anyway, welcome and as you feel more confident about our policies I hope you will put mor of your good ideas in the articles themselves and not just on talk pages! Slrubenstein | Talk 10:42, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I did an MA in social anthropology a few years back - as far as I remember - social anthropology is the British spelling of cultural anthropology - separately the articles seem quite mediocre - a merger might improve the situation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Danprzewoz (talkcontribs) 20:20, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

If you read the above exchange between two proffessional anthropologists you will realize that there is a bit more to it than the differnence between contintental traditions. Basically one might say that the central concept of Social anthropology is the society in the Durkheimian sense whereas the fçcentral concept of cultural anthropology is culture in the Boasian sense. This also entails two different approaches to understanding the dialectic relation between individual and community. Social anthropology tends to see cultural behavior as groups of people as reproducing society collectively, whereas cultural anthropology sees culture as society influencing individuals. This difference in turn means that cultural anthropology has traditionally focus more on the stucture/agency debate and on social activism and power, whereas social anthropology has tended to focus on the ways in which social behavior reproduces structures of meaning and production. Today the two traditions are less separate than they were thirty years ago, but still cultural anthropoology cites Boas and Foucault a lot more than Social anthropology which in turn cites Durkheim, Evans Pritchard and Viveiros de Castro more than cultural anthropologists do. User:Maunus ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 01:29, 16 November 2013 (UTC)

Distinctive approaches not to be subsumed under Cultural Anthropology[edit]

There is a great deal of US POV in this article. The European traditions within Social Anthropology ought to be distinct, as per my edit of the lead sentence on March 2, 2007. Subsuming one under the other or calling them Social and Cultural as if they are one heading is not useful. These are very different approaches.

Please sign your posts. Cultural anthropology is largely identified with the US, so it makes sense that it relies more on US anthropologists. As Mike Fischer has pointed out above, there ought to be separate articles on cultural and social anthropology; presumably the article on social anthropology will rely more on British sources than this on. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:53, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

I think it is time to drop the suggestion that this article or section be merged into Cultural anthropology Douglas R. White 15:56, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

-- I second that we drop the proposed merge of Social Anthropology into Cultural Anthropology Mdfischer 18:40, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I just removed them...looks like there isn't much of an inclination to merge. Also, there hasn't been any opposition to this suggestion for the last three days. But of course, feel free to reinstate if necessary. --HappyCamper 03:36, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Article of concern[edit]

would people who watch this page please review the article, Early infanticidal childrearing, which makes many claims about anthropology and about non-Western societies? I was once involved in a flame-war with another editor, and it would be inappropriate for me to do a speedy delete or nominate the page for deletion. More important, I think others need to comment on it. I engaged in a detailed exchange recently with one other editor here, on the talk page; you may wish to review the discussion but it is getting involuted and I ask that you comment separately. Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 12:31, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Tentative merge proposal[edit]

The articles Cultural anthropology, Ethnology and Social anthropology are wildly, almost unbelievably, redundant. I propose that they be merged and redirected to one (more fully sourced, articulate and complete) article, with short sections explaining the doctrinal, pedagogical and methodological differences between (American-led) cultural and (British-led) social anthropology, and how they relate to the overall view of ethnology from its origins to today, and integrating all the material. I don't care what article the final result lives at. The present state of the articles is very confusing to the reader, and gives the impression that all three of these are separate fields, when they absolutely are not, they are simply three different lenses from which to view precisely the same endeavo[u]r. I'm labeling this merge proposal "tentative" because I have not slapped up any merge tags; I think some discussion is in order as to what the merge target should be. Keeping these articles separate (other than as short articles limited to discussion of how the particular branch/variant differs from others, the way the Philology article relates to the Linguistics article) is silly and unhelpful to the reader. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:24, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

PS: Yes, I am of course aware that the issue has been (in part) discussed before (in part, because Ethnology was not included in the discussion). — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 23:43, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

PPS: This would necessarily entail a merger (complete, or by moving the subtopics to be under Category:Ethnicity) of the relevant categories as well. I found that some of the articles were cross-categorized already (I fixed that), further strongly suggesting their redundancy. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC) PPPS: Talk:Social anthropology, Talk:Ethnicity, and Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Anthropology have all been notified of this discussion. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:26, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I would like to see some discussion. I could manage the merger, if people want, and I do see some reasons, but there are important distinctions. Let's just have some discussion and if others agree about a merger i will start one in my sandbox and then we can see what people think, okay? Slrubenstein | Talk 23:45, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I realize there are important distinctions, which is why I suggested there be either sections or short "here's how it's different" (Philology-style) articles after the merge. While I am more familiar and comfortable with "cultural anthropology", which generally identifies itself with "ethnology" in the first place, while "social anthropology" seems to want to distinguish itself more clearly, I think the merge target should probably be "ethnology", as it is the more over-arching topic, and having sections or {{Main}} cross-references to cleaned up and pared-down articles on these two forks would help avoid UK vs. US infighting. (As a frequent editor of WP:MOS I am very sensitive to the necessity to avoid Yank/Brit squabbles.)
Anyway, your proposed merge method sounds fine to me.
Oh, I would also like to add (as a frequent CfD particpant) that if this matter were taken up at CfD instead of here, that the consensus there would almost certainly be to merge, either completely, or to move soc. and cult. anth. under ethnology (which would also be in keeping with what I've been proposing - a rich ethno. article, and either sections or short articles on the forks.) — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 00:22, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Ethnology has a special meaning within both cultural and social anthropology and is narrower than both, so ouldn't be the appropriate title for a merged article. Slrubenstein | Talk 08:24, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
The ethnology article just needs to be improved. I support the merger of social and cultural anthropology for the sake of having one decent and coherent article, however. --Tomsega (talk) 12:14, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Mike Fisher once provided a very cogent explanation for why cultural anthropology and social anthropology should be kept separate. The fact is, they are different, and I have heard enough stories from US and UK anthropologists about confused arguments they have had, one with another, that they later realized had to do with one person thinking in terms of culture and the other in terms of society or sociality. I think we can address overlap more effectively and imaginatively but working on the general anthropology article, with a stronger "history" section. The one area of real overlap between the two is structurl-functionalism, and a stronger article just on structural-functionalism that explored the similarities between Geertz and Schneider on the one hand and Turner and Needham on the other hand would also help. Then the cultural and the social anthropology articles can be made more specific' with links to other articles that address overlap. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:33, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

a professor said to a distraught student, who asked 'why is it written so complicated', the reply of course 'because it is complicated' - the very endeavour of anthropology generally is unsuited to a medium such as wikipedia, which is ironic, considering anthropology was once considered the encyclopedic discipline par excellence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.30.50.145 (talk) 05:23, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

References[edit]

I am not sold on the dissertation abstract as a reference for the contention that: "Also growing more popular are ethnographies of professional communities, such as laboratory researchers, Wall Street investors, law firms, or IT computer employees". I don't dispute the assertion, just the reference.

Any other opinions on this?? --Digitalmischief (talk) 03:45, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Totally agree. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:01, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

intel have just constructed a completely anthropological lab, go read ars technica, or look at the microsoft research lab in cambridge. nuff said. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 190.30.50.145 (talk) 05:24, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

a request for people who watch this page[edit]

After all uncited material was deleted - leaving only a stub - I did a major overhaul of Incest taboo. Hoping that it rises to our standards for good anthropology related articles, would people who watch this page mind looking it over, making any obvious improvements or commenting on the talk page? Thanks, Slrubenstein | Talk 19:43, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Austrians[edit]

Could please any expert have a look at this discussion? --193.170.52.132 (talk) 19:21, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

General comments on this article[edit]

Wow - it's just so thin and short. It seems to be about 1/4 the length of a typical biography on a person that is of average notability (like Dawkins). Is it really that hard to describe this type of anthropology (regional differences notwithstanding)? One way to approach it might be to focus on several different famous anthropologists (not just a handful) the way most encyclopedias or textbooks do. The first sentence should be a statement of what anthropology is, and then simply state that "cultural" anthropology is the part that tries to deal with the non-genetic aspects of human nature and life. The coevolution of genes and culture is in the domain of both biological and cultural anthropology, obviously and should be so stated in both articles. Geertz brought about the phenomenological "revolution" of the 70's (if one has to pick one influence), and while anthropology is hardly an expanding field, we still exist as professionals and have evolved new subfields and methods all the while. There should be links to all the famous names - and there should be lots of them. Marvin Harris's book would be a good first compendium and keep writers busy here for while. I've been watching wikipedia (as an anthropologist) for a good many years - and on this page, as on many, there are these substantial (but often irresolvable) arguments in 2005-2006, a waning of contributions thereafter (no wonder), and now - nothing. Wikipedia may not disappear soon - but it appears to be moribund. Culture as a topic that transcends anthropology, of course, and Wikipedia is weak in many, many areas relating to culture - much better on technology, science, pop music (that's culture of course, but easier to list bands and give bios than to describe or discuss many other aspects of culture).

I will take a look at the incest taboo page and any other pages people think should be linked to this anthropology page. There needs to be a WikiProject on Culture (which would include both anthropology and the newer field of cultural studies).

This article would be very much improved by mentioning that understanding culture (one's own or another's) seems to be a primal human interest; it is born of curiousity and in the early 20th century became both a profession and a separate academic discipline with "departments." The first were in Britain, not America and no, "cultural anthropology" is not primarily an American thing. Using the term may be "American," (we call lorries "trucks" here - but they are substantially the same item), but the process is very much the same. What I do, what most anthropologists do, is not all that different from what Radcliffe-Brown and E.E. Evans-Pritchard did. Malinowski was liminal, though employed in Britain, the fact that he wasn't British often became relevant in his personal and academic life - so anthropology has been "cross-cultural" from the early days of its professionalization.

Imagine if we had an article on baseball, in which we mainly argued whether it was cricket or not - and whether all games involving balls and sticks should be mentioned, and further, whether all games involving either sticks or balls should be mentioned, but never, ever consulted either baseball players or anyone with a rulebook...that would be one odd article, wouldn't it? Be easier to start with a commonly accepted view of the "beginnings of baseball" and move on, leaving all the rest to other pages and footnotes.Levalley (talk) 23:18, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley

I agree this article is woefully short. The main thing I disagree on is cultural versus social anthropology. I think they are very different, and part of this has to do with the institutional contexts in which anthropology developed in the US (as part of the natural sciences) and UK (as part of the social sciences). Social anthropologists did come to use a concept of culture, but one that was much more narrow than that used by cultural anthropologists. The concept of "culture" in Del Hymes' magnificent edited volume, Reinventing Anthropology, is not the same concept of culture geing used by the so-called structural functionalists. What is false with your analogy is that no one in the UK calls cricket baseball. But our article on football does or should have a disambiguation link for US football, and I wish the article on cricket had a disambiguation link for Trobriand cricket which perhaps you know, is played white differently than the way the game is played in Port Moresby or wherever. But the problem is more complicated because Trobriand cricket in part developed out of the other cricket. I do not think we need to spend pages arguing over anything, but I do think that it is just honest to say that 20th century anthropology had different 19th century roots, and developed differently in different countries, and while anthropologists all over the world read one another's books to some degree (I have asked UK anthropologists: they tell me they read Geertz and Schneder and Wagner, which is unsurprising, but there is a great deal of US anthropology they never read e.g. Wolf, Diamond, Abu-Lughod, Ferguson) differences remain. When Malinowski proposed that his department be called "social" anthropology he explained that he wanted to distinguish himself from the "cultural anthropologist" and UCL because his focus of research was sociological, not cultural. Radcliffe-Brown brought in a strong emphasis on social structure, but it seems to me that the british early on were explicitly distinguishing themselves from cultural anthropologists, which is why the couple of British anthropologists who have contributed to Wikipedia insisted on social anthropology and cultural anthropology having distinct articles. It is not that one is a truck and the other a lorrie. Slrubenstein | Talk 13:56, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Why, under Brief History, is ethnology in quotes? Is it a fictive field? It really existed, still exists, many people do it, it's part of every form of anthropology - why the quotes? Modern anthropology had its roots as much in Darwin and historical evolutionary thinking, btw - probably far more influential on going out and actually collecting data. Of course, ethnology was/is important too.Levalley (talk) 23:27, 26 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley

History of ethnography and fieldwork[edit]

I'm putting together a little timeline so I don't get confused. Boas comes first in terms of making fieldwork proposals and actually carrying them out, although Tylor had traveled and made informal investigations that were very useful in his work. I won't be able to mention every one, but I'll choose important early fieldworkers.Levalley (talk) 04:51, 31 March 2009 (UTC)LeValley

Technicaly I think Cushing comes first and what about Mooney? Slrubenstein | Talk 13:22, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Number of subfields in anthropology[edit]

While I understand the recent edit from "three" to "four or five" subfields, I suggest we either leave out the number of subfields (what other science decides to put an actual number on its subfields? Anthropology contains no particular number of subfields - I don't know any professional anthropologists (and I know many) who would try and count them. So, I suggest the article say "Cultural anthropology is a main subfield" or something like that.Levalley (talk) 22:02, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I have always heard cultural anthropology described as a field of anthropology, not as a subfield. My understanding is that "the principal fields of anthropology are physical anthropology, anthropological linguistics, archeology, and cultural anthropology, although applied anthropology is also an important field" in the general anthropology article ... here I would say it is fine to say "cultural anthropology has traditionally been considered a major (or even central?) field of anthropology>" When it comes to subfields - human osteology, forensic anthropology, population genetics, historical lingustics, sociolinguistics, medical anthropology, urban anthropology and so on I agree 100% that it is pointless or counterproductive to try to provide a precise number. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:45, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
That's odd. Does that make anthropology a superfield then? It's either a field with subfields, or a superfield with fields. I've never heard it called a superfield. And I have about 20 basic textbooks published within the last year all of whom use the same rubric in their introductory chapter, most of them go on to mention that there are arguably more than four subfields and that this is an undergraduate simplification (just like other aspects of textbooks). You can put it however you like, the AAA doesn't have four subdivisions, it has many more and has had many more for more than 50 years. So, ultimately we agree - it's a simplication. But the word "subfield" is frequently used - in introductory articles, such as this one.Levalley (talk) 05:55, 24 April 2009 (UTC)
What can I say? I always heard anthropology refered to as a "discipline" and was told that some universities only teach cultural anthropology and others teach a "four field approach" meaning cultural, archeology, physical, linguistics. I also heard that some intro courses are intro to cultural anthropology and other intro courses were "four field" meaning the four I mentioned. That is what I heard. I certainly agree that somewhere the Anthropology article should do justice to the various units of the AAA as manifestations of the kinds of research anthropologists do and the interestes they have. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:20, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

I removed linguistic material[edit]

because it belongs here. Slrubenstein | Talk 15:02, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

features of language[edit]

I removed this section because it was poorly written, unsourced, and does not belong in this article. To the anonymous user who put it in: please go to WP:Five Pillars and learn more about how to edit an article. I thinkl you want to make a positive contribution but you are not doing so effectively. Read the policies and guidelines linked to the Five Pillars, and you will learn how to contribute effecively. Good luck, Slrubenstein | Talk 21:28, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

FYI[edit]

If people who watch this page are also interested in how Wikipedia is governed, be sure to check out this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Advisory_Council_on_Project_Development . Slrubenstein | Talk 16:29, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

section moved for improvement[edit]

I have removed this from the article so we can work on it and then put it back in:

Evolutionary and empirical considerations
Evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar has argued that social anthropology should adapt recent evolutionary insights and more empirical hypothesis testing. Social anthropology, as well as social sciences more generally, at the time of Franz Boas and Émile Durkheim rightly abandoned the then current evolutionary theories. However, anthropology would gain much by incorporating recent great advances within biology and evolutionary theory and also a greater emphasis on empirical testing of hypotheses.[1]

This paragraph is misleading, since Boas was not criticizing Darwinian evolution which is the source of new theories (and Durkheim was not anthropologist.

More importantly, it is misleading to the reader and undue weight to have a section just on one person's reply to an article. What we need to do is put this in its context. I suggest that the contributor first provide a paragraph or two account of Nettle's article. Also, there are other anthropologists involved in this debate like Bloch and Viveiros de Castro. Let's provide a clear account of this debate.

Otherwise this viollates both wp:WEIGHT and WP:POINT. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:04, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Nettle's view is not different from Dunbar's. Feel free to add views if there are any missing.Miradre (talk) 14:10, 6 August 2011 (UTC)


You miss my point. I am not quibling with wording, I am saying that what you wrote does not provide enough context to understand what you wrote. You point to a debate between followers of Durkheim and Tarde that some say led social anthropologists away from evolutionary approaches - But evolutionary biologist promoted a version of evolutionary theory that fits in more with Durkheim's social science than Tarde's. TAhis needs explaining. Also, Nettle argues that evolutionary theory and Boas/Durkheimian social science are actually not in conflict - you need to explain this, before we can understand Dunbar's approach. If you want the WP article to address these issues you have to write more so we can understand them. It is not my job to add views - if you want to add these views, do it properly. If you leave it to me I say that the views are so marginal in anthropology they do not belong in the article. But if you want us to consider including them, write encyclopedically; provide the context and detail so readers will understand the debates. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:52, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Tarde? Never mentioned him. So no need to explain him. Nettle certainly argues that there is some conflict with some current views in social anthropology such as those that reject all innate tendencies.Miradre (talk) 18:03, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Your never mentioning him is an example of your ignorance of the debate you wish to address. In any case, Nettle's article is more of an explanation to evolutionary psychologists why so much of human behavior is accetable to evolutionists and a critique of Dawkins' idea of memes. If you want to talk about any conflict between Durkheimian social science and mwmes or EP, you have to explain Tarde. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:19, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

If you want to add that material, fine. Please do do. However, more important is the argument that anthropology should incorporate more of modern, current evolutionary theories as well as the empirical methods used within evolutionary biology.Miradre (talk) 19:28, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

We shouldn't be working on articles to make points, we should be here to provide accurate accounts of significant views from reliable sources. You do not seem to be able to do that. You do not show any comprehension of the article you want to cherry-pick from. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:40, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Durkheim and Boas are only mentioned in couple of paragraphs in 17 pages long paper by Nettle. They are only mentioned in a single sentence by Dunbar. They are not an important focus of either paper.Miradre (talk) 20:47, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

As scholars commenting on the article show, this does not make them any less important. But okay, Aristotle is clearly more important, you certainly should explain that too. The fact remains, this article is an explanation of why EP must accept social science, not the other way around (as the article makes plain, Boas and social scinentists always accepted evolution). Slrubenstein | Talk 21:25, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Since we have an identical discussion on the Social Anthropology talk page, please refer to that for my reply.Miradre (talk) 21:35, 6 August 2011 (UTC)


NPOV dispute[edit]

See this removal [4]. The stated reason was "FRINGE - we do not have sections on specific articles". Obviously we can cite articles as sources. This is a current dispute in anthropology and therefore Wikipedia should mention it.Miradre (talk) 18:03, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

An article is a source - but you want to make a whole section of this article about one journal article. If we created a section for each published journal article do you know how long this article would be? That is not how we write encyclopedia articles. Slrubenstein | Talk 19:49, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

It is not just a single paper but also numerous comments. Furthermore, I think you can hardly dispute that the role of evolutionary explanations is a hot topic. There are numerous articles on the role evolutionary explanations in anthropology that can be added.Miradre (talk) 20:05, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
It was a hot topic in the seventies and eighties - not anymore. You'll have too look very hard for papers using evolutionary explanations in cultural anthropology in the main journals in the past decade.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Really? Look at for example "The Tapestry of Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology" By Abraham Rosman, Paula G. Rubel, Maxine Weisgrau. 2008. Has a whole chapter on evolutionary psychology.Miradre (talk) 07:30, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Or "Humanity: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology" By James Peoples, Garrick Bailey, 2011. Also has a chapter on evolutionary psychology.Miradre (talk) 07:33, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay, please provide us with a summary of what Rosman, Rubel and Weisman say. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:14, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
No need. I am only noting the existence of these chapters.Miradre (talk) 14:18, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
You mean, you have not read them, or do not understand them. Th mere existence of the chapters is irrelevant. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:22, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I mean that the existence of the chapters show that discussions regarding evolutionary explanations still exist.Miradre (talk) 14:24, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
So, you have not read them, hunh? Research is pretty easy when you don't have to read. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:28, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Never claimed I had. Again, the existence of the chapters show that discussions regarding evolutionary explanations still exist.Miradre (talk) 14:30, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I couldn't find the chapter. Here are the chapter headings::

  1. Anthropological Perspectives
  2. The Anthropological Method
  3. Language and Culture
  4. Learning Language and Learning Culture: Culture and the Individual
  5. Symbolic Meanings
  6. Ties that Connect Marriage, Family and Kinship
  7. Gender and Age
  8. The Economic Organization of Societies: Production, Distribution and Consumption
  9. Power, Politics and Conflict
  10. Religion and the Supernatural
  11. Myths, Legends and Folktales: Past, Present and Future
  12. The Artistic Dimension
  13. Living/Working in the Globalized World: Colonialism
  14. States and Identites: Ethnicity, Race and Nationalism

Mathsci (talk) 14:29, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Which book? Miradre (talk) 14:32, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
"The Tapestry of Culture: An Introduction to Cultural Anthropology." The first book you mentioned. Mathsci (talk) 14:36, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Mathsci, she admits that she doesn't read - she clearly just mistakes WP for her own blog. Slrubenstein | Talk 14:45, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
It is not a major section. It is under "Anthropologial Perspectives" and "Contemporary Trends"... Miradre (talk) 14:47, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Not a major section? It's less than one page in a book over 400 pages long. Mathsci (talk) 14:51, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Not sure what your point is. It is a contemporary trend. Obviously it is not universally accepted in cultural anthropology yet.Miradre (talk) 14:55, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── WP:UNDUE. That is the point. Now here are the chapter heading of the other book:

  1. The study of humanity
  2. Culture
  3. Culture and language
  4. The development of anthropological thought
  5. Methods of investigation
  6. Culture and nature: interacting with the environment
  7. Exchange in economic systems
  8. Marriages and families
  9. Kinship and descent
  10. Enculturaion and the life course
  11. Gender in comparative perspective
  12. The organization of political life
  13. Social inequality and stratification
  14. Religion and worldview
  15. Art and the aesthetic
  16. Globalization
  17. Ethnicity and ethnic conflict
  18. World problems and the practice of anthropology

Mathsci (talk) 15:04, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

It is a section here also. The point being that this is not a dead subject in cultural anthropology as claimed.Miradre (talk) 15:06, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
In this case there are two pages in a 450 page book. You haven't convinced me at all, and I like you know absolutely zilch about this subject. However, you might be able to convince Slrubenstein, Maunus or others. Mathsci (talk) 15:20, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Obviously claims of the topic not existing are wrong.Miradre (talk) 15:23, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
It is WP:UNDUE. As Slrubenstein said, this is wikipedia, not your personal blog. I already mentioned on your talk page that in real life Slrubenstein and Maunus are in real life experts on anthropology; this is fairly well known on wikipedia and I don't think either of them will mind me mentioning this. Please bear that in mind when interacting with them. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 15:29, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Everyone has the right to edit and there is no special privileges for any particular occupation. I have now already mentioned anthropology textbooks as well as the anthropology articles earlier. Of course, criticism of a field must not necessarily come from within. We are not limited to anthropological sources but can cite outside views and criticisms also.Miradre (talk) 15:34, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps. Personally I would consider myself incompetent to judge what to include from texts of almost 500 pages, but I would assume that very peripheral discussions would not make their way into an article like this. WP:COMPETENCE does seem relevant here. But of course I could be wrong. Mathsci (talk) 15:40, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Those who feel they are incompetent should not edit.Miradre (talk) 15:49, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Do you regard yourself as having some kind of expertise in this area? Mathsci (talk) 16:00, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Please respect my privacy.Miradre (talk) 16:07, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Ha, ha, ha, ha. Mathsci (talk) 16:12, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
You have already been cautioned against such incivil remarks.Miradre (talk) 16:27, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Mathsci (talk) 16:42, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

So we have cultural anthropology textbooks stating that evolutionary explanations is a "contemporary trend" and anthropology articles stating that evolutionary explanations should be more prominent. I can add outside views also if needed.Miradre (talk) 16:51, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Evolutionary approaches is a contemporary thrend, but not in cultural anthropology. The fact that many anthropologists critique EP does not mean that evolutionary approaches to culture is a hot topic within cultural anthropology - it means the opposite. The general consensus is that evolutionary approaches cannot tell us much about culture and that is why cultural anthropologists speak up when non-anthropologists try to suggest against better knowledge that it has. The few cultural anthropologists (e.g. Donald Brown, Napoleon Chagnon are the ones that come to mind) who still use evolutionary approaches are marginalized in the field (and sometimes complain about that) - the last big theorist of evolutionary approaches to culture was Marvin Harris.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:06, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
  • See sources above. Introductory textbooks in cultural anthropology describes evolutionary psychology as a contemporary trend in cultural anthropology. Please stop making claims without sources. Miradre (talk) 17:12, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
No they don't - and in anycase you wouldn't know what they describe Ep as until you read the book would you. Please don't wate our time here.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:31, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
You wrote that the book has a "whole chapter" on the topic. A whole chapter, or a section? Which is it? Also, please summarize it for us. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:21, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
There is a section in the Contemporary Trends section about Evolutionary Pyschology. It mentions Choamsky's unversal features of languages, reciprocity, social exchange, and xenophobia as examples of areas where evolutionary insights may apply. It criticizes postmodernist claims of uniqueness and states that cultures do have regularities that can be studied.Miradre (talk) 17:28, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Chomsky is not a cultural anthropologist.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:31, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Have not claimed that.Miradre (talk) 17:33, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I have now read Rosman, Rubel and Weisgrau's chapter on theoretical approaches in Anthropology and especially the small section om evolutionary anthropology. Miradre has clearly misrepresented what it says (or not read it). It describes evolutionary theory as a feature of anthropology in the 19th century which was rejected by anthropology in the mid 20th century where cultural relativism became the main paradigm in America and functionalism in the UK. It then describes EP as a discipline that "impinges on cultural anthropology" - it describes the discipline and its claims briefly. It then describes why postmodernist approaches have rejected comparative approaches (of which EP is one) and it advocates a return to comparative research based on ethnography. It does not suggest that this should be in the form of EP or of evolutionary approaches in general.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
So the correct way to represent this source is to say it proposes a return to ethnography? Slrubenstein | Talk 17:46, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
More correct to say that it advocates a return to comparative ethnographic approaches.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:47, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
  • It is you who misrepresents. Evolutionary psychology is described in the "Contemporary trends" section. That earlier, incorrect evolutionary theories may have been rejected does not affect the current ones. The criticism of postmodernism and the support for a return to comparative studies is in the evolutionary psychology section.Miradre (talk) 17:48, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
  • It doesn't criticize postmodernism. It says that postmodernism has rejected the comparative approach entirely and that this may have been too radical. It also clearly does not say that EP is a trend within anthropology - it says a discipline that impinges on cultural anthropology. It devotes less than a page to the topic of EP. Thatweighting would translate into perhaps a line in the wikipedia article. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 17:52, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Misrepresenting sources is a serious problem. Should we start an RfC against Mirardre? She seems to have a habit of trying to disrupt articles rather than contribute to them. Slrubenstein | Talk 17:56, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Quote: "People do behave in ways that demonstrate cultural regularities." This is in the evolutionary psychology section. Evolutionary psychology is described within the "Contemporary trends" section. Along with Globalization and neo-Marxism.Miradre (talk) 17:57, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The existence of universals does not equate an endorsement of EP or sociobiology as a part of Cultural anthropology, or conflict with postmodernist views. Postmodernist views ignore universals is the claim being made - not that they reject their existence. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:04, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Again, the EP section is in the "Contemporary Trends" section. The call for comparative studies was in the EP section. Miradre (talk) 18:16, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
So you lied about there being a chapter. As for "People do behave in ways that demonstrate cultural regularities," when have anthropologists not believed in this? Slrubenstein | Talk 18:00, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
There is certainly a section/chapter called "Evolutionary Psychology". The quote was a criticism of earlier postmodernist claims.Miradre (talk) 18:02, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Miradre, a subsection of one or two pages does not amount to a significant portion of either of these lengthy textbooks. Please stop referring to them as chapters when you have been given the precise list of chapters. So far in none of your edits has there been any kind of vaguely coherent account of either of the two sections. Mathsci (talk) 18:59, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The other book "Humanity: an introduction to CA" equates EP with sociobiology and spends three pages on introducing the discipline as one of several "scientific approaches to Cultural anthropology" This book does see EP as an approach to cultural anthropology. It sees materialism as another scientific approach. I think probably the article could do a better job at showing the division between "scientific" and "humanist" anthropology - and a description of EP and cultural materialism would fit in well there. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 18:04, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I think that we need a better discussion of materialist/positivist versus interpretive/humanism elements within anthropology. The problem is, anthropologists have not always agreed on dividing up anthropology this way and it would be anachronistic to take a division today and reread the history of anthropology that way. Also, some forms (structuralism) don't fit in. But it is clear that within anthropology evolutionary psychology is a fringe view. Slrubenstein | Talk 18:15, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Even if it was fringe view in anthropology (which it is not in the textbooks) it could still be criticized from outside. Just like evolutionary psychology is criticized by some anthropologists.Miradre (talk) 18:23, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Mirardre, when you graduate high school m,aybe you can come back to WP and try editing like an adult. Obviously, you have done no research and it is pretty clear that you do not know how to do any research so we may as well close this thread. Slrubenstein | Talk
Incivility will not make your case stronger. Anthropologists criticize evolutionary psychology and are cited in evolutionary psychology articles. I hope there is no double standard.Miradre (talk) 18:59, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
If you can't give a short summary of either of the 1 or 2 page sections of standard textbooks when requested, that would indicate that your are probably not suitably prepared to edit this kind of article, not so? Mathsci (talk) 19:26, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Summary has been given above.Miradre (talk) 19:34, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
What was written there was incoherent babble. Mathsci (talk) 19:41, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
It was not.Miradre (talk) 19:45, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Why did Maunus write that you misrepresented the source in your summary? Mathsci (talk) 20:10, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Searching in Google Scholar for "Cultural anthropology" and "Evolutionary psychology" gives 182 articles just since 2010. Most seems to advocate various integrations. Like this example: [5] Many are not from anthropology journals but if our articles on evolutionary psychology can have criticisms by anthropologists I think other fields also can have views on anthropology.Miradre (talk) 20:02, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Miradre, Maunus and Slrubenstein are experts in anthropology. That expertise cannot be simulated by amateur searches on the web. Mathsci (talk) 20:10, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The evolutionary psychologists who edit at the the evolutionary psychology articles cannot control the articles as they desire. Frequently they have been forced to include criticisms of evolutionary psychology they think are trivial or incorrect. Not sure why this area should be different. Miradre (talk) 20:18, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
But anthropology is not a controversial subject. It is a mainstream established subject. The same is not true of evolutionary psychology. Mathsci (talk) 20:24, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
There are certainly many controversies regarding anthropology. Evolutionary psychology is controversial in some circles but is an accepted major approach in psychology. Point being that subject experts do not dictate contents in Wikipedia. In particular in regards to criticisms by outsiders.Miradre (talk) 20:28, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
No, academic mainstream articles like this one are usually written by those with a training in the subject, often beyond Ph.D. That's why we have wikiprojects. I don't know where you got the other idea from. It sounds like a wild nightmare to me and does not reflect reality, at least in normal circumstances. Mathsci (talk) 20:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
You may be mislead by mathematics which is obviously different with it being hard for anyone else except the expert themselves to even read many of the articles. It is experts writing almost only for other experts. It is different in other areas.Miradre (talk) 20:55, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree with that. I could summarise either of those two pages without difficulty, However, deciding on the general content and balance within say a high level article like anthropology would need the judgement of an expert. Mathsci (talk) 21:16, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Lots of people disagree with that for evolutionary psychology. See no reason that this area would be different. In particular in regards to external criticisms from outside the field.Miradre (talk) 21:18, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

This is not the point. The point is that you lied about the sources, and you cannot string together two coherent sentences on the topic. These are not personal attacks, these are statements of fact explaining why your editing is tendentious. Look at all the talk you have babbled here without anything coherent. Slrubenstein | Talk 22:48, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

I have not lied about the sources. Incivility does not help your case.Miradre (talk) 22:51, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Maunus wrote that you have misrepresented the sources. Maunus is an experienced wikipedian completely adept in this particular subject. Mathsci (talk) 23:02, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I did not misrepresent as explained above. The same could be said regarding our evolutionary psychologists yet their views are frequently ignored, especially regarding uncommon views or critical views of their field.Miradre (talk) 23:08, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry but the opinions of Maunus and Slrubenstein must take precedence. From my point of view you have no competence whatsoever in anthropology. Your attempts to prove points by google searches cannot be taken seriously.
This is a mainstream article of top priority. This article is not controversial or unstable, in normal circumstances. By contrast, the article on evolutionary psychology is both controversial and unstable. There is no comparison. Like any good quality encyclopedia, wikipedia is not primarily concerned with "uncommon views", but the mainstream point of view. Mathsci (talk) 23:35, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I have cited anthropology textbooks, anthropology articles, as well as outside views showing that there is a "contemporary trend" towards a meeting of cultural anthropology and evolutionary psychology. You seem to have a double standard where some of our academic editors count for more than others. Finally, Wikipedia is not about presenting only the "mainstream" view but all significant views on an issue. Please read WP:NPOV for clarification.Miradre (talk) 23:47, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
According to relative weight. A line should do in this case.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:09, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
A line may be fine. We could have it in a section called "Contemporary Trends" and also mention neo-Marxism and globalization.Miradre (talk) 00:24, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I would be fine with that - with the right wordings of course. ·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:36, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I think it's a good to use as many textbook sources as possible. For example in the textbook by Serena Nanda nad Richard Warms, their summary of sociobology/evolutionary psychology ends with this statement, "The vast majority of cultural anthropologists, however, believe that culture is almost completely independent of biology. As a result sociobiology has been strongly criticized by cultural anthropologists, and it has remained a relatively small and isolated position."a Mathsci (talk) 01:22, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
That pretty much reflects my impression on the standing of evolutionary approaches to culture in CA. Besides EP is only one of several such models - others being gene/culture co-evolution (probably more truly anthropological as it also studies the ways in which culture has influenced genes) and behavioral ecology (using many of the approaches advocated by Julian Steward, Leslie White and Marvin Harris). Interesting fields that could be mentioned in a section on materialist approaches to culture - (maybe miradre would be intrigued by knowing that Marxism is also a materialist approach and rejected as such by most cultural anthropologists today (I don't know enough about Neo-Marxism in anthropology to say whether they have gotten rid of that perspective)).·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:19, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Please propose a text for inclusion. Miradre (talk) 09:28, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Please see below. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 09:35, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no proposed text there for resolving this dispute. Please propose a text for inclusion.Miradre (talk) 10:00, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
There is a specific proposal below regarding the whole article which would start with compiling a comprehensive list of principal secondary sources (recognized academic textbooks on cultural anthropology). Mathsci (talk) 10:13, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
That is fine but much less is required to resolve the NPOV dispute.Miradre (talk) 10:20, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
The general reaction seems to be that we need a comprehensive list of secondary sources before we can start to discuss your particular gripe. That could take some time. Just as an indicator, Maunus seemed to agree with the explicit quotation I found summarizing the state of the art. Mathsci (talk) 10:32, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
That there somewhere may or may be more sources is not a valid reason for excluding current sourced view.Miradre (talk) 11:07, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The phrase "just as an indicator" is surely not so hard to understand. Meanwhile, please wait for that list of secondary sources to be compiled. That is a major deficiency of the article and matters of balance cannot be discussed until there is such a list. So my advice to is to be patient. You could for example look at this paper on jstor [6] and use it for improving one of the other articles you're editing at present. (In the review there was the following quote, "If evolutionary biology is a soft science, then evolutionary psychology is its flabby underbelly.") But meanwhile patience, patience. Mathsci (talk) 11:23, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Improvement?[edit]

How about we use the fact that we have multiple people studying textbooks in cultural anthropology to improve the article. Its not thyat good - the history section is more like an oversized iverview section - its not even chronological. We could build the article structure on the outline of the textbooks.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 03:19, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree with that completely. It is not standard practise on wikipedia on major articles, for example Europe, for single users who have entered into dispute against consensus to place neutrality templates on articles. That is tendentious editing. In this case the user seems to be wishing to add content that, as discussed above, does not match secondary sources and is designed to skew the article to their own particular point of view, contradicting at least one of the few secondary sources where the particular issue is disccused at all. Best policy in writing wikipedia articles is to find a comprehensive list of secondary sources, see what they write about cultural anthropology and then summarise that briefly in the article, paying careful attention to the weight that various topics receive in the secondary sources. Mathsci (talk) 09:33, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Evolution in anthropology: a comment on Nettle’s ‘Beyond nature versus culture’", Robin Dunbar, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (N.S.) 15, 244-246, 2009