Biology, the science of life versus culture, the beliefs/customs of certain groups of people. These two topics have been studied my many people and yet I feel like there is still confusion between the two. If biology more important? Or is culture more important? Many of us do not realize how related these two topics. Biology and culture may always be looked at differently but if we take a minute to think about it, they are not so different after all.
Culture is one of the main fundamentals in understanding biology. Culture helps us as humans to understand ourselves and will help us with society and how we live and interact with the world. Biology in this sense will help understand the human species, and biological variations. The evolution of humans plays a major role for our societies. When we look at human genetics, human ecology, and human behavior it can help us understand why certain things occur in different cultures around the world. We need to fully understand the studies of human behavior and the biological aspect of humans. Human behavior relates to biology and the way we all act but then we add culture into the picture which will help determine human behaviors in different cultures.
When it comes to understanding humans one thing that plays an important role is gender. Gender plays different roles in different societies and cultures. In the article Society and Sex Roles by Ernestine Friedl it was mentioned how anthropologist claim that males hold formal authority over females in every society and I agree. In many societies men seem to have more power which will leave to different cultures, different understandings of humans and human behaviors. Also in the article an anthropologist named Napoleon Chagnon mentioned how women must respond quickly to the demands of their husbands and this is an example of the Yanomamo Indians of Venezuela. When a man returns from his hunting trip the woman must drop whatever she is doing and prepares a meal for her husband and be ready to be at his command. In evert culture there are different roles for males and females, in this culture it us an example of how women must act and obey their husbands. Gender roles will show how a man acts and how a woman will act and different cultures will have different roles for genders throughout different societies. Thinking about why males seem to be more dominant in different societies I think that both biology and culture influence this. For men and women there seems to be biological differences which are shaped by cultural factors. The biology for a man might influence their dominance. Men seem to be bigger, aggressive and stronger than a woman. This shows a culture pattern supporting male dominance. Friedl supports this in the article explaining the biological explanation of male dominance. Another important factor to help understand humans is race. Studying different races can help extend our knowledge of genetic similarities and differences about humans. Our lives are affected by race everyday whether we see it or not. Race always seems to be defined by a more dominant group in different societies and each society has different roles and status for difference races. Sometimes people are treated unfairly due to their race and may not be seen has someone important.
Race, gender, biology, and culture all go with one another. I feel like they all work together
and help one another for a better understanding for humans. They may all seem different but they all seem to lead to one another sooner or later. Being a male or female, or being a certain race all of these factors depend on one another. Culture and biology may be two different words but are connected.
The anthropological approach to Exchange/Economics
Economics in anthropology helps explain human economic behavior and is a system of exchange. “Exchange is an “economic” relationship, involving the circulation and distribution of good. But it is also a social and cultural relationship, as exchanging thing binds people together over time and space” (Julian Brash). For anthropologist economics plays an important role for human economic behavior and compared to all of the many topics I have learned this semester I never truly would have thought that this would play a role for anthropologist but it does. Economic anthropology helps studies how societies provide material goods and services.
The anthropological perspective approaches the aspects of people and their lives and the different types of. Economic in anthropology helps show how humans use the material world to maintain and express the way they live. Trading and exchanging involves human behavior and being apart of different trading and exchanging societies. There are several ways to exchange that I have learned about and they are trade and giving and the difference between the two is that trade involves the immediate exchange of goods and giving is stretched over a period of time. People from different cultures tend to communicate and even eventually do business with one another and this comes hand and hand for trading and giving and gives a chance for anthropologist to study the human interaction when it comes to trading.
The film, Ongka’s Big Moka was a really interesting film to see to get to understand more about giving and receiving how people in that culture traded. In the film Moka is a social event, a political event, where they distribute and redistribute pigs. Some may say how does this even have to do with anthropology or is this even really related to economics. In this case this is a certain type of culture and these are there rituals. Politics, different cultures, exchange, economics, and trade all play a major role for another. This allows anthropologist to have a better understanding of not only an economic point of view but also a cultural point of view. “Exchange does not need to be ‘economically profitable’ in order to function efficiently. Economics needs to be framed by cultural accounts.” (Julian Brash). Many of us need to realize that that our cultures make us interact with one another and there are serval ways we learn more and economics is an example that I never thought about until reading more into it. I think that it is amazing that we can interact with different countries, different genders, different races, and different people around the world. We learn from on another without even realizing. A simple way of making a trade will lead to curiosity and changes, whether it’s a positive or negative out come we still learn. We learn and move on with out lives.