Anthropology E-20, Spring 2002

Study Questions for Haviland: Cultural Anthropology


Hint:  Whenever a specific culture or ethnic group is mentioned by your text, it is a good idea to locate it on the maps in the front of the text, both to help you remember the example as well as to increase your general geographic knowledge.


Chapter 1


Key Terms: cultural anthropology, bio (physical) anthropology, forensic anthropology, ethnography, ethnology, participant observation, holistic perspective, ethnohistory, linguistic anthropology, informants


1.       What are the four subfields of anthropology and how are they inter-related?

2.     How does Haviland define “culture”?  What other definitions are there?

3.     Distinguish between ethnography and ethnology.

4.     What other disciplines does anthropology use, and in what way?

5.     What is the purpose in excavating sites from recent times when many historical documents exist?

6.     Why are anthropology and sociology closely allied? What sets them apart?

7.     What problems are encountered when using the questionnaire for information gathering in ethnographic and social science research?

8.     What is the significance of the “garbage project”?

9.     With what specific aspects of language are linguists concerned?

10.  What is participant observation?  What advantages and disadvantages does it have when compared to other social science methods?

11.   Why might it be advisable to do research outside one’s own culture prior to studying one’s own?

12.   What kinds of ethical concerns should anthropologist have when publishing the results of their research?

13.  What does a “global community” mean?


Chapter 2


Key terms: culture, society, social structure, gender, sex, subcultures, pluralistic societies, enculturation, cultural integration, ethnocentrism,  cultural relativism, Bronislaw Malinowski, cultural materialism, symbol,


1.       According to Haviland, what are the four characteristics of culture?

2.     Distinguish between sex and gender.

3.     Distinguish between  “culture” and “society”.  Do they always go together?

4.     How “old” is human culture? Or is this a rather meaningless question? Why?

5.     Give an example of a pluralistic society.  Do you think the US is moving away from the “melting pot” view of ourselves to a pluralistic view?

6.     Distinguish between ethnocentrism and cultural relativism.

7.     What is E.B Tylor’s 1871 definition of culture?

8.     What did Annette Weiner find out about Trobriand women that presumably were not available to Malinowski as a male anthropologist?

9.      What is meant by the “integration” of various aspects of culture?

10.  How can the large-scale human sacrifices of the Aztecs be explained?

11.   According to Walter Goldschmidt, what aspects of a society indicate how well the physical and psychological needs of its people are being met?

12.  According to the text, what five functions must culture serve?


Chapter 3 (read as background)


Key terms: primates or primate order, natural selection, Jane Goodall, Australopithicus, Homo Habilis, bipedalism, Oldowan tools, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens, Neaderthals, Paleolithic, Upper Paleolithic.


1.       What are the distinguishing features of primates?

2.     Why was project Washoe a major step in the understanding of chimpanzee cognition.

3.     In what ways can apes (chimps, gorillas, and orangutans) adapt to their environment through learning?  Is this culture?

4.     What are some of the recent findings about the similarities between orangs and humans?

5.     Why is dentition important to the study of human evolution?

6.     Under what conditions might bipedalism (walking upright) have emerged?

7.     When and where did the first stone tools appear?  How did the appearance of stone tools relate to changes in brain size, teeth, and diet?

8.     What were the major cultural developments of the upper Paleolithic?

9.     What was the impact of the use of fire on our fossil ancestors?

10.  What was the geographic and temporal distribution of homo erectus?  Why were homo sapiens able to eventually reach just about everywhere?


Chapter 4


Key terms: Language, symbol, signal, linguistics, phonetics, phonology, and phonemes. morphemes, bound morpheme, free morpheme, frame substitution, syntax, grammar, form classes, kinesics, paralanguage, . . glottochronology, linguistic divergence, voice qualities,  vocal characterizers, vocal qualifiers,  language family, linguistic nationalism,  Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, code switching, sociolinguistics, dialects,



1.       What is the anatomical “price we pay” for speaking?

2.     What do we mean by the “audience effect” when studying communication among primates?

3.     Distinguish between a phoneme and a morpheme, and give examples of each.

4.     Give examples of bound and free morphemes in English.

5.     What is the function of frame substitution?

6.     What is the purpose of a form-class?

7.     Give some examples of paralanguage.

8.     What are some characteristic differences in body posture between men and women.

9.     Give an example of code switching from your experience.

10.  Provide an example that might support the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

11.   Why is wild speculation about the origin of language unnecessary?

12.   Why is metaphor so important in the study of culture?

13.   Distinguish between speech and language.  Are chimpanzees capable of speech?  Are they capable of language? What are the differences between chimp capabilities for language and human capabilities?

14.  What is the difference between a signal and a symbol?

15.   What is a semantic classification system?  Give an example from color terminology.

16.   Why has language often been a key ingredient in group identity and nationalism?


Chapter 5


Key terms: enculturation, self-awareness, affect, personality, Margaret Mead, group personality, dependence and independence training, modal personality, national character, core values, mental illness, ethnic psychoses,


1.       Who are the agents of enculturation

2.     According to Haviland, what are three aspects of self-awareness?

3.      Why might motor behavior of American children lag behind children of many non-Western societies?

4.      Distinguish between independence training and dependence training.

5.     Provide an example of modal personality.

6.     What did Margaret Mead’s study of adolescent Samoans tell us? What were some of her conclusions about gender roles in her new Guinea studies?

7.     What are the Rorschach and Thematic Apperception Tests and what might they be able to tell us in cross cultural research?

8.     What are some major personality traits of the Chinese?

9.     Give an example of core values.

10.   Do you think the idea of “national character” has any use? Why were these studies undertaken, and what are the positive results as well as the objections?

11.   How does the structure of the family shape male and female role identities?

12.  How is abnormal behavior defined cross culturally?

13.   Give an example of a culturally specific mental illness. Can you think of any cultural specific criteria which are or have recently been defined as “mental illness” in our culture, but would not be so considered elsewhere?


Chapter 6


Key terms: adaptation, horticulture, agriculture, ecosystem, culture area, carrying capacity, foraging, pastoralist, transhumance, slash and burn (swidden), preindustrial cities, intensive agriculture


1.       What purpose does adaptation serves?

2.      What are human ecologists concerned with?

3.     Describe Comanche adaptation to the Plains environment.

4.     Distinguish between convergence and parallel evolution.

5.     How can a culture be stable, but not static?

6.     Why did the native groups on the Plains not farm?

7.     How prevalent today is food foraging?

8.     What previously held misconceptions about food foragers have been refuted?

9.     Describe some of the main social characteristics of food foragers.

10.   What are the size limiting factors in a foraging group?

11.    Why are foragers generally egalitarian?

12.   Can we make any generalizations about the status of women in foraging societies? What influence does biological sex have on the division of work?

13.   Describe the difference between intensive agriculture and horticulture.


Chapter 7


Key terms: technology, reciprocity, leveling mechanism, silent trade, generalized reciprocity, balanced reciprocity, redistribution, market exchange, conspicuous consumption, Kula ring, informal economy, special purpose money, general purpose money.


1.       Why might it be misleading to apply contemporary economic theories to pre-industrial societies?

2.     Is there an intrinsic “biological” division of labor or work?

3.     What is the sexual division of labor?

4.     What are the benefits of the division of labor?

5.     Discuss the non-economic functions of reciprocity in Christmas gift giving in Euro-American culture.

6.     How is land controlled in most pre-industrial societies?

7.     Distinguish between a “marketplace” and a “market”.

8.     Give some examples of “ leveling mechanisms”.

9.     What are three systems of exchange?

10.   What functions did the Kula ring serve?

11.   Compare “money” among the Aztec and the Tiv.

12.   Discuss the role that culture plays in the “wants and needs” of a people.

13.  Discuss the relevance, if any, of anthropology to international business.


Chapter 8


Key terms: marriage, affinal kin, Claude Levi-Strauss, Consanguine kin, incest taboo, endogamy, exogamy, nuclear family, polygyny, polyandry, levirate, sororate, serial monogamy, cross-cousin marriage, bridewealth, bride service, dowry.


1.       What is a distinctive feature of humans with regard the timing of sexual activity?

2.     Why does sexual activity require considerable efforts at social control in all societies?

3.     Describe the sex life of the Trobrianders.

4.     Discuss the marriage system of the Nayar.

5.     What is the incest taboo. What are some explanations for its universality?

6.     What are the Oedipus and Electra complexes?

7.     Distinguish between endogamy and exogamy.

8.     Give a non-ethnocentric definition of marriage?

9.     What is the function of female-female marriage among the Nandi?

10.  Distinguish between consanguine and conjugal families.

11.    What are some of the characteristics often found in societies that allow polygyny?

12.   What are the dynamics of polyandry?  How does it work?

13.   What benefits do arranged marriages have?

14.   What positive functions might preferential first cousin marriage have?




Chapter 9


Key terms: household, extended family,  patrilocal residence, matrilocal residence, neolocal residence, avuculocal residence, ambilocal residence


1.       How does Haviland define “family”?

2.     Describe the nurturing requirements of all young primates.

3.     How is the modern American/European family related to the rise of industrial capitalism?

4.     What social or economic factors might contribute to the formation of extended family households?

5.     How does ecology impact residence pattern?

6.     What residence pattern was traditionally followed by people along the Maine coast and why?

7.     What residence pattern was typically followed by the Hopi and what was its impact?

8.     What are some of the special interpersonal problems that often arise in extended families, and how are they often culturally resolved?

9.     What is a matri-centered family?  What problems may accompany female-headed families?

10.  How does the status of women relate to various kinds of family and residence patterns?



Chapter 10


Key terms: descent group, matrilineal descent, patrilineal descent, double descent, corporate lineage, fission, clan, totemism, moiety, kindred, kinship terminology.


1.       Why do societies form descent groups?

2.     How is membership in a descent group restricted?

3.      What function does double descent serve in Yako society?

4.      Explain the functions of ambilineal descent in contemporary North America? Provide an example.

5.     What are some social implications of lineage exogamy?

6.     Contrast a clan and a corporate lineage.

7.     What are the differences between matrilineal and patrilineal descent groups? Is a matrilineage the exact opposite of a patrilineage?

8.     What did anthropologist Margery Wolf find out about the situation of women in Taiwan?

9.     What is a totem and what functions does it serve in a clan?

10.  What are some of the reasons that kinship termininolgies differ?

11.    What are the major principles of the American (AKA Eskimo) system of kin terms?

12.  What are some of the limits of ego-centered kindreds as contrasted with lineages?


Chapter 11


Key terms: age grade, age set, cousins clubs, common interest association, stratified society, egalitarian society, social class, caste


1.       Describe the separate but equal organization of the Iroquois.

2.     In what ways is age grouping evidenced in North America?

3.     Distinguish between age grade and age set.

4.     Describe the Tiriki age set system.

5.     Why are women’s groups generally less common than men’s groups?

6.     Briefly describe India’s traditional caste system.

7.     Compare India’s caste system to the South African system of apartheid.

8.     How and why did the Maya develop a stratified society?


Chapter 12


Key terms: political organization, band, tribe, segmentary lineage system. Chiefdom, state, nation, sanctions, law, negotiation, mediation, adjudication, worldview.


1.       According the Haviland, what are four basic kinds of political systems?

2.     How is authority conferred in a band? In a tribe? In the State?

3.     What is the role of the leopard-skin chief among the Nuer?

4.     Distinguish between nation and state.

5.     Discuss gender differences in politics and suggested reasons for them.

6.     How is social control maintained in bands and tribes?

7.     Distinguish between positive and negative sanctions? Formal and informal sanctions?

8.     What are the limits of power in Bedouin society?

9.     What are some functions of law?

10.  How are disputes handled by the Kpelle?

11.   Why might warfare be so prominent in food-producing societies?

12.   Compare the worldview of the Abenaki with that of the Iroquois.





Chapter 13


Key terms: religion, pantheon,  animism, animatism, priest, shaman, rites of passage, separation, transition, incorporation, imitative magic, contagious magic, witchcraft, divination, revitalization movements.


1.       What is the relationship between science and religion?

2.      Why does Haviland suggest there might be less religion in complex societies?

3.      How does healing occur among the Ju/hoansi (“Bushman”)?

4.     What purpose do ancestral spirits serve?

5.     What is mana?

6.     What is shamanism and how do shamans carry out their work?

7.     What are two main kinds of ritual?

8.     What are the three stages of a rite of passage?

9.     What are two principles fundamental to magic?

10.  In what way does the Tewa origin myth reflect Tewa social structure?

11.   What are some psychological functions of religion?  Some social functions?

12.   How and why do revitalization movements emerge?


Chapter 14


Key terms: folklore, myth, legend, epic, tale, motif, ethnomusicology, tonality,  iconic images


1.       What are the basic kinds of verbal arts studied by anthropologists?

2.     Give an example how myth expresses the worldview of a people.

3.     Distinguish between legend and myth

4.     What role does poetry play in the culture of the Bedouin?

5.     What kind of society is likely to have epics, and why?

6.     What are some functions of music?

7.     Distinguish between art and craft?

8.     What is the “second stage” of trance?

9.     What are some symbolic uses of masks in Africa?

10.   Are there any universal characteristics of art? Is it possible to give a cross-cultural definition of “art”?






Chapter 15


Key terms: primary and secondary innovation, diffusion, acculturation, genocide, syncretism, nativistic movement, millenarianism, tradition, and modernization, revolutionary.


1.       What have European Americans borrowed from American Indians?

2.     Distinguish between primary and secondary innovation

3.     Why is it that the cultural context provides the means for innovation to occur?

4.     What is meant by cultural loss?

5.     Describe the nature of acculturation.

6.     What factors seem to underlie genocide? Give some recent examples of genocide.

7.     What does the field of applied anthropology seek to accomplish?

8.     How did the Trobriand Islanders adapt the game of cricket?

9.     What is a problem with the term “modernization”?

10.  What is meant by “culture of discontent?”

11.    What are some precipitators of rebellion and revolution?

12.   What is the purpose of revitalization movements?




Chapter 16


Key Terms: cultural pluralism, structural violence, ethnic resurgence, and global apartheid

1.       What are some problems with “futurology” and future-oriented literature?

2.     Why are predictions of “one world” probably incorrect?

3.     Give some examples of ethnic resurgence.

4.     Provide examples of structural violence.

5.     What is probably the immediate cause of world hunger?  Give examples.

6.     Why is the economic world system one of “global apartheid”?

7.     Why is the suggestion that other countries adopt American style agriculture not necessarily sound advice?

8.     In what ways is contemporary North American culture one of “discontent?”

9.     Give an example of how misunderstandings might increase in a “one-world” culture.

10.   Why might anthropologists be a little skeptical about the buzzword “global economy”?