Antropologi budaya

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Antropologi budaya adalah cabang antropologi yang berfokus pada penelitian variasi kebudayaan di antara kelompok manusia. Antropologi budaya mengumpulkan data mengenai dampak proses ekonomi dan politik global terhadap realitas budaya lokal. Para antropolog budaya menggunakan berbagai metode, diantaranya pengamatan partisipatif (participant observation), wawancara dan survei. Penelitian antropologi budaya sering dikategorikan sebagai penelitian lapangan karena seorang antropolog harus menetap dalam kurun waktu yang cukup lama di lokasi penelitiannya.[1]

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Salah satu pengertian pertama tentang pengertian istilah "kebudayaan" berdasarkan antropologi adalah oleh Sir Edward Burnett Tylor, antropolog asal Inggris dalam halaman pertama bukunya yang terbit tahun 1897: "Kebudayaan, atau peradaban, diambil dalam artinya yang luas dan etnografis, adalah keseluruhan yang kompleks yang mencakup pengetahuan, kepercayaan, kesenian, kesusilaan, hukum, adat-istiadat dan kemampuan dan kebiasaan lain mana pun yang didapati manusia sebagai anggota masyarakat.[2] Istilah "peradaban" di kemudian hari diganti definisinya oleh V. Gordon Childe, di mana "kebudayaan" menjadi istilah perangkum dan "peradaban" menjadi satu jenis khusus kebudayaan[3]

Wawasan antropologis tentang "kebudayaan" antara lain mencerminkan reaksi terhadap wacana sebelumnya di dunia Barat, yang berdasarkan pada perlawanan antara "budaya" dan "alam", di mana sejumlah manusia dianggap masih hidup dalam "keadaan alamiah". Para antropolog menyatakan bahwa kebudayaan justru merupakan "alam manusia" dan semua manusia memiliki kemampuan untuk menyusun pengalaman, menterjemahkan penyusunan ini secara simbolis berkat kemampuan berbicara dan mengajarkan paham tersebut ke manusia lainnya.

Karena manusia mendapati kebudayaan melalui proses belajar enculturation dan sosialisasi, orang yang tinggal di tempat yang berbeda atau keadaan yang berbeda, akan mengembangkan kebudayaan yang berbeda. Para antropolog juga mengemukakan bahwa melalui kebudayaan, orang dapat menyesuaikan diri dengan lingkungannya secara non-genetik, sehingga orang yang tinggal di lingkungan yang berbeda sering akan memiliki kebudayaan yang berbeda. Teori antropologi terutama berasal dari kesadaran dan minat akan perselisihan antara segi lokal (kebudayaan tertentu) dan global (kemanusiaan secara umum, atau jaringan hubungan antara orang di tempat atau keadaan yang berbeda).[4]

Perkembangan antropologi budaya terjadi dalam konteks akhir abad ke-19, saat pertanyaan tentang kebudayaan manakah yang "primitif" dan yang mana yang "beradab", tidak hanya ada dalam benak Marx dan Freud tapi juga banyak orang lainnya. Kolonialisme dan prosesnya semakin sering membuat pemikir asal Eropa berhubungan, secara langsung atau tidak langsung, dengan bangsa lain yang "primitif"[5]. Keadaan yang berbeda antara berbagai kelompok manusia, yang sebagian memiliki teknologi modern dan maju seperti mesin dan telegraf, sedangkan sebagian lain tidak memiliki apa-apa kecuali komunikasi tatap muka dan masih hidup dengan gaya Paleoliti, menarik perhatian angkatan pertama antropolog budaya.

Sejajar dengan perkembangan antropologi budaya di Amerika Serikat, di Inggris antropologi sosial, dimana "kesosialan" merupakan paham inti yang berpusat pada penelitian mengenai kedudukan dan peranan sosial, kelompok, lembaga dan hubungan antaranya, berkembang sebagai disiplin akademis. Suatu istilah perangkum, yaitu antropologi sosial-budaya, mengacu baik ke antropologi budaya maupun sosial[6]

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Modern cultural anthropology has its origins in, and developed in reaction to, 19th centur "ethnology", which involves the organized comparison of human societies. Scholars like E.B. Tylor and J.G. Frazer in England worked mostly with materials collected by others – usually missionaries, traders, explorers, or colonial officials – this earned them their current sobriquet of "arm-chair anthropologists".

Ethnologists had a special interest in why people living in different parts of the world often had similar beliefs and practices. In addressing this question, ethnologists in the 19th century divided into two schools of thought. Some, like Grafton Elliot Smith, argued that different groups must somehow have learned from one another, however indirectly; in other words, they argued that cultural traits spread from one place to another, or "diffused".

Other ethnologists argued that different groups had the capability of creating similar beliefs and practices independently. Some of those who advocated "independent invention", like Lewis Henry Morgan, additionally supposed that similarities meant that different groups had passed through the same stages of cultural evolution (See also classical social evolutionism). Morgan, in particular, acknowledged that certain forms of society and culture could not possibly have arisen before others. For example, industrial farming could not have been invented before simple farming, and metallurgy could not have developed without previous non-smelting processes involving metals (such as simple ground collection or mining). Morgan, like other 19th century social evolutionists, believed there was a more or less orderly progression from the primitive to the civilized.

20th-century anthropologists largely reject the notion that all human societies must pass through the same stages in the same order, on the grounds that such a notion does not fit the empirical facts. Some 20th-century ethnologists, like Julian Steward, have instead argued that such similarities reflected similar adaptations to similar environments (see cultural evolution).

Others, such as Claude Lévi-Strauss (who was influenced both by American cultural anthropology and by French Durkheimian sociology), have argued that apparently similar patterns of development reflect fundamental similarities in the structure of human thought (see structuralism). By the mid-20th century, the number of examples of people skipping stages, such as going from hunter-gatherers to post-industrial service occupations in one generation, were so numerous that 19th-century evolutionism was effectively disproved.[7]

In the 20th century, most cultural (and social) anthropologists turned to the crafting of ethnographies. An ethnography is a piece of writing about a people, at a particular place and time. Typically, the anthropologist lives among people in another society for a considerable period of time, simultaneously participating in and observing the social and cultural life of the group.

Numerous other ethnographic techniques have resulted in ethnographic writing or details being preserved, as cultural anthropologists also curate materials, spend long hours in libraries, churches and schools poring over records, investigate graveyards, and decipher ancient scripts. A typical ethnography will also include information about physical geography, climate and habitat. It is meant to be a holistic piece of writing about the people in question, and today often includes the longest possible timeline of past events that the ethnographer can obtain through primary and secondary research.

Bronisław Malinowski (who conducted fieldwork in the Trobriand Islands and taught in England) developed this method, and Franz Boas (who conducted fieldwork in Baffin Island and taught in the United States) promoted it. Boas's students drew on his conception of culture and cultural relativism to develop cultural anthropology in the United States. Simultaneously, Malinowski and A.R. Radcliffe Brown´s students were developing social anthropology in the United Kingdom. Whereas cultural anthropology focused on symbols and values, social anthropology focused on social groups and institutions. Today socio-cultural anthropologists attend to all these elements.

Although 19th-century ethnologists saw "diffusion" and "independent invention" as mutually exclusive and competing theories, most ethnographers quickly reached a consensus that both processes occur, and that both can plausibly account for cross-cultural similarities. But these ethnographers also pointed out the superficiality of many such similarities. They noted that even traits that spread through diffusion often were given different meanings and function from one society to another.

Accordingly, these anthropologists showed less interest in comparing cultures, generalizing about human nature, or discovering universal laws of cultural development, than in understanding particular cultures in those cultures' own terms. Such ethnographers and their students promoted the idea of "cultural relativism", the view that one can only understand another person's beliefs and behaviors in the context of the culture in which he or she lived or lives.

In the early 20th century, socio-cultural anthropology developed in different forms in Europe and in the United States. European "social anthropologists" focused on observed social behaviors and on "social structure", that is, on relationships among social roles (for example, husband and wife, or parent and child) and social institutions (for example, religion, economy, and politics).

American "cultural anthropologists" focused on the ways people expressed their view of themselves and their world, especially in symbolic forms, such as art and myths. These two approaches frequently converged and generally complemented one another. For example, kinship and leadership function both as symbolic systems and as social institutions. Today almost all socio-cultural anthropologists refer to the work of both sets of predecessors, and have an equal interest in what people do and in what people say.

Ethnography dominates socio-cultural anthropology. Nevertheless, many contemporary socio-cultural anthropologists have rejected earlier models of ethnography as treating local cultures as bounded and isolated. These anthropologists continue to concern themselves with the distinct ways people in different locales experience and understand their lives, but they often argue that one cannot understand these particular ways of life solely from a local perspective; they instead combine a focus on the local with an effort to grasp larger political, economic, and cultural frameworks that impact local lived realities. Notable proponents of this approach include Arjun Appadurai, James Clifford, George Marcus, Sidney Mintz, Michael Taussig and Eric Wolf.

A growing trend in anthropological research and analysis is the use of multi-sited ethnography, discussed in George Marcus's article, "Ethnography In/Of the World System: the Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography"]. Looking at culture as embedded in macro-constructions of a global social order, multi-sited ethnography uses traditional methodology in various locations both spatially and temporally. Through this methodology, greater insight can be gained when examining the impact of world-systems on local and global communities.

Also emerging in multi-sited ethnography are greater interdisciplinary approaches to fieldwork, bringing in methods from cultural studies, media studies, science and technology studies, and others. In multi-sited ethnography, research tracks a subject across spatial and temporal boundaries. For example, a multi-sited ethnography may follow a "thing," such as a particular commodity, as it is transported through the networks of global capitalism.

Multi-sited ethnography may also follow ethnic groups in diaspora, stories or rumours that appear in multiple locations and in multiple time periods, metaphors that appear in multiple ethnographic locations, or the biographies of individual people or groups as they move through space and time. It may also follow conflicts that transcend boundaries. An example of multi-sited ethnography is Nancy Scheper-Hughes's work on the international black market for the trade of human organs. In this research, she follows organs as they are transferred through various legal and illegal networks of capitalism, as well as the rumours and urban legends that circulate in impoverished communities about child kidnapping and organ theft.

Sociocultural anthropologists have increasingly turned their investigative eye on to "Western" culture. For example, Philippe Bourgois won the Margaret Mead Award in 1997 for In Search of Respect, a study of the entrepreneurs in a Harlem crack-den. Also growing more popular are ethnographies of professional communities, such as laboratory researchers, Wall Street investors, law firms, or information technology (IT) computer employees.[8]

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  1. ^ "Dalam penelitian awalnya, seperti kebanyakan antropolog pada masanya, Levi-Strauss lebih memperhatikan terhadap hal-hal yang dianggap penting dan tugas yang penting untuk memelihara dan memperpanjang pondasi empiris dari antropologi dalam praktek di lapangan": Dalam Christopher Johnson, Claude Levi-Strauss: the formative years, Cambridge University Press, 2003, p.31
  2. ^ Edward Tylor, Primitive Culture, New York, J.P. Putnam’s Sons.1, . 1920 [1871]
  3. ^ Andrew Sherratt, V. "Gordon Childe: Archaeology and Intellectual History", Past and Present, No. 125. Nov. 1989, pp. 151–185.
  4. ^ Giulio Angioni (2011). Fare dire sentire: l'identico e il diverso nelle culture. Nuoro: il Maestrale
  5. ^ Renato Rosaldo, Culture and Truth, Beach Press, 1993
  6. ^ D. T. Campbell, "The two distinct routes beyond kin selection to ultrasociality: Implications for the Humanities and Social Sciences", The Nature of Prosocial Development: Theories and Strategies D. Bridgeman (ed.), pp. 11-39, Academic Press, New York, 1983
  7. ^ Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs and Steel.
  8. ^ Dissertation Abstract

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