What is cultural materialism?
Who introduced cultural materialism?
What does cultural materialism prioritize?
What is probabilistic infrastructural determinism?
What is the relationship between social change and a society's infrastructure, structure, and superstructure according to Harris?
What does cultural materialism distinguish between?
What is the relationship between material changes and patterns of social organization and ideology according to cultural materialism?
What is the relationship between structure and superstructure and infrastructure according to cultural materialism?
What is the relationship between cultural materialism and the Marxist dialectic?
Anthropological research orientation:
- Cultural materialism is an anthropological research orientation introduced by Marvin Harris in his book The Rise of Anthropological Theory and developed in Cultural Materialism.
- Social change is dependent on a society's infrastructure, structure, and superstructure according to Harris.
- Cultural materialism is influenced by Marx, Engels, Wittfogel, and Malthus, among others.
- It is a scientific research strategy that utilizes the scientific method and principles such as falsifiability, paradigms, and positivism.
- Cultural materialism distinguishes between behavioral events and ideas, values, and other mental events.
- It prioritizes etic behavior phenomena and makes a distinction between emic and etic operations.
- Probabilistic infrastructural determinism is a key principle of cultural materialism, arguing that infrastructure is the most significant force behind the evolution of a culture.
- Structure and superstructure are not considered insignificant, epiphenomenal reflexes of infrastructural forces.
- Material changes determine patterns of social organization and ideology in turn.
- Cultural materialism rejects the Marxist dialectic.
- Harris had a productive interchange with behavioral psychologists, and young anthropologists have recently re-approached his work as part of a new anthropology of infrastructures.
Test your knowledge of cultural materialism, an anthropological research orientation introduced by Marvin Harris. This scientific research strategy utilizes the scientific method and principles such as falsifiability, paradigms, and positivism to understand the relationship between a society's infrastructure, structure, and superstructure and social change. The quiz covers key principles such as etic and emic phenomena, probabilistic infrastructural determinism, and the rejection of the Marxist dialectic. See how well you know this influential approach to anthropology
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