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Culture in Anthropology

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Culture is very important to the study of anthropology because it shows anthropologist the growth of human society with in the world. Its study of linguistics is one of the most if not the most valuable tool of an anthropologist because it gives them the ability to observe other cultures (Layton, 1998). Culture is defined as "ideas and behaviors that are learned and transmitted by non-genetic means of adaptation (Park 2008)." The study of culture through anthropology is called cultural anthropology. Cultural anthropologist study the development and origins or human societies and all that make them what they are, they have the duty to explain the origin of human culture of all society( Layton, 1998).

I chose to sit in Sears in the Mall of Louisiana; it was a Tuesday and I started around 10:30am. The scene was hot and humid; it was made worse by the fact that they were changing the carpet in the store and the smell of the new carpet and glue used was very strong and sickeningly over powerful. It was very bright in the store; they have a skylight and fluorescent lighting. The store is inside of a large mall which is decorated and designed in a modern style. The store itself gives the very cramped and cluttered fill. The sound of banging is echoing throughout the store as they put down the carpet. The mood and atmosphere of the store customers appear to be rushed and aggravated. The store workers did not seem to be bothered by the sound or smell of the work going on around them. There is a mixture of people shopping in the store is a mixture of ages, but the ethnicity seems to be set is Caucasian, African American, East Indian, and Hispanic. The sexes of the shoppers are mostly females, most of the males re with a female who appears to be doing the shopping. The age of the workers appears to range from early 20's to late 40's, and their ethnicities are East Indian, African American, and Caucasian; they have many different native languages, but it does not seem to interfere with the friendly manor they deal with each other. The social classes of the workers are vastly different than that of the customers, at one point I had overheard a group of workers discussing that they never shop there due to the prices being too high. The workers are a mixture of male and female.

There was a Mother and daughter shopping for exercise bikes the mother appeared to be Hispanic and in her early 40's while the daughter looked to be Caucasian and in her mid to late 20's. They tested the bikes and discussed the features versus the price all the while laughing and making jokes. Even when they had a disagreement, they were still laughing and having fun; the two appeared to very close. I also witnessed a young man in his early to mid-teens, who appeared to be of Asian descent. The young man was trying to steal some pants and was taken in by mall security. He fought with them and eventually was over powered. There was a large family consisting of four kids, three male and one female, and two parents both were female. The family appeared to be shopping for school cloths/uniform, the kids were very upset and causing a scene stating loudly and many time they did not want to be there. The parents were getting upset, angry, and appeared embarrassed; they left without buying anything.

The four Anthropological concepts relating to my observations are; language and communication, social behavior, sex and gender, and lastly, kinship. My first concept of language and communication is a part of Linguistic Anthropology; a study of how language shapes social life (Park 2008). Language is fluid--it changes rapidly and is easily influenced, (Park, 2008); languages are specialized to the cultural environment in which one is raised and taught, however, one can move from one environment to another and add to one's ability to communicate and understand those environments. As stated above, the study of linguistics is



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