Human Culture: The Dichotomy Between Nature And Culture

1937 Words8 Pages
The dichotomy between nature and culture is a topic which has been present for many years in the field of social science, but only in the more recent decade’s has it become important for anthropology. The 1970’s were a crucial time for this debate as it was the only real time we knew the difference between sex and gender, but now I aim to discuss how this certainty has come to an end, and we are now forced to question our own western ideas of sexuality and the body.
It was only in the late 1700’s there was a transformation from the Ancient Greek belief of a onesex-model to the more popularly known in the west twosex-model. Biological determinism has long been a underlying factual basis for our understanding of men and women and typical example is that of Geddes and Thompson (1889) who argued that ‘social, psychological and behavioural traits were caused by metabolic state’ and that women were sluggish and uninteresting in politics, whereas men were more energetic and therefore more social. These biological ‘facts’ about metabolic states were used not only to explain behavioural differences between women and men but also to
…show more content…
They make the point that neither gender nor kinship are natural but the body doesn’t make sense on its own, they state that although in the West we may say things such as ‘bad-mother’ etc. there is no such thing as a pre-cultural fact and there is ethnographic research which proves that ‘motherhood’ is not universal and is in fact a Western invention (see Shostak 1981). Instead, for Collier and Yanagisako we need to consider culture and context that these statements are made in. They stated that the study of gender should be considered completely separate from the concept of sex due to its culturally specific meaning, and abolishing the idea of sex

More about Human Culture: The Dichotomy Between Nature And Culture

Open Document