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CHAPTER 2: Culture and Culture Change
Multiple Choice Questions
1. The anthropological attitude that a society’s customs and ideas should be described
objectively and understood in the context of that society’s problems and opportunities is
b. cultural relativism
2. Why would San individuals of the Kalahari Desert give away all of the animals they kill
a. They are really nice people who care for each other.
b. They have learned the true meaning of life.
c. To keep the meat to one’s self would be wasteful, as it would rot.
d. Spiritual beings show them the true way to live in communal harmony.
3. A group within a society that holds commonly shared customs is a __________.
c. sub society
4. Anthropologists, as well as other social scientists, feel that culture is __________.
b. learned and shared
c. transmitted only from one group to another
d. only a small part of how people learn their behaviors
5. The most powerful transmitter of culture is probably __________.
b. the elders of a society
c. the school system
6. Because a word or phrase can represent what it stands for, whether or not that thing is
present, we say that language is __________.
7. Variations in individual behavior are confined within __________ acceptable limits.
b. a group’s
8. A ________ is a group of people who occupy a particular territory and speak a common
9. Standards or rules about what is acceptable behavior are referred to by social scientists as
a. major rules
10. In discovering cultural patterns, it is sometimes necessary to conduct surveys. What sampling
technique is necessary to guarantee a representative sample?
a. population sampling
b. redundant sampling
c. random sampling
d. marginal sampling
11. Why are maladaptive customs likely to disappear from a society?
a. No one likes them.
b. They diminish the chances of survival and reproduction.
c. They are immediately destructive of the group.
d. They are too unique for the group.
12. Participant observation refers to the __________.
a. observation of how people interact in carefully contrived situations
b. use of a laboratory to standardize measurements
c. practice of living among the people being studied
d. employment of natives to gather information from their peers for the anthropologists to
13. The concept of cultural integration means that __________.
a. cultural elements or traits are adjusted to or constant
b. various subgroups in the society work together
c. cultural traits that are maladaptive can be made to work with adaptive traits
d. cultural elements relate only in certain ways
14. Known as accidental juxtaposition or ________, Ralph Linton suggests these were the result
of literally dozens of tiny initiatives.
a. unconscious invention
b. conscious invention
15. In the Asch experiment, ___________ of the subjects retained their independent opinions.
16. Emile Durkheim stressed that culture is something __________ us exerting a strong
__________ power on us.
a. inside, coercive
b. outside, limiting
c. inside, limiting
d. outside, coercive
17. A person who judges other cultures solely in terms of his or her own culture is said
to be _________.
18. In anthropology, the term “culture” refers to __________.
a. the care of plant and animal resources
b. the artistic heritage of any society, including painting and sculpture, music and the
c. the long-standing traditions of a particular society
d. all the learned behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, values, and ideals that are characteristic of a
particular society or other social group
19. For something to be cultural it must be __________.
b. learned and commonly shared
c. part of a society’s ideals
20. __________may differ from actual behavior because the ___________ is/are based on the
way society used to be.
a. Ideal cultural traits, ideal
b. Accepted cultural traits, ideal
c. Ideal cultural traits, accepted traits
d. Norms, mores
21. The term “subculture” refers to __________.
a. the conscious behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, values, and ideals of a society
b. the unconscious behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, values, and ideals of a society
c. a cultural pattern considered inferior by members of a society
d. the variant culture of a group of people within a larger society
22. The fact that monkeys and apes can learn new behaviors from each other __________.
a. does not necessarily mean that they have culture, since their social life may be purely
b. suggests that they have a culture
c. suggests that they are ancestral to modern humans
d. suggests that they are classified as more cultural than many mammals that spend their lives
23. Anthropologists can generate interpretations on the basis of worldwide comparisons by
looking for differences between those societies having, and those lacking, a particular
characteristic. This type of research is called __________.
a. nonhistorical controlled comparison
b. within-culture comparison
d. historical research
24. A complex system of spoken, symbolic communication, which we call “language,”
a. probably originated in a few societies 20,000 years ago
b. has existed in all people known to anthropologists
c. does not exist among many of the world’s simpler societies
d. probably originated about the same time as agriculture
25. Which of the following is a behavior that would most likely be subject to direct cultural
constraints in American society?
a. choosing to wear nothing
b. a young man’s attempt to kiss his girlfriend
c. a woman carrying her child in a soft basket hung from her head
d. dancing in the street before going to work
26. The ideal cultural patterns of a society __________.
a. generally reflect the way a society was in the past
b. consist of the cultural patterns that most people always exhibit
c. consist of the ideas people have about how they ought to behave
d. are usually followed by the most respected members of a community, though not
necessarily by others
27. Which of the following is an example of an ideal cultural pattern in the United States?
a. the belief that God is full of anger and vengeance
b. the belief that students go on to college to get away from their parents
c. the belief that everybody is equal before the law
d. the high value given to apple pie in American society
28. One example of a(n) _______ is how far apart people stand when they are having a conversation.
b. random sample
d. cultural pattern
29. The frequency distribution of behavior patterns in a group very often takes the form of
a. a bell-shaped curve
b. a straight line graph
c. an S-shaped curve
d. a Poisson curve
30. Which type of behavior would most appropriately be studied with a random sample of
a. public behavior
b. unconscious behavior
c. private behavior
d. both b and c
31. Define ethnocentrism. What forms does it take in our own society? What can be done to
reduce attitudes of ethnocentrism between various groups?
32. How are the two statements “culture is adaptive” and “culture is always changing” related?
33. Why may it be necessary for anthropologists to abandon the strong form of cultural relativism
in favor of the weaker form?
34. Describe an action that would lead to imprisonment. How does prison act as a constraint to an
individual? Why do some people violate norms (and end up in prison)?
Multiple Choice Answer Key
1. b 19-20
2. c 19
3. a 16
4. b 17
5. d 17
6. c 17
7. c 21
8. c 16
9. d 22
10. c 23
11. b 25
12. c 20
13. a 24
14. a 26
15. c 22
16. d 22
17. c 18
18. d 16
19. b 16
20. a 22
21. d 16
22. b 17
23. c 38
24. b 24
25. a 22
26. c 22
27. c 22
28. d 23
29. a 23
30. d 23