Personal tools
You are here: Home Anthropology Cultural Anthropology Chapter 7: Aesthetics and Culture

Chapter 7: Aesthetics and Culture

Document Actions
  • Content View
  • Bookmarks
  • CourseFeed

Reading Assignment: Chapter 7: Aesthetics and Culture

In this assignment you will learn the principles that describe cultural change. You will become acquainted with the four major stages of cultural evolution, archaeological evidence for the evolution of cultures, and the laws that govern cultural evolution.

Assignment Overview

MCQ   ::  Matching   ::  True/False  ::   Short Essay

MCQ - Chapter 7: Aesthetics and Culture

1. In non-literate societies, art is:

a. not always a specialized sphere of life.
b. the domain of specialists.
c. clearly distinguished and set apart from utilitarian life.
d. restricted to song and dance.

2. Aesthetic locus is:

a. the technical term for art and artistic standards.
b. the technical term for the objects to which a society devotes particular artistic emphasis.
c. any place such as a theater or dance ground where artistic performances occur.
d. any feature of the natural environment that people regard as particularly beautiful.

3. Which of the following is NOT a necessary characteristic of art?

a. It is the product of an individual artist.
b. It conveys symbolic messages.
c. It uses both universal signs and culturally specific symbols.
d. It expresses feelings.

4. In Hindu aesthetics, the central feature of good art is:

a. its ability to convey a subtle intellectual concept.
b. its ability to convey a moral message.
c. its ability to give sensuous pleasure that is equated with oneness with the divine.
d. its ability to support religious beliefs.

5. The ability to appreciate beauty is:

a. a biologically based capacity.
b. culturally learned.
c. a capacity not all individuals have.
d. absent in some cultures.

6. Which of the following is NOT true of play?

a. It is common among mammals.
b. It is a learned ability.
c. It is culturally patterned.
d. It is intrinsically pleasurable.

7. According to Roberts and Sutton-Smith, games of strategy are preferred tin societies where:

a. obedience training is emphasized in childhood.
b. independence training is emphasized in childhood.
c. creativity training is emphasized in childhood.
d. play is emphasized as fun.

8. According to Barbara Ayres tonal ranges in adult music are:

a. the same in all cultures.
b. larger where there is stress in childhood.
c. smaller where there is stress in childhood.
d. highly variable, but cross-culturally unpredictable.

9. According to Clyde Kluckhohn, common themes in myths:

a. are limited to flood motifs.
b. do not include stories about incest.
c. are highly idiosyncratic and variable from culture to culture.
d. deal with anxiety-related matters.

10. Which of the following is not a social function of art?

a. communicating a person’s social status.
b. giving pleasure to an individuals.
c. teaching moral and ethical principles.
d. maintaining harmony between groups.

Matching Exercise - Chapter 7: Aesthetics and Culture

1. aesthetics
2. aesthetic locus
3. aesthetic experience
4. expressive culture
5. play
6. festivals
7. game
8. sport
9. art
10. music
11. ethnomusicology
12. scale

13. rhythm
14. vocables
15. dance
16. verbal arts
17. myths
18. legends
19. rhetoric
20. folktales
21. proverbs
22. riddles
23. jokes



a cultural expression of feeling and meaning in a form that evokes an aesthetic experience in the participant or observer



rhythmically patterned human movement performed for aesthetic pleasure



short statements that illustrate the basic values of a culture



a competitive activity involving physical skills, strategy, and chance in a model of a conflict-producing real-life situation



syllables that have no individual meanings



formal speech that follows the traditional rules of a particular culture



expressions of culture such as play, ritual, or the arts



stories that recount the origin of such things as gods, the universe, animals, and plants



things said to incite laughter



the study of music and its relationship to culture



the pleasure we feel when we recognize something as beautiful



the timing and stressing of tones within a melody



the area of a culture to which a society devotes its aesthetic effort



scheduled public, secular rituals



mental puzzles told for entertainment



various forms of speaking for aesthetic pleasure



stories told for entertainment that teach a moral principle or a practical lesson



a stepwise sequence of tones separated by set intervals, from which melodies are constructed.



rhythmically organized scaled tones that produce melodic sound



the rules by which beauty is to be evaluated in a culture



stress-relieving ritualistic practice of potentially utilitarian behaviors



aggressively competitive activity played according to strict rules



stories that describe heroes and heroines who are usually responsible for the origin of a culture or society

True/False - Chapter 7: Aesthetics and Culture






1. Most of the languages of non-literate societies have a word for art.



2. Aesthetic locus is the place in a community where artworks are produced.



3. A formal set of rules for evaluating the beauty or effectiveness of works of art is most likely to exist in societies that have artistic specialists.



4. In all cultures, people make judgments about the beauty of things.



5. Games of skill are most common where childhood socialization emphasizes independence and individual initiative.



6. Public festivals often serve as a source of cathartic release from the routine stresses of life.



7. Symmetry in at is most common in egalitarian societies.



8. Musical octaves have eight tones in all societies.



9. Oral literature exists only in cultures that have writing.



10. Jokes reveal the preoccupations and tensions of a society.

Short Essay Questions - Chapter 7: Aesthetics and Culture

1.If the Tiv have no formal aesthetic standards, how could Keil discover their aesthetic standards?

2. What is meant by the aesthetic experience? How is it related to human biology?

3. What is expressive culture?

4. What are the three defining characteristics of art?

5. According to Fischer what distinguishes the visual art of complex, socially stratified societies from that of simple, non-stratified societies?

6. What aspect of child-rearing is associated with rhythm?

7. What did Kluckhohn find to be the most widespread themes in myths throughout the world?

8. What are proverbs and why are they often hard for people to understand who do not share the culture in which they arose?

9. What is the central aesthetic focus of the Japanese tea ceremony?

10. What social functions than are commonly fulfilled by art?

Copyright 2008, by the Contributing Authors. Cite/attribute Resource . admin. (2005, January 04). Chapter 7: Aesthetics and Culture. Retrieved January 07, 2011, from Free Online Course Materials — USU OpenCourseWare Web site: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons License