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Global EncountersComparing World Views & Values Cross

by: Mrs. Brandy Nolan

Global EncountersComparing World Views & Values Cross ANT 185

Marketplace > Syracuse University > anthropology, evolution, sphr > ANT 185 > Global EncountersComparing World Views Values Cross
Mrs. Brandy Nolan
GPA 3.76

John Burdick

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John Burdick
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Mrs. Brandy Nolan on Wednesday October 21, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to ANT 185 at Syracuse University taught by John Burdick in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 41 views. For similar materials see /class/225592/ant-185-syracuse-university in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Syracuse University.

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Date Created: 10/21/15
Fall 2000 ANT 185AAS 185 Study guide for Week Starting October 16th 1 Wanjiku s Story Watoro s Story and Wangeci s Story all from Jean Davison Voices from Mutira 2 Janice Boddy The Womb as Oasis During the next four weeks we will focus on an array of practices originating primarily in Africa variously known clitoridectomy female circumcision and female genital cutting The objective of this segment is to challenge you to think in sophisticated ways about these practices in order to help you work toward the goal of guring out what issues policymakers should consider in relation to the practice as it affects both directly and indirectly people living in the United States This week we will start the process of grappling with the meanings of the practice to the women who have undergone it I have chosen readings that illustrate women s point of view in two African societies Each of these perform different types of the operation and at different ages Your task to appreciate these points of view while also asking the question have these women been brainwashed The set of readings begins with the voices of three Gikuyu women Kenya who are remembering their Irua circumcision ceremonies from their childhoods Among the Gikuyu the ceremony was performed when a girl was between 14 and 17 years old The ceremony had been discontinued in many villages by the time these women were interviewed in the 1980s and 90s but in many parts of Kenya the ritual continues and in some parts it is actually returning As you read the accounts of these women I want you to ask what is the attitude of these women toward circumcision What did it mean for their lives What was its importance as a way of becoming a grown woman How did going through the ceremony change the way their covillagers treated them What was the importance to these women of the other girls who went through the ceremony at the same time they did The second reading is rather more complex as it engages in detailed analysis of the symbolism in the circumcision of young Hofriyati women in Sudan This circumcision is far more extensive than that of the Gikuyu women Read this article carefully The key to the article is that the author is trying to convey how women themselves think about circumcision 7 what cultural meanings it has for THEM In doing so she suggests that in fact women s view of circumcision may differ somewhat from that of men A key aspect of her argument is that for Hofriyati women circumcision is not so much about controlling their sexual behavior as it is about maximizing their fertility When they think about the practice what other things in their lives do they associate it with Fall 2000 ANT 185AAS 185 Study guide for Week Starting September 25th For the next three weeks we will be focussing on how old age and senility are dealt with culturally in Japan and compare these patterns with those you may be more familiar with in your own family and in the United States Please read the following to start us off39 1 Hiroko Akiyama et al Exchange and Reciprocity among Two Generations of Japanese and American Women 2 The rst 10 chapters of The Twilight Years Questions on Exchange and Reciprocity This is not an easy article In fact it is more technical than anything we have read so far Remember at the start of the semester I alerted you to the fact that we would be turning over the course of the semester to various kinds of sources Please stick with it It may seem dry at times but the article is helpful in identifying and illustrating some concepts that are important in thinking about basic differences between the ways different cultures handle relationships between different generations By the way ie is a Japanese word referring to a family group comprised of man his wife his parents and his children 1 As you read the article think about the relationships between generations in your own family Naturally one important aspect of those relationships is probably love affection and caring And yet in this society there is also a strong emphasis placed on independence and autonomy The authors argue that a consequence of these values in the United States is that exchanges between generations in this country tend to be characterized by symmetric reciprocity What do they mean by this Think carefully about the various exchanges that take place between generations in your own family between you and your siblings and your parents between your parents and their parents do you agree with the authors that these exchanges tend to be symmetrical thereby reducing the development of dependence Do you feel the desire to pay back your parents for various things so that you will not be too deeply in debt to them 2 In general what do you think of the authors claim that in US society there is an expectation of clear exchange between mothers and daughters Do you agree What has your experience been about this Think about your own family What are the exchanges that take place between generations Is there a difference according to gender Is there a difference between immediate and delayed reciprocity How might your own cultural or ethnic identitygroup have established for you some special rules and expectations surrounding these reciprocities What kinds of variables do you think probably complicate the portraits of intergenerational exchange for both the US and Japan 3 Now think more specifically about your grandparents Where do they live Do they live close to your parents How dependent are they on your parents The authors mention the case of Mrs B in a small midwestern city p 052 in the Reader who says that she would not feel comfortable accepting a gift or favor when she could not reciprocate Is this kind of attitude familiar or strange to you What values about autonomy and independence does it express 4 Now think about the Japanese side of the equation The authors argue that in Japan the main pattern of exchange between generations is more complicated than that in the United States Specifically they refer to two rules asymmetric reciprocity that governs exchanges between family members and symmetric reciprocity that governs exchanges between nonfamily members What do they mean by these terms and this distinction How in particular does this distinction help us understand the different ways an older Japanese woman will interact with her daughterinlaw and her own married daughter A key to thinking about this is the rather surprising fact that a married daughter is formally no longer considered to belong to her own mother s family How then will exchanges between generations look different in the Japanese family than they do in the United States 5 A key good that Japanese daughtersinlaw receive from their mothersinlaw is referred to on page 056 of the reader the reputation and respect that comes from being an ideal yome What is meant by this Does this constitute a very different value than what you are familiar with In your own family do family members derive honor and respect from fulfilling ideal roles like that of the yome A Issues to think about as you stalt reading the Twilight Years 1 First of all an alert the Xeroxed copy of this novel which is no longer in print and so could not be ordered for the class as a paperback is imperfect You will quickly realize that many of the righthand pages have the final word lopped off I m sorry Despite this in general it is possible to infer what the last word on the line is Please do not be discouraged The novel reads quickly and easily and I believe you will find that the loppingoff effect will not prevent you from reading and appreciating it 2 You will not be discussing the novel in section next week you will discuss it the following week However because the novel is 200 pages long it is important that you spread out your reading of it over two weeks Please read the first 10 chapters of the novel this coming week As I mentioned the novel reads quickly and 100 pages should take you no longer than 23 hours 3 As you read as yourself the following What are the cultural expectations placed on Akiko as a proper yome Why does she have greater responsibilities toward Shigezo her fatherinlaw than either her husband or his sister Does she accept the role of yome unquestioningly or does she resent the role Fall 2000 ANT 185AAS 185 Study guide for Week Starting November 6th In the fall of 1996 doctors at the Harborview Medical Hospital in Seattle Washington seriously considered performing minor clitoridectomies upon Somali women who asked for the operation In part due to a firestorm of criticism they eventually decided against going forward with the idea For next week read all of the editorials and letters to the editor that appeared in Seattle area papers in the weeks and months surrounding the controversy You will nd these all reproduced in your Course Reader 1 Do you agree or disagree with the doctors decision to desist from their idea Why do you agree or disagree N V If you think they were right to desist do you feel they should take any other action to help the Somali women What action and why L V If you think they were wrong to desist what guidelines would you want to see them follow in conducting the clitoridectomies 4 While the Harborview con ict was brewing in September 1996 the US Congress passed the following piece of legislation Section 645 of the ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM AND IMMIGRANT RESPONSIBILITY ACT OF 1996 September 24 1996 a Whoever knowingly circumcises excises or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of another person who has not attained the age of 18 years shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years or both b A surgical operation is not a violation of this section if the operation is necessary to the health of the person on whom it is performed and is performed by a person licensed in the place of its performance as a medical practitioner c In applying subsection b no account shall be taken of the effect on the person on whom the operation is to be performed of any belief on the part of that person or any other person that the operation is required as a matter of custom or ritual Based on what you know about the Harborview con ict do you think that the hospital if it had gone ahead with the clitoridectomies would have been in violation of US law If not why not If yes do you think that this law should remain unchanged If you were to modify the law what modifications would you recommend Fall 2000 ANT 185AAS 185 Study guide for Week Starting October 23rd Please read the following three articles in the Course Reader Kathryn Morgan Women and the Knife Sally Sheldon and StephenWilkinson Female Genital Mutilation and Cosmetic Surgery Barbara Whitaker Cut to Fit These articles raise the question of whether the kind of criticism that is usually aimed by EuroAmericans at female genital cutting might also be aimed at the cultural practice of cosmetic surgery within EuroAmerican society For example it may be argued that cosmetic surgery is a genderoppressive practice that women feel pressured to undergo because of the social costs of not undergoing it What do you think Are cosmetic surgery and female genital cutting in Africa comparable in any way Why or why not If they are comparable in any way does this mean we should criticize female genital cutting less and cosmetic surgery more Does it mean we should criticize neither Does it mean we should denounce both How does the comparison with EuroAmerican cosmetic surgery affect the way you think about female genital cutting Fall 2000 ANT 185AAS 185 Study guide for Week Starting October 9th Issues to think about as you read John Traphagan Localizing Senilityquot and Elizabeth Herskovits Struggling Over Subjectivityquot 1 What according to Traphagan is bake How do the Japanese feel about 2 3 4 v v this condition How does this feeling compare with attitudes toward senility with which you are familiar from your own experience Traphagan argues that what makes Japanese ideas of bake different from their ideas about Alzheimer39s is that they believe they can prevent or delay bake What according to Traphagam are the social values that are expressed in this belief Traphagan writes that examining the Japanese notion of bake should lead us to reconsider our own assumptions about what is normal and quotabnormalquot about aging What do you think he mean by this What assumptions about aging might bear some reconsidering Herskovits suggests that the dread that Alzheimer s disease provokes in the United States is a window onto strong American anxieties and values What anxieties and values does she think might be revealed in the American horror of Alzheimer s Do you buy her argument Why or why not Is Alzheimer39s a purely quotobjectivequot disease such as lung cancer After reading Herskovits what would you say to someone who declared that Alzheimer39s disease includes a heavy dose of cultural convention Fall 2000 ANT 185AAS 185 Study guide for Week Starting October 30th Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women Hands Off Clitoridectomy Discourse Analysis of the Anti FGM Movement This week you will read three articles written by nonAfrican women who take differing positions about the extent to which outsiders have a right to denounce and criticize female genital cutting in Africa Read these articles carefully and see which position you feel more sympathetic with 1 N V L V Start with Susan Oker s article What is her argument Do you agree or disagree with her and why She makes the point that clitoridectomy must be Viewed as an example of oppressive patriarchy worldwide If one is to oppose patriarchy anywhere shouldn t one oppose it in the case of this particular practice Then read the two pieces by Yael Tarnir and Nina Huntemann What is their argument Do you agree or disagree with them and why Overall which side of the debate do you identify more with Why What kinds of further knowledge or information do you think might be useful to help move the debate forward If someone said that your concern about FGC was imperialist or colonialist what would you say Would you agree or disagree Why Do you feel that non African women have a role or responsibility in relation to this issue What do you think that role or responsibility should be


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