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ANT101 Introduction DAY 1 Discussion 1-1\ Cultural Relativism Week 1 Cultural Anthropology gives three distinct meanings of cultural relativism: a moral stance that requires anthropologists to suspend moral and ethical judgments when interacting with a culture different from their own, a methodological strategy that allows the anthropologist to pay specific attention to the uniqueness of a culture, and an epistemological position that cultures are unique and therefore knowledge about different cultures is almost inherently not comparable. (Sec. 1.3). In your forum contribution: a. Discuss what you see as the strengths and weaknesses of each of these three kinds of relativism. b. Identify one belief or practice in another culture that you find puzzling, strange, or troubling, and then discuss the extent that cultural relativism is a useful approach to understanding and interacting with the people who hold it. c. Discuss the extent that cultural relativism would be a useful approach to understanding and interacting with people in your own society that did (or do) the same. d. Explore the extent to which whether one is studying in one's own country or in another makes a difference in the applicability of cultural relativism to one's research. I think that the strength of taking a moral stance when in a culture different from your own is that you can fully envelop yourself in that culture. A weakness of a moral stance is that you will never be able to completely let go of your morals, for instance, if you were in a culture that believed in kill children under that age of five, I know personally I would not be able to participant in such a tradition. One strength of methodological strategy is that you are allowed to pay attention to specifics of the culture that you are being immersed in through research. The author provides a great example of one weakness in methodological strategy, is the example of “not assuming that color used by an Englishspeaking anthropologist refers to color categories used by informants to describe, for example, the colors of foliage in a tropical rain forest” (Nowak & Laird, 2010). One practice that I find strange is the Scottish tradition of “blackening the bride”. In this practice “ to prepare for their marriage, Scottish brides–tobe must go through a very foul ritual, were their friends take them be surprise and cover her with eggs, spoiled milk, feathers, and any other disgusting items then parade the blackened bride around town. The purpose of this custom is to prepare the bride for marriage because after going through that, any marital problems will seem like nothing” (Inamura, 2010). I think that cultural relativism would be very useful in interacting in this tradition with the Scottish and understanding why this tradition exists. I believe that there is a major difference in studying your own country. If you are study in your own country you are less likely to use cultural relativism, for instance, you may not take a moral stance if you are Muslim and you are research an American cultural that frequently eats pork. I think that it is easier to apply cultural relativism when learning about other countries. References: Nowak, B.S., & Laird, P.F. (2010) Cultural Anthropology. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUANT101.10.2/sections/sec1.3 Inamura, S. (2010). Top 10: Unusual Traditions around the World. Retrieved from http://www.totallytop10.com/lifestyle/culture/top10strangetraditions Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Build on the ideas and terminology in the text and your own ideas to support your answers. Please support your claims with examples from the text, required and recommended material, and/or scholarly articles. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Discussion 1-2\ Studying Culture Week 1 Choose one of the "Consider This" boxes that Nowak and Laird present us with in Chapters 1 and 2 of Cultural Anthropology, or discuss the topics below from the film Margaret Mead: Coming of Age, available in the Films On Demand database, in the Ashford Online Library. The topics covered are: a. Whether the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be applicable to all cultures b. Whether it is possible to truly view a culture without being influenced by the cultural constructs of our own culture c. How our understanding of what it means to be a patient in the United States reflects our different cultural backgrounds and affiliations d. In the film Margaret Mead: Coming of Age, it is mentioned that Mead’s initial research was criticized on methodological grounds. Why was that? Do you consider the criticism warranted or not warranted? What could she have done differently? e. Based on the film and the book, discuss the challenges of field work. What do you think would be the most difficult? What has changed since the time of Mead? The topic that I have chosen to cover is whether the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be applicable to all cultures. I do believe that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can and should be applicable for all cultures; however, the reality is that not all cultures hold the rights and freedoms outlined in the Declaration to a high standard. For example, the UDHR in Article 261 it states “everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit”, we know that it some cultures the females are not allowed to receive an educations. Article 213 states that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures. Here in the United States African Americans were denied the rights to vote until 1870 and did not gain equal rights until 1964. While I would like to think that all cultures and countries are enforcing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights I do not believe that it is the case most cultures beliefs were established long before 1948 when the UDHR was drafted. Reference: United Nations (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved April 4, 2013 from http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml Clearly identify the topic you choose at the outset of your discussion, and answer all aspects of it thoroughly. Your answer should contain a balance of descriptive detail and cultural analysis. Build on the ideas and terminology in the text and your own ideas to support your answers. Include examples or information from the film in any question answer as you see fit. Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings by Day 7. Discussion 2-1\ Foraging Societies Week 2 Answer one of the following four questions posed by Nowak and Laird, in Cultural Anthropology, at the very end of Chapter 3: a. What can we learn from studying foraging societies? Is there anything we can learn regarding our relationship to the environment, or our family members, for example? b. What is the ethnographic present? Do you think that the use of the ethnographic present in the film The Gods Must Be Crazy is appropriate, or do you think Lee's criticisms are valid? c. Do you think the view of many anthropologists (pre–1970s) that men's hunting activities are more highly valued than women's gathering activities is a culturally biased perspective based on Eurocentric notions that men are the family "breadwinners"? Do you think this view is outdated (based both on more recent ethnographic information and changes in American culture)? The topic that I chose to explore is, do you think the view of many anthropologists that mens hunting activities are more highly valued than womens gathering activities is a culturally biased perspective based on Eurocentric notions that men are the family breadwinners? I do not think that the view of many anthropologist was culturally biasied because in the 1970 the role of the typical American woman was to be at home with the children while the father went to work on a daily bases to provide for his family. The same is true of the foraging societies it is the mans role to bring home “the bacon” while the woman in foraging societies are the homemakers. I believe that the views on traditional gender roles both in America and in many foraging socites is outdated. Nowake states that “recent research shows that both men and women make substantial food contributions that are recognized and valued within their cultures” (2010). While here in America the views of the traditional gender roles have changed. In today’s society there are more single parent homes meaning that the mother is both the breadwinner and the homemaker and the same is true of single fathers. References: Nowak, B.S., & Laird, P.F. (2010) Cultural Anthropology. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/books/AUANT101.10.2/sections/sec3.3 d. An Inuit mother has just given birth to a baby. She has a one–year–old baby still dependent on her milk. It is the season of food scarcity, which means the mother is not as well nourished as she could be. She and her husband decide that their older child is a higher priority, and they opt to end their newborn baby's life. Considering the concepts of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism, discuss the practice of infanticide. Clearly identify the topic you chose at the outset of your discussion. Answer the question posed thoroughly and thoughtfully by building on the ideas and terminology in the text and your own ideas to support your answers. Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Discussion 2-2\ Economic Concerns Week 2 You have two choices for this discussion. a. Choose one of the following questions raised by Nowak and Laird in their "Consider This" boxes, in Chapter 4, of Cultural Anthropology .Be sure to indicate at the outset which question you are answering. Read the original question and relevant information in Chapter 4 before answering the question you choose. Your answer should give clear examples, include crosscultural comparison, and demonstrate critical thinking and analysis. Build on the ideas and terminology in the text and your own ideas to support your answers. o What is the traditional sexual division of labor in American culture? Is it undergoing a transformation? Among Btsisi’, women and men are respected for the tasks they perform. Do you think this is the case in the United States? o How does the location of your home, and the concentration of the population within a particular area, relate to your mode of production? Has this changed in our North American culture over time? Can you predict a time when, as a society, where we live will not be dictated by our modes of production? o Kinship systems in horticulturalbased societies provide support for people in all stages of life. With the current mobility of global populations we find ourselves increasingly geographically distant from parents and grandparents. How do we as members of a highly mobile and diverse society compensate for the lack of accessible kin? b. Now that you have learned about different types of reciprocity, watch Video Reciprocity and answer the following question about web reciprocity: To what extent are they similar to and different from the examples on reciprocity given in Chapter 4? The topic that I have chosen to explore is, to what extent are they similar to and different from the examples on reciprocity given in Chapter 4? There are many similarities between web reciprocity and reciprocity in horticultural societies. Nowak states, “Balanced reciprocity is a direct exchange with the promise of the return of an item of equivalent value to the giver within an agreedupon period of time. If the giver receives an item of lesser value, the giver might decide to terminate the relationship” (2010). A good example of this concept on the web is within social media, for instance, if you comment or like someone’s facebook statues all the time but they do not return you the courtesy by commenting back to your post, you may decide that you want to remove that person from your friends list. I know that this is something that happens often on social media sites. I think that one of the ways that web reciprocity differs from reciprocity in horticultural societies …… Use terms and examples from the discussion on reciprocity in Chapter 4 to critically evaluate the various perspectives on reciprocity highlighted in the video. Give your own opinion about the principles of reciprocity that should guide web interactions in general and video channel interactions in particular. Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Please support your claims with examples from the text, required and recommended material, and/or scholarly articles. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Assignment 1\ Week2 Critical Thinking Paper – Kinship Organizations Kinship systems in Foraging and Horticultural based societies provide support for people in all stages of their life. Address the following in a two to threepage paper: a. Identify and describe the kinship system of one of the cultures listed below. These cultures are found in Chapters 3 and 4 of Cultural Anthropology. o Australian Aborigines o Btsisi o Inuit of the Artic o Iroquois o San o Yanomamo b. Briefly describe the culture and identify three specific examples of how the kinship system of the chosen culture impacts the way this culture behaves (i.e. thinks, acts, lives). c. Compare this to your own society. Does kinship impact these same behaviors in your own life? Why or why not? Your paper must be in APA format. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar. Discussion 3-1\ Social Organization Week 3 Watch Blood Bonds , available in the Films On Demand database, in the Ashford Online Library. Describe the correlation between arranged marriage, economic exchanges surrounding marriage (bridewealth, bride service, dowry, etc.), status of women, family pressures, and other factors you can think of and the stability of marriage. Based on your reading of the textbook and the film, what are the disadvantages of different forms of marriages? Do you think they can be as successful as marriages of choice? Which form of marriage do you have the hardest time understanding? Reflect on marriage and divorce in current North American societies. What factors contribute to the stability of marriages in our culture? What factors contribute to stability of marriage in the cultures shown in the film? And lastly, what factors of the cultures in the film could contribute to the stability of marriage in our culture? And vise versa? After watching the film I have gained a new outlook on some failmy styles that are deemed taboo in our cultural. The marragie or none union that stood out to me was that of the ……. I think that there are major disadvantages to commenting to that style of marriage, for instance the men only have very little interaction with their children Disadvantages of differen forms of marriage: Will it be a successful as a marrage of choice: Which form of marriage I don’t understand: Factors that contribute to sucsseful marriages in our culture: Factor that contribute to marriage in the film stability: What we can learn and what our type of marriage can teach: Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Please support your claims with examples from the required resources. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Discussion 3-2\ Doing Business with Family Week 3 Nowak and Laird's Applying Anthropology 6.2 box, in Cultural Anthropology, proposes the following question:: The familiar saying “never do business with family” advises against the practices used in many of the chiefdom societies discussed in this chapter. This old saying implies that doing business with family will create conflict, whereas chiefdom societies welcome and encourage such closeknit economic exchanges as a way of preventing conflict. In fact, in an interesting article on family businesses, Bertrand and Schoar comment on how cultures based on strong family ties can have a negative impact on economic development. The reasoning is that the more we are taught to count on our kinship and family ties, the less likely we are to trust those outside our family networks, which greatly prohibits the development of larger economic institutions... Consider both examples and create an argument for or against mixing business with family. When responding to this question, be sure to engage in crosscultural comparison, taking into consideration variation in subsistence systems, descent systems, mobility, and any other factors you consider pertinent. Draw examples from the ethnographic record, your own experience, and the experience of others with whom you are familiar. I do not believe that business and family should be mixed. I beleved that it is more complicated when working with family for instance you are less likey to disagrre with their suggestions that my be worng or hinder the growth of your business than if you partnered with someone that is not related to you. I feel that often when mixing family into your business ventures they will take advatge of the situation more than someone else will for instance, if you open a restaurant with your mother you are pretty much gonna let her take control. Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Please support your claims with examples from the text, recommended material, and/or scholarly articles. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Assignment 1\ Week3 Rough Draft of Final Cultural Research Paper To ensure that you are properly prepared for your Final Cultural Research Paper in this course, you must complete a draft/outline that includes: a. A culture from the list below: o Basseri of Iran o The Batek of Malaysia o Enga o Huaorani of Ecuador o Bedouin o Zulu o Kurds o Maori o Mbuti o Nayar of India o Semai o Navajo o Tikopia of Melanesia b. Three scholarly research journals, ethnographies and ethnologies to be used as the primary sources of information. c. Identification of the chosen cultures primary mode of subsistence. (Foragers, Horticulturalists, Pastoralists, Emerging Agriculturalists, Agrarian States or Industrialists) d. Identification of the three aspects of culture which will be used in the Final Cultural Research Paper from the list below: o Beliefs and values o Economic organization o Gender relations o Kinship o Political organization o Sickness and healing o Social change o Social organization The above information should be presented in an outline and must include an introductory paragraph with a succinct thesis and a properly formatted reference page. Do not submit a full seven to eightpage draft at this time! Your paper must be in APA format. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar. Discussion 4-1\ Monumental Architecture Week 4 Monumental architecture is a hallmark of complex societies (chiefdoms and states). Discuss how resources are mobilized for such constructions as well as the ideological messages they convey. Choose an example of a large scale structure from anywhere/anytime in the world that functioned as a symbolic expression of power, prestige, and wealth. Discuss what your example represents and whose interests are promoted by it. The monument that I have chosen to discuss is the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. The Valley of the Kings is the location of the burial tombs of many of the of the Egyptian Pharaohs and wealthy nobles. It is a great example of how even in death your wealth, power and prestige can still follow you. The Valley of the Kings was built by slaves labor and masons. The builders used rocks from the valley to build the tombs. The rocks ranged in texture and stability, they ranged from finely grained to coarse stone.There are well over 50 tombs and chambers ranging in sizes from simple pits to a complex tomb housing 120 chambers. It is amazing to think that these structures were built by men with their bare hands. These were men who were working for food to feed themselves and their family. I think that the reason why egalitarian societies do not build monuments of such caliber because they have no need for them. Since most of their time in spending making a valuable contribution to their community they also would to have the time to build something of such magnitude. In egalitarian societies they do not see the need to take their wealth to the grave they would leave their limited possessions to their families. Bring in what you have read on leadership and political and religious organization in chiefdoms and states up to now in developing your answer. What reasons can you think of to explain why egalitarian societies (bands and tribes) do not invest in monumental architecture? Build on the ideas and terminology in the text and your own ideas to support your claims. Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Discussion 4-2\ Economy and Colonialism Week 4 Relate what you have read in Chapter 8, of Cultural Anthropology, regarding colonialism and the expansion of capitalism in modern industrial societies to the article, “Marketers Pursue the Shallow Pocketed.” Is the information being discussed in this article another example of colonialism? Why or why not? Identify two potential positives and two negatives direct marketing of the poor has on people and their economies. What theory of development is most applicable to the expansion of global markets to poor, low income, and indigenous communities? I do believe that the article is a modern day version of colonialism. Nowak and Laird state that colonialism is “the domination of one society by another” (2010), they go on to say that in order for the colonial powers to be successful, they needed to convince the people to either work for them to buy their products. The article is the perfect example of the rich taking advantage of the poor. I think that negative aspects of direct marketing of the poor is that the poor are already living on a limited income, and marketing targeted specifically to them could lead to unnecessary purchases. I believe that is why you constantly hear on the news about businesses being robbed for high dollar merchandise, they advertise to the people who cannot afford their products and instead of working for it they go and steal it because it seems like they just have to have it. I think that a positive aspect is that by doing research in low income neighborhoods these major corporations are actually learning what the people need and they are adjusting their prices in some cases to enable the poor to afford the things that they want and may need. Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010). Cultural Anthropology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Please support your claims with examples from the text, required material, and/or scholarly articles. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Discussion 5-1\ Ethics in Anthropology Week 5 Be sure to watch and read the “Miscellaneous Topics” at the end of Chapter 9 of Cultural Anthropology. Then, address the following topic: As noted, anthropology’s work with the military over the years has been wrought with controversy. Where do you stand on the issue regarding the use of anthropologists in intelligence gathering for the military? Can you come up with a compelling argument based on examples given in the text, your understanding of the ethical requirements of anthropologist, and from your own experiences /understanding of past and present military actions to take a stance on this issue? Please use concepts and terminology from the text. While there are benefits of anthropologist working alongside the US government, I think that military and government agency should not depend on anthropologist to get the information they are seeking about a specific society. “The American Anthropological Association (AAA), the major U.S. professional organization, passed a referendum stating that anthropologists should not do secret research or provide secret information” (Nowak & Laird, 2010, p. 257). I believe that the AAA made a good choice by cutting the ties between the US government and anthropologist. I can see how an anthropologist who has integrated into a culture, would be made to look suspicious by providing information that only that person is privy to about that culture to government officials. It is a move that would change the way that society's opinion of what anthropologist are coming into the society from, especially if the information could possibly be used against that culture to hurt members of their society. Nowak, B., & Laird, P. (2010). Cultural anthropology. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc. Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Please support your claims with examples from the text, recommended material, and/or scholarly articles. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Discussion 5-2\ Anthropology and the Future Week 5 Watch Winners and Losers, available in the Films On Demand database, in the Ashford Online Library. Which issues are most urgent in our world today? Are they the same in the US as in the developing world? Where will the application of an anthropological perspective be most effective? The film talked about a lot of issues that could be considered urgent in nature. I think that some of the most urgent issues in the world today are big corporations doing dangerous and hazardous business in third world countries and big name companies creating jobs overseas and paying the workers pennies on the dollar. The part of the film that affected me the most was when the narrator was telling the story of the young Hispanic women who lived in the tiny house with her husband and three children. I do not think that we are facing the same issues as developing countries do because we have stricter laws that are enforced to the fullest. You have to pay a person at least minimum wage there is no way those same huge corporations that pay their workers overseas 30 cents an hour would get away with that here. I think that an anthropological perspective will be the most effective in helping the world outside of the developing nations what needs to change in order for that same nation to be as diverse and thriving as the developed nations. Your initial response should be at least 150 words in length. Please support your claims with examples from the text, recommended material, and/or scholarly articles. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Assignment 1\ Week5 Final Cultural Research Paper Throughout this course, we have learned that the primary mode of subsistence (how a culture makes a living) impacts many other aspects of cultural behavior and has been an effective way to organize thoughts and studies about culture. In order to demonstrate your understanding of subsistence modes and its impact on a culture and why a culture acts as it does, your Research Paper will require you to: 1. Select a specific culture from the following list: a. Basseri of Iran b. The Batek of Malaysia c. Enga d. Huaorani of Ecuador e. Bedouin f. Zulu g. Kurds h. Maori i. Mbuti j. Nayar of India k. Semai l. Navajo m. Tikopia of Melanesia 2. Research this culture using the Ashford University Online Library. Please identify and use a minimum of three scholarly articles from the library in addition to the text your research. Keep in mind that most anthropological research, whether article length or book length, is either an ethnography or an ethnology. You may use any combination of ethnographies or ethnologies in your paper. 3. Write a seven to eight page long research paper that does the following: a. Identifies and classifies the selected culture’s primary mode of subsistence. ( Foragers, Horticulturalists, Pastoralists, Emerging Agriculturalists, Agrarian States, or Industrialists) b. Analyzes and evaluates the impact that the primary mode of subsistence of the selected culture has on at least three of the following aspects of culture: Beliefs and values Economic organization Gender relations Kinship Political organization Sickness and healing Social change Social organization The Research Paper must be formatted according to APA style and include a title and a reference page (which does not count towards the page length). For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar. In Week Three, you are required to submit an introductory paragraph, thesis statement, an outline, and your properly formatted reference page with the required sources identified. At that point, you should have chosen your culture and identified its primary mode of subsistence. Writing the Research Paper The Research Paper: 1. Must be seven to eight doublespaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. 2. Must include a title page with the following: a. Title of paper b. Student’s name c. Course name and number d. Instructor’s name e. Date submitted 3. Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement. 4. Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought. 5. Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis. 6. Must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford Online Library. 7. Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. 8. Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
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