Unit 3 Week 6 Notes
Unit 3 Week 6 Notes Anth 165
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Skylar Evans on Tuesday November 3, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Anth 165 at University of Oregon taught by Angela Montague in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 61 views. For similar materials see Anthropology 165 in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Oregon.
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Date Created: 11/03/15
UNIT THREE Rites of Passage VIarriage Key Terms rites of passage FGM incest marriage polygamy polygyny polyandry anti miscegenation marriage Week 6 Lecture 7 Rites of Passage Required Film The Cut httpswwwyoutubecomwatchvrMCQkTBHPA Readings 0 CS p 249 Sambia Sexual Culture by Gilbert Herdt 0 CS p 127 Unmasking Tradition A Sudanese anthropologist confronts female circumcision and its terrible tenacity by RM Abusharif Discussion Board 6 Rites of Passage Key Terms rites of passage A rite of passage is a ceremony and marks the transition from one phase of life to another Although it is often used to describe the tumultuous transition from adolescence to adulthood it does refer to any of life39s transitions Births and Beginnings Initiations Partnerings and Endings or Death FGMZ Female Genital Mutilation the quotpartial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for nonmedical reasonsquot Incest sexual relations between people classed as being too closely related to marry each other The crime of having sexual intercourse with a parent child sibling or grandchild Marriage the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman or in some jurisdictions two people of the same sex as partners in a relationship Polygamy the practice or custom of having more than one wife or husband at the same time Polygyny polygamy in which a man has more than one wife Polyandry polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband anti miscegenation laws or miscegenation laws were laws that enforced racial segregation at the level of marriage and intimate relationships by criminalizing interracial marriage and sometimes also sex between members of different races Important points from week 6 lecture quot ltRememberquotltgt lt Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism is the belief of superiority is one39s personal ethnic group but it can also develop from racial or religious differences Ethnocentric individuals believe that they are better than other individuals for reasons based solely on their heritage Cultural Relativism Cultural relativism is the principle that an individual human39s beliefs and activities should be understood by others in terms of that individual39s own culture It was established as axiomatic in anthropological research by Franz Boas in the first few decades of the 20th century and later popularized by his students Male Initiation Rites Rituals Culturally validate male dominance Change of status from child to adult Involved in extended period of separation Throughout human history in disparate global regions the phenomenon of the male initiation ritual has prevailed They are unique to the cultures that create them but their purposes are often identical The initiation ritual is seen as a rite of passage in the life of a male symbolically defining the moment when he leaves boyhood behind and becomes a man In many cultures it also tests bravery strength and a man s ability to make a useful contribution to society As an opportunity to weed out the weak and to encourage men to conform to social expectations or face exclusion they are extremely potent The Western world has little by way of male initiation ritual rites but comingof agetype ceremonies do pop up here and there The 21st birthday celebration for example is a relatively benign initiation with excessive alcohol consumption the worst thing an initiate experiences But many of the male initiation rituals are some of the most spectacular examples of the event from around the world re ecting a vast cultural variety Westerners may inch at what seems extreme but for each of these societies they are integral parts of their cultures and some are even practical Female Initiation Rites Rituals This week s lecture does not go into detail about female initiation rights Check out this great article about initiation rights for girls cross culturally httponlinelibrarywileycomstore1 0 1 525aa 1963 65 402a00040assetaa 1963 65402a00040pdfjsessionidF61D51BFS85C2047C79CC6BDDFF6D27Ef02tO4v1 amptigjpjxawamps7deb72a3f1a40d4539028080d4b0df5a0bdf4e63 Important points from the readings CS p 249 Sambia Sexual Culture by Gilbert Herdt The concept of a particular sexual culturequot is meant to in ect relations between sexuality and meaning at the most fundamental level of the local cultural history knowledge power sociality and the regulation of markets and the development of the person and selfhood Every sexual culture must grapple with the norms and exigencies of marriage sexual partnership parenting childhood socialization and the exceptions that depart from these norms Of special importance to the Sambia are the variety of institutional forma of sexual transactions and the beliefs and values relevant to the larger society which Sambia bring to their erotic encounters with one another Sambia society is comprised of sex different population clusters of hamlets in adjacent river valleys Within the Sambia Valley hamlets have intermarried initiated and foughtsociopolitical dynamics that are crucial for understanding social and sexual life In the Sambia culture Men are the favored gender They take on roles such as hunting and public affairs while the women cook and take care of children Women are stigmatized as inferior and as polluting and depleting men because of their menstrual and vaginal uids Men are socially preferred and valued It is believed that women mature faster than men therefore males require inseminations and magical ritual treatments over many years to catch upquot with females and become strong manly men To the Sambia semen is over great importance because it is instrumental to growth reproduction and regeneration Semen is needed to spark and mature human life Humans are its objects The strange view may seem upside down but for the Sambia semen is magical Sambia have five main cultural categories of semen valuation These include erotic play procreation growth strength and spirituality all of which are connected with sexual behavior Sambia believe that biological growth in humans results from ingesting semen and equivalent substances such as a mother s milk and pandanus nuts Strength is derived from semen and its equivalents mother s milk and pandanus nuts The social fact of semen for Sambia is that it is a scarce resource that circulates through time Sambia believe in spiritual transmission CS p 127 Unmasking Tradition A Sudanese anthropologist confronts female circumcision and its terrible tenacity by RM Abusharif Circumcision or genital mutilation is a common practice in Africa where it is performed on young girls Survivors are prone to a host of medical complications that can plague them throughout their lives such as infections infertility pain during intercourse and obstructed labor Circumcision is an essential coming of age ritual that ensures chastity promotes cleanliness and fertility and enhances the beauty of woman s body Genital cutting is considered an essential aspect of a woman s identity Some ethic groups in Nigeria believe if genital cutting is not performed contact with a woman s clitoris will kill a baby during childbirth The procedure is also intended to dull women s sexual enjoyment Killing a women s desire is thought to keep them chaste Genital cutting is considered a initiation ritual for women A summary of this week film This documentary The Cut is about FGM female genital mutilation and if you listen to Alice talk about the myths of FGM in Africa they sound very familiar to the way we talk about MGM male genital mutilation in the United States Details from The Cut The Cut is a short documentary about Mary 14 years old and Alice early 205 from Kenya Both are impacted by the traditional rite of passage into womanhood genital cutting Mary and her community are preparing for her ceremonial cutting Alice is studying to be a social worker to work against female genital mutilation As the rst in her community to refuse the practice she has paid a high price for her choice to break with tradition Alice tells of the different myths she encounters in the community around her as to why circumcision is practiced Mary on the other hand has no voice She just goes through the preparations and rituals in silence
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