Margaret Mead's much more defined and singular approach to anthropology is markedly different from Ruth Benedict's, however it is far from opposed to the more holistic construct of her colleague. Mead would typically define and address specific research questions regarding a particular culture, such as adolescence or sexuality, focusing only on the rituals and beliefs that these particular cultural areas touched upon. While there is definitely a limitation in Mead's work in that it is confined to specific research questions, Mead does not fail to connect the rituals and beliefs of the cultural phenomenon or elements she examines to larger cultural values and trends. That is, though Mead examines elements of culture in a setting and context that definitely separates them and defines boundaries more than in Benedict's overall construct and approach, this does not mean she actually considers all cultural elements to be truly separate and non-influential. It is…… [Read More]
The value of anthropology is its ability to provide an outsider's perspective from someone living within a culture.
Anthropologists who do insufficient fieldwork leave their work open to criticism. For example, Margaret Mead, author of Coming of Age in Samoa, suggested that adolescent sexual experimentation was relatively unproblematic and free of angst for Samoans. But Mead's methodology and conclusions were debunked by Derek Freeman, an anthropologist at the Australian National University at Canberra. Freeman pointed out that Mead only stayed in Samoa for six months, never learned the language, and never resided with the Samoan people. Instead, she conducted a series of interviews with her subjects under highly artificial conditions (Christensen 2000). Today, anthropologists usually live with their subjects, conduct intensive interviews, learn the native language, and attempt to place the lives and artifacts they encounter in a meaningful cultural context. Meaning and interpretation are always contextual, and to understand…… [Read More]
Experiencing a virtual world is no less a real human experience than acting in a play or participating in any other mediated human transaction.
Can virtual worlds (second life) become true communities? Virtual worlds have the potential to become highly functioning institutions, but since they are not set up to deal with the human reality of the body (indeed, they are adept at obscuring this reality) they cannot go beyond the status of institutions. Another kind of institution that limits its own capacity to be a true community is the university, which is not set up to deal with, and in many ways obscures, the human reality of the family and reproduction.
How can a virtual world create a sense of place by way of the presence of people? Virtual worlds create a sense of place for individuals to the degree that those individuals are able to feel a sense…… [Read More]
Anthropologist working with the VA
Definitions / Interests / Key Problems and Issues
Previous Work Performed by Anthropologists in this Area
The Employment Situation, Current Salaries and Opportunities for Advancement
ibliography of the most important books, chapters and articles
Relevant professional organizations, ethics statements and newsletters
Names / locations of PAs and others working in the content area locally and elsewhere.
Relevant Laws and Regulations
Relevant international / domestic organizations, private and public
Other helpful information you think about on your own
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had a dramatic impact on the way someone sees themselves and the world around them. This is because many veterans have been forced to serve multiple tours and are still dealing with the lasting experiences from them. Two of primary injuries most are suffering from are post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TI). Anthropologists are seeking to understand the…… [Read More]
If Anna Tsing, author of In the ealm of the Diamond Queen, were to apply her methodologies, theories, and approaches to ethnography to the Nuer people, the result would be a far different book than E.E.E. Pritchard's (1969) The Nuer. Flipping the perspective would completely alter Tsing's goals in the research, and the view the researcher takes on what the appropriate role of the ethnographer is to provide context and meaning to the work. Both Tsing and Pritchard would remain concerned about issues like kinship, lineage, and basic socio-political structures. Both would also include explication of economic institutions and processes, and might mention gender roles, norms, and hierarchies, too. However, Tsing would bring multiple dimensions to the Nuer study that Pritchard misses. Tsing starts her analysis of the Meratus people by describing how they are perceived not by the foreign ethnographer, but by the modern nation-state in which they…… [Read More]
An illusory correlation occurs when there is an observance of an expected relationship between variables and in fact this relationship does not exist (Chapman, 1967). One of the most common examples of this occurs when people stereotype; when people form false associations between membership in a particular group and novel behaviors that are typically negative and tend to be the focus of one's attention (Hamilton and Gifford 1976). With the mapping of the concept of race itself.
One of the consequences of mapping the human genome has been that genetics and science has gone on to conform something many often said but perhaps few were really convinced of: qualities such as "whiteness" are cultural constructions and the concept of "race" itself may also be a cultural construction. Instead of representing an actual biological distinction perhaps it is our political ideologies, economic systems, and other social constructions that invent concept…… [Read More]
Ethics in Anthropology
The use of anthropologists in the war in Iraq is both compelling and troubling. The thought that social scientists could partner with marines to produce results in war extends my understanding of the role of social scientists well beyond the initial limited confines. Social scientists have played dominant roles in business, academia and other sociopolitical arenas. The inclusion on the battle redefines the role and provide new avenue for controversy. The troubling area is the ethics of using social scientists in a war zone. I believe that the role of social scientists will be more beneficial than harmful.
From the reading and the video it was clear that the American Anthropological Association is decidedly against anthropologists providing critical information to assist in military decision making. This position is based on the view that anthropologist in their interaction with other peoples and cultures should do no harm. Consequently,…… [Read More]
Gradually, these diverse languages, culture, and customs began to become eradicated. Although she does not use the term, the anthropologist paints a picture of White usurpation of Indian territory a kind of cultural genocide, whether intentional or not. Clearly, Theodora Kroeber's aim in recording her dealings with Ishi is an attempt upon her part to undo this legacy of 'her' people.
Kroeber charts the course of the Ishi eradication through the eradication of the Ishi language. She notes that of the six main language groups of North American Indians, five of these were represented in the vast and expansive Western territory of what is now the state of California. According to her estimates, these five language groups divided themselves into over one hundred distinct spoken languages, an extraordinary diversity of languages on one continent, languages and cultures that are now lost to us.
One extraordinary testimony to Kroeber's achievement as…… [Read More]
Students would undertake self-directed research projects, guided or led by teachers at their request. Agency would enable students to play a few hours of sports instead of read, or to read instead of play the piano. Teachers expressing their agency could hold classes outdoors, and teach about any subject they wish.
2.What contradictions might result?
The teacher's agency can easily conflict with that of the student. The teacher's agency might also clash with prevailing social values and norms. For example, a teacher who wanted to include Intelligent Design in the course curriculum could do so if all structure to the educational system were removed. With that structure in place, the teacher cannot teach Intelligent Design. The contradiction between structure and agency becomes poignant in an educational setting.
Between teacher and student, conflicts would arise between what is being taught and what is being learned; between what students want to learn…… [Read More]
On the other hand, this return to a people made largely more recognized by Turnbull's first ethnography does suggest something about the ethnography itself where anthropological purpose is concerned. Namely, the degree to which the people of the Mbuti tribes may have been exposed to the larger intersection with the modern world as a result of Turnbull's first work is illustrative of the way that research can actually interfere with and alter the course of its subject's experience.
To an extent, the ethnography may be a double-edged sword, with its apparent benefits through immersion taking on troubling implications where the researcher's immersion itself becomes a factor in shaping data and outcomes. In addition to distorting intended findings, this also calls into question various ethical concerns where scientific examination is concerned. It is conceivable to argue that an ethnography such as that crafted by Turnbull may have eschewed proper ethical considerations…… [Read More]
Often, bones have different shapes and/or sizes depending on whether they belonged to a male or female individual, and age also plays an important factor in the way bones look (Maples, 142). hereas doctors usually specialize in a certain branch of medicine, as in pediatrics or gerontology, forensic anthropologists must retain a broad range of knowledge because they might be called in to identify bones or other remains from any individual of any age or pathology. If they only knew a small portion of the type of details that could aid them in such identification, that particular forensic anthropologist's usefulness would be severely limited. Throughout his book, Dr. Maples demonstrates quite clearly how vital it is that observation, research, and learning continue throughout one's career as a forensic anthropologist, especially in the area of biology. As medical and biological knowledge grows, the forensic anthropologist must stay up-to-date or run the…… [Read More]
The job of therapy is in no small part to help individuals push back about over-simplification. Behind the comedy in this movie -- and it is a very funny movie -- is the recognition that much of what makes us miserable in our lives is the fact that we find ourselves limited in our sense of Self by the categories that other people bring to bear on us. And the more distant that we are from what our society considers to be "normal," the more our lives are likely to be constrained by other people's concept of the "Other."
The gay characters in this movie have far less latitude to define themselves in ways that serve themselves (rather than the straight individuals in the movie or a broader straight society in general) than is true of the straight characters. And the more closely the gay characters align themselves with what…… [Read More]
It would be easy to assume, then, that biologists are making a mistake by rejecting the race concept because that rejection would force them to also ignore such biological variation. However, this assumption would be false. Most intelligent anthropologists are not rejecting the idea of biological variation or a geographical/genetic component to that variation. On the contrary, they reject the idea of "race" specifically because it is not flexible enough to accurately model the full range of biological variation and therefore lumps all geographic/genetic variable populations together based on a small subset of their traits.
The race concept would lump together, for example, both the small and slightly darker Mediterranean body build with the robust, blond Nordic body build as both "White" while assuming that all the wide variety of genetic, facial, and morphological differences in Africa rendered a single "Black" race. The critical anthropologists would have to reject such…… [Read More]
What does racism means if race has no biological basis?
Race may have no biological basis, but anthropology does not study biology alone -- race is also a cultural construction. An African-American man might have the physical DNA of European, Caucasian individuals within his genetic code, but because he is subject to the racial classification and potential discrimination within America, because America holds race to be an extant category, this does not mean that race lacks significance as a subject of cultural study. Race may be a constructed fiction, but racism, or the hatred that the cultural fiction of race has spawned, is real.
It is important to remember the lack of true 'races' in the world, however, when analyzing potential associations between groups. For example, even though they may be considered different 'races' by society, groups of marginalized persons subject to the culturally constructed notion of racism may wish…… [Read More]
Holi, Colors speak and people Play!
Indian culture is enriched with traditions, religious ceremonies and festive celebrations. The paper is about historical and religious significance of Holi, a spring celebration which is also referred to as the 'celebration of colors'. However, the event dates back to ancient Hindu religious celebrations. In South Asia, Holi has also gained popularity among non-Hindus. It is majorly celebrated in India, Nepal and other parts of the world wherever Hindu communities reside. The event starts a night before Holi with Holika, which is the bonfire where people gather in masses to dance and sing around the fire. The very next morning Holi is celebrated by playing with colors, singing and dancing. However, there are few symbolic elements prominently observed in Holi carnival. Every single person adorns in complete white, has water gun fight, plays with colors in the shape of dry powder and drinks "Bhang."…… [Read More]
After a literature review of existing studies on the subject, "we have clear indications that breast-feeding helps prevent an extra incident of gastrointestinal illness in some kids -- an unpleasant few days of diarrhea or vomiting, but rarely life-threatening in developed countries" noted Hana osin in a controversial article in The Atlantic (osin 2009). Despite graphic public advertisements that link breast-feeding with putting a child at great medical risk, the evidence is less certain than one might assume. Although breast-feeding has been credited with everything from improving babies' IQs to preventing obesity, the ability to prevent these conditions with breast-feeding remains uncertain, particularly when women's economic status is taken into consideration when evaluating the studies (osin 2009).
Cultural biases against trusting a woman to actively make choices about how they will be mothers may have more to do with the censure of women who choose to discount so-called common wisdom…… [Read More]
Such differences may lead us to question whether there are any universal moral principles or whether morality is merely a matter of "cultural taste" (Velasquez, Andre, Shanks and Meyer: 1).
If there is no transcendent ethical or moral standard, then cultural relativists argue that culture becomes the ethical norm for determining whether an action is right or wrong. This ethical system is known as cultural relativism. Cultural relativism is the view that all ethical truth is relative to a specific culture. hatever a cultural group approves is considered right within that culture. Conversely, whatever a cultural group condemns is wrong (Relativism: 2).
The key to the doctrine of "cultural relativism" is that right and wrong can only be judged relative to a specified society. There is no ultimate standard of right and wrong by which to judge culture. Proponents of cultural relativism believe this cultural diversity proves that culture alone…… [Read More]
The Jewish naming in Istanbul was foreign to the local people.)
It is for that reason too that we are so apt to see communication or transmission of language as a 'simple' ordinary activity and expect the other to understand us. We forget (as Delaney for one pointed out) that language is a string of interpretations that symbols into verbal form. The symbols -- the way that we see the phenomena -- are engineered by our own particular experiences. Ipso facto, it therefore makes sense that each interprets these phenomena differently and that each imposes a different lens as symbol. It follows, therefore, that we are bound to fail in catching the drift of the person's message (or communication) as the sender intends it.
This was the insight that came to me through the project of watching two people communicate to one another in the cafeteria. It was as though…… [Read More]
Globalization of Hybrid Cultures
Argentine Nestor Garcia Canclini, in his book, "Globalization of Hybrid Cultures," presents a culture made up of surviving traditions and incoming modernity, particularly in Latin America, where he was born. Viewing the quaint merger at a pluralistic perspective, he asserts that pluralism is indispensable in dealing with Latin America, that is, in considering its "contradictory and unequal components" of modernization, which are emancipation, expansion, renovation and democratization (Canclini 1995). In presenting the theoretical and practical challenges of a hybrid culture, he asks (1) how to hybrid cultures constituting modernity can be studied and given a specific profile in Latin America; (2) how the partial knowledge of the different disciplines on culture can be combined in better interpreting the contradictions and the failure of modernization; and (3) what should be done with the mix of "heterogeneous memory and truncated innovations." He writes on his concept of Latin…… [Read More]
Culture in Anthropology:
Culture is basically defined as values, attitudes, and behaviors that are shared by a group of individuals. However, this definition of this has been a complex and relatively difficult task for anthropologists since the commencement of discipline in the late 19th Century. Culture originates from interactions and behaviors of people who eventually develop common attitudes, values, and behaviors. In essence, as people live and interact with one another, their learning skills and attitudes are in turn transmitted as knowledge and beliefs that are shared among them, which results in cultural beliefs and practices.
Despite the simple, basic definition of culture, anthropologists have struggled to describe and specify the concept since the discipline was established in the late 19th Century. There are various anthropologists who have attempted to define and specify the culture including Edward Tylor whose definition incorporates various significant features that are currently included in most…… [Read More]
It could be something else entirely, or a blend of several different reasons.
In other words, first the anthropologist has to educate him or herself about the Mali culture, the mother and child bond and how infants are fed and why. Based on learning these cultural norms (and, assuming that the necessary foods can be obtained), it is necessary to develop a training course that will be understood and, more importantly, accepted by the Mali women. Just as it does not work to only drop off food and assume that it is being eaten properly and by the right individuals, it will not work to just develop training materials and hand them over.
Once again, these materials not only have to be understood, but accepted. If they are seen as an infringement or an indictment of their own values and abilities, they will not be used. There has to be…… [Read More]
This dance was very powerful as it did scare the European people. They did not fully understand the reason behind the dance and the religion, but they were very clear as to what the apocalypse was and they wondered if the Indians were somehow summoning the end of the world. Not soon after this Ghost dance caused such a commotion, an Indian by the name of Handsome Lake who was a leader for the Seneca tribe brought a new message to the Iroquois people. His message was to end the drinking. The Iroquois people had began to drink a lot of alcohol that was often offered to them from the European people during the fur trade. Handsome Lake believed that many of the problems that the Iroquois people faced was related to the alcohol. Many of the Indian people were drunk when they were trying to handle problems of poverty…… [Read More]
Sarah laffer Hrdy is an anthropologist who specialized in the field of primate sociobiology (Zika 2002). Her undergraduate thesis was a study of mental adaptations that shape how and why humans fabricate imaginary demons, and then graduated at Radcliffe College in 1969. In 1975, she earned a Ph.D. At Harvard University for her research on why a species of monkey engaged in infanticidal behavior. It became the first socio-biological study of wild primates' wild behavior in connection with their gender. In 1981, 1984 and 1996, Hrdy wrote best sellers on female primates as active strategists and the natural selection and common traits shared by higher primates with other living creatures on earth.
Hrdy's works reveal the motivations behind some of our most primal behavior patters, including gender roles, choice of mate, sex, reproduction and parenting, along with the ideas and the institutions that have been established around them. They have…… [Read More]
twenty million years ago the Indian plate collided with Asia; this generated the Himalayan mountain range, which drastically altered the earth's climate forever after. Basically, "The climate became drier and the forests of what is now Africa and Asia contracted. The result was an increased area of savanna habitat, with fewer trees." (Campbell, 711). This brought about environmental and ecological changes that animals already adapted to one way of life needed to alter in order to survive. It is widely believed that humans and apes diverged from a "common humanoid ancestor only about 5-7 million years ago." (Campbell, 711). It is not difficult to imagine that one of the leading forces that caused the early hominoids to split lineages was the widening of the savanna. Essentially, many groups of animals that had become suited to tree-dwelling needed to adjust to life on the open plains; out of these pressures came…… [Read More]
With this being understood the cockfight blend has an influence on the societies in which they are carried out (Turner, 2001).
As it relates specifically to Latin America, there are 20 countries that compose the region. In the Latin American country of Mexico cock fights are very common ("Cock fights in Mexico"). In fact cockfighting shares the same amount of popularity as charreadas and bull-riding rodeo activities ("Cock fights in Mexico"). In addition the prevalence of cockfights is as common as the late-night entertainment that occurs during village fairs ("Cock fights in Mexico"). In Mexico, cockfights tend to draw both male and female onlookers; these individuals place bets on which gamecock will win the fight ("Cock fights in Mexico").
In many regions around the world the sport of cockfighting is illegal ("Cock fights in Mexico"). However, within the country of Mexico, cockfights are legal and a central body in the…… [Read More]
In terms of Renaissance philosophy, Galileo Galilei is an example of a humanist who strongly defended the gradual flourishing and subsistence to the scientific revolution happening in his society during the Renaissance period. Galileo was a strong advocate for the usage of science in discovering truth and new knowledge, using the principles of mathematics and philosophy in strengthening the study of astronomy and physics in the society. Through Galileo, the nature of free scientific inquiry prevailed, challenging, though not condemning, philosophical and theological issues that cannot empirically answer truth and reality in life. Dante Alighieri's "Inferno," meanwhile, is a literary piece that represented his inquiry into the spiritual and humanistic foundations of human existence during his time. In a period wherein theological foundations and philosophies are being questioned, Dante's "Inferno" confronted the moral and spiritual issues being questioned by Dante and his society during this challenging period of Renaissance.
Following…… [Read More]
Constantly having to 'keep up' with ornate displays of generosity can be financially draining or constrain one's individuality.
In contrast, truly beneficial gifts are part of a cyclical relationship of giving, accepting, and return in a manner that does not demand a specific response from the receiver. I would argue that the best gifts do not demand an expected type of reciprocity. Both the traditional, so-called primitive types of exchanges detailed in Mauss as well as modern, capitalist exchanges demand a scripted response on the type of the receiver, either of conformity to behavior or giving back an expected sum. In contrast, truly egalitarian gifts merely demand a response left up to the imagination of the receiver, not deference or a specific price.
Mauss views traditional exchanges as more complex because relationships are so important in the transaction, versus capitalism where anyone can buy a particular item, provided that he…… [Read More]
Blommaert's analysis however is not pictorial. It is linguistic due to his analysis of handwriting in History of Zaire
Tshibumba shows how the forms of genre can work to offer space for Tshibumba to define himself as a historian by being a produce of ordered and organized knowledge. His writing style was generically regimented, reflecting Tshibumba's pictorial style of historical representation. It is not so much fact as voice (interpretation). This goes as well for Tshibumba's paintings (Blommaert, 2004, 6).
Given the criteria laid down by Blommaert and Moten, we can now further analyze painting number 34 where Tshibumba is giving voice to the suffering man. hether or not a single living person that can be given a name is represented here, it is an archetype of a whole people's sufferings over the whole modern history of the Congo. Rather, what is historically true is the suffering of the Congolese…… [Read More]
Women and Islam
Do Muslim women eally need saving?
Stengths and weaknesses
Between hee and thee: feminist solidaity and Afghan women.
Stengths and weaknesses
Do Muslim women eally need saving? Anthopological eflections on cultual elativism and its othes.
Topic oveview and famewok
The aticle deals with the topic of 'Wa on Teoism', the wa claimed to have been launched fo libeating the Afghan women fom Taliban and an agument with anthopological pespective to deconstuct the essentially flawed epesentation of Afghan women that Wa on Teoism hetoic makes. The aticle is aimed at investigating the nuances of identity that ae essentially devoid of histoical constuction of ole of women in Afghan society. The aticle also aims to identify the pocess though which women's ole in Afghan society is not constucted on anthopological gounds but athe influenced by one's own cultue, identity, and standads of living. Thus, cultual bias is said to…… [Read More]
Human Factors and Interior Space Design
The objective of this work in writing is to summarize the article entitled "The Relation of Human Factors and Interior Space Design." This article begins by noting the importance of the human having tools that fit them well and that this was realized early in the development of the human species. Specifically, this article notes that Australopithecus Prometheus "selected pebble tools and made scoops from antelope bones in a clear display of selecting/creating objects to make tasks easier to accomplish." (p.3) Over the centuries there was improvement in the effectiveness of the tools as discovered by anthropologists and archaeologists including tools such as hammers, plows and axes. During the Industrial Revolution, more advanced machines were developed that assisted man with his work including such as the spinning Jenny and the rolling mills.
The methodology utilized in the study under review is reported to have…… [Read More]
The Problems of ace & the Myths of Urban Poverty
ace is a social construct. There is exists very little genetic difference among the various "races" of humans on Earth. This construct is central to many, and perhaps even most people on our planet. ace is a physical difference that draws clearly defined boundaries between people. ace can be the inspiration for war. ace is hardly an inspiration for peace, unfortunately. This paper will briefly examine situations when race has been used to hurt and subordinate others. This paper will reference examples of groups of people that are systematically via the social realms and institutions who suffer due to their race, an aspect over which they had no choice or say. Drawing from the series, The Wire, and a few readings, the paper will propose what the myths of urban poverty are, who are the authors of such myths,…… [Read More]
The anthropologist, Ashley Montagu, developed quite a diverse and versatile number of theories ranging from views on the concept of race, social factors that contribute to crime, the measurement of internal anatomical markers found of the heads of humans, cooperative behavior as it relates to evolution, and understanding biological and cultural dynamics of sex roles and aggression. Montagu stressed gene-environment interactionism which is the notion that heredity is not merely driven by biological factors in humans but represents a dynamic interactive process between one's experiential history and one's genetic potential (Montagu, 1961). One of Montagu's most interesting ideas is that of the need for contact, especially human infants. Montagu designated the typical nine-month pregnancy as uterogestation: the period when the fetus develops within its mother's uterus so that it will be capable of surviving outside its mother's womb (Montagu, 1986). However, Montagu believed that the human infant emerged only…… [Read More]
Ethnographic Perspective: Guests of the Sheik
Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village -- analysis
Elizabeth Fernea's book "Guests of the Sheik: An Ethnography of an Iraqi Village" provides readers with a complex description of women in Iraqi village during the 1950s. The text is meant to enable people to abandon stereotypes they might have considered when coming across Iraqi women. The book should not necessarily be understood as a form of criticism with regard to society's understanding of this particular community, as it is actually meant to inform readers and to make it possible for them to employ more open-minded attitudes with regard to the group. The fact that the writer provides a personal account regarding Iraqi women during the 1950s contributes to the overall authenticity of the manuscript.
The book is based on Fernea's experiences in Iraq during her stay there with her husband, an…… [Read More]
person is born, the family, neighbor and the culture is the prime aspect through which they interact before they can enter into the outside world. The development of the personality of an individual is the synthesis of traditions, values, thoughts, feelings, and various other factors that is based on the cultural aspects. In this regard, the dissertation is about the ways in which personality and culture have a relationship to each other. The thesis paper has also discussed how culture leaves a profound impact on the development of the personality.
How are Culture and Personality Related?
hat is Culture?
hat is Personality?
Is there a relationship between Culture and Personality?
How is Culture and Personality Related?
Since the world has come to existence, people have divided themselves into smaller groups that have been named as civilizations and societies. These diverse civilizations with different norms, customs, traditions…… [Read More]
ethics when conducting research that involves human subjects?-why? As importantly, do you agree with the decision made by the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in its condemnation of the U.S. Army's Human Terrain System program?
One of the great criticisms of the U.S. military after 9/11 was that while it was well-equipped to fight the "last war" the U.S. fought (i.e., the cold war), it was ill-equipped to fight the current war against terror, specifically it lacked the cultural knowledge to fully comprehend the complexities of the Middle East. In response to such allegations, the Human Terrain System was developed to allow the military to gain greater cultural understanding of other areas of the world through the use of anthropologists. These social scientists would accompany U.S. troops to enable the military to have a greater understanding of the cultural worldview of the societies in which it was operating. However, the AAA…… [Read More]
agner addresses the idea of objectivity and also of cultural relativity especially well. Anthropology, according to the author, is the most relational of the sciences. The study of another culture demands that the anthropologist create a relation between the self and the other.
The most striking feature of the agner essay is how he shows that "the anthropologist is forced to include himself and his own way of life in his subject matter, and study himself," (3). This self-reflective nature of anthropology is what draws so many students to it. As agner notes, anthropologists are actually studying themselves and may "may undergo a personality change" in the process (5). I also appreciated agner's explanation of how an anthropologist's job is ultimately to communicate his or her findings in terms that are meaningful to his own culture. In a sense, the anthropologist becomes a part of the culture being studies and…… [Read More]
Sociology and Anthropology
Because sociology and anthropology are both social sciences, one might assume that the same research methods would be utilized in the different fields. However, while some of the same approaches can be used in both fields, it is important to realize that the differences in the fields make different approaches possible for each discipline. Sociology specifically examines social life, social change, and the social factors that contribute to individual behavior. Sociologists use surveys, interviews, experiments, observation, and secondary analysis (Sociology.com, 2013). Cultural anthropology examines human culture. Anthropologists employ the following research methods: participant observation, cross-cultural comparison, survey research, interviews, archival research, media analysis, and historical analysis (Donahue-Lynch, 2000). Clearly, the disciplines are related; however, they are not the same. As a result, some approaches that are appropriate for one discipline would not be appropriate for the other discipline. This paper will investigate the different research methods used…… [Read More]
I do not even know where most of my ancestors are buried. I do not even know where most of them lived, or what land they considered to be at the heart of their lives. I do not know how most of them conceived of the soul or of what happened when they buried their dead. And yet I would be troubled by knowing that researchers could dig up their bones. I would not necessarily forbid it (if I had the power), but I would be troubled. And I think that I would be close to infuriated if researchers claimed that they were pursuing such disinterring for my benefit. So must many native peoples feel.
How Does One Define Affiliation?
Key to the legal strength of NAGPA as well as the broader implications that is has for the practice of the different sub-disciplines of anthropology, including archaeology, is the concept…… [Read More]
Schwartz (2006), many arguments are presented, most of which generally criticize the Western treatment of First Nations people or address women's rights issues. As an example, "Aboriginal Australia: Current Criminological Themes" by ick Sarre (2006) focuses on the affect of British colonialism in Australia on the Aborigines, connecting it to a vast overrepresentation of Aborigines in the Australian penal system. "The Left ealist Perspective on ace, Class, and Gender" by Walter S. DeKeseredy (2006) illustrates the fact that, in the United States, it cannot be said that there is 'justice for all;' "First Nations people and African-Americans are much more likely to be arrested, convicted and incarcerated than members of the dominant culture who commit the same crimes" (p. 49). Throughout most of the articles, different approaches to solving such attitudes are explored, such as the left realist theory and the postmodern perspective.
The Female Circumcision Controversy: an Anthropological Perspective…… [Read More]
Given that Christianity tended to view history as progressive, and Christ's sacrifice and the event of Christendom being the ultimate apex of earlier civilization, the past was often seen as an inferior precursor to the present in a particularly judgmental light -- hence the persecution of certain groups as infidels and outsiders. It is the historian and the anthropologist's duty to unpack such cultural assumptions and to view the world through a less morally-clouded and self-justifying lens.
Episode 2: Conquest. (2005). Guns, Germs & Steel. PBS. Retrieved May 31, 2011 at http://www.pbs.org/gunsgermssteel/show/episode2.html
Anthropological research project: Celebrating women anthropologists
his website catalogues the research of famous women anthropologists throughout the ages. It has a specifically feminist slant, and details the research these women engaged in, along with their personal struggles for recognition in the field. While most people are familiar with the work of Margaret Mead in Samoa,…… [Read More]
Humanity might not have the same effective power over the environment when fossil fuels run out. While this assumption is certainly believable, humans will not doubt reach a point where the greenhouse gas absorbing plants and bodies will no longer be able to keep up with human activity. This will further exacerbate the problem of human-caused global climate change. On the other hand, if humans are able to develop non-fossil fuel alternatives that do not have a negative effect on the environment on a global scale, the warming trend might very well be reversed in a generation or two. Either way, Ruddiman's arguments will likely be proven to be wrong or right, on a long enough timeframe.
ection IV: Opposing Points-of-View
Anthropologists, specifically, disagree with Ruddiman. ince the author himself is not an anthropology professor and admittedly has very little experience in this field, it would only seem natural that…… [Read More]
Ethnology: Balinese vs. The Lahu
Gender and Sex in Anthropology
A Case Study in Comparative Ethnology: Balinese vs. The Lahu
Defining Sex and Gender
The definition of sex is generally treated as a category by both biologists and cultural anthropologists, a category with mainly two choices: male or female (orthman 597-598). From a biologist's perspective sex is the exchange of genetic material and the requisite biological functions required for successful procreation activities. For example, sperm and ovum are supplied by males and females, respectively, and women are the only ones capable of gestation and lactation. Primates, including humans, are generally required to make significant investments in child-rearing activities, so parental investment, in addition to mating investment, is thought to be required of both sexes (McIntyre and Edwards 84). The form that parental investment takes can in turn be heavily influenced by social norms, and accordingly sex helps to…… [Read More]
Authenticity in Multicultural Narratives of experience and language -- the problem of Rigoberta Menchu's I, Rigoberta Menchu
On the surface, there is no 'problem,' one might say, given the astounding achievement of native Guatemalan opposition leader and community activist Rigoberta Menchu. Rigoberta Menchu won the Nobel Prize, even after she was forced to go into hiding in her beloved Guatemala, and then flee her native land to Mexico, far from the land and community she loved. She remains a forceful and vigorous voice for the rights of disenfranchised Guatemalans to this day. Her resulting book, called in English, I, Rigoberta Menchu, tells of her experiences as a native Guatemalan woman, and then as the Representation of the Guatemalan Opposition (RUOG). But because of its translated quality and the subject's own perception of herself as a community spokeswoman as well as a lone sufferer of oppression -- indeed, what it means…… [Read More]
However, one can still see remnants of Morgan's ideals as globalization takes hold in developing nations. Although differences are tolerated, the "westernization" of the rest of the world is still a growing reality. One need look no further than modern business attire to see that western ideals are quickly replacing traditional modes of dress and modes of doing business. Morgan's work makes the modern anthropologist aware that "globalization" may be a soft sell for "westernization."
Fried, Morton H. 1960. On the Evolution of Social Stratification and the State. In Anthropological Theory: An Introductory Theory. Fourth Edition. R. McGee and Richard Warms. McGraw Hill.
Fried explored the development of social stratification, as opposed to a non-ranked society. His primary purpose was to explore the reasons for changes in society that lead to changes in social structure. He compared simple forms of social organization to more complex ones. Fried explored…… [Read More]
Margaret Mead and Coming of Age in Samoa
Different aspects of culture define people over a period of time. It is only human nature that we see differences in culture and ourselves when thrown into a melting pot, a mix of multi-cultures in which we live today. One can only imagine what it must have been like for Margaret Mead as she traveled half way around the world in search of understanding aspects of other cultures, very foreign from our own. In this respect, she was a trail blazer, breaking with convention and expectation of her own role in society by becoming an anthropologist. It is the quest of the anthropologist to observe, discover culture and document aspects of that culture that are unique. ith this mind, it is important for one to have a working definition of culture, in order for one to explore rituals embedded within society that…… [Read More]
Some Chinese researchers assert that Chinese flutes may have evolved from of Indian provenance.
In fact, the kind of side-blon, or transverse, flutes musicians play in Southeast Asia have also been discovered in Africa, India, Saudi Arabia, and Central Asia, as ell as throughout the Europe of the Roman Empire. This suggests that rather than originating in China or even in India, the transverse flute might have been adopted through the trade route of the Silk Road to Asia. In addition to these transverse flutes, Southeast Asians possessed the kind of long vertical flutes; similar to those found in Central Asia and Middle East.
A considerable amount of similarities exist beteen the vertical flutes of Southeast Asia and flutes from Muslim countries. This type of flute possibly came from Persians during the ninth century; during the religious migration to SEA. Likeise, the nose-blon flute culture, common to a number of…… [Read More]
Jung and auditory hallucinations
Meyer (2003), in a discussion of Jungian symbolism in the movie, Spider-Man, notes that both masks and voices are essential to the movement of heroic characters through the plotline. Meyer is not, however, a psychologist, nor even an anthropologist; rather, she is a write about communications. Still, her work on Spider-Man tied several of the movie's themes to Jungian thought.
Halifax's work goes farther in bringing Jungian thought into the mainstream of psychological study. His work with shamans and shamanic ritual, important subjects to Jungians, posited aspects of schizophrenia in the initiatory journey of the shaman. Halifax cited Julian Silverman's conclusions in which schizophrenia was characterized as a disorder in which the "individual withdraws form society and the outer world and becomes preoccupied by internal processes with a resulting disintegration of the personality. The symptoms, broadly described, include autism and unreal ideation, disturbed perception and thinking,…… [Read More]
Social dissent and unrest should not be the result of multiculturalism, the authors point out, but nonetheless those are the social realities, in many instances, of the new global picture. There is now, like it or not, a "blurring of cultural borderlines," the authors report; and as a result, the notion of culture within the word "multiculturalism" no longer refers to habits and customs of a people in anthropological terms. Rather, "culture" in the term "multiculturalism" alludes to race, creed, sexual orientation, gender, and lifestyles of various and divers groups within the greater culture.
A very poignant quote is offered in the conclusion of the editorial, a quote which cries out to be read to those reporting on, studying and/or dealing with today's dramatic cultural changes in estern societies; it is a statement by Aijza Ahmad, who reflects the perspective of "the less-well-to-do colonial states," according to the editorial. "It…… [Read More]
The new division of these apartments that was thought to be a main feature of modern housing was not a solution to the problem of privacy. Most of the families only got a small bedroom with a small living space. Males and females often had to share the same rooms and in fact there was no room for children and guests (Bounrdieu, 1960).
This definitely shows the need for negotiating for modern space and daily life within el-Masaakin.in an analysis by an anthropologists he came to the conclusion that modern housing would not be sufficient for the production of modern articles and dispositions. However there are objective conditions which structure individual's appropriation of modern apartments. He maintained a clear distinction between the less and more privileged sections of the working class. Adopting modern housing is bound by cultural transformation where the segments of those who earn low incomes can not…… [Read More]
Evans-Pritchard was the founder and first president of the Association of Social Anthropologists. His seminal work on indigenous, African tribes has preserved a unique perspective of primitive societies or societies that retain their aboriginal features even in modern times -- their mental processes more than the social constructs. This essay will present a societal perspective of the Azande tribes of southern Sudan. This research was conducted at a time when every Zande (singular for Azande) paid abeyance to either the British or the Arabs, whichever happened to wield influence at the time. The thesis of this essay: "The Azande society (as a whole) and each individual was driven by a quest to avoid the ill effects of witchcraft." The significance of witchcraft is necessitated by a unique context and definition. This entire essay is about defining societal ramifications of witchcraft among the Azande, which will make the meaning of witchcraft…… [Read More]
Votive deposition, religion and the Anglo-Saxon furnished burial ritual." In this article, Crawford examines burial practices for what they tell us about early religious belief's systems. View the following video by the anthropologist Nick Herriman; he describes the logic underneath belief systems. He does this with a few different societies. Explain what Nick Herriman examples provides to Crawford's article which is focused on burial evidence. Overall, connect the two sources to explain the ways that anthropologists are interested in uncovering clues about a group's belief system.
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpgAtylzMQE
According to Crawford (2004), gravesites are often seen as physical reflections of abstract spiritual belief systems. In her analysis she "questions the distinction between grave sites and other sacred places" and "whether deposits should only ever be interpreted as reflections of social structure."[footnoteRef:1] The focus of anthropologists upon burial grounds and surrounding rituals, as noted in the video narrated by anthropologist…… [Read More]
According to functionalism, societal values also play an important role in governing a society by offering general guidelines for acceptable behavior through the establishment of roles and norms. For example, such societal institutions as the family, economy, education and government are essential aspects to the social structure, with each institution playing a role, related to the roles of the other institutions. In this sense, individuals will become interconnected through these institutions and therefore form a community.
Functionalism is based on three fundamental concepts. First, functionalism views society as a system. Accordingly, society is defined as a collection of interdependent parts that each exhibit a tendency toward reaching an equilibrium. Second, in order for a society to survive, certain functional requirements must be satisfied. An example of such a function is reproduction. Without reproduction, the population will not survive. Third, all societal phenomena or trends exist for the sole reason that…… [Read More]
But on the other hand, a reader who is also interested in the subject doesn't have to necessarily enjoy the idea of decomposing human corpses - or have really thick skin - to get educated regarding the forensic science / anthropologic value of this book.
Being a student in Forensic Anthropology in fact makes it easier to get through the potentially offensive parts of the book, because there are many things to be learned from the novel. This book reflects real-life issues pertaining to forensic research and crime-related applications to forensic science. The book is dedicated to "All victims of murder, all those who mourn them, and all who seek justice on their behalf."
Bass's "Body Farm" is designed so that cases where bodies are found in similar circumstances may have a foundation in terms of the forensic police personnel being able to know how and when - if not…… [Read More]
Lukens drives home the idea that the problem of non-Islamic anthropologists trying to define and place boundaries on the faith to be able to compartmentalize it will always view it from a non-Islamic mindset, therefore will be unable to fully grasp or understand its origin or its current evolutionary processes.
Part of the answer to the anthropologist's question "What is Islam?" is conditioned by what she may or may not include in her definition of Islam. For instance, are local spirit beliefs, saint's shrines, and festivals Islamic? To deal with these issues more effectively it is necessary to take a step back from Islam. The problems encountered by anthropologists studying Islamic societies are also faced by anthropologists studying other monotheistic societies. John Bowen argues that the main impediment to the anthropological study of monotheisms is that these religions do not fit well in the normal ethnographic model. The texts and…… [Read More]
In fact most of the Preface consists of questions that are editorially legitimate ("hy did John hite take his colonists to Roanoke, and not to Chesapeake Bay as planned?" And "…If the Powhatan didn't kill them, then where were the Lost Colonists?"), and they cry out for answers, which the author attempts to provide throughout the book.
hat can be said about the substance -- if not the style -- of Miller's narrative is that she is certainly thorough. Her training as an anthropologist comes through very plainly when she takes several pages to show she has done the research on all the characters in this book. As to John hite, and why his name isn't mentioned other than in an "…anonymous 1585 ship's log," Miller takes great pains to explain why there would be no record of him even being on board. hen she builds a case against a…… [Read More]
Another psychological approach studied the physical basis for emotion. LeDoux (1995, p. 209+) noted, "Scientists concerned with human nature have not been able to reach a consensus about what emotion is and what place emotion should have in a theory of mind and behavior." He proposed, however, that "findings about the neural basis of emotion might also suggest new insights into the functional organization of emotion that were not apparent from psychological findings alone. The brain, in other words, can constrain and inform our ideas about the nature of emotion." This would seem to play into any discussion of genetics vs. culture as emotion is viewed, accurately or not, as a construct of societal norms in large part. Because fear is a common part of human life, LeDoux uses it to investigate his theories. "The expression of fear is conserved to a large extent across human cultures and at least…… [Read More]
The Yanomami are an indigenous tribe also called Yanomamo, Yanomam, and Sanuma who live in the tropical rain forest of Southern Venezuela and Northern razil. The society is composed of four subdivisions of Indians. (Yanomami Indians) Each subdivision has its own language. "They include the Sanema which live in the Northern Sector, the Ninam which live in the southeastern sector, the Yanomam which live in the southeastern part and the Yanomamo which live in the southwestern part of Yanomami area."
The Yanomamo are one of the largest unacculturated aboriginal groups left in South America, with a total population of around 12,000. Their subsistence is based on hunting and slash-and-burn agriculture. The predominant crops are plantains and bananas. Their diet includes yams, sweet potatoes and the fruit of the peach palm. (eierle, J.M.)
The social construction of the culture is composed of small groups numbering approximately 75 people in…… [Read More]
Homo Erectus: ho was the earliest modern ancestor of today's homo sapiens?
Homo Erectus was a species of mammal that was, in form and function, a modern foreshadower of today's human being. Homo Erectus lived from about 1,900,000 years to about 400,000 years ago. "The Latin word Homo means human being. The term erectus means upright and refers to the creature's upright posture. Homo erectus differed from modern human beings in having a large, projecting face; a low, sloping forehead; and a large brow ridge, a raised strip of bone across the lower forehead. Homo erectus also possessed a large jaw that lacked a chin." (Mann, 2005) The brain of Homo erectus was smaller than the brain of modern human beings, even though this species was able to manipulate simple tools, contain fire, walk in migrating tribes over long distances, and engage in other, modern humanlike behaviors.
Homo erectus is…… [Read More]
She provides a thorough account concerning how Buddhism is one of the religions that came to have a strong influence on people's understanding of their culture. Thailand is a location where Buddhism is an active part of people's lives and this means that religion can actually be considered an important tool for ethnographers wanting to find out more about the country's culture.
2. Victor Turner provides a complex account regarding how rituals are important when considering religion as a whole and about how particular rites are actually He relates to how social life needs social dramas where people are provided with the opportunity to introduce luminal experiences into their lives. The masses generally need to contain individuals who put across anti-social behavior and to actually encourage these people in doing so by promoting eccentric behaviors.
Michael Atwood Mason focuses on having people understand more concerning the role of the body…… [Read More]
Religion is an analysis of seven works that the author, Daniel Pals, believes have shaped the understanding of religion in the past century. These theories represent seminal attempts to see religion in its social context as a system of values and beliefs, something that would be popularized by French structuralists and students of myth and semiotics in the last half of the 20th century. The theories reviewed put forth a 'scientific approach to religion' that 'first caught the imagination of serious scholars' in the 19th century. (pg. 10) These theories 'exercised a shaping influence not only on religion but on the whole intellectual culture of our century.' Some of the names put to us are familiar to us, such as Freud and Marx, whereas others are more obscure, such as Tylor and Frazer, Emile Durkheim, Mircea Eliade, E.E. Evans-Pritchard, and Clifford Geertz. The author picks what might be called the…… [Read More]