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Social and Political Issues

1. Discuss folk wisdom in regards to illness and healing. Please provide at least two specific examples of how cultural anthropology can contribute to improved health care delivery. You may even wish to share a family "cure" or remedy that was passed down to you through generations as an example of folk wisdom (i.e. chicken soup, etc.)

2. Discuss and compare two different types of kinship systems and/or domestic life styles as portrayed in the popular media (movies, television, magazines, internet) or as found in anthropological research. Attach a visual representation if you can.

3. Go to the Fight Hate and Promote Tolerance web page http://www.tolerance.org. Link to "Explore Your Hidden Biases" under the heading "Dig Deeper." Read information on testing yourself for hidden biases. Then link to "Select a Test." Take the following four tests:

1. Racial Bias Black/White Adults
2. Gender Bias
3. Age Bias
4. Sexual Orientation Bias

Select "Go to Test" and complete demographic information.

**After completing each test, you may either copy and paste your results to a discussion board posting or, if you prefer, discuss your results. Were you surprised by these results? If so, why? If not, why not? Also, please include your own reactions to the tests. Do you think these are valid tests? In what other ways could this topic be studied?

4. Because patterns of political organization and leadership vary according to mode of production and global economic relationships, please find and post an example of a strategy for building nationalism. This might include museums, songs, media-relayed messages, etc. Be sure to either attach a visual example with your discussion or give us the URL for the web site you found in your research.

5. Imagine you are an anthropologist interested in studying the topics in (social control, order, conflict). Select a country (anywhere in the world) and propose a research project to go to that country. What are some possible hypotheses? How will you refine your topic? Where will you go within your selected site to collect data? How will you get entree? How will you establish rapport? Have fun with this one and be creative or even outrageous. Remember time and money are not an issue (since we are fantasizing!) This should be at least 250 words (one page) minimum, you might want to write it in your word file and attach.

Note: If anyone was dissatisfied with the bias tests from Harvard test here is YOUR chance to construct a meaningful research study that would overcome all the issues you felt invalidated the Project Impact assessments.

6. In order to demonstrate that you know what human paralanguage is, provide and discuss at least three examples such as silence, body language, dress, looks and other symbols as channels of communication. Use examples from different cultures and try to include at least one regarding gender. Feel free to write your response in a word document and include visuals, if you can.

7. Find a Museum Web Site and take a virtual field trip. Post what you learned by "visiting" the museum by giving us the URL to the museum site. Then take us on a tour of the site by pointing out at least two "not to be missed" features of the museum. Finally, compose at least one question for the class that can stimulate more discussion about your selected museum. Remember, you are touring the museum as anthropologist, not a tourist. Do you know the difference?

8. Research spatial rendering using GIS (Geographic Information System) on the internet (articles, pictures) and see how the many topics within cultural anthropology that we have studied can be reformulated using this new technology. In what ways will our research methodologies and theoretical paradigms change because of this technology?

9. Think about how you viewed yourself within society, your community, and how you generally thought about cultural issues. Next, think about the concepts, ideas, opinions, and people you have been exposed to in this class. Consider any changes to your thinking or perspectives. Consider what ideas and perspectives you held that were reinforced for you for the concepts your learned. In what way(s) do you think you developed your ability to think anthropologically and how does this relate to any critical thinking skills applied?

10. You will no doubt run across films, television programs, etc. that deal directly with the material we are studying. Will you please share by posting here any multimedia resources you feel relate to area of study? Anthropology.

11. Find a picture that you feel shows a good representation of art from a cross-cultural perspective. Feel free to be as creative as you wish.

Then attach the picture to this discussion board and discuss at least one of the following points:

? how cultural anthropology contributes to the understanding of what "art" is from a cross-cultural perspective.
? what are the major categories of art cross-culturally.
? what do cultural anthropologists emphasize in the study of art.
? what are the major structural factors involved in art such as political and ethnic interests in promotion of identity.
? what are some examples of how cross-cultural differences in various categories of art such as music, theater, and architecture might relate to their social contexts.
? how are art museums cultural constructions that respond to their own particular contexts.
? what play and leisure are and provide examples of how they are shaped by culture and contribute to shaping people's cultural worlds.
? how larger cultural structures are involved in how and why art and leisure activities change over time

Solution Preview

Please see response attached, which is also presented below. To see the picture and photos, however, you will need to refer to the attached Word file.

Response:

Interesting set of research questions, for sure. Specifically, you asked this:

Q. 11 questions...At least two paragraphs each, except for question 4...No right or wrong answers, just opinion...Please include the website of research

Let's take a closer look:

1. Discuss folk wisdom in regards to illness and healing. Please provide at least two specific examples of how cultural anthropology can contribute to improved health care delivery. You may even wish to share a family "cure" or remedy that was passed down to you through generations as an example of folk wisdom (i.e. chicken soup, etc.)

Some traditional practices have very real therapeutic benefits. For example, the alien protein of raw meat does in fact have haemostatics properties (but the practice invites horrifying infections); cupping can increase circulation (although increasing circulation can be very bad for some of the conditions it's applied to). Standard medicine is beginning to see some value to leech-work (for example, stimulating circulation in burned tissue that would be disrupted by massage). Certainly the recognition of the essentially religious nature of healing in Native American eyes by practitioners of scientific medicine has had measurable as well as intangible (though nonetheless real) benefits. http://missourifolkloresociety.truman.edu/remedy.html
Here is a not-at-all-hypothetical example; it's been replayed numerous times: the western doctor can easily relieve a nasty infection with a broad-spectrum antibiotic. But if this cure comes at the expense of communal belief in the need to gather around the patient and pray for a favourable outcome to the predictable course of escalating fever leading to a crisis, which will result -- at the will of the local deities -- in death or recovery. S/he then goes home, leaving behind one cured patient and one badly crippled community, according to. However, prayer has healed many people, and if it works as a cure, then is should be embraced by the health care system as one technique to consider as part of the healing spectrum of curative methods, but with caution. As well, both the system theory of western physiology and the acupuncture practices of the east (which do show clinical effectiveness, although the process is at present poorly understood at a theoretical level) depend on university-type training and testable hypotheses. http://missourifolkloresociety.truman.edu/remedy.html. Thus, the folk wisdom of the Chinese has indeed worked as an effective pain reliever; however, it has not come up with a cure for cancer or Aids. Therefore, each method has a place in the health care delivery system.

I recall my mother talking about mustard plasters for a chest cold; the healing properties of chicken noodle soup and gingerale; placing an onion on a bee bike to remove the stinger, to name a few. Or, as a cure for warts, tie as many knots in a piece of string as you have warts, and bury it. Your warts go away and are cured. Regardless if it the placebo effect (e.g., id you believe something will come to pass, they work and should not be disregarded as possible cures for some ailments.

Can you think of others?

2. Discuss and compare two different types of kinship systems and/or domestic life styles as portrayed in the popular media (movies, television, magazines, internet) or as found in anthropological research. Attach a visual representation if you can.

A kinship is a principle of organizing individuals into social groups, roles, and categories based on parentage and marriage. http://www.umanitoba.ca/anthropology/tutor/glossary.html By kinship system, anthropologists mean that there is some regularity to the way that ideas, information and concepts are shared. There are several possible ways this sharing could happen. They could imagine a very large corpus of ideas, which everyone carefully memorizes. No doubt there is a lot of simple memorization going on, but it is unlikely to account for all culture/knowledge sharing. http://era.anthropology.ac.uk/Kinship/classification.html

Example 1: Native Kinship group

Aboriginal Australia was organized in tribes. A tribe was seen as the largest territorial and social unit. Members of a tribe collectively owned the land, had the same language, adhered to identical customs, of which the kinship system is one, had some sort, albeit primitive, political unit by following some generally accepted laws, and did usually not marry outside. In other words, the tribe was endogamous. There have been tenth of definitions of the notion of tribe throughout the anthropological history. These basic features, however, seem to have been accepted quite generally. Lately, however, and especially for some regions in Australia, anthropologists have found that there was and still is much confusion between the notion of tribe and the notions of language and dialect, especially. A tribe in Australia cannot be distinguished so neatly as often expected. The tribe itself was considered divided into a certain number of hordes or clans. Within these clans was a four- system kinship system. http://www.ausanthrop.net/research/kinship/kinship2.php

Example of the four-section KINSHIP system

(DIAGRAM IN WORD FILE)

You can see that there are four general categories of kin. One is Ego and his brothers and sisters, another are those Ego calls cousins, in which he or she will also find his potential spouses, a third is the class of his mothers and mother's brothers, and the last category comprises his fathers and his fathers' sisters. In the second figure, these four categories are put into relation. Your mothers and mother's brothers marry people from the class of you fathers and fathers' sisters. You and your siblings in B1 marry people of the class of cousins. This is the reason why social category systems such as this one, the four-section system, have been termed marriage classes. In the second figure, arrows mean mother-child relation, equal signs mean marriage. These four categories have Indigenous names that vary from language to language and from region to region. DOUSSET (2002) added in the figure those names used in some eastern parts of Western Australia. Here again, however, later anthropologists have shown that these category systems such as sections do not regulate marriage pattern, but are a global and general guides for the classification of kin into meaningful categories. http://www.ausanthrop.net/research/kinship/kinship2.php

Example 2: Eskimo kinship

Eskimo kinship (also referred to as Lineal kinship) is a kinship system used to define family. Identified by Louis Henry Morgan in his 1871 work Systems of Consanguinity and Affinity of the Human Family, the Eskimo system is one of the six major kinship systems (Eskimo, Hawaiian, Iroquois, Crow, Omaha, and Sudanese). Kinship system: The Eskimo system places no distinction between patrilineal and matrilineal relatives, instead focusing on differences in kinship distance (the closer the relative is, the more distinguished). The system also emphasizes the nuclear family, identifying directly only the mother, father, brother, and sister (lineal relatives). All other relatives are grouped together into categories. It uses both classificatory and descriptive terms, differentiating between gender, generation, lineal relatives (relatives in the direct line of descent), and collateral relatives (blood relatives not in the direct line of descent). Parental siblings are distinguished only by their sex (Aunt, Uncle). All children of these individuals are lumped together regardless of sex (Cousins). Unlike the Hawaiian system, Ego's parents are clearly distinguished from their siblings. http://www.answers.com/topic/eskimo-kinship
Can you think of other examples to consider?

3. Go to the Fight Hate and Promote Tolerance web page http://www.tolerance.org . Link to "Explore Your Hidden Biases" under the heading "Dig Deeper." Read information on testing yourself for hidden biases. Then link to "Select a Test." Take the following four tests:

1. Racial Bias Black/White Adults
2. Gender Bias
3. Age Bias
4. Sexual Orientation Bias

Select "Go to Test" and complete demographic information.

**After completing each test, you may either copy and paste your results to a discussion board posting or, ...

Solution Summary

By responding to the many questions, this solution addresses a variety of social issues in history.

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