"Anthropology / Culture" Essays 1-70

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Culture of Interest: Japan Theoretical Research Paper

… Japan scored somewhere in middle on individualism collectivism index and the society is more paternalistic in nature. It does not display strongest of collectivist traditions but neither does it resonate with individualistic characteristics as a cultural unit. The American people… [read more]

Culture Geertz Social Anthropology Essay

… It has been my practice throughout my professional career to demonstrate my knowledge of fieldwork through well developed and insightful interpretations of witnessed events among peoples I find interesting. Yet, Geertz seems to belittle this endeavor stating that those who invest in such scientific abstractions of "the personal" are not objective, but rather are subjective and cannot produce works that are systematic, reproducible, cumulative, predictive, precise or testable. It has been my experience that the results of any inquiry in social anthropology and well most of the social sciences is an attempt to record a situation in time and place, within the very context of the period as well as the people. There is no evidence that there is a need for any other goal than to record what is happening at this particular time, in this particular place among these particular people and use that knowledge to better understand culture and the dynamics of human existence.

Regardless of any professional and public concern, associated with what Geertz calls, a besieging of "resurgent scientism" on the one hand and "an advanced form of handwringing" on the other the discipline has clearly evolved, developed and advanced to a place that supports its practitioners in development of further ideas within a realistic set of boundaries. Geertz clearly supports the fact that the actual discipline and its illusive definition is a practical development of the inherent skills of its practitioners to allow it to evolve within a set of professional guidelines that challenge the researcher to build on the ideas and theories developed by others even in the absence of the definition of the profession. It is also likely that the discipline's actual definition is somewhere in the middle like they say, everyone has a point-of-view and an particular reality, a side to the story and somewhere in between two is often the truth that is so hard to come to. To me it seems fitting to belong to a discipline that studies "culture," a term that in and of itself has an elusive definition that cannot be expressly defined, as Geertz expresses maybe it is better to define it by what it is not, at…… [read more]

Will the Meskwaki Culture Survive? Essay

… ¶ … Mesquaki culture will survive in spite of all the changes brought by the forces of modernization and global capitalism. Your answer should draw on specific examples or incidents reported in the Foley book (Heartland Chronicles). The best answers will also draw on concepts discussed in the Haines book (Cultural Anthropology: Adaptations Structures Meanings).

Will the Mesquaki culture survive?

Douglas Foley's The Heartland Chronicles portrays the society of the Native American Mesquaki as in a state of profound social change, wrought by the influence of a number of new developments in the external economic environment of the tribe. The Native American tribe has garnered new power because of the wealth generated by a casino; there are also representatives of the Indian rights movement that have been agitating for recognition of tribal identity. Tribal members are gaining some empowerment by virtue of this new business which is both enriching the tribe but which may be eroding many of their organic traditions. Foley suggests that ultimately, the Mesquaki tribe will survive despite the many years of white oppression they have faced but they have had to resort to creative adaptive economic, cultural, and political responses to do so that have fundamentally altered some of the cohesive values of the tribe.

The Iowa community in which the Mesquaki reside is torn apart by racial tensions between whites and natives. Members of the Indian tribe are becoming forcibly more integrated into white society because of the lack of available housing and job opportunities. Despite this, tribal members still have a sense of collective cultural awareness. They are extremely resistant to being subjected to the scrutiny of anthropologists such as himself, which they view as essentializing their culture. The members of the Mesquaki tribe are richly immersed in the academic discourse as Foley notes of one member named Claude: "with great solemnity, he began drawing a diagram of Mesquaki culture -- the naming, ghost feasts, adoptions, mourning, and burial ceremonies. He wielded white anthropological discourse about the 'Mesquaki core ritual complex'" (Foley 6). However, Claude uses this to identify who he regards as an assimilationist or a traditionalist in the community, i.e. For his "very practical purposes" (Foley 6). Even someone who is a traditionalist is affected by the outside discourses about 'Indianness.'

The Mesquaki culture has clearly been profoundly affected by its interactions with white culture, as is typical of all native tribes. Many tribal members have adopted Christianity, no longer speak the tribal language, and…… [read more]

Person Is Born, the Family Term Paper

… Childhood is the most important stage of life for an individual, as it is the reflection of his personality as an adult, where most of the things that are learnt are an imitation of cultural aspects. It includes the views,… [read more]

Culture Essay

… In an object -- driven approach the emphasis is placed on how material things relate to the specific culture that makes use of them. This approach is not quite as concrete as the object -- centered approach because materials or objects can take on different roles and their uses and functions can differ over time and between different groups of people can differ. Objects in a culture can reflect meaning or they can create meaning. In the object -- driven approach one of the first things that must be considered is how certain objects are destroyed or defaced when the political status of a group changes such as the destruction of the Berlin Wall in the 1980s. Such a loss is particularly a problem in studying religious artifacts from both approaches as if the prevailing religious affiliation of a group makes a drastic change these objects are often completely destroyed.

Material culture studies recognize that objects or "things" have politics and that the choices about how a particular culture constructs, uses, and even purchases these objects are important aspects of a culture. A recent theme in material culture studies has been the concerned with the effects of the productive capacities of capitalistic economies and how vast increases in goods, services, and the ability of the labor force to acquire these objects has changed the people in them. In many of these more modern studies of existing cultures the concert is not been with the objects themselves but with the effect the objects have on the ideologies and cultures of the people within the societies. The study of material culture has renewed interest in the works of people like Marx, Simmel, and other theorists who made broad assumptions about consumption, social class, and culture (Woodward, 2007). Material culture offers a way to broaden the overall perspective when studying a particular culture.


Friedel, R. (1993). Some matters of substance. In Lubar, S. & Kingery, W.D. (eds.). History

from things: Essays on material culture (pp. 41 -- 50). Washington, DC: Smithsonian

Institution Press.

Gertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books.

Herman, B.L. (1992). The stolen house. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia.

Newman, D. (2011). Sociology: Exploring the architecture of everyday life (7th Ed.). Thousand

Oaks, CA:…… [read more]

Anthropology -- Short and Long Definitions Fieldwork Term Paper

… Anthropology -- Short and Long Definitions

Fieldwork -- a type of anthropological (and other discipline-specific) research that involves data collection through direct observation of study subjects and face-to-face interviews.

Participant Observation -- a type of anthropological (and other discipline-specific) research that involves extensive direct involvement with specific populations of study subjects; typically, the researcher lives with them.

"Culture as a Text" -- Refers to the conceptualization of culture as a readable text that provides understanding of the society or culture through it analysis. Anthropologists rely on this conceptualization extensively.

Ethnocentrism -- a perspective in which the individual worldview is substantially a function of the influence of social learning of subjective values and beliefs.

Ethnocentric Fallacy -- the erroneous assumption that cultures and societies can be evaluated by reference to the values and beliefs of the society of the researcher. It necessarily presumes that the observing culture or society is more advanced or better than the observed culture.

Rich Points -- Are the specific elements of linguistic encoding and expression within respective individual cultures that interfere with a mutual understanding between those cultures.

Metaphors -- Generally, a manner of conceptual description that employs representations and indirect comparisons.

Key Metaphors -- Those specific conceptual descriptions employing representations and indirect comparisons that are particularly important to the culture and society.

Myth -- Specific stories and historical narratives passed down to successive generations to maintain long-term cultural beliefs. Typically, culturally important myths relate to beliefs about foundational narratives about the origin of the society, mankind, and the world.

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis -- the idea that the way language encodes perceptions determines the way that individual experience and express those perceptions.

Revitalization -- Refers to cultural change that is attributable to the purposeful choice or action of members of the society.

Cultural Relativism -- Refers to the critical analysis of different cultural practices and social norms and behaviors within a foreign society by reference to those of the observer's society.

Techne -- Refers to culture-specific artistic and other creative efforts that reflect society-specific characteristics.

Syncretization -- Refers generally to the coexistence of multiple belief systems or values within a given society and to the manner in which those multiple belief systems or values are reconciled. More particularly, it refers to the manner…… [read more]

Anthropology for Me Is Synonymous With Assuming Essay

… Anthropology for me is synonymous with assuming a different perspective or worldview to understand societies, cultures, and groups that exist from the world over. Generally considered as the study of humanity or humankind, it centers on studying and understanding the… [read more]

Anthropology Letter Evaluation Term Paper

… Anthropology Letter Evaluation

The first letter was more of a concern for the Yanomami tribe and other indigenous communities. The writer of the letter has provided the letter's recipients with enough information about his/her concern without degrading the credibility of the AAA. With much concern, he/she is requesting an immediate action on the problem without losing respect to the people concerned. This letter is more of a request letter.

The second letter similarly demonstrates a concern for the Yanomami and indigenous people. The writer first explained how the lives and culture of these people were disturbed due to the society's intervention in an aim to study their ways of life as a representation of our ancestors. With fairness in himself/herself, the writer somehow imposes that since the society benefitted from the Yanomami and indigenous people through the chance of studying and exploring their culture, we should also have the responsibility of helping them in return. The second letter can be described as somehow demanding but reasonable.

The third letter is very polite. The writer immediately stated his concern and explained information and suggestions to solve the problem. During the explaination of suggestions, the writer did not…… [read more]

Globalization Culture Essay

… This is not strictly a one-way street, with America exporting itself around the world, and it is absurd to even think that. China has just as much influence around the world, as the dominant power in vast swathes of Asia… [read more]

Cultural Studies Concept of Culture Essay

… In the case of the !Kung, food is shared in a generalized familistic way, while durable goods are changed according to the principle of balanced reciprocity; that is, transactions are expected to balance out in the long run." (p.889)

Summary and Conclusion

In answer to the question posed in this study stated as "Richard Lee Presented A Gift To His Friends or Hosts Among the Dobe (Kung) What Was His Gift, Why Did He Give It and How Did They React? The answer is quite simply stated that Richard Lee presented to his friends or hosts among the Dobe that which they needed and very likely had already requested. When he presented the gift to his friends or hosts among the Dobe society, they downplayed his gift and minimalized his gift while giving faint praise to what he had given. The friends or hosts of the Dobe society in turn gave Richard Lee something of equal value at some time in the near future from the time that he gave his gift to those friends or hosts.

Works Cited

Howell, N. (2010) Life Histories of the Dobe !Kung: Food, Fatness, and Well-Being Over the Life Span. University of California Press. 2010. Retrieved from: http://books.google.com/books?id=L5rRpFTzz7wC&dq=Dobe+Kung+culture+and+giving+gifts&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Lee, RB (1978) Politics, Sexual and Non-Sexual In An Egalitarian Society. Human Societies and their Ecosystems. Retrieved from: http://www.peacefulsocieties.org/Archtext/Lee78.pdf… [read more]

Intersecting Cultures and or Culture in a Global World Essay

… Intersecting cultures are creating a new kind of world, where just about every culture in every nation or region is a blend of two or more cultures. Much of the research one finds in the literature today reflects the dynamics of diversity within nations that have a multicultural social makeup. But there also is a need to understand what happens over time when one culture colonizes another and then is evicted as the indigenous culture re-assumes control. This process of de-colonization leaves in its wake a culture that is comprised of two or more distinctly different cultures, a kind of blend of cultures. This paper delves into those issues.

The Literature on the Intersecting of Cultures

Researching the way in which cultures have intersected over time, one finds that not only do cultures intersect, they bond and often blend two or more cultures into a new culture that reflects several sets of values, histories and languages. That new culture that is created by the wedding of two or more cultures may in fact develop its own language to indentify it as juxtaposed to the majority language. Language in fact is often a dynamic in which a cultural minority (or hybridized subculture) may "…define their identity and establish themselves as separate from other cultures" (Bruno, et al., 2012, p. 27).

In France, for example, a socio-economically deprived sub-culture of disenfranchised young people use a language called "game" (Verlan) (Bruno, 27). The purpose behind the use of Verlan as a language apart from the French language is, Bruno argues, "…a sociological marker of belonging" (27). Verlan creates a distinction between "the in-group and the out-group" -- also referred to as "us vs. them" -- and hence those cultures outside this youthful French subculture are prevented from understanding what is being said by the youth (Bruno, 27). That is by way of giving the subculture power over the dominant or majority culture. Again, intersecting cultures create ways in which to bolster their identity and give them some sense of control over their lives in a globalized world.

Meanwhile, the "cultural imperialism" of yesterday is now gone, according to an essay in the peer-reviewed Global Media Journal (Noh, 2007). That is, the colonialism that dominated much of the world -- Africa, Asia, the Americas and elsewhere -- for centuries has now slipped into the history books and today's global culture is defined as a "…complicated, ambiguous, and multilateral process" in which there are overlapping and intersecting cultures (Noh, p. 2). In fact today's contemporary world is seen by scholars as a "…social process in which the constraints of geography on social and cultural arrangements recede," and there is a natural process of intersecting cultures. Noh believes that cultural domination in many instances is gone and in its place is cultural "hybridity" (p. 6).

The original definition of "hybridity" -- literally -- is the coalescing of two "…human parents of different races," or, an interracial bonding which leads to offspring that reflects two cultures (Noh,… [read more]

Dating Linguistics A2 Coursework

… Dating/Linguistics

Give an example of a set of Focal vocabulary (find actual words) that the Inuit use and how they use it. Explain why this usage is important to the Inuit daily lifestyle. Give an example.

An individual's vocabulary is… [read more]

Gender as a Cultural Construction Term Paper

… ¶ … subculture is one that can be used in explaining and deconstructing various behaviors, habits and social groupings that we see in everyday life. The concept of subculture is broadly defined in literature as a cultural group that exists within a larger culture and comprises of people having interests and beliefs at variance with the ones of the larger culture.In other words, subculture could be regarded as a subdivision of a larger national or global culture (Herzog, Mitchell & Soccio,1999). Subculture therefore refers to social groups that are organized around shared/common practices and interests. The term has often been used in positioning certain specific social groups as well as the study of such kinds of groups. In this paper, we compare and contrast and analyze the works of Geertz (2000) and Hebrige (1979) on the concept of subculture.

A brief overview of the concept

Before we compare and contrast and analyze the works of Geertz (2000) and Hebrige (1979) on the concept of subculture, it is critical to note that the concept of subculture is usually used to designate a relatively transient group which is studied apart from their domestic, private and familial settings. There is however, a great emphasis on informal, voluntary and highly organic affiliations that are formed either in the mainly unregulated public space of our streets or on the contrary, within as well as against the rather disciplinary structures of enforced institutionalization. The concepts of subculture are, general considered to be groups that deviate from the norms of the dominant culture (Jandt,2009). This category comprises of people who are defined by their age, taste, sexuality, economic status, gender as well as race. The concept of subculture is usually positioned in a social frame. Analytically, it is positioned as a subordinate, disenfranchised, subterranean and subaltern group. Subcultures are therefore often distinguished as oppositional, countercultural and alternative.

Geertz (2000) perspective on subculture

According to Geertz (2000), the concept of subculture affects our day-to-day perception of things. In other words, what is commonly refereed to as 'common sense' is a social construction. In other words, common sense is a subculture.

A summary and analysis of Geertz's (2000) work on subculture

The work of Geertz (2000) on common sense as a subculture starts by presenting the way anthropologists view the concept of subculture. He uses imagery and metaphors to describe how anthropologists view culture as an old city with suburbs and connections. Subculture is therefore noted to be one of its recent mutations. The concepts of modernity, primitives and superstitions are what shape common sense. He went ahead and noted how the concepts of modernity, primitives and superstitions have shaped the concept of common sense, colloquial and culture (p.75). His work investigated why considering common sense as an organized body of thought as opposed to what every Tom, Dick and Harry knows is important. He noted that the basic tenets of 'common sense' are anchored on the immediate deliverance of one's experience.He noted that the application and exercise of… [read more]

Comparison of the Social Sciences Research Paper

… ¶ … Social Sciences

Background- for centuries, philosophers have puzzled the human condition. Questions abound about why humans act the way they do, why they form groups, what role cultural and social norms have for learning, how societies form, the nature of society, social change, and the way integration and alienation fit in with modern societies. In particular, the changes in urbanization and technology, and access to other cultures, spurred even more study of what it means to be human. Together, these paradigms form a notion of human history in which theories have tried to explain different aspects of human behavior and interaction. We now call the study of society and human behavior social science; a more umbrella term that refers to a number of sub-disciplines that focus on different aspects of the human condition. In fact, the basis of this combination of study to look at a more holistic view of humanity developed out of the writings of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim; both who looked at history as a continual evolution and the manner in which these changes impacted past and present. Even now in the age of globalization and advanced technology, the social sciences provide a way to understand humanity and help provide a template of ethics from which to evolve (Vessuri, 2000).

Anthropology- Anthropology is considered to be a holistic approach to the science of human existence, with the goal to provide an account of human nature. This field is certainly multi-disciplinary, since it has strong ties to human biology, linguistics, history, and cross-cultural communication. It is typically divided into four sub-fields: 1) Physical or Biological; 2) Linguistics; 3) Archaeology, and; 4) Cultural Anthropology. As a social science, anthropology takes the scientific method, but tends to study local traditions through a larger lens in order to understand events or eras, or broader trends within society. Of course, this also means that anthropologists study the very origins of humanity -- behavior as well as biological and physical differences and evolution. The field itself originated when the more "advanced" technological societies, primarily European oriented, came in contact with less developed societies and needed a way to explain certain nagging questions about culture. While this originated in the colonial and imperialistic eras, modern anthropology is a global discipline that has shifted after the 1970s to more seminal questions about the nature and production of knowledge and the manner in which divergent societies learned to communicate, trade, and form relationships. The physical part of anthropology, though, has remained more positivist, but has undergone a series of advancements due to increased fossil finds and the technology to analyze ancient materials (American Anthropological Association, 2012).

Psychology- Psychology is the study of both behavior and mental processes, as well as how knowledge and culture apply to an individual's everyday life. This, of course, includes what happens to individuals or groups who fall into the category of deviant, or behavior outside the norm -- whether through mental illness or a glitch in development. Psychology… [read more]

Culture and Subculture (P Essay

… 82)

Barriers to multicultural communication include anxiety; assuming similarity instead of difference, ethnocentrism, prejudice, and stereotyping. Anxiety is a natural and understandable barrier, but one that can impede successful communications. While it is not good to assume only differences, assuming similarity projects unreasonable and unrealistic values and norms on others and therefore impedes communication. Ethnocentrism is a cluster of phenomena based on the assumption that one's own culture is superior -- or at least a basis from which to judge others. Stereotypes are generalizations that, while sometimes valid, also cause unhealthy reactions such as prejudicial attitudes and behaviors.

Nonverbal message codes (p. 114-onward)

Nonverbal message codes include proxemics (the study of personal space); kinesics (gestures and body movements); chronemics (use of or attitudes toward time); and paralanguage (vocal qualifiers like pitch; vocal characteristics like laughter; or vocal segregates like uh-huh -- p. 121); the use of silence (p. 123); haptics (use of touch during communication p. 124); clothing and other aspects of physical appearance (p. 125); territoriality (use of the physical space) and olfactics (smells).

Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis basically "establishes the relationship between language and culture: culture is controlled by and controls language," (p. 161).

Nationalism in context of language

In the context of language, nationalism can play a major role. The relationship between nationalism and language works both ways: language influences the concept of nationhood and nationhood impacts attitudes towards language diversity. Language is a political issue. For example, other diverse societies like Canada and India have multiple official languages but the United States just has one (p. 154).

Influence of colonialism between and within cultures

Colonialism has had an adverse impact on cultural diversity and intercultural relations. Chapter 6 refers to specific instances in which indigenous societies are attempting to revitalize their languages in order to revitalize their cultures. Colonialism generally establishes a dominant culture over a subordinate one or ones. Out of more than 300 indigenous languages in North America, for example, about half that remain (p. 160). Colonization has also influenced U.S.-Puerto Rican relations (p. 161).

Immigration policies - issues that influence multicultural communication and understanding

Countries that have had liberal immigration policies such as the United States and Canada have also developed diverse societies. These multicultural societies are characterized by the use of many different languages, which influences multicultural communication. In the United States, an emphasis on cultural assimilation has led to English-only laws and other methods of imposing linguistic conformity on non-native English speakers. This has had an adverse impact on multicultural communication and understanding (Chapter 6, general).

Perspectives on subgroup identity

Subgroup identity refers to the identification of individuals with groups within the dominant culture. Collier and Thomas suggest that each of…… [read more]

Consumption, Society and Culture Cultural Essay

… When you observe the behaviour of a social club of consumers, you will find them obsessed with searching appeasement and joys in materialistic things that are attractive. Their irritation and alienation from social circle further pushes them to consumption (Foucault,… [read more]

Chimpanzees Have Culture? Research Paper

… Goodall (1986) also stated that tools were used by chimpanzees, and that the information the chimpanzees learned from the use of the tools was stored in their memory and passed down to others in their group. This use of tools is very significant, not only because it show that the chimpanzees are learning things, but because they are taking what they learn and passing it along so that others may benefit from it (McGrew, 1998). That is the activity that is the most indicative of the argument for chimpanzees having culture. Their tool use is not the only issue, however, because their diet and the way they hunt are also things that are passed down from one chimpanzee to another (McGrew, 1998).

Each chimpanzee is unique, just as each human is unique. Still, chimpanzees teach one another how to hunt for food, what is safe to eat, and how to use tools in order to make their lives better and more comfortable (Goodall, 1986; McGrew, 1998). Those are the same types of things humans teach to their children, because those who do not learn skills of that nature often struggle with poverty, homelessness, poor health, and other problems. Whether that is actual culture is still an ongoing debate, but the idea that chimpanzees have no culture of which to speak is an idea for which it is becoming more and more difficult to make a solid argument. Based on the work of Goodall (1986) and others, it does appear that there is at least some cultural component to the lives of chimpanzees, despite the fact that their culture is highly different from human culture, which could result in misinterpretations of their actions.


Goodall, J. 1986. The Chimpanzees of Gombe: Patterns of Behavior. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press…… [read more]

Communication Between Different Cultures Essay

… Culture

Communication between Different Cultures

Everyone communicates with others all the time and no matter how well one thinks they understand other people, communication is hard. Culture is frequently at the root of communication issues. People's culture influences how they… [read more]

Interaction Between Culture and Individual Psychology Essay

… ¶ … interaction between culture and individual psychology using Angela K.Y. Leung and Dov Cohen's article "Within- and between-culture variation: Individual differences and the cultural logics of honor, face, and dignity cultures" as a springboard for deeper analysis of the… [read more]

Culture Definition of "Culture" Alfred Essay

… Indeed values are the only basis that explains the comprehensive culture because the actual organization of a culture is basically in terms of its values (Kuper, p.58). Every culture has its own values and it is very important to appreciate… [read more]

Culture Term Paper

… "other" peoples. It may, as seen earlier in this synopsis, be the feminists vs. other individuals. But what really defines what culture is? Is it the traits and features that define the actions, behaviors, and traditions of a certain people? Does it have anything to do with heritages, science and genetics? Or as Ortner states, does it have anything to do with power relationships among a people?

The relationship between "agency and power" is complicated and there is often an "invisible nature of class" that influences cultural identity. It is virtually impossible at times, to fully understand and define culture, according to Ortner, because human beings themselves are constantly working to identify and define the self, and if humans cannot define the self, the concept of culture will always be just that…a concept, one that anthropologists are constantly aspiring to define. It may perhaps always be something that is nebulous in nature, something that is theoretical, but not something that will every fully be concrete.


"A working definition of culture." Canadian Commission for Unesco. Pp.78-83.

Fox, R.G. 1991. Recapturing Anthropology: Working in the present. School of American

Research Press, Santa Fe: New Mexico.

Moore, J.D. 2008. Visions of culture: An introduction to anthropological theories and theorists.

Altamira Press.

Ortner, S.G. 2006. Anthropology and social theory: Culture, power, and the acting subject. Duke Williams, R. 1989a. Culture is ordinary,…… [read more]

Anthropology: The Fundamental Social Science Essay

… Some examples include economics, geography, history, linguistics, political science, psychology, and sociology. Because of its all-encompassing ability to understand the human experience from multiple perspectives, anthropology sets the stage for other Social Science disciplines. It allows linguistics to study language out of an understanding that humans live in a symbolic world and communicate symbolically (a cultural phenomenon). It allows sociologists to study the (oft Western, American) society as an entity in and of itself (and anthropology understands society as a product of culture, and that product allows for the ability for humanity to continue its existence. Without the ability to cohabitate amicably, humanity would not, most likely, have survived as long or prospered as much). It allows historians to understand the culture and the "ways" of the people of the past (through, often, written texts (i.e., cultural artifacts) and anthropological archaeology). It allows for economics to understand humanity through "rationality" agreement (which presupposes that humans work in a cultural landscape and have a market driven, rational reason for acting (for only anthropology can explain why one would want, allow, or act rationally in a market society)). It allows for the Political Scientist to understand the political makeup of society (which requires a cultural adherence and approval of a political system of power0, and for geographers to understand humanity (from a viewpoint that requires humans to be members of a group that are, generally, geocentric (i.e., culturally centered)), and for other social sciences to understand humanity from a point-of-view that takes for granted their humanity (e.g., psychology).


In conclusion, not only does anthropology set the stage for the biological predispositions that lead to the realm of the social sciences (e.g., it sets the stage for the physiological ability to communicate, it explains the evolutionary significance for intelligence as a survival mechanism), it forms a foundation for the underpinnings of society (which allows the other social sciences to study the human experience). Anthropology, being concerned with what is human, really does make for the fundamental science to understanding society and all aspects of humanity.

Works Cited

Anthropology (n.d.) American Anthropological Association (AAA). Retrieved May 6, 2011 from http://www.aaanet.org/about/WhatisAnthropology.cfm.

Jurmain, R., Kilgore, L, & Trevathan, W. (2006). Introduction to Physical Anthropology. Belmont: Thomas.

Social Science (n.d.). In Webster's Dictionary. Retrieved May 7, 2011, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/social%20science.… [read more]

Physical Anthropology, Language, and Evolution the Study Essay

… Physical Anthropology, Language, And Evolution

The study of evolution is one of the main tasks in physical anthropology, as the domain is concerned in analyzing human and nonhuman development over time, looking into biological bases and variability. In its essence, evolution can be defined through the theory that biological species have adapted to the environments they inhabited across time and are responsible for the creation of other species. All species apparently change over time, with these changes being more or less obvious. Also, every species that has ever lived in believed to have the same ancestor as the rest of contemporary and extinct species (Chapter 3, p. 36).

One of the first individuals to bring a large contribution to the physical study of evolution is Charles Darwin. The British naturalist went further than the people of his time by coming up with a series of innovative concepts regarding evolution and in relation to how all species can be traced back to a common ancestor (Chapter 3, p. 39).

In his attempts to study Naturalism, Darwin went at collecting information from various locations from around the world. He analyzed "geological formations and the fossils they contained, on the geographic distributions of species, on the adaptations of various creatures to their environments, and on how individual populations varied from one another according to environmental differences" (Chapter 3, p. 39). Even though this data made Darwin realize something which was already known at the time -- the fact that life forms changed across time, it also helped him find that species could develop into other species.

To a certain degree, by studying the data he found, Darwin also discovered that evolution was made possible through several processes; each of them mostly related to the environments that species inhabited.

In spite of his impressive discoveries, Darwin could not find exactly what determined species to change over time, as it was revealed that particular species gave rise to others even when the environments they inhabited did not change. Physical anthropologists are aware that any organism (with the exception of identical twins and organisms that are cloned) is identical to its offspring or to its sibling in an approximate percentage of 99.9%.

In order to determine exactly what it is that separates two organism which have the same features a physical anthropologists has to study their DNA. This will result in the respective physical anthropologist discovering the dissimilar genes in the two organisms.

In analyzing my answer regarding question 3, a physical anthropologist is likely to try to involve as much objectivity as possible in the…… [read more]

Ideal Culture vs. Real Culture and Aspects of Ethnicity Essay

… ¶ … culture vs. real culture and aspects of ethnicity

Stereotypes function as a kind of 'shorthand' for understanding individuals of different cultures. Idealizing or essentializing a culture is a form of stereotyping, whether it is done in a positive or negative manner. Sometimes, people may think they are being tolerant when they construct an idealized, homogeneous image of another culture: Italians are warm and emotional and are food-focused; family-oriented Hispanics are very interested in the culture of their homeland; Native Americans are connected to 'the land.' While these apparently positive stereotypes may seem harmless, for individuals of these cultures they can seem like straightjackets. The availability of stereotypes can also cause an outside observer to feel as if he or she knows a culture inside and out, simply because he or she is 'respectful' of a few token cultural differences that merely scratch the surface of a culture's complexity.

On a personal level, being reduced to an 'idealized' member of a culture can threaten personal growth and expression. An African-American may dislike being the student referred to as an expert on race relations in the United States in his class -- not only is this reductionist, but it also assumes that the dominant, hegemonic culture of 'white' culture is neutral, versus 'other,' ethnic cultures. The African-American student may feel more competent to weigh in on the subject of healthcare, perhaps because his father is a doctor. Also, creating an ideal 'African-American' culture can be profoundly misleading, given that African-Americans who are children of recent African immigrants may have a different cultural sensibility, and even African-Americans from the North and South may have profound cultural differences that belie the construction of a singular cultural gloss.

Idealizing can thus obscure rather than illuminate real problems suffered by ethnic minorities in America. For example, the common stereotype that Asian-Americans are…… [read more]

Anthropological Thought Essay

… Anthropology

Historical Foundations of Anthropology

How do the methods of 19th Century Evolutionists explain the development of marriage, family, political organization, and religion?

The development of the evolutionary theory of societal development arose from the precept that all cultures arose… [read more]

Theories of Culture in Human Relations Term Paper

… ¶ … Culture in Human Relations

In his attempt to argue the importance of culture in human relations, Geert Hofstede (2005) resorts to the following introductory paragraph for the first chapter of his book Culture and Organizations. Software of the… [read more]

Anthropology: Its Holism or Its Comparative Perspective? Term Paper

… ¶ … anthropology: its holism or its comparative perspective?

Many disciplines are comparative in their outlook. An English student might compare two sonnets from two different eras of English literature. A scholar of religion might compare attitudes about parental authority in Christianity vs. Confucianism. An anthropologist might compare the social constructions of two different societies. But anthropology's holistic perspective is unique because anthropology must consider a society's religious beliefs, contemporary and historical social relationships, literary documents, and even deploy the scientific method, so an anthropologist can understand how human biology and geography has affected how a culture has developed over time. It is difficult to think of a discipline that cannot be comprised by the scope of anthropology. Thus anthropology's holistic perspective, which is intent upon embracing as much of the other disciplines as possible in its methodology, makes the subject unique.

Give two examples of how a physical anthropologist and an archaeologist might collaborate.

An archeologist who discovered the remains of an ancient people might wish to know how each person's dental remains, physical size, and bone composition gave clues to the ways the society ate, and moved around in search of food and shelter. The physical anthropologist could determine if the persons were meat eaters, had easy access to proteins, raised animals for dairy products, and help solve other questions about daily life that would give further clues to the archeologist about how the persons utilized artifacts and where the people had migrated from, originally, based upon their lifestyle.

An archeologist might also analyze the physical remains of individuals with a physical anthropologist to see what era of the evolutionary progression the persons may have come from, or if their physical structures bore resemblance to other known tribes or bands in the area. This would help give added weight to a possible interpretation as to…… [read more]

Hawaiian Culture Research Paper

… Hawaiians still retain a strong and distinctive culture, dating back centuries, and where they have adopted American culture it is a matter of them doing so as part of living within the context of the United States.


Hawaiians are a separate culture within the United States, not a microculture. They are a dominant culture in their home territory and have adopted some American cultural elements, but their separate culture remains strong and clearly identifiable. Their culture is easily identifiable from an ethnic perspective and is culturally distinct even from other Polynesian groups within the U.S. The status of Hawaiian culture is also special within the context of the United States and especially in the state of Hawaii.


Davis, F. (1995). The Hawaiian alternative to the one-drop rule. From American mixed race. Rowan & Littlefield Publishers.

Greene. (2001). Overview of Hawaiian prehistory. National Parks Service. Retrieved June 10, 2014 from http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/kona/history1h.htm

Kana'iaupuni, S., Malone, N. & Ishibashi, K. (2005). Income and poverty among native Hawaiians. PASE. Retrieved June 10, 2014 from http://www.ksbe.edu/spi/pdfs/reports/demography_well-being/05_06_5.pdf

No author. (2014). Key terms and concepts. LCC. Retrieved June 10, 2014 from http://www.laguardia.edu/intercultural/key_terms.htm#3

US Census Bureau (2010). Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 10, 2014 from http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=DEC_10_DP_DPDP1&prodType=table… [read more]

Culture Industry the Cultural Industries Essay

… In addition, such industries also help public institutions that have an involvement in the social services. However, there are a number of challenges that cultural industries are facing in the contemporary times. Firstly, for the enhancement of innovation, an improvement is needed in the people-institutions connection. Secondly, public and private support needs coordination for the minimization of redundancy. Such industries also face the challenge of creating emphasized focus on the economic conditions that may be improved by both cultural and artistic elements. Thirdly, small and medium scale organizations must be provided with reliable funding sources.


To cut a long story short, it is the need of the time that the world starts giving the due importance to arts and culture. Every country must be proud of its unique heritage and must make endeavors to develop and improve the cultural industries present in its territorial boundaries so that the important assets may be preserved. It is exceedingly important for every country to facilitate the influx of the movie industry, the prominence of various festivals, the property values and their strengths etc. Other than that, policies must be devised for "place-marketing, stimulating a more entrepreneurial approach to the arts and culture, encouraging innovation and creativity, finding a new use for old buildings and derelict sites, and stimulating cultural diversity and democracy" (Hesmondalgh & Pr


Benjamin, W. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. USA: Prism Key Press, 2010. Print.

Blakley, J. "Entertainment Goes Global: Mass Culture in a Transforming World."Western Cape. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. .

Galloway, S. & Dunlop, S. "A Critique Of Definitions Of The Cultural And Creative Industries In Public Policy." International Journal of Cultural Policy 13.1 (2007): 17-31. NKNU. Web. 22 Sept. 2013. .

Hesmondalgh, D, and A. C Pratt. "Cultural industries and Cultural Policy."International Journal of Cultural Policy 11.1 (2005): 1-14. Print.

Horkheimer, M, and T. W Adorno. Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments. Stanford: Stanford Univ. Press, 2002. Print.

"popular art." Encyclopaedia Britannica. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Academic Edition. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., 2013. Web. 22 Sep. 2013. .… [read more]

Cannibal Tours Is a Deep Essay

… Lesser summed up Boas' aforementioned book in the following way, " several of the theses of the book The Mind of Primitive Man, taken together, establish the relative autonomy of cultural phenomena, showing that there are no independent variables on which the cultural is dependent " (p.7).

Lesser continued his article by pointing out some dissenting scientists towards Boas' approach to anthropology. The division of the British School of anthropology and the American School of anthropology are mentioned to demonstrate the polarizing effects of Boas' work towards a general understanding. Lesser's article concluded by mentioning some of Boas' social works as they related to post World War II politics. His contributions towards Americanizing former Nazi scientists was specifically mentioned as a major event.


Anthropology is an art. Artistic interpretation is necessary to fully comprehend a science that includes so many variables. Unlike a science such as mathematics, where rules are explicitly expressed in law and theory, the study of human cultures is slightly less rigid. The true art in anthropology comes through only when imagination and creative impulse are merged with scientific methods and routine. Although it appears valid to equivocate anthropologists as artists, this essay will explore some of the possible points of argument in regards to where these two groups may differ.

Spradley's commentary on the importance of participant observation highlighted important points about subjectivity, relationship and awareness. The author suggested that anthropologists must "widen the lens" of their consciousness to be objective in the practice of ethnography. Understanding how to act like you belong in your environment while simultaneously creating an alter ego personality to document your actions will make an effective and efficient participant observer according to the author.

Reaching the ability to master this skill takes considerable amount of effort or technique. It can be argued that the artist does the same mental processing of expanding awareness through the manipulation of some sort medium with a stylized technique. The main difference between an artist and anthropologist in this case would be the motive. Good anthropology can certainly be described as art, while good art will make anthropology more interesting and emotional. The relationship between anthropology and art are defined by their intent.

Intention guides the true meaning of any practice. An artistic rendition of an ancient dance can also be studied as anthropology as well. Anthropology itself becomes part of anthropology by showcasing the need to document and intellectualize all that humanity does. This process appears to demand some objectivity and less artistic input. Only in this manner does true art and science differ from each other. Artistic interpretation and anthropological investigation are very similar practices taken from an external and objective view. Both are expressing the meaning of their experiences with only variance in the levels of formalities involved. These differences in purpose are…… [read more]

Anthropological Observations Walking Downtown Is Normally Essay

… Anthropological Observations

Walking downtown is normally an everyday occurrence for so many people. No one really expects to be walking down the street and become part of an empirical observation. Yet, it is inevitable that our actions and behaviors build the common culture we all share. Culture is essentially the foundation for the layers of society. It provides a set of norms and regulated behaviors that help unite people of otherwise different situational contexts. Yet, the culture of a region like the United States is incredible diverse. There are a number of cultural layers that can be seen within a single society. Different actions show allegiances to different subgroups within the larger society. Thus, the research states that "The shared cultural traits of subcultures set them apart from the rest of their society," (O'Neil 2006). Yet these subcultures are in such close proximity, they must find a method for interacting and dealing with one another.

In order to really immerse myself within the culture this research was examining, I wanted to conduct this observation in a neutral area. In order to achieve this, I went to a local Starbucks to observe people in an environment where they had no idea an observation were taking place. Essentially, being in the morning most people came and went on with their day, having no idea they were being watched. This provided an opportune time to examine people in a more natural light, but also to observe how people interact with one another when they think no one is looking. This observation spanned about thirty minutes, and focused on gathering an understanding about the mutual culture we all share.

Being that it was in the morning, the coffee shop was extremely busy. A number of different subcultures were in such close proximity, and thus it was interesting to see how they interacted with one another in the brief moments they were together. Only me and a few other people actually stopped and sat to drink our coffee. Everyone else was in a rush to where ever they were going. Since these were primarily strangers, no one really talked to each other outside of the barista asking for their order. This is why analyzing body movement became such an important anthropological tool to understand how the members of different subcultures interacted with each other. This is under the field of semiotics, which focuses on the understanding signs and signals that people give (Engel 2004). Most people were very stand offish towards other patrons of the coffee bar. They did not…… [read more]

Culture and Negotiations Globalization Research Paper

… Culture & Negotiations

Globalization has brought many benefits and potential growth opportunities for companies around the world. Companies may now expand their reach to sell their products to countries on the other side of the planet, but there are some issues that have to be approached and resolved prior to doing business overseas: the negotiations between company "A" in the United States and company "B" in Singapore, for example, have to take into account cultural differences and cultural traditions. This paper reviews some of the negotiation styles that need to be understood and practiced in the context of doing business in foreign lands.

When business representatives from different cultures meet in a negotiation setting there needs to be understanding of the cultural foundations of each negotiator. When an American business representative is interesting in negotiating a deal for his company to establish a manufacturing plant in Singapore, for example, the American must understand that Singapore is home to three "dominate cultural groups" (Chinese, 76.4%; Malays, 14.9%; and Indians, 6.4% of the population) (Osman-Gani, et al., 2002, p. 820).

The link between culture and negotiation, according to author Osman-Gani, can be best understood through four approaches: culture as a "learned behavior"; culture as a "system of shared values"; culture as a "dialectic"; and culture "in context" (821). "Culture as a learned behavior" is defined as those behaviors that attempt to reflect the attitudes of the (foreign) culture, but some negotiators read "how to negotiate" manuals and think this will help in understanding the foreign culture, but doing this "fails to explain individual differences in negotiation styles" (Osman-Gani, 821). The author's "culture as a system of shared values" means that the one culture must have some similarities with the foreign culture, but wait, this also fails to explain negotiating style differences. "Culture as dialectic" is more dynamic than the first two but the bottom line is the Chinese negotiating style is collectivistic and the American style is individualistic, so there has to be some give and take. . "Culture in context" suggests that negotiation styles between Americans and Chinese in Singapore really boils down to negotiation based on individual personalities and cultural values.

After conducting surveys in Singapore (to…… [read more]

Evolution From Two Subfields Essay

… Evolution has been a topic of discussion among the scientific community for several decades but a new field has recently developed that concerns itself not only with evolution as it involves the adaptive selection of primates but also with biological adaptability as a human attribute. Physical anthropologists center their investigation and research on determining how human beings fit into nature and compare their behaviors with those of other primates (Jurmain, 2008). Physical anthropologists also study and interpret the differences between the various races found within the human species. In doing so, physical anthropologists coordinate their efforts through cooperative research with the fields of archeology, comparative anatomy, evolution, and genetics.

The increased use and reliability of DNA has altered the field of physical anthropology considerably in that it allowed for more accurate dating. Prior to the introduction of using DNA as a dating method, anthropologists used a method identified as relative dating (Kaestle, 2002). Relative dating proved valuable to anthropologist because it allowed for them to show the order that events occurred in evolution but it was unable to indicate with any fair degree of precision when a specific event occurred. DNA and other technologies developed in the twentieth century made it possible for absolute dating to take place so that rocks, fossils, and other objects could be accurately dated.

The primary goal of physical anthropologist is to research and investigate the systematic, non-cultural aspects of humans and other primates. Such anthropologists study the biological characteristics that are genetically inherited and not those that are learned through exposure to culture. By studying these genetically inherited characteristics physical anthropologists attempt to understand how humans and primates changed through time to become what they are today. The field of physical anthropology is divided into three specific areas of research: 1) human biology which is concerned with human diversity, genetic inheritance patterns, non-cultural adaptations to environmental stresses, and miscellaneous biological characteristics of humans; 2) primatologists who study the same factors in relation to non-human primates; and, 3) paleoanthropologists who study the fossil records of early humans and primates in regard to the course of evolution.

The broad nature of the field of physical anthropology makes it necessary that in order to do constructive and organized research and study one must often reference sources that have done some of the work for you. One such source is an internet site entitled as Discover Anthropology (Royal Anthropological Institute).The site provides a comprehensive resource for not only understanding the study of anthropology but also links to various sources for furthering one's research into specific areas of anthropology. The site is organized in such a manner as to provide a range of services for the student just beginning his or her studies in anthropology to the most advanced anthropology professional.

The nature of physical anthropology and archeology make them partners in the study of evolution (Fahlander, 2004). Although archeologists are more concerned with establishing a…… [read more]

Culture Is a Relative Concept Essay

… Q2. 'It's not fair.' Because fairness is such a powerful concept, it is tempting to view the idea of fairness as something that is cross-cultural. However, the Japanese and American concepts of fairness are almost completely distinct. In Japan, fairness is based upon outcomes, or how equitably the community is treated as a whole. In America, our concept of fairness is based upon the individual, or whether each distinct person was satisfied, in terms of what he or she gave or did not give to the effort.

In Japanese culture, because of the importance of community, it might be considered 'fair' that a student suppress his or her views during a classroom discussion, if this would cause hurt feelings or an overly divisive discussion. In America, this would be seen as unfair as such suppression would interfere with the individual's ability to learn. In America, there is also a greater emphasis on rules. For example, in a business context, it would be considered unfair if a boss claimed his or her employees' idea as his or her own, without giving credit to the subordinate. In Japan, the employee's innovative idea might be viewed as belonging to the company, and no specific credit would be seen as necessary to be given.

Of course, in Japan there clearly is competition, in the form of competitive university exams and also between enterprises. But even here, there is still a sense of community, as the student may see him or herself as succeeding for the family, not his or her own ego, and the business, not the individual employees possess the competitive drive. 'Fair competition,' unlike in America, is not about proving one's own mastery in Japan.… [read more]

HIV Prevention Cultural Change Typically Essay

… Thus, levels of power are determined according to cultural differences that have been subscribed and dominated based on ethnic (usually physical or religious) differences. Ranks within culture are central to our understanding of cultural variation because the describe the actual fundamental issues that often result in cultural change. Typically, this change occurs because the dominant group takes on the higher rank, with lower ranked groups taking a subordinate position -- resulting in ethnocentrism and eventually the desire of the subdominant group to overthrow, integrate into, or change the position and levels -- causing a deep chasm and eventually cultural change (Harrison and Kagan, eds., 2006).

For many scholars, social inequality combined with a level of mistrust, resource issues, and behavioral differences are the typical end product of ethnocentrism. Social inequality based on race, creed, or gender even that becomes a cultural identity, (e.g. The Old South or the Ethnocentric European view against Jews) is often perpetuated due to economic control and technological superiority -- keeping the lower classes uneducated. However, as technology among groups increases, so too does education. As education increases, the dominant culture often becomes the physical minority and holds power only due to military (or technological) reasons. Once cultural change occurs intellectually, there is a switch in power, a switch in dominance, and cultural change (e.g. The downfall of colonialism). Despite years, decades, or even centuries of dehumanization, cultural change is thus inevitable (Paul, 1998). This then, forms the rubric for our understanding of cultural change based on cultural diversity.


Ferraro, G. (2008). Cultural Anthropology. Belmont, CA: Thompson Higher


Gudykunst, W.B., ed. (2003). Cross-cultural and Intercultural Communication.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Harrison, L. And Kagan, J., eds. (2006). Developing Cultures: Essays on Cultural Change.

New York: Routlege Taylor and Francis Group.

Paul, A.M. (1998). Where Bias Begins: The Truth About Stereotypes.…… [read more]

Influences of Culture and Gender on Negotiations Discussion and Results Chapter

… Culture & Gender in Negotiations

Culture and Gender in Negotiations

In negotiating a deal favorable to an organization's relationship in an Eastern European and an Asian country, I will take into account one of the most important dimensions of culture as identified by Hofstede: power distance. In power distance, the culture's regard to power and authority is given consideration in the negotiations. In high power distance countries, subordinates recognize that people with authority and roles higher than theirs should be given respect and must be 'followed.' Conversely, in countries with low power distance, subordinates and persons with roles of authority and power interact as equals, especially outside of their work environments. While respect is still recognized, almost always, subordinates can be comfortable and socially interact with their bosses/employers when socialization calls for it.

Since Eastern European and Asian countries have high power distance cultures, I, as a negotiator, must recognize each person's role and authority in the organization they work for. Thus, before interacting with them, I must ensure that I "know" everyone of them, and know how I should treat each of them. Although high power distance is not my culture, I must learn to adopt a high power distance psyche to use as my leverage during negotiations. Since individuals with roles of authority and power deal with almost all decision-making in the organization, I must give greater consideration and attention to them. This does not mean that I would 'neglect' their subordinates, as subordinates play a critical role in their dynamics as a working group. While Eastern Europe and Asia have high power distance cultures, they are also collectivist, and they also give importance to maintaining group coherence. Thus, subordinates are critical members of the group,…… [read more]

Globalization and Culture Thesis

… (Lieber and Weisberg, 2002, paraphrased) American is not only a point of origin according to Lieber and Weisberg but as well, it is a style. (Lieber and Weisberg, 2002) Cultural anxiety and turmoil are both a result of globalization and American primacy and this is witnessed differently in terms of outcomes in the West and in other modern societies when compared to developing countries and most particularly Muslim countries. Cultural anxiety and turmoil are stated to be a result of "two related but distinct phenomena: (1) material and economic effects of globalization and modernity; and (2) Western values which are "more tangible but often more profound in its impact. Included are such as "scientific reasoning, secularism, religious toleration, individualism, freedom of expression, political pluralism, and the rule of law, equal rights for women and minorities, and openness to change." (Lieber and Weisberg, 2002, p. 277) The resolution of problems relating to culture are more difficult that resolution of issues on globalization including economies of trade problems, aid, investment and poverty." (Lieber and Weisberg, 2002, p. 279) Violence is greatly embraced by many societies and America becomes the focal point for the Muslim society who in reality has not America as the oppressor but Arab nations and just as violence is avoided by the culture in America arising from the culture of the Muslim countries is violence that comes from within rather than from without. Globalization then has removed barriers and set in place other barriers. Globalization is viewed by many cultures as Americanization since the American culture is so pervasive across the entire globe in terms of the popularity of American music, American food, and dress and the growing base of individuals who speak the English language. Therefore, cultures that resist globalization somehow formulate the American influence as being something evil and something to be resisted and even to blame for the changes taking place in their world and in their culture. Because the Muslim culture is greatly affected by the domination of the Arab culture in their area of the world the Muslim society strikes out and because of the primacy of the American culture, which is all pervasive somehow a shift has occurred blaming America for the oppression that has, been inflicted upon them by the Arab world. This is because America stands out clearly as an icon of global power and dominance. Irrational fear and hatred of the unknown is not only present in the Muslim society but is also very much present in the Western society and the only way that this fear can be alleviated is for opposing cultures to allow one another to embrace their own cultural without fear, admonition or pressure for change . The Muslim society is just as resistant to change and in fact more resistant to change that the American society. Furthermore, since American is viewed as possessing a high level of global primacy, the Muslim culture has chosen the world leader to be the country upon whom the blame… [read more]

Culture and Identity the Combined Structure Article

… ¶ … Culture and Identity


The combined structure of individual identity is a paramount or superior-ranking framework revolving around Erikson's paradigm of identity development and ambiguity as well as Marcia's (1966) identity status paradigm and the identity capital model… [read more]

Anthropological Understanding of Progress? Anthropologists View Essay

… ¶ … anthropological understanding of progress? Anthropologists view progress as an arbitrary construct within the culture they are studying. Progress is only meaningful in the context of those individuals who can define where the culture is progressing from and where it is progressing to. Progress in itself is not associated with technology, democracy, or gender equality, although from within the American cultural tradition those values are associated with the American cultural construct of progress.

What are egocentric and socio-centric views of self? Views of the self are methods by which an individual approaches and considers choices in their life. If a person has an egocentric view of the self, they view themselves as contained and possibly disconnected (or disconnect-able) from the surrounding environment. Their choices are based on their notion of what is best for them as an individual -- what "I" want rather than what "we" want. The socio-centric view of the self is decentralized, and approaches decisions from the point-of-view of the group rather than the individual. Sociocentric viewpoints can be seen as "group think" but the decisions they produce are often more socially positive than individualist choices.

What is an applied anthropology of body image? Applied anthropology employs the discoveries of academic anthropologists to improve or change society. An applied anthropology of body image could use an anthropological study of body image among female American teenagers to develop strategies for preventing anorexia, for example.

What is the political economy of online culture (example Second Life)? The political economy of online cultures like Second Life are a combination of alliances and transactions in the actual world and affiliations in the virtual world. Since geographic location is a minor issue in online cultures (although it overlaps with language community membership), the political economy of online culture must be based on some other kind of closeness. Second Life in particular allows for random and intentional affiliations, just as actual communities and institutions do.

Explain progress theory and the anthropological understanding of progress in relation to the transformation of human societies over the last 10,000 years. Over the last 10 millennia, human societies have indeed made progress in terms of the evolving complexity of the technologies we use for representation and action. The messages we represent, and the actions we take, however, have changed very little. In actual terms, humans are interested in food, sex, emotions, and ideas. The development of new and different arrangements by which to access and exploit these things can be called "progress," but it does not have any inherent directionality.

What does it mean to say that "Human culture has always been virtual"? Human culture can be seen as entirely virtual if 'culture' is defined as those acts and objects that require self-awareness, imagination, and meta-cognition. Virtuality in that case becomes identified with something that is not there -- the metaphorical layer of understanding. For example, in the cave paintings of Lascaux, the arrangement of paint on cave walls is actual, but the humans and animals… [read more]

Science and Culture Essay

… Science and Culture

According to author Mark Erickson, science is a "multi-faceted object that we can pick up, turn this way and that, peer inside and scrutinize; but science also has its own agency" (Erickson, 2005, 15). His meaning is clear -- science is not one thing all the time. It can take on different aspects, different things for different people. Most of all, it is a fluid process -- one that is a method of inquiry more than simply a discipline. For example, if we take almost any field, the fundamental base is knowledge -- or inquiry; how do we find out things we do not know and what do we do with that information? Without a formal method of inquiry, we are left with less of a process and more of a random search for knowledge. Benjamin Bloom, for one, established as early as the 1950s that the challenge in education was moving beyond mere knowledge, though, and taking that knowledge through a series of tiers: comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Thus, science is that process of moving from rote knowledge -- a one sided, one colored, solid structure -- to synthesis and evaluation -- a multi-sided, transparent, and ever changing object (Bloom, 2006).

Traditionally, of course, science has been more closely defined as a methodology that is quantitative in nature. How many times were we told from elementary school onward that science was a sysematic way of predicting an outcome; and the scientific method a way to use observation and hypothesis to find an empirical way to prove facts? This idea of empiricism, or basing our views on what we can observe, experience, or experiement certainly has validity -- but is that science, or is that simply one additional part of the scientific mode of inquiry? Humans, it seems, have a very unique gift of being able to think about things without actually observing them, or even proving they exist in anything but an idea. So science must be far grander than simply what is observable and testable (Kuhn, 1996, 43-7).

Science, then, is far more than empiricism, far more than testing, far more than hypothesizing. Science is a mode of being, a way of examining both the possible and impossible. Science is not just a discipline ("I do science," or "I am a scientist"). Science, instead, to borrow a famous phrase, a process that allows us to "go where no man has gone before."

Society and Culture

Culture is defined as; a way of life developed and shared by a group of people and passed down from generation to generation. Culture provides us a framework to organize our activity. Thus also allows us to predict the behavior of others. There are different cultural formations; these…… [read more]

Cross-Cultural Communication and Culture Shock Eckermann, A-K Annotated Bibliography

… Cross-Cultural Communication and Culture Shock

Eckermann, a-K, Dowd, T, Chong, E, Nixon, L, Gray, R & Johnson, S 2006,

Binang Goonj: Bridging Cultures in Aboriginal Health, Churchill Livingstone

Elsevier, Sydney.

The Papadopolous, Tilki and Taylor model of developing cultural competence, pp. 7-23 in Papadopoulos, I (ed) 2006,

Transcultural Health and Social Care: Development of Culturally Competent

Practitioners, Elsevier, London.

Omeri, a. Transcultural nursing: the way to prepare culturally competent practitioners in Australia, pp303-318 in Papadopoulos, I (ed) 2006,

Transcultural Health and Social Care: Development of Culturally Competent

Practitioners, Elsevier, London.


Within chapter five of this text, second edition of Binang Goonj: Bridging Cultures in Aboriginal Health, many questions are immediately brought to the reader's mind. What do the words in the term Culture Shock actually mean together? How would one prepare him or herself to adapt culturally? What are the signs and symptoms? What major stressors amplify Culture Shock? How could one identify cross-cultural communication barriers? Accordingly, how would one then systematically prioritize any management strategies? This chapter answers all these questions, plus some.

Right up front in chapter five,-page 122, "Culture shock is often marked by physical and psychological changes that occur as a result of the adaptation required to function in the new environment for a prolonged period of time." Then Lynette Nixon outlines personal experiences. From Phases of Culture Shock to Signs and Symptoms of Culture Shock, pertaining to the readjustment phase (after the "Honeymon phase," one point made by Nixon stands out and summarizes everything: "Why? Because when we adapt to new cultural experiences we develop changed perceptions towards our own traditions and beliefs... we may "forget" some of the intricacies of expected behavior, customs, and interactions."

Let's look into Lynette Nixon's personal background: Aboriginal Australian citizens maintain the lowest healthcare prominence and standing amongst any other race indigenous to the Australian continent. This cultural imbalance needs to be resolved. Despite that the High Court of Australia, which is the highest supreme court in Australian Court hierarchy, recognizes this group as relatives of the earliest domesticated inhabitants, these inhabitants are still seemingly below the average level of Australian citizens. This peculiarity seems striking, at least that it should gain the notice of bipartisan diplomatic mission. Awareness of this shall be brought to notice at the forefront of any administrative governance.

The reader then understands her standpoint more clearly, and why she would want to pursue such knowledge; thus, her personal life provides a great example. Physical and psychological changes that occur as a result of the adaptation required to function in the new environment for a prolonged period of time,…… [read more]

Turnbull Ethno Colin Turnbull's Ethnography Book Review

… Turnbull Ethno

Colin Turnbull's Ethnography of the Mbuti

Based on the pretense that clinical and laboratory observations are often distorted by the false nature of the setting, field observation promotes the notion that to consider the subject's behavior in a… [read more]

Rethinking Popular Culture Essay

… ¶ … travel in another country has no doubt had the experience of realizing that other people in other places see things very differently. Travel allows us -- and forces us -- to engage ourselves with one of the most… [read more]

Cultural Awareness Thesis

… Culture and the Military

Cultural Awareness and Military Operations

Culture is a universal human phenomenon; it is impossible for an individual growing up in a given community not to be indoctrinated into that particular culture's attitudes and beliefs, even if… [read more]

Why Is Culture a Political Issue? Essay

… ¶ … Culture a Political Issue?

People today are living in an increasingly diverse world in terms of culture. Globalization and the rapid advances in communication technology since the middle of the 20th century are issues that have contributed significantly… [read more]

Human Variation Thesis

… Physical Anthropology

Human variation

Physical anthropology and racism: The interaction between supposedly objective science and cultural assumptions

Because of the sad history of human society, few academic disciplines are immune to accusations of racism. However, anthropology, because it purports to… [read more]

Spain Anthropologic Study of Spain However Anthropology Essay

… Spain

Anthropologic Study of Spain

However anthropology is perceived as a specific domain used in understanding long passed cultures and traditions, it in fact does much more than this -- it allows the individual to better comprehend the features of the modern states, their international relations and the realities of that particular country in the context of globalization and cultural diversity. A most relevant example in this sense is given by southwestern European country Spain.

The Concept of Anthropology

John Van Willigen (2002) finds applications of anthropology in nearly 40 domains, including fields such as agriculture, use of alcohol and drugs, criminality and law enforcement, economy, energy, education, healthcare, housing, military, nutrition, politics, religion or women's rights and development. Given the wide application of the concept, the reader could begin to wander about an actual definition of the anthropological concept. Offering such a definition is often a challenging task due to the complexity of the elements involved and several members of the academia have refused to narrow the concept down to a simple statement. Van Willigen has for instance stated that "applied anthropology is anthropology put to use. Given the change which is occurring in applied anthropology these days, it is tempting to leave the definitional question at that and go on to the next question."

The American Anthropological Association (2009) puts a different spin on the concept and presents its linguistic heritage. Derived from the Greek anthropos (human) and logia (study), anthropology represents the "study of humankind, from its beginnings millions of years ago to the present day." The concept covers wide areas of application, with anthropology being the sole field which strives to integrate human existence as a whole, in terms of both geographical delimitations and evolutionary time.

Unlike Van Willigen, the experts at the American Anthropological Association state that the concept is easy to define, but it becomes exponentially difficult to explain. They argue that anthropology applies to all aspects of life, including the study of the aboriginal population in Australia, the anatomy of a foot, the music of the African tribes or the corporate culture of a contemporaneous multinational. Despite the complexity of its applications, the goals of the anthropologic studies are clear and indisputable -- "to advance knowledge of who we are, how we came to be that way -- and where we may go in the future" (American Anthropological Association). The generic concept of anthropology is divided into four sub-fields: socio-cultural, biological, archeological and fourth, linguistic anthropology.

2. Anthropology in International Studies

As previously mentioned, anthropology has vast applications in numerous fields, one of these being international studies. The reason as to why anthropological studies find their applications in international issues is given by the fact that anthropology can help groups and individuals acquire a better comprehension of the countries in which they are interested. A better understanding of a foreign country leads to more fruitful relations with the respective state, in terms of all political, technological, environmental or socio-cultural interactions.

K. Ishwaran points… [read more]

Culture Compare and Contrast Two Different Definitions Thesis

… Culture

Compare and contrast two different definitions of culture. Which one do you subscribe to? Explain why one definition that you have selected better explains "the culture."

Perhaps the best definition of culture is that culture is "symbolic communication" (Choudhury 2009). Some of the tools used in symbolic communication include the "skills, knowledge, attitudes, values, and motives" of a particular group (Choudhury 2009). Inherent in this definition is the idea that the "meanings of the symbols are learned and deliberately perpetuated in a society through its institutions" (Choudhury 2009).

This suggests that culture is a kind of language, but a language in an unwritten and physical as well as a written sense. For example, in Japan, individuals from that culture collectively respect a greater physical distance between individuals when they first meet than is observed in the United States. This physical distance is 'understood' because the practice of respecting physical distance is instilled in individuals from birth through indirect observation and direct instruction. Also, in a high-context culture like Japan there is more acceptance of hierarchy, more deference to protocol, and greater formality between individuals personally and professionally in most arenas. Bowing rather than shaking hands underlines this greater sense of distance, formality, and respect. To transgress these rules and to try to use other symbolic means of communicate means to be either deliberately rude or to be misunderstood -- to be 'lost in translation' in a…… [read more]

Raymond Williams Keyword: Raymond Williams' Definition Term Paper

… ¶ … Raymond Williams

Keyword: Raymond Williams' Definition of Culture

According to Raymond Williams, "culture" has one of the most complicated histories of any word in the English language, with such terms as civilization. The terms 'Ministry of Culture,' 'civilization' and 'cultural anthropology' not far behind. Culture had the notion of cultivation in agriculture in the early French, Latin, and Old English variants. With this came the metaphorical notion of the cultivation of the mind in the writings of Sir Thomas More, Francis Bacon, and other 17th century thinkers. Gradually, in England the process of cultivation acquired definite class associations. There also arose a corresponding German association with 'Kultur' as synonymous with civilization, as in the civilization of a particular people, but also in terms of progress from a primitive state of affairs.

This notion that the 'civilization' of modern humanity as superior to that of primitive society can be seen in Sigmund Freud, who saw the repressive instinct demanded of civilization as necessary for the advancement of other aspects or definitions of what we might call culture, although he admitted in Civilization and its Discontents: "If civilization requires such sacrifices, not only of sexuality but also of the aggressive tendencies in mankind, we can better understand why it should be so hard for men to feel happy in it. In actual fact primitive man was better off in this respect, for he knew nothing of any restrictions on his instincts" (Freud 107). Regardless, 'non-civilized' came to be understood in some renditions as 'less cultured,' that is, more instinctual and sexual.

Culture has also become synonymous with the fine arts and literature. In some nations, a specifically designated Ministry of Culture supports such efforts. A quick 'Google' of Ministry of Culture reveals that many modern nations, from Turkey, to Ethiopia, to Cambodia, to Saudi Arabia, all have ministries of culture, often associated with promoting state tourism. This suggests culture as an 'artifact' or a commodity to be sold to outsiders.

In Williams culture…… [read more]

Face in Chinese Culture Westerners Doing Business in China Term Paper

… ¶ … Chinese culture - Westerners doing business in China

China has recently entered the global competition and has thrown open the doors to business by outsiders. In that context the business men of the west need to have a… [read more]

Context Cultures Term Paper

… ¶ … Cultures

Explain the difference between high context cultures and low context cultures using examples from two cultures with which you are familiar. Assume that you are doing business in a high context culture like Japan or China. What are the challenges involved that may impact your marketing goals in that culture? Use concrete examples to illustrate your points.

There are many differences between high context and low context cultures, with the majority of these differences being in the approach to communication, adherence to laws, nature and structure of agreements, relative view of attention to detail, directness, and several other factors that all culminate in how members of these cultures learn to trust each other (Lindsay, 2005). High context cultures include Japan and China. In these cultures there is a relative weak emphasis on the written word yet personal promises are considered binding and even more important that written agreements. A high context culture also relies heavily on nonverbal communication, and as a result view silken in a communication as respected and communicate. Specifically in the Japanese culture this is viewed as time to think through a thoughtful and insightful response, yet in a low context culture, silence is anxiety-producing and seen as non-communicative. Low context cultures include Germans, Swiss and Austrian cultures.

In marketing into a high context culture the challenges will be first gaining credibility and trust as a marketer of a foreign good (Lindsay, 2005) as these cultures place a high level of emphasis on…… [read more]

Cultural Diversity What Is Culture Term Paper

… Cultural Diversity

What is culture and cultural diversity?

According to one definition of culture and cultural diversity, cultural diversity means that all individuals have the right to live as they choose, so long as they do not impinge upon other people's rights. All people have an equal right to realize their life goals. The principle of cultural diversity guarantees respect for human rights, regardless of where individuals practicing their religious and cultural values may dwell on the globe. However, cultural diversity cannot be used as an argument to violate or limit the scope of the fundamental rights guaranteed by international law to national borders. In other words, to create a secular society and guarantee freedom of religion to all human beings on a universal scale, the United States cannot invade a nation like Iran. Iran is governed by a theocratic system of government that denies freedom of religion to its citizens, and does not uphold the United State's principles of toleration of all faiths and cultures ("The challenge of cultural diversity," 2007, Barcelona Forum 2004)

What are Rafael Rodriguez-Ponga's four main challenges for cultural diversity?

According to Rodriguez-Ponga the four main challenges posed by the principle of cultural diversity are as follows: the contradictions posed by the concept of cultural identity, the false claim of the universality of languages, competing rights and definitions of human equality, and the concept of the need to 'advance' culture to foster economic and political development. Rodriguez-Ponga notes that cultural identities are open, as is the case of European identity. "It is perfectly compatible to have various cultural identities," he states ("The challenge of cultural diversity," Barcelona Forum 2004). For instance, a person can define his or her identity as European, Judeo-Christian, and French-speaking Swiss.

Many times, pluralistic definitions of personal identity come into conflict. For example, in the current struggle to create a stable political situation in Iraq, individuals whose nationality and cultural identity is Iraqi conflict with their identity status as belonging a minority faction of Islam (Shiite) and seeing themselves as Kurdish, a member of a unique ethnic group within Iraq. Even Canada, which has embraced the pluralist or mosaic ideal…… [read more]

Impact of American Popular Culture Overseas Term Paper

… Popular Culture

According to a senior intellectual the collapse of the Nation is based on the failure of the intellectual, cultural, political and economic policies of the state, it is important to understand that the dominance of cultural and social… [read more]

Human Evolution Term Paper

… Human Evolution

Cultural variation and changes as determined by the evolutionary process: Analysis of "Culture and the Evolutionary Process" by Robert Boyd and Peter Richerson (1988)

In the study of human evolution, natural science is generally treated as having more significant and dominant role than social science, specifically anthropology or the study of culture. In the seminal work "Culture and the Evolutionary Process" (1988), authors Robert Boyd and Peter Richerson investigates and analyzes the role that the evolutionary process has in influencing cultural changes in the population. More specifically, the authors looked into the interplay between culture and science in helping develop human society holistically, that is, biologically and culturally.

Boyd and Richerson provide two general assumptions that lead to their hypothesis, which posits that science and culture significantly influence each other in understanding the human evolutionary process. In the words of the authors, "process-oriented "scientific" analyses help us understand how history works, and "historical" data are essential to test scientific hypotheses about how populations and societies change" (Boyd & Richerson, 1992:201).

The general assumptions that support the book's thesis include the following: (1) history is a determined pattern of cultural events that, when collated over a period of time, can help understand the human culture over a period or even in a specific or particular period of time, and (2) these determined patterns of cultural changes and variations influenced human evolution, simultaneously as biological changes are occurring in the living environment.

In order to establish the relationship of science and culture in promoting human evolution, Boyd and Richerson explicated on the concept of culture change as a precursor to history and historical changes, and ultimately, biological change in living organisms, particularly humans. The exploration into the possible link between culture and science (specifically evolutionary process) that the authors analyzed was not exactly a conceptual exploration but a methodological one. Boyd and Richerson sought to prove that determining cultural changes over time through evolutionary process theories and techniques is feasible and effective in tracing the origins of human evolution, both on a biological and cultural level.

With this methodology at hand, the analysis involved a "Darwinian approach" to culture, establishing the role that culture plays in determining history and influencing human behavior (that is, looking into one facet of human behavior as influenced by culture) (181):

The idea that unifies the Darwinian approach is that culture constitutes a system of inheritance. People acquire skills, beliefs, attitudes, and values from others by imitation and enculturation (social learning), and these "cultural variants" together with their genotypes and environments, determine their behavior. Since determinants of behavior are communicated from one person to another, individuals sample from and contribute to a collective pool of ideas that changes over time.

This passage brings into fore and launches the discussion on the interdependence of both genetic and cultural determinants to human evolution. In their discussion, Boyd and Richerson illustrated how cultural change is induced in human society in the same manner as biological changes changed the… [read more]

What Virtual Culture and the Information Revolution Term Paper

… ¶ … Virtual Cultures in Today's Information-oriented Society

In Macionis' article entitled, "Virtual Culture: Is It Good For Us?" he discussed the implications that changes in culture have brought to American society as it became more information-oriented with the advent of the Information Revolution. In the article, he posited that the Information Revolution has developed a culture that is artificial and unreal, a culture that is derived from the created 'heroes' and 'heroines' of multimedia and multinational companies.

However, in extending this argument in the article, it is vital to identify two important concepts dominantly mentioned in the article. The first concept discussed was the emergence and development of Information Revolution in American society and in general, to all societies that have a relatively advanced computer and Internet technologies. In the context of the article, Information Revolution was described as the creation of a changed society wherein innovations in computer, Internet, multimedia and other similarly related technologies have resulted to increased and improved conceptualization of ideas. These ideas, in turn, become depictions of reality, e.g., creation of 'realistic animation' of characters through 3-D animation, or computer-operated avatars that can talk and think logically like humans.

Related to the creation and development of Information Revolution is "virtual culture," loosely defined in the article as "images that spring from the minds of contemporary culture makers and that reach them through television, movie, or computer screen...Some of these cultural icons embody values that shape our way of life." Virtual cultures are composed of beliefs, values, traditions, and experiences that have "no historical reality," ideas that are merely products of popularized propaganda by the…… [read more]

Human Evolution Term Paper

… Anthropology

Behavioral Implications of Developmental Changes in Human Past

Just as humans have developed from a biological and physiological perspective over thousands of years, so too has human behavior. Much of human behavior in fact is influenced by developmental changes… [read more]

Anthropology, in the Broadest Sense Term Paper

… If the human being possesses an immaterial soul, they argue, it is reasonable to place him in a class of his own -- separate from other animals -- based upon this characteristic. However, problems exist even when attempting to identify… [read more]

Anthropological Concepts of 'Ethnocentrism' and 'Cultural Relativism Term Paper

… ¶ … anthropological concepts of 'ethnocentrism' and 'cultural relativism'.

Ethnocentrism and cultural relativity

The western world has for many centuries had an ethnocentric view of other cultures. This was due to its historical dominance in scientific and cultural areas. The… [read more]

Armenian Culture Term Paper

… American culture and IDENTITY

Who is an American? What is American identity or what is American culture for that matter? These questions as important as they may be are elusive in nature since a definite answer would involve various complex concepts. An average American is not a white person, he is not black, he is not even yellow or brown-in fact he is a little of all these and more because he represents a unique amalgamation of various cultures and ethnic backgrounds.

Naylor (1997) explains this complex nature of American culture and identity very effectively in his book 'Cultural Diversity in the United States':

Culture lies at the heart of almost everything humans think and do. A cultural group exists whenever a human grouping learns a particular set of beliefs and behaviors that distinguishes it from other groups. The United States is an identifiable nation-state culture group, for all of its members do share a core set of ideal beliefs, adhere to a set of prerequisite behaviors, and share the social/cultural systems that organize the culture's activities. At the same time, there are groupings in the United States that have their own set of beliefs and practices that designates them as cultural groups and distinguishes them within the larger nation-state context. Each of these represents a part of the whole that is the United States. Each is a constituent part of what is American Culture." (x - xi)

United States, many would say, doesn't have a culture to begin with. But that is not true. While it may not have a homogenous culture like Europe does or Asian countries boast of, but it certainly has a culture of its own which is still in its infancy. We need to understand that compared to Europe and Asia which have cultural legacy spanning several centuries, our country is still very young with an equally young culture. Our culture, characterized by MTV, McDonalds and baseball, is going through its teething period where it is trying to find its place in the world which is already full of very old and well established cultures. American culture, despite its youth, is definitely powerful. In a very short span of time it has come to dominate many other cultures and is spreading its wings to far corners of the world. It is the sheer power and strength of this culture which has turned into such a sore point for other cultures of the world. Many nations today complain that their children are becoming more Americanized. By this they refer to youth in other nations copying American trends and styles-eating McDonalds, playing football and wearing Nike. They are also watching the same shows like American youth. This goes to show that American culture, however young it may be, is still one of the most powerful cultures of the world. In a negative sense, this power along with youth has given American unprecedented influence over the world and may have contributed to the growth of many social ills.… [read more]

Marxist Anthropology and American Materialism Term Paper

… ¶ … Marxist Anthropology and American Materialism in the Science of Anthropology

Centering on the study of culture and human life, anthropology as a field of study in the social sciences looks at how people, as social actors, make use of artifacts and practice traditions and values that reflects the distinctive feature that characterizes the culture. With its inception in the 19th century through Sir Edward Tylor, who is also considered the father of anthropology, the science of studying cultures in various countries and societies have developed to include numerous theories that offer a different perspective or paradigm to explain a particular cultural phenomenon and feature.

Culture is reflected in all aspects of human life, be it through the study of religion, art, literature, and even mundane activities such as the use of language, conduct of traditions and rituals, as well as the lifestyle of people.

Cultures of the world share a set of fundamental characteristics, which commonly occurs to cultures of various nations and societies. The first characteristics of culture are that it is made up of "learned behavior," wherein values are passed from generation to generation in the form of traditions and rituals. Inherent in this characteristic is the utilization of man-made symbols, such as language, which people uses to represent and interpret commonly-held meanings of their experiences. Apart from these characteristics, culture is also relatively "patterned," yet, is also dynamic, as a result of the changing nature of values and behavior adopted by the members of that culture. More importantly, culture is shared and adaptable to all individuals, whether or not they have grown accustomed to the culture of a society or not (Chapter 4, 72).

Because of the dynamic nature of culture, anthropological theories and paradigms were formulated by social scientists in order to further explain the perpetuation or disintegration of a culture within the society. Two of the theories that are discussed in this paper are Marxist anthropology and American materialism, paradigms that best describes the nature of modernism in today's contemporary society.

Marxist anthropology was derived from Karl Marx's theory of class conflict within a capitalist (modern) society. This paradigm centers its focus in explaining cultures of the world through an "economic interpretation of history." The relationship between economy and history ultimately determines Marx's concept of class conflict, wherein the control and ownership of the means of production in the society leads to the dominance of the 'controlling' or elite class, to the detriment of the proletariat,…… [read more]

Socially-Constructed Societies / Cultures: Transmigrants and Transnationals Essay

… It is notable that Massey's thesis in his discourse centers its attention to the political and economic dynamics of migration, without any discussion of the social implications that international migration have contributed to American society (a core country) and the peripheral and semi-peripheral countries (mostly from the Asian and Middle Eastern regions).

The pluralist or multicultural model is reflected in discourses written by Kennedy, Matthews, and Schiller. In Paul Kennedy and Victor Roudometof's article entitled, "Transnationalism in a global age," the authors posits that "transnationalism communities and cultures need to be understood as constituting a much wider and more commonplace phenomenon" (1). Deviating from the socio-economic and political theory of Massey, Kennedy and Roudometof focus on the social and cultural developments of migration in the U.S. For the authors, migration is more than a demographic change, but a socio-cultural change as well, wherein migrants create their own society and culture in a foreign country. The authors then define these social and cultural communities as their concept of "place," which is "an imagined or symbolic unity built around shared meanings. Locality... is a purely symbolic notion of locality that becomes... community formation" (24).

Kim Matthews provides a similar argument with Kennedy and Roudometof's. In his article, "Boundaries of diaspora identity," Matthews reflects the multiculturalist or pluralist perspective of international migration by discussing the social, cultural, economic, and political adaptations of Central and East African-Asians in Canada. Matthews goes further into determining the social and cultural communities developed among migrants by centering also on the identity-formation processes that take place among them as they gradually assimilate and establish their own sub-society within the American society. Matthews' research yielded the result that migrants, more than developing "imagined communities," develop their identities as migrants by combining values, thinking, behavior, and actions of both their native and new socio-cultural roots. Nina Schiller also adopts the pluralist model in illustrating how "[t]he study of international migration is transformed into an investigation of migration as a transnational process" (94). Schiller in this statement shows that despite the geographic change that happen in migration, migrants are able to still associate themselves with their native society and culture, and this is by establishing "transnational social fields," wherein "familial, economic, religious, political, and social relations" are formed in an attempt to maintain an individual's original identity in foreign territory (96). Indeed, the pluralist model of migration "corresponds with emergence of a global culture," where migrants establish their native societies, cultures, or communities in a foreign territory, thereby creating a hybrid, yet unique form of society, bringing together in one sub-culture two cultures of the world (Castles and Miller, 1993:273). Hence, 'global culture' is established and further developed.


Castles, S. And M. Miller. (1993). The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World. London: Macmillan Press Ltd.

Kennedy, P. And V. Roudometof. Transnationalism in a global age. In Communities across Borders: New immigrants and transnational cultures. (2002). P. Kennedy and V. Roudometof (Eds.). NY: Routledge.

Massey, D. Why… [read more]

Cultural Anthropology Native Term Paper

… The outsider may enter the social situation armed with assumptions that he does not question and which guide him to certain types of conclusions; whereas the insider may depend too much on his own background and his personal sentiments. Many anthropologists feel that the native's view of his own culture reflects the most accurate view, since the aim of the anthropologist is to see things from the point-of-view of the native.

The problem is that there are "native anthropologists" but no "native anthropology." In other words, there is little theory that has been formulated from the point-of-view of tribal, peasant, or minority peoples. (Jones, 37) Old myths are still in the process of being exploded, and new ones being developed.

Resaldo, in his story of grief and a headhunter's rage explains that previously, he could not fathom the mentality behind man wanting to decapitate man, and sever the head and toss it away to "throw away the anger of his bereavement" (Rosaldo, 1). His life experiences had not yet provided him the means to relate or understand such behavior. It was only his perception of the personal experience of death that allowed him to fully comprehend the quality and intensity of rage and grief. This is merely an example he gives to make the point that the ethnographer, as a positioned subject, grasps certain human phenomenon better that others. "He or she occupies a position of structural location and observes with a particular angle of vision. He argues that the truth of objectivism has lost its "monopoly status" and that it now competes, on more nearly equal terms, with the "truths of case studies that are embedded in local contexts, shaped by local interests and coloured by local perceptions." (Rosaldo, 21). "The agenda for social analysis has shifted to include not only eternal verities and lawlike generalizations, but also political processes, social changes and human differences. (Rosaldo, 21) He argues that it is just as important to be subjective, and insider, and to relate to the cultural group that you are studying as it is to be objective, an outsider, and unfamiliar with the theoretical study of the culture of study.

In contrast, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Associate Professor of the Department of Anthropology argues that as an anthropologist, it is important to be an outsider. (Scheper-Hughes, 291) She has gleaned from her study of a Brazilian Shantytown that subjectivity can lead to the possible denial of cultural problems.

She learnt that sometimes it takes an outsider to see the "truth." Truth being that the women she spoke to firmly believed that it was poverty, scarce resources, poor hygiene - a fault of the government - that led to their babies' deaths. When in actual fact, Scheper Hughes could see that very often, the mothers were actually the ones neglecting their babies, and although poverty, contaminated water etc. had a lot to do with the death of so many infants, it was not the only cause. "It became painfully apparent that Alto… [read more]

Human Rights and Culture Smehra Term Paper

… Politics have become so heavily involved with clashing religious factions, that cultural autonomy has been undermined, and Northern Ireland's communities are divided, not just because of religion, but between being Irish and English. The Irish of Northern Ireland have had their culture divided and 'ransacked' making them less unique to Ireland's culture than the Republic of Ireland, even though they share the same traditions and cultural background. While this is a political issue, and one that doesn't affect the tradition of the culture, it is an example of what could happen if cultures and individuals within them are not given autonomy over their own culture.

The culture of indigenous peoples is what makes them unique, though paradoxically, it is also what brings indigenous cultures together. There is a common thread that runs through them, be it through their folklore, or their beliefs on life and death. Regardless of how similar cultures may become, or be argued as being 'practically equal', they can never be regarded as the same. Cultures are defined by the people who follow and practice particular beliefs, traditions and folklore and, autonomy within a culture is based on a group making and acting upon decisions together. Another culture can not impose on this autonomy because they do not share the same group dynamic, that is to say, they are different, therefore should not hold the right to these decisions.

Cultural autonomy allows a culture to express its talents and abilities, and inherently its beliefs. It gives direction to a community; the individual that relies on culture to act as the foundation of who they are. If we take autonomy away from the culture we inadvertently take autonomy away from the individual- we are forcing our own Free Will upon someone else because of their culture. For no other reason, this kind of action goes against human rights.

We are coming into an age where the world is being defined on its multi-culturalism. Individuals are discovering their heritage and cultural backgrounds and exploring what culture means to them. We are also in an age where many people still fear cultures outside of their own. This is a fear based on ignorance and is making it harder for certain cultures to coexist together. This is shown through the perception of Muslims in America after the events of 9/11. Cultural autonomy gives us identity, and formulates a basis from which we grow and develop as human beings. To refuse cultures the right to their autonomy means we are refusing certain individual rights to groups in society, and therefore creating an imbalance in community and individuals.

If we decide to place our own laws and practices over a culture that has governed themselves under similar laws (right vs. wrong, etc.) but refuse them their cultural rights, we are still taking away their autonomy. Cultures may be similar in how they perceive crime and punishment, but they should not have to govern themselves outside of their own beliefs, regardless of how we… [read more]

Anthropology: An Analysis Term Paper

… " It is described how these changes mean individuals and cultures are able to interact like never before. Appadurai does not try to argue any particular point, but instead presents an overview of the situation. This overview is meant as background material that may lead to a theory that adequately explains the interaction and shaping of cultures in the global village.

Appadurai is particularly persuasive because of his use of modern examples that show how different cultures interact in the new global village. One example is where Appadurai describes the popularity of American songs in the Philippines and how the Philippine culture is more likely to be nostalgic about the American past, than the American culture is. As Appadurai (30) says, "these Filipino's look back to a world they have never lost." This example is a concrete example that the reader is able to understand. This makes the point clear and, combined with the more intellectual discussion, creates a persuasive argument.

The most confusing part of the article is that Appadurai asks more questions than he answers. Appadurai does not attempt to provide a lot of answers, but instead poses many questions that are worth thinking about. While this is effective in a way, the amount of questions asked makes the article difficult to understand. The article would be more effective if Appadurai raised some questions, but provided enough definite information to allow the reader to think effectively about the question. Instead the reader is left with no clear thoughts and too many uncertainties to begin to understand the situation.

Appadurai agrees with the many scholars that have noted that capitalism has led to a world where cultures interact. While Appadurai agrees with these scholars, he also notes that these theories need to go further. This is not based on these scholars being wrong, but based on the fact that the world is becoming increasingly interactive and these theories no longer apply to the current situation. To keep up with this changing world, Appadurai argues that new theories are required to adequately explain the new global village.

Both of the articles have now been analysed, with their individual characteristics noted. This has shown that each author takes a different view on basically the same subject area. Ong focuses on the individual in the industrial nations of Mexico and Asia and uses this to show that what anthropologists have theorized about the situation does not equal the reality of the situation. Appadurai makes this same point, though rather than offer a theory to explain the situation, provides the background information that may allow an appropriate theory to be developed.

Works Cited

Appadurai, Arjun. "Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Community." Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

Ong, Aihwa. "The Gender and Labor Politics of Postmodernity." The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital. Ed. Lisa Lowe and David Lloyd. Durham: Duke University Press, 1997.

Sahlins, Marshall. "Cosmologies of Capitalism: The Trans-Pacific Sector… [read more]

Overlap of the Disciplines of Anthropology Essay

… ¶ … overlap of the disciplines of anthropology and history. What can various subdisciplines of There is a definite relationship between the academic disciplines of anthropology and history. History involves several different facets of the actions and events that have taken place on the planet. Some of those actions and events specifically relate to mankind and its development on the planet. In this regard, anthropology effectively functions as the history of man and his cultural evolutions on the planet. Thus, in studying man's history one is actually studying anthropology, while in studying anthropology one is effectively analyzing various aspects of history.

The principle point of overlap between these two disciplines is that anthropology is actually a subject in history. Virtually anything related to anthropology is considered history. Granted, there are some aspects of anthropology that speculate about future developments in this field and their manifestations. Similarly, there are certain parts of this field that are concerned with present developments in mankind's progress and evolution. But at some point these contemporary developments will be included as historical ones, and the vast majority of research in this field is based on the (relatively) longstanding history of mankind and its evolution.

Another area of overlap between history and anthropology pertains to the role that culture plays in both of these disciplines. There are certain stratifications in history that pertain to specific cultures and the events and people that played an influential role in how those cultures changed over time. The notion of culture is central to anthropology, which is not only concerned with the culture of mankind as a whole but also with how various cultures of man were created and have changed over time. In this regard, the chronological development of culture is an aspect…… [read more]

Dark Raptures: Colonial Enterprise as Reflected in Anthropological Photography and Ethnography Research Paper

… Anthropological Photography in Africa

In what way does the academic discipline of anthropology partake of what Patricia Hayes describes as "emerging colonial photographic rituals marking subjugation and power"? (Hayes 141). In this paper, I will examine the work of two… [read more]

Change in Cultures Essay

… However, recently the Catholic Church has taken the stance that evolution reflects the process of divine creation and that the two ideas are not disparate.

All of the possible mechanisms of cultural change such as diffusion, acculturation, war, invention, exchange of ideas, etc. fall within at least one of these three proposed general modes of cultural change discussed by Rochon (1998) and provide the stimulant for how cultures change.

There are some instances where a particular culture will refuse to change. Perhaps the biggest barrier to cultural change is ethnocentrism (Richerson & Boyd, 2008). Cultures that are extremely ethnocentric will tend to view anything different in terms of their own set of cultural values and will therefore not be open to compromising these values. Thus, extreme ethnocentrism can cloud the perception of the particular culture to and result in a form of reactance, where anything new or different is viewed as being maladaptive, threatening, or limiting the values/rights of the members of a particular culture. However, it could be argued that mere exposure to new ideas offers some change in culture, even if this change is imperceptible or if the change simply results in increased resistance to a particular idea or value that previously did not exist.


Barnett, H.G. (1953). Innovation: The basis of cultural change. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Inglehart, R., & Welzel, C. (2005). Modernization, cultural change, and democracy: The human development sequence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Richerson, P.J., & Boyd, R. (2008). Not by genes alone: How culture transformed human evolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Rochon, T.R. (1998). Culture moves: Ideas, activism, and changing values. Princeton: Princeton

Steward, J.H. (1990).…… [read more]

Cultural Diversity in the United States Essay

… S. Secondly, the U.S. is home to different religions based on freedom of religion.

The concept of cultural diversity is vital because it provides us with a chance to understand the different perspectives across the globe in which we live. Cultural diversity helps us recognize and respect different backgrounds of people who may be different from us. According to Pojman (1999), cultural diversity allows us to understand how other people perceive life. Pojman shows that Eskimos starve their elderly folks to death while Spartans of ancient Greece believed that stealing was morally right contrary to our beliefs. Cultural diversity makes our nation a more interesting place to live as people from different cultures contribute new ways of thinking, different experiences, and new knowledge. I believe that cultural diversity should be advanced at all levels.

The concept of cultural diversity is valuable to our country because workplaces and institutions of learning are increasingly consisting of different racial, ethnic, and cultural groups. The dawn of globalization and the advancement of technology have resulted in increased multinational activities. As such, people from different countries and with different cultures often interact to advance trade. Cultural diversity comes into play by allowing equality and the inclusion of all people irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. In addition, institutions of learning have increased cultural interaction through exchange programs. This later promotes cultural diversity within educational institutions.

Cultural diversity in the U.S. forms an integral part of statehood. The American culture is based on the principles of equality, and various freedoms such as freedom of worship are grounded on cultural diversity. In fact, America would not have been the same country as it is today without the diverse cultural groups. On the other hand, cultural diversity is not an entirely good concept as it allows the perpetuation of controversial behaviors. Cultural diversity brings with it certain retrogressive cultures such as homosexuality. The issue of homosexuality is among the widely contested topics in the U.S. And around the world and. Since some cultural groups in the U.S. embrace or support homosexuality, other people opposed to the custom may strongly oppose it leading to cultural tensions.

Concisely, cultural diversity promotes the idea that everyone can make a constructive and exceptional involvement to the wider society irrespective of their differences. With increased globalization, communication, and transportation across different nations, cultural diversity only serves to better the global cultural dimensions through new ways of thinking and knowledge. Without America's rich mixture of races, cultures and religions, the U.S.A. would not be the state it is today. As such, the U.S. would not be considered as an example of countries leading in the promotion of equality and freedom. Therefore, cultural diversity is a desirable aspect in the U.S.


Pojman, L. (1999). Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong, 3rd edition. Belmont, CA:

Wadsworth.… [read more]

Outline of Schein ) Essay

… 3. Culture matters: because it is "powerful, tacit and unconscious and determines both individual and collective behavior.

A. Values and thought patterns of leaders are determined in part by individual cultural backgrounds and shared experiences.

B. Understanding the role played by culture to make organization more efficient and effective.

C. Making leaders aware of unique role as creators of culture, evolvers of culture and managers of culture.

E. The more questions that are asked the more inconsistencies will be exposed.

4. Shared tacit assumptions

A. Need to think historically about organization

B. Culture's essence is values and beliefs that are learned in shared experiences.

C. Reason culture is difficult to change because it represents shared learning of group along with "ways of thinking, feeling, and perceiving the world." (p.28)

D. Understanding why culture cannot be measured.

E. Understanding why there is no wrong or right culture.

F. Culture as a pattern of assumptions

G. Multidimensionality in assessing culture's strengths and weaknesses.

5. Complexity of Culture

A. Number of dimensions

B. Interconnection of dimensions

C. Ten Deep assumptions

i. Rugged individualism and entrepreneurial spirit in methods of success.

ii Employees willing and able to take responsibility.

iii. smart entrepreneurial individuals that crate innovatively and debate to establish truth

iv. work required to be fun

v. every individual a family member having job security.

vi. customers treated with complete respect and never lied to.

vii. responsible individuals with the right heart can solve all problems.

viii. engineers are best informed.

ix. internal competition among projects and market deciding how to define priorities.

x. maintenance of centralized paternalistic control required.

D. Understanding that assumptions interact directly with other assumptions.

F. Failure means person in…… [read more]

Creswell ), Chapter Term Paper

… ¶ … Creswell (2013), Chapter 4

What is the background for each approach (narrative study, a phenomenology, a grounded theory, ethnography, and a case study)?

Narrative research may refer to the subject matter, or the technique used in a study.… [read more]

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