Study "Anthropology / Culture" Essays 56-109

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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… [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]

Youth and Adult Term Paper

… Subcultures

The Goth Culture and Society

The group I chose for this particular assignment is the Goth culture. I find this group to be interesting in the sense that while Goth individuals I have observed seem to be anti-mainstream, they all seem to be very similar in appearance when put one beside each other -- I am interested in studying the clash of ideas between originality and conformity within their own subculture. The main identity of the Goth culture would be the dark appearance -- most asserted Goth individuals can be recognized by their dark clothing and makeup and even Victorian-era influenced attires and accessories (Wilson). As stated in Goth: Undead Subculture, keynotes from the Goth culture are traced back to the Punk era, demonstrating a romanticized affinity for the macabre (Bibby and Goodlad, 1). Since the Goth culture started to emerge and gained popularity through the underground world -- the rebellious Punk movement, as aforementioned -- it is safe to say that its relationship with society as a whole is tormented and indicates a separation from the mainstream culture and a detachment from what is considered acceptable within society's boundaries. However, the Goth culture has created a "strong sense of shared identity even while traversing geographical boundaries" (Bibby and Goodlad, 6).

The Goth culture and "scene" started to appear back in the late 1970's, following the debut of the post Punk movement. Bands such as Joy Division, Bauhaus and Siouxsie and the Banshees are said to be at the root of the emergence of Goth and by 1982, the English press had coined the term gothic rock to describe a movement that translated itself by being a dressier, fancier version of Punk fashion (Bibby and Goodlad, 2). Since then, the culture itself has grown into a mainstream fashion in the mid-1990s only to become a subtle permanent fixture in today's society (Bibby and Goodlad, 8). It is impossible to call individuals belonging to the Goth culture "members," as being Goth is… [read more]

Multiculturalism Is Being Challenged by New Theories of Cosmopolitanism Essay

… Multiculturalism Challenged by New Theories of Cosmopolitanism

Reasons and challenges of developing policies of multiculturalism in Australia

Multicultural theory is broad often defying its obvious definition. It might be used as a demographic fact that describes the coexistence of individuals… [read more]

Culture Might Influence the Perception Essay

… The need to affirm relationships before, during, and after a negotiation is just as important as anything expressed explicitly in dialogue. This emphasis on community values also reflects a more polychromic notion of time, in which more than one thing is being affirmed during a single incident -- agreeing to do something is not simply a good business decision, but is also perceived as paving the way for a long-term relationship.

Although Japan may be a 'workaholic' nation like the United States, this derives less from a sense of individualistic self-betterment and more from wishing to honor community expectations (Brislin & Kim 2003: 371). Values such as honoring one's social obligations, becoming part of a fabric of a community and filial piety are not completely absent in the U.S., but are given far less emphasis and are thus far less significant in motivating behaviors and shaping attitudes towards time (Lu, Gilmour, & Kao 2001: 487).

Long-term and short-term orientations can also affect people's health. Cultures that are very short-term and present-focused may give less priority to taking preventative steps to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. When advised to eat less sugar and stop smoking, the patient may simply shrug his or her shoulders and say, fatalistically, "we're all going to die of something." Particularly if the culture is very communitarian in orientation and socialization and doing what other people are doing (such as overeating, smoking, and drinking) is given great importance, this can result in poorer health outcomes. Cultures with a strong emphasis on the past and not on the present or on the future can be reluctant to change unhealthy behaviors (such as in Latin America) while cultures with [read more]

Material Culture Commodities Are Good to Think Essay

… ¶ … culture - commodities are "good to think with"

The Proposition that commodities are "good to think with" was stated by Levi-Strauss in his theoretical models in an attempt crack the code of culture and to explain the meaning of the existence of objects. Levi-Strauss explained that the existence of the material objects is not just to serve straight forward utilitarian purposes. He further noted that the existence of objects is to enable humans to construct and give meanings within their cultural universe which is what he termed as a symbolic role of objects (Paul a. Soukup, 2011)

The meaning of the concept from the symbolic perspective that commodities are good to think with can be derived based on what every object symbolizes and what a consumer can think of while getting the utility value from the object or just by seeing the object we already think of something which varies depending on one's culture. Different individuals based on their own cultural beliefs in one way or another have attached cultural meanings to certain objects. These objects are used to identify specific cultures as they represent that particular culture and whenever one interacts with such commodities for instance food or clothing or craftwork, we think of that particular culture they represents or symbolizes. Objects are owned for different reasons and the value that one gets from an object he or she acquires is what differentiates consumption. Both the cultural and personal experiences while one interacts with various objects play an integral role in what these objects mean or make us think of. At the mention of an object, one's mind wonders around what that particular object can do which therefore explains that we use the commodities to think and we do not just need the commodities for their utility values. (Sherry Tuckle, n.d).

There is a difference between the objects in the non-western societies and the western societies. Western societies represent an advanced consumer society flooded with so many commodities of which some are meaningless when presented to individuals from non-western societies or have little or no personal or cultural value. Roland Barthes a French Semiotician concentrated on this part of analyzing and interpreting the proliferation of commodity objects within the advanced societies. Barthes mentioned that certain commodities have more stories to tell, others are political only that the political aspects have been detached. He associated a bunch of red roses with the cultural symbol of romance and love and a wedding ring to mean a romantic love. He also attached meaning to the mode of dressing to mean that individuals wore certain dresses or adopted certain dress codes not for comfort… [read more]

Culture Memory Studies This Week's Readings Essay

… Culture

Memory Studies

This week's readings discussed the idea of memory and its connection to culture and identity. Memories are versions of ones past that are depicted as words and images (Connerton, 2003). It is how and why a person remembers things that make the study of memories very interesting. According to Coser (1992), Halbwachs believed that there is a definite connection between what people remember and their sense of identity. People tend to identity strongly with the culture in which they live and their relation to that culture. It is through these associations with the culture around them that people remember things. According to Assman (1995), cultural memory is that association of events in ones past with fixed points. The fixed points are fixed events that are maintained and remembered through cultural formation.

According to Kansteiner (2002), collective memory is not just a historical record of things that have happened to people, but rather a collective phenomenon that only manifests itself in the current actions and statements of a person. This notion is further advanced by Assman when he argues that cultural memories are stored archives that occur in the mode of actuality as they… [read more]

Common Mistakes in Correctional Group Leading Defining Culture in Context Article Review

… ¶ … Correctional Group Leading

In "Common mistakes in correctional group leading," Jacobs and Spadaro discuss some of the challenges in leading a group in the correctional facility setting and how to avoid the common mistakes one finds in those settings. The purpose of this chapter is to help the practitioner avoid some of the mistakes that frequently occur when leading the correctional group leading. The article is a chapter from a book, not an article describing research; therefore there are no real research findings, methodology, or results for a specific hypothesis. However, the article does discuss the pitfalls that are common in leading a group in a correctional setting. The nine common pitfalls are: allowing inexperienced or unskilled leaders to lead groups; not planning; not making the group meaningful; being intimidated; not interrupting members; spotlighting members when trying to draw them out; responding to every comment; not having a theory; and not involving other members when working with one member (Jacobs & Spadaro, 2003).

This article is helpful for the interviewing process because groups are essentially interviews with a number of different people. However, the fact that there are multiple people in a group complicates the process of giving and sharing of information. The group leader may lead the group, but never completely controls a group because other group members may introduce information to the group setting that is outside of the parameters of what the leader would like introduced to the group. One of the big mistakes that the authors discuss is that some group leaders simply allow the group members to fill up time talking about irrelevant things. What this means is that group leaders have to be able to guide the group discussion process, but not dominate the discussion; learning how to guide without dominating is a critical component for group leaders.


Jacobs, E., & Spadaro, N. (2003). "Common mistakes in correctional group leading" in

Leading… [read more]

Consumer Culture Theory and Post Article Review

… The authors begin by explaining a little about what the postmodernist perspective and theory are. They also describe a brief history of the ways postmodernism has been used in various fields of study over the past century, approximately. Then, the authors begin their discussion of postmodernism's role in understanding and performing consumer research. The authors spend quite a bit of time explaining the critiques of postmodernism. This is an interesting and effective strategy to understand the context within which consumer research uses postmodernism. It is also an interesting and uncommon strategy to begin by highlighting a theory's weaknesses in great detail before extolling its virtues and utility. It is a different approach and it was a nice break from typical academic journal style argumentation. The thesis of the article is composed of four parts with primary focus on the urge to aptly, accurately, and fully describe the postmodern consumer market spectrum of experience within a single unifying logic, which they call market logic.

The authors conclude that postmodernist theory is a highly appropriate and effective theory to use when researching and reflecting upon issues in consumer culture for many reasons. The authors use critique, comparative analysis, and historical review to show the reader how to use postmodernism in relation to topics in consumer culture. The authors illustrate the complimentary relationship between consumer culture and postmodernist theory. They are compatible because they are both situated within cultural flux and cultural plurality of identity and experience. They are both heavily concerned with the role of aesthetics as well. This article is intriguing, engaging, and well executed.


Arnould, E.J., & Thompson, C.J. (2005) Consumer Culture Theory (CCT): Twenty Years of Research. Journal of Consumer Research, 31(4), 868 -- 882.

Firat, A.F., & Venkatesh, A. (1995) Liberatory Postmodernism and the Reenchantment of Consumption.… [read more]

Theories Comparison Term Paper

… Anthropologists

Comparing Anthropologists

Like all sciences, and especially the "soft" or human sciences that rely on some level of subjective measurement and interpretation as objective measurements are impossible, anthropology contains many different approaches, theories, and constructs. This does not mean that the science is inexact or in conflict, but simply that there are different perspectives, different ways of examining the world, and different potential explanations for phenomena that are often more likely to be complimentary than in opposition. The separate approaches and theories of colleagues Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, two women at the forefront of anthropology's development in the early twentieth century, illustrate quite clearly how different constructs don't have to yield conflicting results.

The configurational approach Benedict outlines in her book Patterns of Culture views culture as a large and cohesive phenomenon analogous to individual personality, and that only a few select traits from the wide variety of available traits are somehow selected and placed at the forefront of cultural expressions and endeavors. This approach to anthropology is holistic and comprehensive, viewing everything that could be studied in the culture as related to everything else, inseparable for all intents and purposes. Rituals, beliefs, customs, and values within a culture all center around the trait or traits that are emphasized in that culture. In this way, culture is configured as a cohesive whole, with all rituals working to reinforce and perpetuate not simply the values and beliefs that a particular culture holds, but also the culturally emphasized… [read more]

Nursing Theories Transcultural Care Research Paper

… The Model is a circle, with an outlying rim representing global society, a second rim representing community, a third rim representing family, and an inner rim representing the person (Kim-Godwin, et al., 2001). The interior of the circle is divided… [read more]

Consequences of Cultural Conflicts Book Report

… This is especially true when the cultural and racial differences are dramatic. Economic exploitation is not uncommon and in the United States many consider the undocumented worker problem a specious argument because the U.S. benefits considerably from a cheap labor source.

Historically, the cultural norms that developed in Europe and America became distinct from the rest of the world. These cultures focused on creativity and a free market, leading to significant advances in the arts and sciences, agriculture, management, communications, literature, and complex social institutions. The result was a culture that valued individualistic progress over a collectivist ideal. Myers (2010) points out that "individualism's benefits can come at the cost of more loneliness, more divorce, more homicide, and more stress-related disease (Popenoe, 1993; Triandis et al., 1988)," but the tendency towards violence is not restricted to individualistic cultures. Domestic violence, for example, is not uncommon among couples emigrating to the U.S. from collectivist cultures that emphasize group consciousness or loyalty to the greater good. Applying for U.S. permanent residency can create conditions that favor the emergence of domestic violence because the wife is dependent on the husband for residency status. Erez, Salcido, and Adelman (as cited in Erez, E., Adelman, M., Gregory, C, 2009) stated:

"Covertures, in effect, identify the married couple as a single legal entity, within which the husband has control over the property and body of the wife and their children. Similarly, women who immigrate as wives of U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, diplomats, students, or workers are legally dependent on others to sponsor, pursue, and complete their visa petitions. This legal dependency intensifies gendered inequality, creates new ways for men to abuse and control their intimate partners, and entraps battered women." (p. 37).

Language problems can exacerbate a domestic violence situation because of the sense of increased isolation. The idea of seeking help from the police or other government agencies may seem impossible. Friction can also be created when the marriage is between individuals from different cultures and victims may become confused by their own norms and how they judge right and wrong. Since Asian cultures tend to be collectivist, marriages with native-born Americans can create significant problems as individualist norms clash with collectivist norms. If a language barrier still exists, this can only aggravate the sense of isolation, misunderstanding, and helplessness felt by everyone involved.

Victims find themselves with conflicting needs when trapped in a domestic violence situation as an immigrant. The culture of origin will determine to a large extent how victims respond. Yick (2007) notes that, "Many Asian-American and immigrant women avoid disclosing incidences of violence for fear of losing face. Shame is not merely an individual consequence; rather, the entire family is shamed. Such a burden keeps many women silent" (from Lee & Lawy, 2001, p. 279). Cultural norms and language difficulties combine to form a significant cultural barrier to finding relief from a domestic abuse situation.

The belief systems of different religions also bring about differences in personal and social development.… [read more]

Cultural Dimensions and Barriers in Warsaw Essay

… Warsaw: Cultural Dimensions and Barriers

An understanding of intercultural communication is becoming more and more important in the modern changing world. Online communication, the Internet and phenomena such as globalization have made awareness of other cultures extremely important, especially in… [read more]

Lawrence of Arabia Movie Review

… Trying to show his British superiors that there is more to warfare than tanks and planes and mortar fire.

Does the film try to present a unified culture?

In one way it does, as Lawrence is able to unify the nomads (Arabs) to attack the Turks. Lawrence's sheer will and charisma helps to unite the desert tribes; they see him as some form of savior. The film also presents a strong Lawrence, but it also points to the diversity of human characters in the desert, including the British, the Arabs, the Turks, and of course Lawrence, who is certainly different from all the rest yet he identifies with the Arabs (including the nomads). Joseph Bottum writes that Lawrence had "the almost impossible personal bravery and finely wrought character that made him perhaps the greatest leader of small forces in the 20th century" (Bottum, 2011).

How is the film not anthropological? Did it sound the trumpet of Westernization?

This film has so much anthropology woven into the fabric of its plot and characters, including the beliefs, customs, the impact of humans on other humans, the few things that seem not to be anthropological: a) the Royal Navy (featuring the HMS Hardinge) that helped to resupply Faisal's 10,000 men (Faisal was the son of Hussein, whom Lawrence was helping) against the Turks; and b) the blasts that blew up the train tracks that the Turks were counting on to continue their control of areas of Arabia. The film did not sound the trumpet of Westernization because Lawrence was the very antithesis of Western warfare and culture. He adopted the culture he was involved with, and eschewed Western values. And yes, the film did present British culture as missing "some internal element" -- that is, the ability to get down off the high horse and understand the real people living in the desert. That's why Lawrence was successful, he got off his British high horse and got on a camel, to lead people to survival over the insurgent Turks.

Works Cited

Bottum, Joseph. (2011). Being T.E. Lawrence. Policy Review, Issue 166, 65-70.

Caton, Steven Charles. (1999). Lawrence of… [read more]

Intended Major? Application Essay

… 2. Tell us about a personal quality, talent, accomplishment, contribution or experience that is important to you. What about this quality or accomplishment makes you proud and how does it relate to the person you are?

When I was a high school student, I was lazy. I will not lie: I did all my work at the last minute and I even occasionally cheated on my exams. It is only because I was uninspired that I did not develop the internal drive and motivation that would encourage me to accomplish goals. Without passion, I feel dead inside like nothing really matters. I was not alone in my lack of energy or enthusiasm; I knew several other students who lacked drive. Now that I have discovered passion, I feel like I will never lose it. Passion is for me the most important personal quality, and the one that will most ensure my future success.

My parents had to send me to a private school due to the fact that they were new immigrants and I was not yet an American citizen. The tuition to the private school was enormous: over $20,000 per year. Of course, at the time I took for granted that my parents did this because they wanted me to succeed. Their hearts were broken when I went to a local community college after I graduated. After all the money they invested in my education, I let them down by not showing any focus or drive. They did not know how to motivate me. No one could have anticipated that I needed to have a revelation about my true calling in life.

Moreover, no one could have predicted that revelation would ironically come in a community college classroom. Everything happens for a reason. Simply signing up for the anthropology course changed my life. From day one, I sat at the front of the room. I checked out books from the library and studied in the school library until they shut down for the night. When I came home from classes, I could not stop talking about what I learned that day. It got to the point where my parents became bored hearing me talk so much about anthropology. Then one day my mom said, "It is really nice to see you finally happy."

It dawned on me that I can only be successful if I am passionate about what I am doing and about what I hope to accomplish. The passion I feel for the field of anthropology is something that now makes me very proud because it has become part of who I am. Before now, I did not have a strong sense of self. It is as if I needed a total identity transformation and I received it in a most unlikely place. I cannot imagine studying anything else with as much vigor as anthropology and I look forward to excelling as an anthropology major at the University of California. Because I have passion for this subject,… [read more]

Duality in Fanon Essay

… ¶ … National Culture:

Fanon and the difficulty of creating a new "National Culture"

Fanon's 1959 essay "On National Culture" discusses the process of intellectual liberation, and was written when scores of Latin America, African, and Asiatic republics were finally… [read more]

Forensic Anthropology Term Paper

… Forensic Anthropology

In a general perception, forensic anthropology can be described as "the purpose of the theory and approaches of anthropology to forensic difficulties" (James and Nordby, 2006). More specifically, forensic anthropology deals with the proof of identity and analysis… [read more]

Columbian Exchange Every Culture Essay

… Diversity of culture should always be valued as an asset b the help of which people can compete with other nations in a unique way. Individuals belonging from different races and backgrounds can contribute towards the productivity of the country b working collectively as team. However some problems might come in the way but they should be handled with efficiently. Strong leadership can solve the problems of the differences prevailing among segments of the society once the followers decide that they are going to follow a particular leader. Leadership will clarify the vision and mission of the nation which will uplift the youth of the country from such minor things like race, color, sex or religion.

Work Cited

Adler, Nancy J. 1983. "Cross-Cultural Management Research: The Ostrich and the Trend." The Academy of Management Review 8(2): 226-232.

Audretsch, David, Dirk Dohse, and Annekatrin Niebuhr. n.d. "Cultural diversity and entrepreneurship: a regional analysis for Germany." The Annals of Regional Science 45(1): 55-85.

Barachini, Franz. 2007. "Cultural and social issues for knowledge sharing." Journal of Knowledge Management 13(1): 98-110.

Fave, Antonella D., and Marta Bassi. 2009. "The contribution of diversity to happiness research." The Journal of Positive Psychology 4(3): 205-207.

Niebuhr, Annekatrin. 2010. "Migration and innovation: Does cultural diversity matter for regional R&D activity?" Papers in Regional Science 89(3): 563-585.

Padilla, Amado M. 1994. "Ethnic… [read more]

Ethnography Le Petit Cafe Thesis

… 21).

The fact that my father can show Russian sporting events such as soccer on television in a small cafe in Brighton Beach proves that globalization has impacted human community development. The ethnography also highlights the viability of multiculturalism and its continued relevance in the United States. Far from being a melting pot, the United States is more like a salad in which the individual parts can be perceived for their unique qualities. Although multiculturalism has been decried as detrimental to cultural unity, I observed that the opposite is true. Le Petit Cafe is an American establishment that happens to be located in a community of predominantly Russian immigrants who bond because of kinship and a common language. "Despite concerns that increasing diversity will undermine American cultural unity, many studies of the immigrant second generation, the children of immigrants, have shown a deep integration into mainstream American society," (Chapter 13, p. 33).

Le Petit Cafe provides a unique insight into a Russian immigrant community, revealing the dynamics of kinship, gender, and global population migration. Globalization was noted to be a tremendous force in how the Russian immigrant community developed in Brighton Beach, and how it currently congregates in places like Le Petit Cafe. The economic impetus of globalization makes labor migration possible and it also makes it possible to view international sporting events, which become a source of social networking. Sports also reveals the gender hierarchies and gender stratification that is evident in both the subculture of the immigrant community as well as the greater American society. Kinship dynamics determined my ability to connect and interact with the patrons of Le Petit Cafe, and to penetrate deep into the culture as a participant-observer.

Works Cited

"Culture and Power." Chapter 2

Guest, Kenneth J. "Anthropology in a Global Age." Intro… [read more]

Managing Across Culture in Doing Business Oversea Term Paper

… Natl Preferences

Assessing Current Models of Cultural Dimensions and Practical Implications for the Workplace

Business used to be conducted at the local marketplace -- a specific centralized area or single street within a town or village where crops and crafts… [read more]

Studies of the Subjective Culture of Harry C. Triandis Research Paper

… Triandis and the Theory of Subjective Culture

In spite of the importance of individualism in understanding the way that people relate to one another and to the world around them, Harry C. Triandis makes the overarching argument in his work… [read more]

Counting the Dead the Culture and Politics of Human Rights Activism in Columbia Essay

… Counting the Dead

The work Counting the Dead: The Culture and Politics of Human Rights Activism in Columbia by Winifred Tate, offers the reader a core sense of the cultural, political divergence of ideologies of Human Rights and stresses that… [read more]

Anthropological Thought Essay

… Spencer, Herbert. 1860. The Social Organization. The Westminster Review. In Anthropological Theory: An Introductory Theory. Fourth Edition. R. McGee and Richard Warms. McGraw Hill.

The purpose of Spencer's article is to introduce the concept that social structure is similar to… [read more]

Roy Wagner in the Idea of Culture Term Paper

… Roy Wagner

In "The Idea of Culture," Roy Wagner suggests that the study of anthropology invented the notion of culture itself. Anthropology is essentially the study of the "phenomenon of man" (2). An anthropologist studies both the parts of a culture including its artifacts or religious rituals, and the whole of culture: the unifying elements of humanity. The anthropologist sets out to examine "man's actions and meanings down to the most basic examine them in universal terms in an attempt to understand them," (2). In the diversity of human experience, the anthropologist seeks to discover both common ground and differences between cultures. It is also impossible to achieve absolute objectivity" in the study of anthropology because an anthropologist is always influenced by his or her culture of origin. Finally, Wagner is impressed by the ways the study of culture can transform the anthropologist and help revise the definition of culture itself.

Wagner's essay is remarkably insightful and clearly written. I agree that anthropologists can never be wholly objective because their goal is in part to explore cultures in an oppositional way: to explore the differences between cultures as… [read more]

Broken Fountain by Thomas Belmonte Term Paper

… Broken Fountain

Quiz 3: The Culture of Poverty

The Culture of Poverty

Oscar Lewis' 'culture of poverty' approach to understanding the disenfranchised can be best described as a theory of a 'cycle' of poverty, whereby decreased opportunities in life lead to the same fate being suffered by the children of the poor. Life is a struggle for the poor, thus lessening the energy the poor have to devote to education and social betterment. This creates a cycle of depression and despondency that is often reinforced by the larger community, who are poor themselves and resent attempts at social improvement. Lewis acknowledges that communities can exist with common ethnic ties that sustain members of the impoverished area with mutual aid as well as subvert attempts at social betterment but this cultural is tangential to his theory. The real culture is the culture of poverty, much like any other culture, is a kind of theory of expectations of behavior. But in the culture of poverty these expectations are self-defeating.

Much of what Thomas Belmonte chronicles in urban anthropology of Fontana del Re, an impoverished Neapolitan neighborhood, seems to confirm what Lewis says about a culture of poverty. Belmonte's Neapolitans live in physically unhealthy… [read more]

Magolda, Peter. (Nov/Dec 2003) Term Paper

… (Magnola, 2003, p.4)

However, the idea that commencements are scripted, rather than creative and personal rituals is persuasively argued throughout the article, and the article as a whole presents a kind of 'dark side' to what seems like merely a comforting, even corny family picture-taking ritual. Magdola even shows how such attempts of the president to show cultural savvy by making popular references to "Survivor" are actually quite scripted and common, and carefully deployed ways of luring in the adolescent audience's presumably wandering attention to listen to later references of good citizenship and advice. (Magdola, 2003, p.3) The president's speech is analyzed on a rhetorical scaffold of advice, humor, and finally a call to improve the future. The high physical place of the president, his authority in giving diplomas, the uniform costumes of the once-diverse graduates have both a nostalgic and in a way a chilling aspect -- once, the individuality of this particular group of students dominated the college, now they have been shorn of their identity. They wear the same clothes and head off into an uncertain future in America, but have the comfort of their common university participation to shield them from the common demands of adulthood. The article, although one could argue with specific generalizations made from a limited study, provides an important window into one's own cultural,… [read more]

Culture Working With Refugees: Challenges in Counseling Term Paper

… Culture

Working With Refugees: Challenges in Counseling

More and more counselors and social workers are assisting growing numbers of clientele that are refugees rather than ordinary citizens. The needs of refugees are highly specialized compared with traditional clients in a social work setting. Because the population of refugees within the United States continues to grow, social workers and counselors must continue to make efforts to understand what methods are best employed to counsel these individuals effectively (Potocky-Tripody, 202). Counselors working with refugees must often adapt traditional techniques and mainstream interventions because the needs of refugee populations and common or shared experiences of this group are often so different from those of mainstream Americans seeking counseling and social support (Potocky-Tripody, 2002; Clark & Hofsess, 1998).

Challenges and Obstacles

There are many challenges and problems western counselors may expect to encounter when working with refugees. These include their own biases toward members of certain cultures or ethnicities and their own reliance on their own ethnic groups or cultural identity (Potocky-Tripodi, 2002). It is often difficult for westerners to relate to the strong traditions, values and practices typically associated with refugees ethnic identity, particularly when that ethnic identity falls outside of the scope of the traditional "American" culture (Potocky-Tripodi, 2002; Devore & Schlesinger, 1999).

What westerners may also not expect is the vast array of refugees that associate with cultures other than the dominant culture in the United States. Whereas the predominant culture in the U.S. For example is "White Anglo Saxon" a refugee might associate more "with African-American cultures" than the dominant culture when attempting to acculturate to society (Potocky-Tripody, 123). A counselor… [read more]

Hofstede Writes, Culture Term Paper

… Hofstede writes, "Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster." ( Interesting words emanating from a Professor of Culture, but ones that may resound in truth,… [read more]

Art History Photography Term Paper

… Western perceptions of the "other"

In her work Raw Histories: Photographs, Anthropology and Museums, Margaret Edwards outlines the most cogent and problematic issue surrounding the use of photography as a means of understanding cultural and social phenomena

photographs cannot simply… [read more]

Assimilation in the American Culture Term Paper

… Assimilation in the American culture has been an issue almost since the birth of the country. The very nature of the United States is one of multiple cultures with a single nationality in common. The number of immigrants coming into the country signifies not only the prosperity of the country, but also implies a number of issues concerning assimilation. A number of losses, but also gains are for example experienced by immigrants to the United States.

According to McGuire, more recent immigrants tend to adhere more closely to the cultures and groups they left in their own countries than is the case with the previous generation of immigrants. This could relate to an issue of cultural pride. Whereas assimilation and integration into mainstream American society was the priority with the first generations of immigrants, the emphasis is now on retaining as much as possible of the original culture.

Also related to the above issue is a sense of loss. Immigrants to a new country experience a substantial loss of home and country. This loss then manifests itself in an urge to retain whatever is possible from the old culture. Thus what… [read more]

Globalization and Middle Eastern Culture Term Paper

… Science and technology are accepted, but they are to be subordinated to Islamic belief and values in order to guard against the Westernization and secularization of Muslim society."

By its very nature globalization impacts on people's way of life and… [read more]

Symbolic Interactionism in Sidewalk Culture Book Report

… Symbolic Interactionism in Sidewalk culture of "Sidewalk" by Mitchell Duneier

Mitchell Duneier's "Sidewalk" provides a descriptive, narrative, and ethnographic view of "sidewalk culture" in contemporary American society. Generating data and information from in-depth interviews and participant observation of housed and unhoused vendors and scavengers in the streets of New York City, Duneier sought to identify the process by which "informal structures" within sidewalk culture are created, developed, and perpetuated. His discussion and analyses of this qualitative information reflects the paradigm of symbolic interactionism as the dominant perspective at which sidewalk culture, its nature, and its dynamics can be viewed.

Symbolic interactionism, a sociological paradigm developed primarily by the sociologist George Herbert Mead, posits that culture, organizations, and social structures are created through daily communications and interactions among people. Moreover, symbolic interactionism also takes into account the emergence of patterns and rules that govern social interaction within a particular society or community. "Sidewalk" provides analyses that show how social interaction between the sidewalk vendors and people who frequent the places these vendors are stationed or situated are conducted, and these are demonstrated through the narratives and documentation of the experiences of the vendors and scavengers in these New York sidewalks.

An important point that the book discusses the potential importance of his study, since it documents a particular phenomenon in American society wherein social structures are built and developed informally, as opposed to the common notion that people hold when, for example, conducting business in the city. This is an important feature of symbolic interactionism, since structures are formed or created based on social interactions alone. Duneier describes the creation of an informal structure, which characterizes sidewalk culture, in the story of Hakim Hasan. Hasan, as well as other vendors and scavengers in New York sidewalks, and their… [read more]

German Influences on Texas Culture Term Paper

… Mary's Catholic at Fredericksburg; Westphalia Catholic in Falls County; St. Joseph's Catholic in San Antonia and St. Peter's Catholic Church in Cooke County (Jordan, 2003). Among the features of some of these churches include a convex helmet tower at St.… [read more]

Particularism vs. Cultural Ecology Franz Term Paper

… Man adapts to two environments cognitive and operative Culture imposed on nature as well as nature imposed on culture. How men participate in an ecosystem depends not only on the structure and composition of that ecosystem but also upon the cultural baggage of those who enter it, what they and their descendents subsequently receive by diffusion or invent themselves the demands imposed on the local population from outside, and the needs which may be fulfilled by the local population from abroad.

Rappaport, as quoted in Marquette)

Here, we see that Rappaport is much more interested in the specifics of the historical situation as they present themselves to the observer and in considering the possibility of outside influences as well of the effects of the culture itself in subsequent developments. Thus, while Rappaport employs an overarching framework that would be in accordance with Steward's ideas about Cultural Ecology, his focus is not on the systematic development of the relationship between environment and culture, but on the particulars of any culture or historical event that is engrossed in the process of undergoing change. Indeed, Rappaport "stated that much is to be gained by regarding culture 'as part of the means by which animals of the human species maintain themselves in their environment'" (Runk). Thus, his focus on the particularities of an event reflects the influence of Boaz on his work.

In his work, Marvin Harris, too has established the link between environment and culture. In his work, he has even developed an idea, known as "Cultural Materialism," which deals with a similar interaction between culture and environment as those that have been considered above, albeit with some very important and notable differences:

Harris accepts modern criticisms of narrow views of the scientific method, but argues that science is still special in some way, that it is not "just another cultural practice." At the centre of cultural materialist epistemology is the distinction between the emic and the etic (roughly that between mental processes and symbolic structures on the one hand and observable physical and behavioural phenomena on the other) and a concern that the study of the latter take epistemological precedence over the former. This is not unique to cultural materialism, however, and the latter's distinguishing feature is a division of culture into infrastructure (ecological and biological constraints, modes of production), structure (kinship, politics) and superstructure (religion, art), coupled with a belief that this ordering reflects the dominant direction of causality.


Here, Harris reveals himself to be similarly situated between the legacy of Steward and Boaz and this shared inheritance is revealed in the compartmentalization of his work into several different elements that contribute to the functioning of culture. Like Steward's concept of the Cultural Center, Harris believes that ecological and biological restrictions as well as the requirements of the modes of the production lie at the center of cultural structure, as well as our basic instinctual impulses as humans, and the other cultural elements develop from these bases.

Thus, while Boaz… [read more]

Adaptation, Culture Scale Term Paper

… They note that the present environmental crisis has a much large scope and scale than environmental crisis's of the past, in addition to being driven by the unique cultural features of our times.

The authors then delve into the limits of growth that our current environment can sustain. Sahlins and Service are quick to note that they do not believe that the ultimate physical limit to growth is an ultimate societal problem. However, they do not that the concept of social, cultural, and physical limits.

They note that anthropologists have traditionally promoted worldwide economic growth. However, recent evidence suggests that development that emphasizes sustainability in concert with social equity is much more desirable than the unbridled and unchecked development that has occurred in the past.

The authors then go on to examine environmental commissions. They note that The Global 2000 Report to the President of the United States was a fairly conservative estimate of trends in population, resources, and environment on a global scale. However, this conservative report still contained many serious warnings about the future. The report noted the potential for water shortages, serious deforestation, increases in population, deterioration of agricultural lands, poverty, human suffering, and international tension. The report was quickly followed by several others, including the Brundtland Commission (headed by the UN), and the British This Common Inheritance.

The authors then delve into the roots of the environmental crisis. This includes the examination of the ideological basis of capitalism, the role of unregulated self-interest, land degradation of the Mediterranean region, and the basis of human-driven extension and the resulting loss of biodiversity.

Next, Sahlins and Service examine the role of economics on domestic and political scale cultures. They note that earlier, tribal (domestic) cultures usually curbed their wants and thus managed to operate long-term, stable economies. This appears to have occurred as a result of the long-term adaptive value.

Interestingly, the authors then examine the interaction of domestic cultures and the environment. They note that domestic cultures managed to control their environment in several ways, including using fire to manage resources, and increase the fertility of an area. In addition, they note that many tribal religious beliefs help to contribute to regulating population size and the consumption of resources.

In conclusion, Sahlins and Service have written an interesting and informative article on the interaction of culture and the environment. Their article should serve as a warning that the world's current consumption of goods will eventually result in an increasing environmental crisis.

Works Cited

Sahlins, M. & Service, E.R. Adaptation, Culture Scale, and… [read more]

Individual Term Paper

… Migrating to this country at an already mature age meant that her entire value system, courtesies, and other elements that contribute to her ideas pertaining to social interaction were already set. On the other hand, even though her son was raised in a Chinese household under Chinese parents, he was raised most of his life in the United States, and thus had a cross-cultural experience which may account for his not informing my friend of certain customs and expectations of his mother, in which she was strictly adamant in regards to.

My friend, on the other hand, thought nothing of the situation. She announced her departure to her boyfriend, who was the owner of the home and the primary host. It is accepted in American culture that other individuals at a gathering can ask where somebody went when they notice their absence, and be satisfied with the reply, "Oh, she had to go home." In this situation, there are no hurt feelings and generally no feelings of disrespect from the other members of the party that are still present.

This example illustrates the difficulties that can arise in cross-cultural communication and interaction. The misunderstanding that is generated can lead to future discontent amongst the parties. A better solution would be for each individual to make the effort to understand the differences in culture and accept the fact that these differences will be an issue, and address… [read more]

Orientalism as Defined by Burton in the Arabian Nights Research Proposal

… ¶ … Burton's translation of The Arabian Nights (TAN) backed by a deep knowledge of Islam contributes to the Orientalist project and to the past and present knowledge of the Orient as it has been shaped by different disciplines such… [read more]

Legalize and Strategize Essay

… Globalization and Culture

Perhaps the common thread between this week's readings which include Matthew Sparke's Political Geography: Political Geographies of Globalization III -- Resistance, Laura Ahern's Language and Agency, and Christine Harold's Pranking Rhetoric: "Cultural Jamming" as Media Activism is a preoccupation with globalization. However, some of these articles deal with this topic explicitly, such as Sparke's work, while others deal with the topic from a much more implicit perspective. Harold's piece, for instance, largely implies that globalization is the phenomenon behind the sort of mass-media advertising that cultural jamming and pranking is attempting to forestall. And Ahern widely alludes to the fact that manipulation of language and the agency which it endows is useful as a form of resistance to globalization -- especially when a local population utilizes its own language (and its subsequent agency) in settings in which multinational corporations are attempting cultural hegemony in addition to its obvious economic one.

Yet perhaps a more subtle, if not less cogent similarity between these articles is that they all address the issues of globalization in terms of its cultural effects. Language, then, which is referred to in Harold's work in terms of rhetoric and its rhetorical value, is a critical consideration in terms of globalization. In certain instances it is useful as a means of resistance and protestation. Sparke alludes to this fact when listing several web sites that were designed to counteract the effects of the military and political aspect of globalization, imperialism (in the form of the War of Terror) or those designed to impede the progress of capitalism as practiced within its global form. And again, Aheran suggests that such a possibility is possible by discoursing on the agency of language and its social implications, which would be useful as a means of resistance… [read more]

Appreciated the Section on Key Concepts Essay

… ¶ … appreciated the section on key concepts in cultural studies, as well as the section on sociology. It was helpful to learn about the Marxist perspective and the structural issues in sociology. Recently, I came across the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois, who was heavily influenced by Marx as well as Durkheim and Weber. When reading the sections about Marxism in the text, my understanding of issues related to race, class, gender, and power were enhanced even farther. Similarly, I appreciated the sections on feminist discourse. I do believe that race, class, gender, and power have intersections, and are embedded into social structures. Yet I also believe these structures serve specific functions, and preserve a status quo of patriarchy and subjugation. To subvert these structures, it is often important to use civil disobedience and even in ways that might be labeled temporarily as "deviant." Norms change over time, and it sometimes takes centuries for those social norms to change. Women are still fighting for their rights to be taken seriously, to receive equal pay, and to enjoy positions of power in society.

I found that the section on postmodernism and postrstructuralism were the most difficult to grasp. I would understand the basic concepts discussed by Derrida and Foucault. I have read some Foucault in other classes, and enjoy his concept of the panopticon because I have seen this mechanism in my daily life. However, I fail to see what postmodernism actually means, and expect this to be continually a source of struggle for me. Other sections of the first chapter that I found annoying included the ones related to language, the "textual character of culture," the "character of truth," and methodologies. On the other hand, I have known much about Freud and that section was substantiating what I had already read. I also enjoyed reading the "limits of rationality" section, because I believe that our brains do not operate at their full capacity. From what I am learning in classes related to… [read more]

Cultural Relativism and Ethnocentrism: Understanding Book Report

… She therefore opted to wear the red dress which was against the American culture norms which expects her to wear a white so doing she believed that her culture was right and superior compared to the American culture. This shows how she believed her culture was important compared to the American culture and choose to disregard it and go for a red dress and not the white dress worn by Americans in weddings.

As we have seen cultural relativism involves regarding the beliefs, norms, of a culture from the cultures point-of-view. She respects the fact that in American cultural norms brides is supposed to wear white and does not in any way disregard this. However she can not wear white since according to her tradition white is reserved for mourning and therefore she can not wear white during her wedding since this is a happy day for her. She respects the American cultural norms but also respects her own cultural norms. Therefore she goes for the different color which is red not to protest the American cultural norms but to be happy on her wedding day according to her own cultural norms.

When we look at the bride's decision from both an ethnocentric and cultural interpretation I can say that the bride has the right to wear whatever color she is comfortable with during her wedding day. This is because there is no need for her to conform to the American cultural norms if she will not be comfortable or happy. If she can associate red with happiness on her wedding day then I believe the groom's parents should not judge her. They should not take an ethnocentric stand and believe that their culture is more superior compared to the brides culture. Therefore I believe that the bride should be understood and the groom's parents should embrace cultural relativism.


Ariwibowo Y., (2013). The Differences between Ethnocentrism and Cultural Relativism. Retrieved May 29, 2014 from [read more]

American Globalization Essay

… " In fact, for a restaurant chain that features many beef and pork items and is famous for these offerings, they've all been pretty much removed from their menus in India. In that sense one can argue what some might call American influence on India, is actually Indian influence on America.

Furthermore, the belief that Americanization is this truly all-powerful force throughout the world isn't just riddled with inaccuracy, it's asserted by people who don't really have a clear understanding of the facts. Many people think that American culture and media is so pervasive because that's how they view America, and this can often be an inaccurate perspective of America in general. Consider the following: "…according to a worldwide 1999 BBC poll, the most famous movie star in the world isn't Ben Affleck or Julia Roberts, but Amitabh Bachchan, an Indian film star probably unfamiliar to most Americans. Last January, the New York Times reported that even American television programming has begun to lose its appeal overseas. Reason magazine writer Charles Paul Freund notes that as of 2001, more than 70% of the most popular television shows in 60 different countries were locally produced. And an article in the British newspaper The Guardian last year points out that the top-grossing movies for 2002 in Japan, Germany, Spain, France and India weren't U.S. imports, but were produced domestically" (Balko, 2014). This demonstrates a trend of consumers wanting to see work produced by artists which they share common experiences. Thus, the facts are demonstrating more and more trends of celebrities and artists which are thriving in smaller more local scenarios, as a result of people wanting to see those who represent their own culture, values and ethnicities take center stage (Kitamura, 2010).

However, some argue that the very fact that so many people abroad can identify American celebrities, music, movies, and food means that Americanization has taken place abroad. These people argue that by virtue of the fact that Americans can almost never identify celebrities, artists and other such personages from other countries means that there's a rampant imbalance. This is incorrect, because it just means that America has a strong presence abroad, but doesn't mean that globalization is at work.

In conclusion, those who say that Americanization is an extreme force around the world and one which causes other nations to lose their culture are largely incorrect. These people treat America as more powerful a nation than it actually is. These individuals don't understand that there is a big difference between having a cultural influence and eradicating another culture through one's influence. If anything, the American cultural pillars are more influences by the nations they enter than the opposite.

Works Cited

Balko, R. (2014). Globalization & Culture. Retrieved from (2013). Culture Shock. Retrieved from

Kitamura, H. (2010). Screening Enlightenment. NewYork: Cornell University Press. [read more]

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