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The issues of ethnicity and race is so pervasive in our world that they cannot go overlooked,especially from an anthropological standpoint.

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Introduction

Question #2 The issues of ethnicity and race is so pervasive in our world that they cannot go overlooked, especially from an anthropological standpoint. Without a long panegyrization of the American racial philosophy of equality (or inequality, depending on viewpoint), it would be sufficient to say that every American is quite privileged to live in a society that embraces its cosmopolitan population with increasing zeal and earnestness. The racial and ethnic make-up of America is by no means a reflection of the worldwide viewpoint of race, however, it is nice to know that one doesn't have to go far to meet people that in other countries one could only read about. Walking into a bar in America could be likened to walking into the cantina from the movie Star Wars, with a wide miscellany of races and ethnicities to dazzle the beholder. Having done a considerable amount of world travel in the Navy, I can attest to the importance of racial and ethnic understanding, both from guest and host. Without this understanding, we are doomed to a life of eschew and ignorance, slowly regressing to a neo-neanderthal mentality. Anthropologists carry this burden into their studies, but it's a burden aided in the modern world by increased means of transportation and media, which helps bring people from around the world closer. Anthropology is a subjective science, that is, it's subject to interpretation by the person conducting the study. There are no hard-and-fast rules in Anthropology, making it almost an art instead of a science. ...read more.

Middle

In Arizona, I was asked to write a paper on the meaning of the "A" in the book The Scarlet Letter. I received a grade of C- for it. Later that year my family moved to California, and part of my graduation requirements were to write an essay. I wrote the exact same essay on The Scarlet Letter that I had previously written in Arizona. Not only did I receive an A+, but also a meritorious writing award and possible contest entry! My obvious conclusion was that California schools have lower standards than Arizona schools. Now if I had written the same paper at some impoverished, inner-city, minority dominated school I probably would have been elected class president and given a scholarship. That is purely speculation, but it is my suspicion that impoverished minority dominated schools have lower standards than does a middle class "white" school. This in turn creates test scores that are below standards when compared to median test scores. Another factor that I feel may be contributing to the perception of lower intelligence is the awkwardness of learning another race or cultures educational criterion. Not only that, but a subconscious rejection of these criterion in an attempt to maintain one's racial and cultural identity. For instance, some schools in the Middle East require that the Koran be recited from memory as an entrance requirement. If I was suddenly transplanted to one of these schools, it would be a reasonable assurance that I would not be getting into one of these schools. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hatred, in its most concentrated form, can result in ethnocide, or eliminating an ethnic group. Jews in Nazi Germany were victim to ethnocide, Cambodians to Pol Pot, and more recently Muslims in former Yugoslavia. These are crimes against humanity, their perpetrators considered tyrants in league with the devil. Lesser forms of extreme discrimination also exist, such as forced assimilation , ethnic expulsion, and cultural colonialism. Forced assimilation is simply making an ethnic group follow the dominant cultures views and traditions. Ethnic expulsion is removing those who don't want to conform, by kicking them out of the country and making refugees out of them. And lastly, cultural colonialism is simply cultural domination by one group over another or many others. Anthropologists certainly have some loaded topics to deal with when its comes to ethnicity and race. Although there can be much negativity associated with the issues of race and ethnicity, there can also be much to gain on an anthropologists part. An anthropologist is one who tries to look beyond the issues of race and the ethnicity, and instead see the "person". All too often we see people according to labels, and all too often people associate these labels with faulty heuristics of how people are supposed to behave. A good anthropologist will see people with no pre-conceptions, almost as if they were born yesterday and didn't know a thing about anyone. Only this way can the biases of society be removed. Race and ethnicity must be approached by an anthropologist in an abstract, neutral fashion if people are to be studied properly. Without this, subjectivity is in question, and the legitimacy of anthropological studies becomes jeopardized. ...read more.

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