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University Degree: Anthropology

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  1. Assess the extent to which debates about 'culture' are actually debates about power.

    This is seen to be produced for, and aimed exclusively at, the upper class sector of society. It encompasses areas such as opera, theatre, literature and classical music. However those who produce and construct the media possess the ability to turn aspects belonging to a certain culture into cross-cultural elements. A good example of this, given in the lectures by Raymond Boyle, is in the music industry. Popular artists or groups can take a sample of a piece of classical music and incorporate it into a new song. This makes those associated with popular culture aware of aspects of high culture, and in some cases these can then transcend the cultural boundaries and belong to both popular culture and high culture.

    • Word count: 1593
  2. How are (were) art and myth interconnected in Ilahita Arapesh culture

    What is art exactly and when is something considered art? The dictionary defines art as; "the quality, production, expression or realm of what is beautiful or of more than ordinary significance; the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria." In order to understand this definition we need to understand the concept of aesthetics. Aesthetics is defined by Kottak (2002:340) as; "The Appreciation of the qualities perceived in works of art; the mind and emotions in relation to a sense of beauty." In other words, art is something that moves us, on any level.

    • Word count: 1579
  3. "Men imagine that their minds have the command of language, but it often happens that language rules over minds." Francis Bacon. Discuss.

    Aldous Huxley writes in an article called 'Words and Their Meanings' (1940) that "Without language, behaviour is nonhuman". Interestingly enough, this is true. Without language, how would man have been able to develop skill, knowledge and wisdom from others, including those of past generations? Look at the evidence: Gorillas, for example. There may be some true intellectual geniuses among gorillas, but because they have no conceptual form of language, their thoughts and attainment cannot be traced. Thus, we tend to shelve them as simian beasts of a lesser intelligence. A man named Ludwig Wittgenstein once said "If we spoke a different language, we'd perceive a different world".

    • Word count: 1784
  4. "Different cultures have different truths

    Many cultural truths don't become universal truths because different cultures promote different ideas. This leads to that the acceptance of a statement can be deprived in one culture but promoted in another. Before we can even make a statement about a truth being accepted universally we have to define universally first of all. Hundertwasser said that every person lives in their mind and their mind is their universe. The environment they are in is just a physical place to be but the real life is lived in their minds.

    • Word count: 1521
  5. Selection Of Expatriates: Adaptability to Cultural Change

    As noted by Gomez-Mejita and Palich (1997), cultural distance is measured as a composite index of Hofstede's cultural dimensions. Cultural distance affects an expatriate's understanding of decision-making processes, work values, negotiation patterns, wholly owned subsidiaries, and fairness in reciprocity (1997). Also, Kashlak (1999) indicates that the degree of cultural distance will influence performance ambiguity and task definition. As a result, an expatriate's task programmability and performance measurability will be inversely related to the cultural distance (Harvey & Novicevic, 2001). Stone (2002)

    • Word count: 1270
  6. Muslims in Britain are torn between western consumerism and traditional Islamic culture

    "am I British or am I a Muslim?" In other words, Muslims in the West live in a constant state of anxiety and are unable to solve the feelings that arise from these divided loyalties. For instance, Parents, who insist that their daughters wear the Islamic dress when attending Mosques to learn the Quran, see nothing wrong in their daughters wearing non-Islamic dress to go to school in order to further their education. The Muslim grocer, who prays five times a day, attends the mosque regularly, but is not ashamed to sell alcohol.

    • Word count: 1771
  7. A brief critical discussion of the five savoirs that Byram and his associates use to define intercultural communicative competence. In previous years the cultural aspect of English language learning had been omitted

    Morrow and Johnson Communication in the Classroom (1981) was a guide for teachers in the new approach to language learning and addressed the issue of learners being grammatically capable but unaware of the communicative side of language learning. Johnson saw the solution in using needs analysis and a notional functional syllabus to correct the imbalance, while Morrow aligned with information gap activities as the main type of classroom task. Both components largely assumed that language was concerned mostly with doing things, i.e. the transactional function of language. This approach gave rise to the procedural or task based approach to learning.

    • Word count: 1010
  8. Cultural Imperialism

    Surprisingly, Smallville is different as compared to typical American teenage programmes in its definition of beauty. Normally, the main actor would be blonde, blue eyed and a football captain of the school. Similarly, the main actress would be blonde, blue eyed and a head cheerleader in the school. However, in Smallville, both the main actor and actress have dark hair and eyes. Furthermore, the main actress is of mixed heritage. The irony of these two programmes is that the local programme is trying to be more westernised whereas the Western programme is trying to break away from conformity.

    • Word count: 1602
  9. Anglo Thought and Anti-Mexican Sentiment

    By this count, such pervasive thought would date back to the sixteenth century, and to a time when Spain was a world leader. Certainly, this seems to be when most scholars believe that such attitudes toward Spain began to evolve. It is possible that Anglo hatred for Spanish rule began at this time, due in part to the relative affluence and privilege of Spaniards. Powell tells us that Spain was "the first global power to assume what came to be called 'the white man's burden' and, simultaneously, to defend Christendom against the powerful thrusts of a Eurasian infidel," (Preface).

    • Word count: 1540

    The language concerned seems to commit suicide. Derek Bickerton, in his study of Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea describes this process as 'decreolisation'.3 This process can also be applied to dialects where a local dialect and a more prestigious variety are spoken. According to Bickerton, the most superficially noticeable aspect of this process is vocabulary borrowing. Due to the similarity of the two languages or dialects involved, words infiltrate from the less prestigious to the more prestigious variety, especially where the minority language lacks vocabulary.

    • Word count: 1835
  11. Gender and ethnicity have become common terms since the late 1960s. Discuss critically their analytical usefulness.

    Anthropology and the ethnographic research on which its theories were based had largely been the domain of men who had approached their studies entrenched in their own cultural assumptions which were of a male dominated Euro-American society where the role that men played was seen as more important as a result of industrialisation. Their ethnographies as a result also tended to be biased towards the men in a society because as a result of their own assumptions and identifications with the societal structures they tended to concentrate their interviews on the male members of society.

    • Word count: 1817
  12. Part 1: Compare and contrast the 'social mission' (Topic 2) and the

    The Frankfurt School approach shares some common ground with the 'social mission' approach to mass communication and culture. One of the similarities is that both employ the mass society theory to understand modern societies. With an industrial, contemporary mass society, it brought with it a state of alienation where individuals lose contact with the normative codes and traditions of a community (Dearman 2004:8). As society became increasingly complex, individuals became isolated. Such a 'mass society' was marked by a 'loss of community', with mass media taking over the role of creating and distributing values to a society. This results in audiences becoming passive, which is the next similarity to be discussed.

    • Word count: 1892
  13. Ritual primitive form of theatre?

    Despite the fact that the difference between ritual and theatre is hard to define many historians have tried to explain how theatre became into existence. One might have suggested that theatre evolved from ritual or from storytelling or perhaps they both slowly side by side became their own way of expressing ideas and emotions or what ever was necessary at the time. I originally thought that rituals were the starting points for theatre. Now that I have read about the different theories about its origins I have found myself wondering about the other possibilities.

    • Word count: 1557
  14. Typee A Peep at Polunesian Life by Herman Melville - review.

    Melville wants the reader to feel that stress and also experience the serenity in which he lived most of his time on the island. The novel opens with Melville's first description, the miserable months at sea, "Yes, reader, as I live, six months out of sight of land...beneath the scorching sun of the Line...Weeks and weeks ago our fresh provisions were all exhausted...why so pathetically relate the privations and the hardships of the sea...(3)". This sets the negative feeling about the life that Tom had been living and leads into his desire for a drastic change.

    • Word count: 1960
  15. "I remember during the bicentennial year of 1988 seeing the slogan 'White Australia has a Black History' spray-painted in large letters onto the concrete walls which surround the base of the new Australian Parliament building in Canberra.

    Of course, local aboriginal people had known this land fully for over tens of thousands of years before. They were people who shared the culture, language, dreams and lives for all this time. Ironically, the first settlers of Australia, which landed there in 1788, were prisoners on the run, or convicts with officers to guard them. Before the American War of Independence, Britain had sent convicts to America. American independence ended the practice and the British prisons had to be sent somewhere else. Australia seemed the perfect place for the purpose. (The First Fleet in Sydney Cove, January 27, 1788 by John Allcot)

    • Word count: 1288
  16. Aboriginal Australia: the history and culture of Aboriginal Australians - Part One: Culture and Social Organisation.

    Disputes, arguments and disagreements were subject to the application of the law? Consensus and counselling applied and when that failed punishment could be swift and effective." As you can read from the above text Aborigines has a very strong and effective Social Organisation. Kinship is very important to the aboriginal culture. Family units are large and extended. The entire community looks after children and education is responsibility for everyone. Strength of kinship is more important than individuality. Dreamtime - the creation of the landscape, the rivers, mountains, hills etc all by Ancestral spirits.

    • Word count: 1917
  17. Dependence - In 1963, an anthropologist by the name of Jean Briggs made a trip to Chantrey Inlet to study a small group of Hunter-Gatherers called the Utkuhikhalingmuit, or the Utku.

    I think that this had a large effect on the survival of the community in the aspect that it allowed the community to combine their variety of skills. The men that are better at fishing can supply the band with more fish, whereas the men that are better at hunting can supply the band with more caribou. Plus, cooking and eating together allowed the women to save much of the birch and linen they collected for fuel so they would have more to use in the winter when the kerosene supply had been exhausted (Briggs 1970: 88).

    • Word count: 1352
  18. Explain and Illustrate Simmel's distinction between 'objective' and 'subjective' culture.Do you agree that this split in modern society has a 'tragic' dimension?

    This brings about issues of status where these positions or 'objective' forms are empty spaces which must be 'filled' by individuals (Nisbet R.A 1980). Matters of economy and power have become involved in objective and impersonal non-subjective structures. He distinguishes objective life which is Metropolitan run by money compared to that of a rural or less sophisticated way of life based on emotional relationships which is more subjective and reliant on the personality and heart. Intellectuality is seen to preserve the subjective life against the power of metropolitan life (Wolff, k (Trans 1950)).

    • Word count: 1445
  19. As we move into the 21st century, it is believed that audiences are much more active in their interpretation of text. They will think about the message relayed by a particular medium and will decode the message in an individual way.

    It is not possible to inflict a culture on society. People make popular culture at the interface between everyday life and consumption of products of cultural industries. The reason for this is people are free to choose what they consume from the variety of demand. Since culture cannot be inflicted on people it is obvious that the people make popular culture. The aim of producing popular culture is to produce meanings. People only produce meaning from text, which they can understand.

    • Word count: 1653
  20. Philip Curtin's The World and the West

    By comparing specific factors contributing to the process of change in different areas, he illustrates emerging patterns and diverse variables that have produced either similar or differing results. Other than the case studies themselves, Curtin constantly contrasts or relates different countries to any given process or development being discussed. For example in the first part he discusses the "legal sovereignty" practiced by colonial powers such as the French, British, and Portugal, all of which lacked the efficacy of actually administering power in the lands they claimed.

    • Word count: 1293
  21. To what extent was the transformational change in the NPF successful?

    That is why it worked and had its advantages in the NPF before the 1990s. However, bureaucracies are not nice places to work. The disadvantages of it can be clearly observed in the NPF. According to the Commissioner of police "in the old system, respect came out of fear than from admiration". The NPF was co-ordinated by unilateral, top-down information flows. As observed by the Director of the Prisons Department there was no sharing of information or cooperation to solve cases. A culture of secrecy was present in which information was shared on a "need to know" basis and not as a resource for empowering staff.

    • Word count: 1491
  22. Choose a critical essay by a theorist of literature not covered in the course, and write a critique of its position and strategies. The bodily encounter with the mother

    Early receptions of Irigaray in the English-speaking world often mistakenly labelled her an 'essentialist.' This view is now generally considered false, as a better understanding of the complex linguistic, philosophical and psychoanalytic precepts Irigaray writes from is gained. In avoiding 'essentialist' theory, with its abstract pursuit of intellectual goals, she has emphasised the female need to discover a sexuality that does not merely serve the male. As she notes in "The bodily encounter with the mother", the charge that she introduced politics into the practice of psychoanalysis, however, was itself politically motivated.

    • Word count: 1627
  23. "Why is King Sejong called "the great"? Rank his achievements according to their significance for the development of early Choson culture.

    Indeed, up until then there was a great difficulty in expressing thoughts in written language. There were three methods for this purpose: the ancient letters, "Idu", and "T'o". Neither of these was practical and the latter two methods in particular "borrowed the Chinese ideographs without a uniform method"2 thus preventing people from writing or expressing themselves freely. The invention of "Han-gul", originally called Hunmin-chong-um (Correct pronunciation of letters for teaching people), solved this problem. By establishing 28 letters of which 11 vowels and 17 consonants, it greatly simplified writing and rendered it possible for greater part of the population to apprehend and undertake (before then only the wealthy could afford paying tuition to learn Chinese characters).

    • Word count: 1642
  24. Observation Research into the behaviour, norms, values and customs of underage drinkers in a pub environment.

    Something that could not have otherwise been achieved. Behavioural Patterns: * The culture compromising mainly of 16-18yr olds was split into various but very defined groups with different behavioural patterns. Alpha Group * Consists of oldest members of the culture and the more experienced younger members. * Alpha members can get to the bar and order drinks without appearing to be underage, can hold pleasantries with bar staff. * Usually drink the most alcohol (claim to!) stay out the latest etc.

    • Word count: 1193
  25. Intercultural Learning and Residence Abroad.

    Firstly I will discuss the importance of communication and how its interpretation and meaning vary from cultures. Additionally I will examine how language is a tool for interaction between cultures but that it can be misinterpreted because of the boundaries between cultures. Moreover, I will describe how non-verbal language is as equally important for the transcendence of intercultural communication. Finally, I will show how stereotyping is another reason why false impression which can occur between cultures. Intercultural communication is a dynamic process. It changes, moves and develops all the time. All the communication situations are unique in nature and the process can be seen as "a sequence of distinct but interrelated steps" (Lustig and Koester 1996:30).

    • Word count: 1311

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