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University Degree: Anthropology

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  1. What can the exchange of gifts tell us about society?

    In addition I will examine Mauss' description of the process of exchange and suggest that the 'rules of reciprocity', underlined by Mauss, apply to our modern society to the same extent that they do for traditional societies. Firstly I shall explore the work of Malinowski and his studies into the exchange systems in the Trobriand Islands. The Trobriand Islands are made up of a flat coral island which is about 30 miles long surrounded by numerous smaller islands. The villages are scattered along the western coast and in the centre.

    • Word count: 2215
  2. Nanook and the Innocent Eskimo

    They were met by what we consider today to be the traditional Eskimo, which are igloo-building, dog sledding people, who ate blubber and wear fur parkas. Writings were sent back to the US and Europe, solidifying the entire Arctic natives as the stereotype of the smiling Eskimo who acted as a universal, despite the fact that, according to Riordan, "[the people] these generalized images are based accounted for less than 5 percent of the approximately fifty thousand people who made the Arctic their home in the nineteenth century."

    • Word count: 1406
  3. The many sides of abortion issue in poland

    There have always been different views concerning the ethical and the social acceptability of abortion. In Poland, abortion is illegal and is considered to be morally wrong but in some cases it should be acceptable and legal. Legally or illegally, abortion is practiced in almost every country in the world. Currently, over 60 % of the world's population lives in countries where abortion is permitted for medical and social reasons ("World Abortion Laws 2008 Fact Sheet"). Globally, of a total of 46 million abortions each year, 20 million are illegal, according to the World Health Organisation.

    • Word count: 1583
  4. How do new world monkeys and old world monkeys differ?

    The Old World monkeys also tend to have relatively longer and narrower skulls (Ibid.). Teeth In the jaws, there are also recognizable dental differences, in that the platyrrhines have three premolars, giving a dental formula of 2:1:3:3 (Swindler 2002, 40), and the catarrhines have two premolars, giving a dental formula of 2:1:2:3 (Ibid. p. 44). Catarrhines also have sharp-edged, sectorial premolars on either side of the mandible, specialized for honing the upper canines, sharpening them in preparation for tearing apart food. Catarrhine molars are bilophodant as well-teeth that have two transverse ridges. These molars feature shearing, dagger-like cusps (Fleagle 1999, 186)

    • Word count: 1345
  5. Form and Function: Primate locomotion

    The shoulder area reflects this as the glenoid cavity is somewhat narrower and more restrictive than the other species (Cambridge University Press 1992, 76). The clavicle is relatively shorter as well, and the humeral head is not as enlarged as that in the other species. This shows that it is unlikely that the mandrill carries much weight anteriorly. Gibbon Gibbons (Hylobates), on the other hand, are wholly arboreal, and live in the canopies of forests (Napier and Napier 1997, 162).

    • Word count: 1987
  6. Some mental disorders are culture bound. Discuss in relation to at least one example.

    Thus demonstrating that the definitions of what is a mental disorder are not fixed and are very much related to what is considered socially acceptable in a particular society and at the time of their existence. The nature of this is rooted in what Foucault calls the 'order of reason' which is what is considered reasonable given a particular time and is shown in the methods for explaining things. Mental illness is often considered in opposition to this reason. An example of differing orders of reason would be if today a psychiatrist suggested treating mental health issues with exorcism it would not be accepted where as 400 years ago it would have.

    • Word count: 1807
  7. Free essay

    To what extent has participatory development succeded in its aims?

    This was done by 'the involvement of different members of a society-groups and subgroups-in the decisions that will affect their lives, now and in the future' Nolan 2002:21). This involvement in the development process aimed to empower the people and allowed their destiny to be managed from within their own reality, not from alien outside forms of knowledge previously imposed upon them. Now the two forms of knowledge interact with each other and it is this indigenous knowledge or popular knowledge that is seen as the key to the success of participatory development, it is the very thing that is the result of the participation process and the basis for developmental change.

    • Word count: 1781
  8. In light of examples, examine the claim that individualism is a Western ideology

    in 18th century thought. It had varying uses both positive and negative. However, in France it was mainly the negative usage that had the most prevalence. It was perceived as a negative concept because it was seen as a threat to social order, the state and religious dominance because it atomized people and placed them and their interests as paramount to that of society. It was a recipe for social disaster. However, the positive justifications of individualism came from Enlightenment thinkers such as Kant, Locke and Rousseau who refused to go back to a source of authority "higher than individual conscience" 1971:48.

    • Word count: 1520
  9. Effects on economy due to a food outlet

    Economic afflictions and discernment of gross social prejudice have given a rise to ideological terrorist groups. Factors such as, rural unemployment, the absence of land developments, and mistreatment of landless labourers by land owners, etc. were the reasons for the attacks(Raman, 2003). The terrorist attacks included grave explosions which killed many people. "I heard two explosions and I was wondering what happened. Then a bomb went off right in front of me," said Malchand Bagoria, who manages a fruit stall in Jaipur (AFP,2008). Jaipur can potentially become a terrorist attack zone. If an event like this has happened in the past then the likeliness for a repeated attack is highly possible.

    • Word count: 1770
  10. Children and warfare, are their rights being violated?

    Enemy Lines Warfare, Childhood, and Play in Batticaloa by Margaret Trawick. Margaret Trawick lived and worked in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka, where thousands of youths have been recruited into the Sri Lankan armed resistance movement known as the Tamil Tigers. This compelling account of her experiences is a powerful exploration of how children respond to the presence of war and how adults have responded to the presence of children in this conflict. Sergeant Nathan Ross Chapman was the 1st U.S. service person to be killed by unfriendly fire in Afghanistan.

    • Word count: 1770
  11. Myth & History in Amazonian Society

    He wrote that in meeting Alejandro, he was forced to reevaluate what he already knew about the Shuar and how he understood others and himself. He discovered that there was no possibility for an unbiased meeting between Euro-Americans and indigenous peoples anymore due to hundreds of years of interaction and how each side understands the other, their history, and also themselves. Rubenstein also pointed out that more often than not, myths are viewed as expressions of culture and not related to history.

    • Word count: 1488
  12. The significance of Guanxi.

    Some believe Guanxi is a deep rooted fact of Chinese culture, Douglas Guthrie (1998) in his journal ' Declining significance of Guanxi in China's economic transition' argues that 'Guanxi as an institutionally defined system - i.e. a system that depends on the institutional structure of society rather than on culture - that is changing in stride with the institutional changes of the reform era. The typical English interpretation of Guanxi is networking. This however does not reflect the implications that Guanxi embodies.

    • Word count: 1516
  13. The formation of national character.

    collection of individuals, and the manners of individuals are frequently determined by these causes.2 In other words; according to Hume the character of an individual is determined by moral causes. A nation is made up of individuals and the character of a nation therefore depends on moral causes rather than physical causes. He explicitly rejects the idea that 'men owe anything of their temper or genius to the air, food or climate.'3 To support his theory, Hume sums up a number of examples in which nations all around the globe show signs of national characters which are not formed under the influence of air or climate.

    • Word count: 1699
  14. BaMbuti Pygmies of the Ituri Forest in Congo Africa

    Some use spears, and others use a bow and arrow with a poison tip. Once the animal is chased and caught in the net the spear or a knife id used to quickly dispatch the animal. They hunt these animals in groups in which there may be several layers of family involved. This is why it is important in other areas to get along and make these socio-political marital ties so that there may be a successful hunt and enough food gathered. When an elephant was brought down they disbanded the camp and relocated it as it was easier than moving the downed elephant.

    • Word count: 1623
  15. Field report - excavation

    The search site was area 'A' at the far side of Miller Park (see arrow on previous map). Fig. 3 shows a sketch made of the area and initial search perimeters. Fig. 4 shows the Avenham & Miller Park and all the access routes for cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Once at Avenham Park follow the path/ road down the hill pass the pavilion in the far corner (south) to the rail house and go under the bridge. Once through the metal gates there is a long stretch of road (south east), follow this right down to the end until you reach the second rail bridge which is on the right.

    • Word count: 2673
  16. The Ethnographic Film as a Visual Aid to Understanding a Culture alongside a Text

    These films depict the Yanomamo culture and their natural environment, several significant rituals and customs, as well as everyday activities (Biella, Chagnon, & Seaman, 1997). Chagnon narrates throughout most of the films, explaining what is going on, though in The Ax Fight he and Asch are audio-recorded having a conversation about the fight that had erupted and was the centerpiece of the film. In this particular film freeze-frame editing and slow motion replay are utilized to make this film useful as a methodological tool in ethnography and prove essential to the deciphering of complex kinship patterns among the Yanomamo.

    • Word count: 1899
  17. In Search of Respect - a book review

    It can be seen that Bourgois's approach to this ethnography is somewhat complex to analyse as he does not take an immediate stance on who, in his opinion, is to blame for the social problems surrounding substance abuse in El Barrio. One could argue that his mention of the state plays a major role in shaping his views of the system, notably that is fails to tackle most problems of the ethnic impoverished groups in El Barrio. This can be seen by the basic problem of the concentration of socially marginalised populations in one area.

    • Word count: 2000
  18. In which ways does caste differ from class as a form of social hierarchy?

    "Untouchable" refers to the ritual polluting capacity they have to make higher castes "impure" through sight and touch. They are considered to be social outcasts and have no place within the caste system. Dumont (1966) uses the concepts of "purity" and "pollution" to illustrate the differences in status between the Brahmins and the Dailts. The ways in which caste can be seen as different from class as a form of social hierarchy will be assessed in terms of the meanings of both concepts, and how they differ from each other in terms of ascribed and achieved statuses using Bourdieu's concept of cultural capital.

    • Word count: 2500
  19. Discuss some of the recurrent themes in western representations of the non-European 'other'.

    While 'us' defines a very specific group of people, 'them' describes all those who are not deemed elite to be part of that 'us'. By picking apart the title of this essay, we come across three more words used to draw boundaries. It seems surprising that a title consisting of just thirteen words would contain as much as three cultural defining terms (Discuss some of the recurrent themes in western representations of the non-European 'other'), but this just acts to emphasise the importance that drawing boundaries has to many people.

    • Word count: 2102
  20. In what ways does caste differ from class as a form of social hierarchy?

    Caste has always been directly linked with the Hindu religion and exists in the form of an ancient hierarchy based on the notions of purity and pollution. In its simplest form, known as Varna, the caste system is seen to exist of four groups, the purest being the Brahmin, followed by the Kshatriya, the Vaishya and the Sudra. A fifth group, colonially known as the Untouchables, fall outside the rank. The hierarchy consists of a number of complex rituals related to purity that stem from the Brahmin, the priestly caste.

    • Word count: 2608
  21. A Child Called It

    I like Dave, because he seems really kind to everybody that he knows how to be kind to. Also, he tries to be honest, and is almost always hopeful and wishful. He is innocent, and smart. Here is a quote about him thinking about his relationship with his brothers: "After the boys had carved their pumpkins, I could hear mother, in her soothing voice, telling them a scary story. The more I heard, the more I hated each and every one of them. It was bad enough waiting, like a dog, out in the backyard on the rocks while they enjoyed dinner, but having to lay in a cold bathtub, shivering to keep warm, while they ate popcorn and listened to mothers' tale made me want to scream."

    • Word count: 2198
  22. A History of Body Piercing throughout Society

    servant found Rebekah, and one of the gifts he gave her was a "golden earring" the original Hebrew word used was Shanf, which also translates as "nose-ring". This practice is still followed among the nomadic Berber and Beja tribes of Africa, and the Bedouins of the Middle East, the size of the ring denotes the wealth of the family. It is given by the husband to his wife at the marriage, and is her security if she is divorced. Nose piercing was bought to India in the 16th Century from the Middle East by the Moghul emperors.

    • Word count: 4919
  23. Mulitple Ways of Knowing thePast

    It also shows the clash between anthropologists and other active observers of the ancient remains. By examining the differing opinions of the past and evaluating their benefit to contemporary society, one may better figure how archaeologists can integrate alternative interpretations without compromising their validity. Scattered across the British Isles are megalithic structures like Stonehenge that attract not only archaeologists, but over two-hundred and fifty-thousand pagans throughout Britain. Stonehenge has been considered a sacred ground for pagans since the 18th century, yet most pagans are not focused on replicating past traditions, but rather evolving the practice into a modern system inspired by those traditions.

    • Word count: 1263
  24. bedouin society

    Part one also explains how honor and autonomy are associated with each other, and the fact that not everyone in the community is autonomous or equal to each other. The book suggests that generally, men that are well respected among the Awlad' Ali are more autonomous than the women, children, the poor, and the men that are not respected in the community. Abu-Lughod also details that respect is gained by living up to the standards of the code of honor that the community has set for its people.

    • Word count: 1166
  25. What is witchcraft, and why is belief in witchcraft so widespread?

    The English oxford dictionary describes witchcraft as, "the exercise of allegedly magical powers, an act or instance of employing sorcery, especially with malevolent intent, a magical rite or technique; the exercise of supernatural powers, alleged intercourse with the devil or with a familiar; an irresistible influence or fascination, charm, enchantment" (REFERENCE). This definition is how witchcraft is perceived largely within western society, and is defined differently in disparate historical and cultural contexts. Most westerners still imagine witchcraft to be the work of people who operate secretly in the night and delve in cannibalism and other sinful acts whilst making pacts with the devil, this stereotype has been the cause of many problems that will be discussed within this essay.

    • Word count: 2300

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