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University Degree: Anthropology

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  1. Why has the concept of exchange proven such a useful tool in anthropology?

    As Mauss stated in the famous text, 'Primitive Classification', written with Durkheim (1963), there is rationality in primitive thought thus leading him to believe that analysis of the organization of reality in archaic societies sheds a light on the role of the collective consciousness in the shaping of society (Durkheim, Mauss 1963, p. 81-88). This collective consciousness is abundant in meaning, and as a result it introduces sense and purpose into the social which can then be read in the thoughts and actions of the individual.

    • Word count: 1649
  2. How exceptional are western notions of the person and the body?

    By calling for this 'triple viewpoint' of physiology, psychology and sociology, Mauss succeeded in surpassing both the reductionist definition of man's psychological life as a set of relatively autonomous elements, as well as the demotion of social phenomena to exclusively one category of factors (Mauss, 1979). Such a view is complemented by the distinction Mauss makes between a human being's awareness of body and mind - a self-awareness that is universal and manifested through language, and the social concept of the person as a fact of law and moral (Fontaine, 1996; Mauss, 1996).

    • Word count: 1819
  3. To what extent can anthropology be seen as the study of indigenous classifications?

    In order to investigate this process, the anthropologist must study the 'most rudimentary classifications made by mankind, in order to see with what elements they have been constructed' (Durkheim, Mauss: 1963: 9). The simplest systems of classification for Durkheim and Mauss are found among the tribes of Australia, and there, the classification of things is a reproduction of the classification of people - all objects in nature are classified according to the division of tribes into moieties and moieties into clans, and all of these into marriage classes.

    • Word count: 1934
  4. Free essay

    Gossip or The Rule of Law?

    Because groups are typified by shared goals that operate in the group's own interest, and entitative groups are seen as causal agents- that is, as originating action- out groups are expected to act on their own interests, which will be hostile to other groups (Oberg, 1948). Indeed, groups are more competitive than individuals. Both fear of losing control over one's outcomes and greed to enhance self contribute to group competitiveness. Group members conflict over controlling resources. In social dilemmas, individual self-interest conflicts with collective interest, creating mixed motives.

    • Word count: 1430
  5. How has the West represented the non-West, and what are the political implications of such representations?

    I believe that the West used each of these situations for aggrandisement, by exploiting and extracting land, labour or resources. The result of this is the perpetuation of the current balance of power - the West maintains the economic and political power, and thus the control of the dominant discourse. Thus, they also retain the ability to represent the non-West in a way most beneficial to them, while the non-West nations remain marginalized and powerless. (Wallerstein in Seligson and Passe-Smith 1998, p.290)

    • Word count: 4375
  6. CBNRM - reflecting on the past to create potential for the future

    After colonial occupation, international concern about endangered species and soil erosion led to the creation of National Parks, and this has left many indigenous communities homeless in order to protect the wildlife. The result is an atmosphere of hostility and distrust between local communities and the state. This ignorance and misrepresentation of local traditions can result in local population's opinions being neglected, for example through misunderstanding different forms of protest: In Nicaragua, the reaction to the removal of the local population's access to natural resources was passive resistance, remaining silent and unresponsive.

    • Word count: 3410
  7. Discuss the extent to which tourism is a neo colonialist activity supported by cultural perceptions based on social Darwinism and colonialism.

    Further to this, there are many areas that cultural perception can focus on such as the socio-cultural impacts or Doxeys' index of irritation (Smith. M, 2003 p. 53); probably too many for the scope of this paper, therefore the issue of sex tourism will be focussed upon. 'Sexual conquest and exploitation were of paramount importance to the European colonizers, who raped and looted their way through the Americas. For more than five hundred years, the sexual labour of women has been embedded in the normal operation of political and economic structures in this part of the world.'(Kempadoo 1999, cited in Cabezas, A, 2004).

    • Word count: 3957
  8. Discuss the purposes of genetic testing during pregnancy and the ethical issues raised by such testing

    The topic will be expanded to look at one neonatal test, the Guthrie test for phenylketonuia to illustrate one of the main purposes of genetic screening, and pre-implantation diagnosis, for example tests during in-vitro fertilization (IVF), as this is the real ethical battleground of the future. Most pregnant women are offered a variety of screening tests and, where it is deemed appropriate, specific diagnostic tests as well (Human Genetics Commission, 2006). Prenatal diagnostic tests provide diagnosis of particular conditions the baby may have (Ibid), and are carried out when there is a 'familial, maternal or fetal condition that confers an increased risk' (Cunniff, 2004).

    • Word count: 2993
  9. "L' Afrique Fantme is at heart a book about the impossibility of human contact". Discuss.

    Leiris was genuinely beholden "to his nation and class, and the preservation of their interests"1. All was undertaken within a colonial framework. This sense of being indebted to the French upper classes was intensified by the fact Leiris came from such an area of society. It seems for the most part of this book that the group as a whole surveyed their surroundings with a sense of "conquistador" binarism. The idea is that Leiris' writing took its significance from his experience of the primitive Other, in relation to the civilised state in which he saw himself.

    • Word count: 1647
  10. Cosmetic Surgery in the Philippine Setting

    The latter started in the 700's B.C. The Indians were traced to be the first ones to conduct simple surgeries like rhinoplasty - the type of plastic surgery that is used to improve the function (reconstructive surgery) or appearance (cosmetic surgery) of a person's nose. Rhinoplasty is also commonly called a "nose job."3 The real start of cosmetic surgery began in the 20th century. Obviously, technology is the shoulder of this. The main purpose of this surgery was to repair the faces of the victims of the World War I.

    • Word count: 2433
  11. What is popular culture and why is it such a big part of life in the UK?

    One is the artistic output, defined and valued by aesthetic criteria and emerging from a community of creative people. The other takes culture to be an all-encompassing concept about how the lives carry on, the senses of place and person that make people human. In the past, popular culture may be just defined as mass popular. That means class distinctions become less important in early time, the common forms had live performance including speaking, singing, dancing, etc. Storey (2003:37) reports that opera was established as a widely available form of popular entertainment consumed by people of all social classes.

    • Word count: 1069
  12. Arthur Marwick argues that the sixties were characterised by the counter-cultural movements across a number of areas. Do you think that this view is supported by the evidence?

    This periodization could therefore be more accurately classified as a period of cultural change and social change from 1958 to1973, but for convenience in this assignment will be referred to as "the sixties". HISTORY To look at history in relation to the 1960's I am going to look at the attributes that mainstream culture was given and how counter-culture looked to challenge these. To study what was mainstream in the 1960's we have to look at the common place ideals that were widely accepted at the time.

    • Word count: 2056
  13. How have the boundaries and links between states been changing over the last fifty years? √

    I will use four vconcepts to debate cultural globalization i) stretched social relations, meaning the existence of a global cultural network. ii) intensification of flows, an increase in cultural exchange iii) increasing interpenetration, the way cultures come face to face, and iv) global infrastructure, the institutions needed for globalization to function. [clear enough!] Globalists, v who view globalization as inevitable and above the agency of individuals or institutions, are divided as to whether cultural globalization is good or bad and base their argument heavily on quantative data.

    • Word count: 1683
  14. AS levelEnglish language coursework

    Whichever way you imagine a 'Ladette' it is safe to say that the feeling towards them is never positive. What positive point could we make about them, apart from perhaps the fact that they are practising equality by assuming 'male' traits and enjoying themselves in a detrimental way? Therefore with such a negative perception, we should feel that this is a worrying development and that women should not be acting this way. One main reason being, drinking to excess and flaunting themselves is dangerous. So where did this culture come from and why are girls behaving this way? Some believe that this culture has been around for about ten years now, however in the 1990's there was only 'Lad' culture and women were yet to have joined in!

    • Word count: 1548
  15. Indirectness in communication

    This solution is appropriate as the researcher has mentioned earlier that the reluctance of the Malay workers to directly voice their discontent to the management as to show their respect (p. 6). This research is built on theories and frameworks in the study that was conducted by Brown and Levinson (1978). The theoretical framework is explicitly designed to explain the role of indirectness in polite behaviour. According to Brown and Levinson, indirectness is used for several reasons including to avoid from invading someone's territory, for example by embarrassing him or her (Bruti, 2006).

    • Word count: 1206

    The second aspect of this dimension has to do with what people in a culture expect of sex roles. In a very masculine culture, sex roles would be differentiated while in a feminine culture sex roles would be more similar. Long Term Orientation (LTO). This is a recent addition to the Hofstede model, added as a new dimension to the model in the second edition (2001). It is based on the philosophy of Confucius and has to do with "persistence, thrift, personal stability and respect for tradition" (p351).

    • Word count: 2182
  17. Essay - Perception

    It is widely estimated that 80% of all language is non-verbal. We sometimes don't recognise it but body language occurs in almost every situation. When talking to someone it is often not what we say that has the greatest effect on the person but the way we say it and our body expressions that we use to say it. Language is closely linked to culture because it varies from one culture to another. In Fiji raising the eyebrows shortly in response to someone's question is simply an agreement to the statement they have made but in other cultures this expression may be an insult.

    • Word count: 1136
  18. Travel There is a Chinese proverb said, "Traveling thousands of miles is better than reading thousands of books."

    These experiences you will never find from the books. You saw a lot of pictures of different races from books with description, however you will never know the actually who they are. By traveling in those local places, you can learn more about the local races, their language and make friend with them.

    • Word count: 478
  19. Suicide and Chinese Culture Maxine Hong Kingston's essay "No Name Woman," is a gender focused story describing some of the behavior and beliefs of the Chinese culture. It entails Kingston's mother revealing to her her unmentionable aunt

    All married women blunt-cut their hair in flaps behind their ears or pulled back in tight buns. No nonsense. Neither style blew easily into heart-catching tangles. And at their weddings they displayed themselves in their long hair for the last time." (328). In other words a woman was viewed as strange if she primped and fussed over her appearance. If she wore clothes of certain colors or styles it said something about her personality and demeanor. Furthermore, men could tell if a woman was available for marriage if her hair was long and flowing. If a woman was already married it was expected she should pay little attention to her appearance.

    • Word count: 1125
  20. Frankfurt School on Popular Culture

    They were seduced into popular culture and encouraged to consume, falsely believing that what they got would provide satisfaction. The working classes had lost their ability to critically assess the exploitation and gone too was their ability to rise and revolt against it as Marx would've predicted. They had become consumed by their own shallow consumption. Popular culture was drip feeding the masses, much like a hypodermic syringe, into believing they needed and could not live without these products. According to Marcuse, capitalism creates "one-dimensional" people, who lack any real culture other than that fed to them by the media.

    • Word count: 2472
  21. Are theories of postmodernism Eurocentric?

    Post-modern theory thus analyses what it sees as the main causes for these changes, mainly being that of the mass media, the consumer society and information technology and how these changes have been brought about. It is a rejection of the old ways of analysis and the rejection of metanarratives in searching for a way of understanding and meaning in the present. As it is constantly looking at the present postmodernism is , in reality, a continuous work and as Glenn Ward wrote it is, "..an elastic critical category with a range of applications and potential understandings.

    • Word count: 2241
  22. Big Bad Britain

    But paying off the loan can be the difficult part. If people cannot pay back the money they borrowed on time then their debt ever increases till they can pay back the debt. This can cause a lot of trouble and stress to not only the person whom the debt belongs to but also the people that gave the loan. Sometimes people turn to a life of crime to get their money but once they have done it once and succeeded then they have an urge/craving to do it again and again and again.

    • Word count: 1923
  23. The Culture of 'Things Fall Apart' vs. Western Culture

    Okonkwo has three wives and eight children. Polygamy is not something many people are accustomed to. Western culture teaches that monogamy, as opposed to polygamy, is the proper, accepted form of marriage. In Western culture, having more than one partner in a marriage is often cause for divorce; however, in Umoufia it is practiced and even encouraged by most of its people. Another common belief in Umoufia is Polytheism, the worship or belief in many gods. Included in their practice of polytheism is their chi, or personal god. "A man could not rise beyond the destiny of his chi".

    • Word count: 895
  24. What is Postmodernism? Fashion in Postmodernism

    In literature or film, postmodernism is seeing as a rejection of any link between the characters and the material social world. Moreover, these characters are seeing in the series of different images, which are not linked by the overall pattern. Postmodernists do not see a clear line between fact and fiction. They suggest that the relationship between words and things does not exist. This idea could be supported with the quote by Michel Foucault: "I am well aware that I have never written anything but fictions.

    • Word count: 2528
  25. To what extent do skateboard magazines reflect counter cultural ideologies?

    'Sport trains the work force to operate according to the norms of capitalist, or bureaucratic state capitalist exploitation. Sport is basically a mechanism of the body, treated as an automaton, governed by the principle of maximising output' (Brohm, 1978, p55). This demonstrates how Brohm's (1978) work operates from a Marxist perspective, illustrating that sport is simply used as a vehicle to reproduce capitalist values and ideologies within society. However, Brohm's (1978) work is based on work previously theorised by Althusser (1971), which focuses on class struggle.

    • Word count: 3862

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