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Anthropological Analysis On A Different Culture English Language Essay

This assignment will be a chance for you to apply anthropological analysis to a different culture. It aims to be a more personally engaging investigation, as it is based on the ethnicity of your ancestors. Your ethnicity is passed on to you from your ancestors. It’s their/your heritage-based on their culture.

Ethnicity in the U.S. is complex. Native people have Ute, Ojibwa, Navaho, Lakota, etc. ethnicity. Their cultures developed on this continent. Some native people who practice their culture call themselves ‘American’. The rest of us say we’re American, too, but our ancestors’ cultures did NOT develop on this continent. The ethnic heritages developed by our ancestors over centuries in other places are now exposed to, influenced by and mixed with ethnicities of other people from all over the world in the U.S. This mixing of so many different people with different cultures from all over the world in one place over such a short period of time is unique in the history of human life on earth.

Most ancestors of people in the U.S. today came here in the last 200 years. My dad’s folks came from Sicily (Italy). I call myself Italian-American. My mom’s ancestors came from Bavaria, Germany, so, I’m German-American, too. I’m ‘American’, but have Italian/German ethnicity. I’m Sicilian/Bavarian, to be exact. Most people in the U.S. have a similar mixed ethnic heritage.

This mix of ideas, beliefs, practices, values, etc. from our ancestors is part of current U.S. culture. Yet, we still inherit specific habits, behaviors, beliefs, etc. from the cultural heritage-the ethnicity-of our ancestors. For me, being Catholic and eating pasta were the Italian traits. Time conscious and loving school were the German traits. The origins of these personal behaviors are in my ancestors’ cultures.

For this assignment you will investigate YOUR OWN ETHNICITY. First, find your ethnicity. If you’re French on both sides, you’re French. If you’re Thai/Irish, you decide which ONE to investigate. If you’re a typical American ‘mutt’ with lots of ethnicities, choose one that interests you.

Whichever ethnicity you research, go back to its ORIGINAL ROOTS. U.S. ethnic groups like Creoles, Amish, Appalachia, Cajun, Pennsylvania Dutch, French Canadians, Hispanics, Caribbean Islanders, Cubans, African Americans, etc. have ethnic roots in places other than the North American continent. Unless you’re Native American, you MUST research those ORIGINAL ethnic roots. Find the homeland your ancestors emigrated from. Do research on the culture there, NOT a sub-culture in the U.S.

If you’re Native American, find the specific tribe (like Mohawk, Apache) and investigate their culture. If you’re European American, use a country (like Norway, Austria) and explain their culture. If you’re African American it may be hard to find your ancestry, but many African Americans’ ancestors are from West Africa. There are ethnic groups (Fulani, Yoruba) or countries (Benin, Ghana) to research there. If you’re Arab, Asian or Indian American, use the country (Oman, Japan, India) or cultural group (Kurd, Hmong, Sikh) that applies. If you’re Hispanic, you have European (Spain/Portugal) or Native American roots to research. If you’re adopted, you may have to guess or use your adopted family’s ethnicity. If you are a recent arrival or a foreign student, use the culture of your homeland. If you do not know your ethnicity, there are ways to find out. If you have any confusion about this COME AND SEE ME.

When you decide which ethnicity to investigate, please use ALL the following as research sources:

1. Use 2 written references, like a book on the area or people. You may use the web, but use scholarly works/sites. These 2 references must be in your bibliography.

2. Interview someone who has VISITED “the old country.” If a relative has been there, talk to him/her. She/he MUST have visited the place personally. If no family member has visited, find someone else to interview or try on-line options. This is so you can ask a REAL PERSON about subjects that interest YOU. My interests might be popular cat names, how streets are paved, if babies use disposable diapers, what billboards look like, how much gas costs, etc. Ask your own questions on subjects that interest you. Finding someone to interview may be difficult. If you have trouble, see me. The interview must be in your bibliography-name the person, date interviewed and contact with the place.

3. A visual resource, like a video/movie on the area, people or culture of your ancestors. Libraries and video stores have documentaries, travel and foreign films, etc. so you can see and hear the language, dress, behavior, etc. of this culture. You may NOT use ‘youTube’ clips, but may use longer, informative webcasts about the area. Include the name of the video/visual in your bibliography.

4. Find a current event article on your ancestors’ homeland or people living there. What’s happening in your ancestor’s homeland now? This must be from current news. People living there, affected by current events, are your RELATIVES. Some people in the area are STILL related to you, even if your family has no record of them or cannot name individuals. Your ancestors left relatives behind whose offspring ARE related to your family here. You may get an article out of newspapers, magazines or off the Web. You must include a COPY of this article with your paper and cite it in the bibliography.

5. On a world map I supply, circle the country your ancestors came from. YOU find a more specific map and circle the location of your ancestors’ homeland. You must include both maps with your paper.

Once you’ve done the reading, viewing and interviewing about your ancestors’ ethnicity, do an ANTHROPOLOGICAL ANALYSIS of their culture. Cover ALL of the following information:

I. Introductory information 12 total points

1. Name where you ancestors are from. Be specific. Name the country. If you 2 points/_____

know the district, city, town, etc. name them. If you do NOT know exact details,

just include what you’ve found out about the area your ancestors emigrated from. Don’t use just a town, city, village, province, state, etc. You need to analyze a larger cultural area for this assignment. Name the culture.

2. Tell me why your ancestors left and when. To leave everything they knew 4 points/_____

for a “New World” was a difficult decision. If you don’t know when or why they

left, try to figure out why people left this area. Reasons can be found with research. You do NOT have to be precise for your particular ancestors, but, try to figure out why people may have emigrated from this place. Explain why and when most people left. Describe how you found the family information or, if you didn’t, what in your research made you think your ancestors may have left as you describe.

3. Describe the environment. Explain the geography, climate, landmarks, major 6 points/_____

historical events, population, characteristics people there are known for, famous

people-any interesting details about the area you found in your research.

Part I 12 points/________

II. ANTHROPOLOGICAL ANALYSIS of culture cores 50 total points

Analyze the culture of this area. Explain WHAT your ancestors’ lives were like or what peoples’ lives are like who still live there. You may analyze contemporary culture OR look at the past. It’s your choice, but, remember this is an anthropological analysis of ethnicity, NOT a history or geography paper.

THIS IS THE CORE OF THE PAPER!! Explain your ancestors’ ethnicity. Use what we’ve learned in class. Do an anthropological analysis. Use anthropological terms and definitions. Accurately apply the words we’ve learned in class to analyze this culture. AGAIN, use anthropological terminology to explain and analyze the culture of your ancestors. This is the part I will look at most closely. I’ll look at correct application of anthropological terms.

A. Primary Institutions of Culture 24 points

Explain the primary institutions of culture-1)subsistence strategies, 2)technology, 3)division of labor. How do/did these apply for this ethnic group. Prove you understand the anthropological concepts we’ve gone over in class by applying them to the culture of your ancestors.

1. Analyze, anthropologically, subsistence strategies people use/used. Describe ALL 8 points/_____

subsistence patterns that apply/applied. Explain each one. What specifically is/was

hunted, herded, planted, produced, etc. Give examples. Which ones are/were most common? How common are/were the rest? Do NOT confuse this with economic sectors. This is subsistence.

2. Anthropologically analyze the technology used for each subsistence strategy 8 points/_____

named in #1 above. Give an example of the technology used in each strategy. Name

specific tools, things, etc. Explain how each is/was used in its particular subsistence strategy. Do NOT confuse this with electronics. This is the anthropological meaning of technology.

3. Do an anthropological analysis of division of labor for each subsistence 8 points/_____

strategy in. Explain how labor is/was specifically divided. Describe which

groups of people do what work for each subsistence strategy and explain why. Do NOT confuse this with gender roles. This is division of labor from the subsistence strategies explained above.

B. Secondary Institutions of Culture 26 points

Analyze the secondary institutions of culture-economics, politics, religion, social organization. Prove you understand the anthropological concepts by applying them.

1. Analyze the political organization. Name the type of political organization. Describe 6 points/_____

applicable political model/models. Explain legitimacy and authority for each model.

Briefly describe the government. Discuss external and internalized political controls, internal and external governmental controls. Don’t just describe the government. Anthropologically analyze political organization.

2. Anthropologically analyze the economy. Explain the type/types of reciprocity used, 6 points/_____

in what ways. Describe the type/types of economic exchange used. Give examples. Name

and describe the main economic system. Discuss goods/services they’re known for, economic sectors, currency, trading partners, exports/imports, etc. Accurately apply correct anthropological terms for economics.

3. Analyze religion, using anthropology. Name the type/types of religious belief 6 points/_____

followed. Describe the basis of each belief. Name the religions that are practiced.

Explain who practices each, in what numbers. Describe common religious actions. Name rituals and rites of practice based on religion/religions. Include religion’s relationship to the government, if religion is influential, casually practiced. Use anthropology to analyze religion in this culture.

4. Anthropologically evaluate social organization. Describe the type/types of marriage. 8 points/_____

Explain how partners are chosen, what constitutes incest, if there are same sex marriages,

etc. Explain post-marital residence patterns. Describe the type/types of family that exist. Explain descent. USE THE CORRECT ANTHROPOLOGICAL TERMS. Describe socio-economic classes and other important social distinctions. Name any major minorities. Describe gender, age, etc. roles. Analyze as much of the social organization as you can using anthropology.

Part 2 50 points/______

III. OTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION 22 points/______

Explain other aspects of the culture. Do men wear briefs or shorts, what are popular shoe sizes, cake recipes, beer brands, TV commercials, pet names, etc.? Describe things interesting to YOU. My subjects are absurd. Do NOT use them. I’ll detract points. Research things of interest to YOU. I’ll look at how well you’ve researched this culture and can describe and explain the cultural practices, ideas, behaviors, etc. that are of PERSONAL interest to YOU. Name and EXPLAIN at least 5 (FIVE) different subjects to earn maximum points.

IV. Appendix 16 total points

1. Your article. Include a copy of the article. Explain why you used this particular article. 6 points/_____

Describe what interested you about it. Explain how it illustrates the culture you’ve researched.

2. Your maps. Include BOTH maps with the area you researched identified on each. 4 points/_____

6. Your bibliography. Include all your research sources-written materials, websites, 6 points/_____

visuals, interview description, article citation, etc. Any resources used MUST be cited.

APPENDIX 16 points/______

TOTAL 100/__________

CAREFUL. This is NOT a geography or history paper. You may use that information, BUT tie it to CULTURE. This assignment is to use ANTHROPOLOGY to explain culture and explore your personal ethnicity.

The paper must be at least 5 (five) pages, double spaced, font 12 or less (no big headings, margins and large spaces between paragraphs). This means 5 full pages of text, NOT counting the bib, maps and current event article/explanation. The paper may be longer, but cover ALL the points listed above.

Long papers are not always better. A grandpa coming from Ireland on the Titanic and surviving the sinking is interesting, but says nothing about ETHNICITY. That story is NOT part of Irish culture. It’s personal, family history. If your Irish ancestors were discriminated against because of the religion, that IS part of Irish culture and you would explain WHY this is part of Irish culture. Don’t get too personal unless you tie it to culture.

If you have any trouble with this paper, see me. The sooner you start, the better. I can help you figure out your ethnicity, find books, suggest documentaries or movies, help you find people to interview, etc. Try to get to one of the study groups scheduled for working on this paper. It helps to work on this with other students..

Let me know if you need any help with any of this assignment. I hope you learn about your ethnicity in this paper & have fun doing it  !

Grammar and writing:

If I find any evidence of plagiarism, your paper WILL NOT BE GRADED. If you use a quote from any source, USE QUOTATION MARKS and cite (in parenthesis) the source from your bibliography. The paper is worth 100 points. If you plagiarize, you lose those 100 points. If you’re unsure of what plagiarism is or you’re unsure how to do citations, ask the Writing Center, look at the samples on Moodle or ask me.

If I wrote “you need help on your writing” on paper #1, take that seriously. Go to the Writing Center. Have them sign your first draft. Include the signed first draft with your finished paper. If this is included, I will NOT subtract any writing/grammar points from you edited paper. Otherwise, based on your writing, I will SUBTRACT points from your final score on the following scale.

For 1-10 writing or grammar mistakes, NO points will be Subtracted

For 11-25 writing or grammar mistakes I will SUBTRACT 5 points_______

For 26-40 writing or grammar mistakes I will SUBTRACT 10 points______

For more than 41 writing or grammar mistakes I will SUBTRACT 15 points______

100 TOTAL/____________ minus grammar/writing mistakes _____ FINAL TOTAL/__________

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