Week 1 Complete
Acculturation. The textbook discusses the process of acculturation. After viewing the film, Indian School: Stories of Survival, answer the following questions:
What is the definition of acculturation?
What happened to the Native American children in the film?
Why did the American government decide to acculturate them into Western culture?
How did this affect them long term?
Is acculturating others into another culture ever justified?
Cultural Relativism. Cultural relativism asserts that every culture has its own set of customs and beliefs, and that culture must be understood by the standards and values of the people within that culture. Anthropologists think that things that might seem cruel or irrational in our own culture must be seen through the lens of cultural relativity, and that all cultures have practices or beliefs that can be seen by others as repugnant or incomprehensible.
After reading the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights, explain whether you think that cultural relativism can coexist with the idea of universal human rights. Is it possible for anthropologists to promote human rights without imposing, for example, their own Western values and ideas of human rights?
Week 2 Complete
Race and Identity. Historian Robin Kelley stated, “Race was never just a matter of how you look, it’s about how people assign meaning to how you look.” With that in mind:
After viewing the video clip, Social Implications of Race, what do you think is meant by the term racial smog?
How do racial categories shape our identities and social status?
Language, Status, and Identity. Anthropologists believe that language sends messages about who we are, where we come from, and with whom we associate. Based on the readings, can you explain how language can determine status? Provide specific examples that illustrate and support your point of view.
Locating Scholarly Sources. This assignment is intended to help you familiarize yourself with using the Ashford University Library for anthropological research, in preparation for your Final Research Paper. You will also become familiar with identifying the thesis statement in articles.
Similar to how different fields of study use distinct methodologies to collect data, each scholastic field also utilizes specific databases to locate scholarly articles. For this assignment, you will be locating articles and texts from a variety of databases that are all commonly used in anthropological research. In addition to being able to locate articles, it is very important to be able to identify the thesis statements of the articles or texts to make sure they will be useful in your research.
To begin, click on the “Article Selector” quiz in the left navigation menu of your online classroom. This will randomly assign you three articles, and provide you with the proper APA citation. After you have been assigned the articles, make sure to acknowledge that you have received each of these articles and click “submit.” You may want to write these down in a separate document, but you can also view these in your Gradebook at any time. You will not be able to access the Assignment until you have used the Article Selector
Week 3 Complete
Alternative Gender Roles. According to the textbook, gender is the social construct that is assigned and learned based on cultural concepts about the nature of sex differences and their place in social life In your forum response, pick one of the alternative genders discussed in the textbook, and explain how these gender roles function within their society.
Rites of Passage. A rite of passage is a ritual that helps mark a person’s transition from one status to another. All cultures have rites of passage to mark these important transitions. With that in mind, choose a rite of passage either from the textbook or from your own research. What is the function of this rite within the particular society?
Rough Draft of Final Research Paper. To ensure that you are properly prepared for your Final Research Paper in this course, you must complete a draft that includes:
a. Select a topic from the following list:
§ Body Art and Ornamentation
§ Child Rearing Practices
§ Healthcare practices
§ The use of music or dance as a form of political protest/music or dance as a reflection of cultural
issues, values and beliefs
§ Educational practices
§ Elderly care
§ Body Language and Proxemics
§ Rites of Passage
§ Conflict resolution
§ Marriage practices
§ Alternative gender roles
§ Alternative topics are possible, but must be approved by the instructor at least a week before the
Week Three draft is due.
A thesis that reflects the requirements of the Final Research Paper.
A properly formatted reference page.
After you have decided upon a topic, the next step is to begin to do your research. Since you will be comparing this topic across three different cultures, it may be helpful to brainstorm a list of different cultures that you are interested in researching. Utilizing the same databases that you searched in the Week Two Assignment, conduct key word searches to locate the scholarly sources you will be using to aid in writing this paper. If you feel that you need a little help in beginning this research, please view the Generating Search Terms tutorial and/or the Finding Full Text Articles tutorial in the library. Please keep in mind, that even though you are only required to use three scholarly sources from the library, you will initially want to find more than that to ensure that you are using the best three articles for your topic and cultures.
After completing your research, now is a good time to compile your sources in a reference page. Do not worry if you do not end up using one of the sources in your Final Research Paper; you can always remove any sources that you do not use later.
Once you have read through the sources you have located, you should now be able to write a thesis statement that reflects the requirements of the Final Research Paper. For help on creating the thesis statement, please visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Writing Center.
While not required for this assignment, it may be helpful to first outline your thoughts to aid you in organizing how you will present the information in your paper. If you are concerned about how to successfully integrate the sources that you found, please view the Incorporating Sources tutorial in the library. As you are incorporating the information from your sources, think back on the Plagiarism Quiz and the Article Selector Quiz to make sure that you are properly citing sources. You can also view the Plagiarism Flow Chart, found in your online course, to help ensure that you have properly incorporated sources.
Week 4 Complete
Native American Religion. Read the article, Indian Prisoners Claim Spiritual Needs Ignored. Then, respond to the following questions:
Should Native Americans be able to perform their ceremonies in prison?
Do prisoners give up all rights when they enter prison? Does this include the right to practice their
religion? Does this apply to all prisoners, or just to Native Americans?
Give another example of what might be religious discrimination in our own country.
Social Groups. There are a lot of different kinds of social groups in the United States such as clubs, fraternities, gangs, counterculture groups, and online communities. Identify a social group that you are part of, and then discuss which of the social control mechanisms (mentioned in Section 8.4 of the textbook) are applied in your group. Why do you think these forms of social control are effective?
Week 5 Complete
Feminization of Poverty. The author of the textbook uses the term “the feminization of poverty.” What do you think the author means by that term? Why would women be more vulnerable to living in poverty? What cultural factors might contribute to that?
Consumption and Globalization. Chapter 10 provides an overview on the anthropological perspective on globalization. After viewing the film, Guatemala: The Human Price of Coffee, discuss the impacts of globalization on the coffee farmers in Guatemala. How does buying a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s effect coffee farmers in Guatemala? How does this relate to globalization? Would what you saw in the video, and what you read in the book, change your consumption patterns?
Focus of the Final Research Paper
Throughout this course, we have learned that culture is a powerful tool that allows humans to adapt to their own unique environments. In order to better understand cultural diversity, comparisons between cultures are often used to explain the similarities and differences across societies. In order to demonstrate your understanding of the adaptive nature of culture, you will prepare a research paper that requires you to think about what people are doing, why they are doing what they do, and how it ties in with their environment.
In this paper you will be comparing and contrasting one of the following topics in three cultures (other than your own), providing an analysis of the similarities and differences, and an explanation of why these differences might exist.
In your rough draft you selected a topic from the following list:
Body Art and Ornamentation
Child Rearing Practices
The use of music or dance as a form of political protest/music or dance as a reflection of cultural issues, values and beliefs
Body Language and Proxemics
Rites of Passage
Alternative gender roles
Alternative topics are possible, but must be approved by the instructor at least a week before the Week
Three draft is due.
In Week Three, you conducted your research and completed a Rough Draft of the Final Research Paper. You have
also received feedback from your instructor on this draft. It is important at this stage that you carefully take the time to review the feedback that was provided. If based on this feedback, you feel the need to conduct any additional research, now is the time to visit the Ashford University Library and find additional sources.
Expand your rough draft into a seven to eight page research paper that contains the following components:
a. A discussion of how three cultures (other than your own) approach the topic, including specific
A compare and contrast analysis of the similarities and differences in how the three cultures approach the topic, from a culturally relativistic perspective.
An explanation of why these differences or similarities might exist.
Take extra care as you are writing this paper to ensure that you have given proper consideration to all of the notes that were provided to you by your instructor. You will also want to allow plenty of time to proof-read the Final Research Paper and double check for formatting and the use of proper citations. If you are concerned about plagiarism, please utilize the Plagiarism Flow Chart, found in your online course.
The paper must be seven to eight pages in length and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least three scholarly sources from the Ashford University Library to support your claims. Cite your sources within the text of your paper and on the reference page. For information regarding APA, including samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, located within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar, in your online course.