Cultural Anthropology-The human Challenge

1. If you were invited to “study up,” on which cultural group would you focus? How would you go about getting access to that group for participant observation and which two of the obstacles listed in your text would give you the most trouble? (Make sure you ready about “studying up” in the textbook.)

2. What cultural (not biological) adaptations allowed Homo erectusto migrate out of Africa into Europe and Asia 780,000 years ago?

3. Is the “English only” movement in the United States ethnocentric? What effect has it had in states that have passed it? Can adults learn a language by simply living in a place that speaks that language?

4. Every society faces the challenge of humanizing its children, teaching them the values and social codes that will enable them to be functioning and contributing members in the community. What child rearing practices did you experience that embody the values and social codes of your society?

5.. Consider the ideas of change and progress in light of the agricultural development described in the Anthropology Applied box attached below. Come up with your own definition of progress that goes beyond the standard idea of technological and material advancement.

6. Imagine that you are an powerful official in the government of India. Upon visiting a poor village, you find children as young as six weaving rugs 8 to 10 hours a day in the village’s only factory. You want to enforce the law against child labor, but you find out that these children are supporting their entire families because only children’s fingers can do the delicate work. You have no government funds to spend on the village, and it is your duty to shut down the factory. What do you do?

7. Pastor Rick Warren said that for “five thousand years” marriage in every part of the world has been defined as being between one woman and one man. Is he correct? Why or why not?

8. People growing up in modern industrial and post industrial societies generally treasure ideas of personal freedom, individuality, and privacy. Considering the social function of kinship relations in traditional non-state societies, why do you think such ideas may be considered unsociable and even dangerously selfish?

9. According to your text, members of an upper class or caste in a socially stratified system have a greater vested interest in the idea of law and order than those forced to exist on the bottom of such societies? Do you agree?

10. Which nationalities or ethnic groups do you know that are dominant and which can you identify that are in a minority position or are repressed? What is the basis for this inequality according to your text? Do you agree?

11. Do the basic dynamics of the shamanic complex also apply to preachers or priests in modern churches and medical doctors working in modern hospitals? What are some similarities among the shaman, preacher/priest, and medical doctor?

12. Because kinship relations are important in small-scale traditional societies, these relationships are often represented in artistic designs and motifs. What are some of the major concerns in our society, and are these concerns reflected in any of our culture’s art forms?

13. Brazil leads the world in the use of ethanol. However, in order to grow enough sugar cane to produce the ethanol, the government has allowed farmers and ranchers to cut down more of the Amazon forest. This destroys the habitat of many rare plants and animals and has led to fights with the indigenous people who call the forest home. Should Brazil continue to produce ethanol from sugar cane? What will happen to the Amazon forest and all that live in it?

<div class="