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Papers On Anthropology
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“Vogel’s Net” and “The Sacrificial Aesthetic”
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This is a 3 page paper. It is based on the arguments presented in 1996 by Alfred Gell in Vogel’s Net and those in Dawn Perlmutter’s 1999 work The Sacrificial Aesthetic: Blood rituals from art to murder. Three sources cited.
Filename: BWvogel.rtf

"Argonauts of the Western Pacific" and "The Nuer": A Discussion of the Two Classic Anthropological Texts by Malinowski and Evans-Pritchard
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A 5 page comparison of two classic anthropological accounts and the differences in their ethnographic styles. Outlines the contents of each account, detailing economics and non-utilitarian and ceremonial aspects of each group, and compares and contrasts the ethnographic methods used to record those accounts. Concludes that Malinowski's constant interruptions of his narration of Trobiand life to insert his ethnographic perspective illustrate the fact that narrative and ethnography are not necessarily incompatible. Malinowski in fact became a stylistic guide for subsequent anthropological works as a new-style ethnographic science. Suggests that Evans-Pritchard recorded his account in a manner which did not really differ substantially from Malinowski but in a manner which he saw no reason to justify, perhaps using Malinowski's earlier ventures into new-style ethnographic science as a guideline for his own. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
Filename: PPtrobia.wps

"Dancing Skeletons": A Review of the Book by Catherine Dettwyler
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A 5 page review of the ethnographic account of fieldwork in medical anthropology. Working among malnourished children in West Africa Dettwyler experienced both professional and personal insight. Although sometimes criticized for her subjective approach to her subject, in reality Dettwyler provides both a a touching human account and a valuable ethnography. Her approach to death as "the ultimate illness", however, is one which is unfortunate. This paper points out that death is in fact a natural component of life. To view death as an ultimate illness is to regard death, a phase which we must all pass through, as a personal and medical failure. No additional sources are listed.
Filename: PPskeltn.wps

"Mortality is Not Relative": James Rachels' Views on the Theory of Cultural Relativism
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A 7 page exploration of Rachels beliefs in regard to what determines certain cultural practices and whether or not there are inherent rights and wrongs in those practices. More specifically, Rachels explores the question of whether morality is a phenomena that varies according to culture, whether different cultures do in fact operate under different moral codes. Rachels points out that many cultures even diverge greatly from our Western precepts of right and wrong. He is particularly interested in the theory of cultural relativism, that theory that demands that we view behavior and situations in a world context rather than from the closely defined views of one culture. Rachels sees both positives and negatives in that theory, however. No additional sources are listed.
Filename: PPmoralR.rtf

"National Geographic": Political Propaganda or Insight into the Exotic and Fascinating?
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A 6 page discussion of the criticism that has been waged by some authors against "National Geographic". Analyzing those criticisms and evaluating them against one specific article in particular this paper concludes that "National Geographic" is not a political publication and it is not intended to be. The publication's "images are formed, selected and controlled, purveyed and read" (as one author has contended) all right but they are presented for the specific purpose of giving us a view of the exotic and the interesting not the political and controversial. Bibliography lists 3 sources.
Filename: PPntlGeo.rtf

"Primate Behavioral Ecology: From Ethnography to Ethology and Back"
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An 8 page review of an article published in the March, 2003 edition of the "American Anthropologist" by author Karen B. Strier. The article's focus is delineated and the content criticized both in relation to the work her literature review encompasses and to work that it does not encompass. Bibliography lists 4 sources.
Filename: PPprimat.rtf

"Rabbit-Proof Fence" and Other Insights into Aborigine Subjugation
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An 8 page discussion of the concept of manifest destiny as it is illustrated in the film "Rabbit-Proof Fence". The author reviews the plot of this film and compares the blatant discrimination experienced by the characters with other acts of discrimination conducted against other aboriginal peoples around the world. Bibliography lists 8 sources.
Filename: PPaboRbb.rtf

"The Next of Kin": Bilingual and Bicultural
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A 6 page paper which discusses how Washoe, from Roger Fouts' "The Next of Kin," written with assistance along with Stephen Tukel Mills, is bilingual and bicultural. The paper also discusses how this challenges the powerful notion, and existence, of European ethnocentrism. No additional sources cited.
Filename: RAnextkin.doc

"The Role of Women in Human Evolution"
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A 3 page review of author Margaret Ehrenberg's views on the emergence of gender roles in mankind's evolution. Published in editors Caroline B. Brettell and Carolyn F. Sargent anthology titled "Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective", this article questions the traditional anthropological explanation of women's role in evolution. No additional sources are listed.
Filename: PPGndClt.rtf

2 Anthropology Studies
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A 5 page research paper that examines Jody Glittenberg's To The Mountain and Back (1994), a study of the peoples of the Guatemalan highlands and Dennis Werner's Amazon Journey (1990), which describes the author's year-long study of life among Brazil's Mekranoti Indians. Both texts are intriguing, offering the reader insight into other cultures, other social paradigms. This examination of these texts examines the orientation of each anthropologist toward field work and how these studies were conducted. No additional sources cited.
Filename: kh2anth.rtf

A Brief Comparison of Native American Religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, and Taoism
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An 8 page overview of each of these fascinating religions. The author discusses the importance of the environment as a factor in shaping the evolution of Native American Religions, then goes on to provide a brief overview of the beliefs and ideologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Bibliography lists 11 sources.
Filename: PPrelDiv.rtf

A Comparison Between France and the United States
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This 16 page paper examines the social and cultural anthropology of France and compares it to that of the United States. Various aspects are explored including geography, religion, ethnicity, and history. Similarities and differences are highlighted. Bibliography lists 9 sources.
Filename: SA129AAF.rtf

A Comparison of Appalachian and Cherokee Cultures
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A 9 page comparison of these sometimes diverse yet sometimes astonishingly similar cultures. The author of this paper defines the geographic range encompassed by the Appalachians and the unique peoples who presently live there. The author notes that this range was once the homelands of the Cherokee Indians. Specific details are provided on the cultural organization of these two groups, as well as their subsistence patterns, and information about their material culture. Bibliography lists 6 sources.
Filename: PPapala2.rtf

A COMPARISON OF THE CARIBBEAN AND CENTRAL AMERICAN CULTURES
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This 4 page paper discusses the similarities and differences between the history of the Caribbean and Central America. Bibliography lists 2 sources.
Filename: MBcompcar.rtf

A Consideration of “Aboriginality”
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A 5 page paper in which the author approaches the term “aboriginality” with the contention that the term has been defined not only by the Aboriginal peoples themselves but by those cultures who invaded Australian shores and ultimately came to dominate the land and the people. The problem which is inherent in an English definition of “aboriginality” is that such definitions typically fail to take into account the fact that aboriginal culture, like all cultures, is an ever-evolving phenomena. An equally important problem results in that the definition of the term “aboriginality” tends to continually evolve in accordance with the degree of economic and political pressure the aborigine peoples represent to the dominant culture. Bibliography lists 5 sources.
Filename: PPabo1.rtf

A Critical Analysis: 'Growing Up In New Guinea' By Margaret Mead
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A 5 page research paper on the book 'Growing Up in New Guinea,' by Margaret Mead. This paper offers a critical analysis of Mead's study of child development and overall society of the Manus people living on the Admiralty Islands located in the Western Pacific Ocean. A critique is presented focusing on the research methods and design of Mead's study done during 1928-1929. Bibliography lists 1 source.
Filename: Growup2.wps

A Discussion of Death: Cultural Variation and the Obligations of the Living
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A 4 page contention that death is a process, a process in which the dying terminate their societal obligations but in which family members often incur obligations in the form of family vigilance. These obligations have varied, however, over time and culture. In many aspects of our modern society death has become more of a clinical topic than a personal and spiritual one. To more traditional societies, however, the process of death is one in which family members not only are expected to but want to provide the structure which they feel best allows their loved one to transition from the physical world to the living world. Bibliography lists 3 sources.
Filename: PPdeath4.rtf


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