This ‘introduction to cultural anthropology’ has been more of an amuse (to amuse) bouche (the mouth), rather than a full course meal…if we are to continue the central theme of food. That is to say, it was intended to tickle your intellectual curiosities, rather than give you a comprehensive account of the discipline.
For your final assignment, I would like you to reflect on what you have learned this semester by using specific examples and connecting them to specific terms from the lists below. You should engage at least 10 terms from each list, though you may connect more.
Use your portfolios, which by now should include all the work you have done over the semester, to help you look back at what you did and how. Compare that body of work with the lists below and mark out the terms you think you can use to build your reflection. Think of this last essay as a moment to reflect your learning from the distance of the disciplinary terms that you have been learning about through ‘doing’ this whole time.
Your reflection should be 1200-1500 words, or 4-5 pages long, double spaced in a commonly used 12 point font.
Write clearly and with intent, avoid the passive voice, and embrace the first person (e.g. I learned that…). Feel free to draw from your previous writing, which you do not have to ‘cite’, though you may flag it as coming from previous work for this class by saying something like: In the first interview with an elder, I wrote/discovered that…followed by a paraphrasing of what you wrote. Don’t copy and paste, rewrite in your own words.
The aim of this assignment is to see how well you can explain these methods and concepts that you have learned to others in your own words, rather than a recitation of a learned definition. One helpful tip is that you might imagine that you are addressing one of your family members or a friend, to explain to them what you learned while doing this course and its activities.
Grading will be based on the following:
- Clarity – of your writing and ideas – 10 points
- Focus – how well you organize your essay and how you transition from one idea to the next – 20 points
- Originality – of your ideas and the connections you make – 10 points
|Exploding an Object, social life of objects||Cultural Relativism v ethnocentrism|
|Storytelling as a method||Social Evolutionism vs structure, function, meaning|
|Photography as a method of showing||Boundary marker/insiders and outsiders|
|Talking as a method – Interviews, Oral histories||Participant Observation|
|Genealogy – Kinship maps||Linguistic Relativity also referred to as Sapir-Whorf hypothesis|
|Archives – using publicly accessible documents of the past||Identity (race, gender, sexuality, class) as a social construct|
|Participant observation – living with the people and in the places you study||Intersectionality|
|Transmedia (across different media)||Code switching|
|Photography as a method of starting conversation/interviewing||Language ideologies|
|Semiotics – using language as a model for cultural and social meaning||Origin Myths, Founding Stories|
|Ethnography -the written or visual story that anthropologists tell about their research using description, analysis, and existing disciplinary frameworks||Imagined Communities|
|Material artifacts that humans create in their lives that gives anthropologists insight into how they interpret the world||Symbolic culture: norms, values, mental maps of reality as frameworks of meaning|
|Material culture: physical artifacts, bodily substances that acquire social value|
|Exchange and the ‘gift’|
|Gender ideology, gender performance|
|The binary – male/female; man/woman|
|Power and agency|
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