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Please pick any five (5) essay questions from the list of essay prompts below and write your responses in a WORD document and email back to me. ALL ANSWERS IN ONE DOCUMENT! Essays should be at least two pages, double spaced, in 12-point font and should not only reflect your knowledge and understanding of the essay question, based on the lectures, discussions and readings, but also your own innate knowledge, common sense, imagination and creativity. ( each question should be a page 1/2 long, if not, a page is fine)
1. What is cultural anthropology and what are the reasons for it? What do we get out of it? In other words, how is it useful? What can this social science of learning about other societies tell us about ourselves? In your answer, be sure to include real life examples that you have may have experienced, heard, or read about in this course.
2. Name and describe in detail the four disciplines of Anthropology. How do they interrelate and intertwine to possibly give us the most complete story of any given human being, his society, and its culture? What is “the 5th discipline”, Applied Anthropology and how does it play a vital role in general Anthropology?
3 Define what culture is. Be as expansive as you can be, using examples of societies in your answer that illustrate that you not only know what culture is, but you also know what it is not. Take your time with this; this is your moment to be creative and imaginative.
4 Describe in as much detail as possible, one of the theories for the origins of language. How does this theory or any other theory account for the widespread existence of many different discreet languages, about 5,500 at last count? For instance, why are there so many different Native American languages across North America?
5 Explain how the ideas/theories of evolutionism and racial determinism (be careful, this is about cultural, not physical evolution) affected the way colonizing powers saw and behaved towards indigenous peoples. How are these ideas still evident today in our society?
6 What are the four (4) traditional subsistence activities and what type of socio/political arrangement would we likely find in each? Make sure you define each of these as either food obtaining or food producing strategies and how human lifestyle and settlement patterns evolved because of changes in subsistence strategies.
7 We know that there is much diversity and variation in human beings all over the planet, but name and describe some things that ALL peoples have in common. Are these things cultural or biological? And if they are cultural, what accounts for this seeming universality across the many human societies and their cultures?
8 What are the possible origins of human aggression? Is aggression biologically or culturally determined? Is it in our genes or our environment? Or is it both? Did aggression, outside of survival instincts, exist in hominids? Does it exist in the primates and lower orders of animals? This is commonly called the ‘Nature/Nurture argument. Use this opportunity to explore creatively and imaginatively on this age-old topic in the social and behavioral sciences. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer to this, and since we didn’t spend a whole of time on this, you will be graded on your ingenuity and creativity in answering this one.
9 In North America, particularly among tribes of the Northeast, such as the Huron and Iroquois, as they were met by French Jesuits, trappers and other Europeans, what was the real socio/political status of a chief? Was being chief a 24/7/365 lifetime job, or something more temporary and dependent on other factors, such as the season or time of year?
10 Did the rise of agriculture (the Broad Scale Revolution or Neolithic Revolution) give rise to social stratification as anthropology and history has thought and taught, or were socio/political differences always there from the beginning? Why do you think so? What archaeological or other evidence makes you think so?
11 In setting up field research with a specific set of people, discuss the importance of the following: preliminary research, design and project set-up; research specific hypotheses and or theories; locating and designating a reliable informant; emic vs etic approaches; cultural relativism and the use of modern technologies in the field process. Be careful, do not attempt this one unless you are very sure of anthropological field methods and setting up research projects.