Anthropology Sample Paper
FORMAT: essay, typed and double-spaced, paginated (numbered pages) 11.5 or 12 size font, standard Word margins, printed on both sides. other information will be posted In the document down below. Will be giving a great feedback with a 10 star review. (including a surprise
The take home exam consists of essay-type questions that you will answer using material from the entire course lectures and all the readings. Questions are thematically divided into three sections. YOU MUST CHOOSE ONE FROM SECTION 1 and 2, and also answer the ONE question in Section 3, for a total of 3 answers that must be submitted. Each essay question should be 400 – 550 words.
Section One: Anthropological Perspectives – Religion
The anthropological perspectives focus on the study of the full scope of human diversity and how knowledge can be applied to help people of different backgrounds. Religion is a crucial component of culture that affects how people perceive things and bring about diversity in views. Religion influences the cultural identities of people by dictating their behavior and traditions, thus allowing people to achieve census. It not only identifies what values to hold but also provides guidelines for right living, which touches on a key factor of what makes people human. Rituals, sacrifices, and prayers form part of the many ways in which people can show their adherence and devotion to a particular religion. Religion as a uniting factor allows a culture to operate as one entity in several activities and views of the word (Ives et al., 2019).
A ritual is a repetitive pattern of behavior that is prescribed or ties to a belief, custom, or institution, often with the aim of communicating to supernatural power. Different people have different behavior patterns that can be considered rituals in ordinary life, but in religion, these patterns are somewhat universally binding for all adherents. A ritual can involve words, gestures, or actions performed in a specific place and according to asset sequence. An example is in the catholic wedding, where the recitation of traditional vows is done before the couple can be put together as one forever. Many cultures also have their ways of carrying out activities such as marriage ceremonies through which a union between a husband and wife is put before a supernatural being and before witnesses for authenticity and blessing.
On the other hand, a myth represents a symbolic narrative that is of unknown origin and is at the minimum partly traditional. Myths tend to relate to actual events that are primarily associated with some religious belief. Myths can be distinguished from symbolic behavior such as rituals because they serve to unfold part of the worldview of a people or explain an idea or practice that certain people engage in. mythology is one component of religion and can be factual or fictional. An example is the parables of Jesus in the new testament that help Christians today navigate life in different ways. Technology has grown over time, and it is a concept marked in myths and realities. Technology is creating a new perspective for myths and new ways of trying to explain history as well as a worldview. As societies rely more on technology for their everyday operations, then it alters how people carry out rituals from the simple ordinary ones such as communication to the more inclusive ones such as online worship ceremonies.
Section Two: Dimensions of Culture – Races
Race is an elusive term that many people do not fully understand but use often. It is an idea that human beings are divided into distinct groups based on specific observable physical and behavioral differences. Therefore, it might be true to say that the world is divided into particular races based on biological differences and cultural connections. This is because our physical and behavioral differences originate from our inherited biology, and this helps explain why there are whites and blacks among other races in the world. But the notion of race should not be viewed strictly from the biological basis because race is a social, political, and cultural construct that is influenced by more than just genetics. The modern world defines race in a more social term because of the genetic studies that have refuted the existence of biogenetically distinct races (Meloni, 2017). People may have certain differences in skin complexion or body morphology, but more of what divides the world with regards to race is imposed attitudes and beliefs.
The idea of non-concordance and continuous variation proves that there is no generalizability to race; thus, the division of the world according to biological differences may be faulty. Besides, the world has faced problems that originate from prejudice and discrimination that are associated with one race feeling superior to another in specific ways. This is the connection between racial classifications and racism. Human beings are nonetheless biologically and culturally diverse, and this diversity has a significant implication for lived experiences of both individuals and populations. The idea of race makes people believe that many of the divisions existing in society are natural, but race, just like gender, is socially constructed. The differences that people see or believe they see are superficial and emerged as adaptations to geographical locations. So much evidence proves that under the skin, there is no such thing as race, and the only race in the world is the human race (Wagner et al., 2017).
Genetic tests have not been able to verify or determine race, yet racial bias still fuels violence, discrimination, and prejudice. Some twins have been born with biological differences representing two different races, which proves that race does not directly define a people based on perceived biological differences. Race is just a way people try to make sense of the divisions that have existed in the world for some time now, and it should not be given the weight it receives in terms of dividing and characterizing people.
Section three: Beyond the Classroom
As the world is faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, communication, compliance, and misinformation have been essential elements helping to manage the pandemic. Clear and consistent tracking of infectious disease rates allows for better management and understanding of the pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic’s lack of data to track the transmission of the disease led to a lot of misinformation and inadequate communication that limited how well people understood the virus. As big data failed to predict transmission paths, anthropologists made use of ethnographic data to link patterns of what was being said and done on the ground. Anthropological knowledge on social contexts allowed them to describe the contexts that affect the interpretation and practice of behaviors like hand washing, cleaning surfaces, and social distances among different ethnicities worldwide (Herrmann et al., 2020). The recent support by an anthropologist to move from the term social distancing and adopt the term physical distancing so as to eliminate the sense of social isolation comes from the knowledge of social interactions and how people react to others.
The social construction of illness, inequality, and stigma form part of the themes that help people understand the COVID-19 pandemic more. People have been relying on the preexisting and cultural explanation of the virus when science had not yet provided conclusive information. This social construction of the virus had many people initially believe that the virus only affected the old and that black people were not as affected as the other races. It is essential to use local knowledge to gain insight into this virus, especially when there exists ambiguous biomedical guidance. It is also evident that stigma arising from the outbreak of pandemics causes severe health hazards because the human tendency is to divide society into us and others based on race, ethnicity, and many other attributes. The stigma created a focus on Asian origin and age as risk groups which created a false sense of security for people who neither identified as Chinese or older. It is important to note that stigma and othering create confusion, anxiety, and denial of risk factors that limit effective health emergency responses (Bagcchi, 2020). Anthropology allows us to identify how these come about and provides ways to mitigate peoples’ adverse reactions to viruses and pandemics.
Bagcchi, S. (2020). Stigma during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lancet. Infectious Diseases, 20(7), 782.
Herrmann, H. A., & Schwartz, J. M. (2020). Why COVID-19 models should incorporate the network of social interactions. Physical Biology, 17(6), 065008.
Ives, C. D., & Kidwell, J. (2019). Religion and social values for sustainability. Sustainability Science, 14(5), 1355-1362.
Meloni, M. (2017). Race in an epigenetic time: Thinking biology in the plural. The British Journal of Sociology, 68(3), 389-409.
Wagner, J. K., Yu, J. H., Ifekwunigwe, J. O., Harrell, T. M., Bamshad, M. J., & Royal, C. D. (2017). Anthropologists’ views on race, ancestry, and genetics. American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 162(2), 318-327.