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Cultural Anthropology invites you to understand the world through the eyes of other people, often those whose way of life may differ from your own. It encourages an empathetic approach that attempts to understand others within their own cultural contexts. This quarter you are reading several rich accounts of cultural experiences, featuring various ethnic communities in the United States. Between the World and Me is the first of these. You are encouraged to avoid ethnocentric approaches and adopt culturally relative perspectives that treat the perspectives of others as valid on their own terms.
Your essays provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate your engagement with and reflection upon the assigned course materials. You will be evaluated on the breadth and depth of your engagement with the book, other assigned reading, lecture material, discussions, and other experiences in the class.
1. Describe and discuss the significance of relationships between language, human cultural systems, and social power dynamics and/or imbalances (eg: racism, endangered bodies).
2. Identify the role of culture in human lives and societies.
3. Incorporate ethnocentrism and cultural relativism into your essay.
4. Recognize and describe at least two key features of human cultures and society: adaptation, family structure, religion, politics, traditions, gender roles, etc.
5. Identify ways that cultural anthropological research methods, knowledge, and skills can be applied to the solution of contemporary world problems.
Use a word-processor to type a double-spaced essay of approximately 1,000 words or four pages. Quality essays should be at least three pages and no more than five pages in length. The essay should engage the relevant book and lectures in its analysis. It may also draw from class discussions and other activities. The essay should include an introductory paragraph in which a thesis or central argument is presented, a body of several paragraphs that support and develop that thesis with detailed examples from course materials, and a conclusion that summarizes the key argument and the support offered.
Essay #1 should be written in the form of a letter to your (actual/imaginary/future) adolescent child (of whichever gender you choose). The letter should express a thesis about your experience reading Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me in your Cultural Anthropology class at Edmonds CC. It should include at least three direct quotes, examples, and paraphrases from the book and lecture materials.
All sources of ideas, quotes, or paraphrases must be cited, using both in-text citations and a Works Cited at the end of the essay. Review the Learning Support Center’s guide on In-Text Citing of a Source. You should use the APA or another well-established style guide in citing your sources. See our library citation guide or my colleague Cynthia Clarke’s APA citation generator for assistance. Your submissions will be evaluated and scored for originality and proper use of citations using VeriCite. You should submit your essay early to VeriCite, via the Canvas assignment application, and make appropriate adjustments before making a final submission on the due date.
Essay #1 is due as a submission to Canvas by 11:30 AM on Thursday, January 25th.